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Ukrainian Levkoy Cat: Info, Pictures, Characteristics & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Ukrainian Levkoy

Height: 8–10 inches
Weight: 11–15 pounds
Lifespan: 15–20 years
Colors: Any color or pattern
Suitable for: Families, single owners, multiple-pet households, first-time cat owners
Temperament: Playful, affectionate, sociable

The Ukrainian Levkoy is a hairless cat that’s only been around since the 2000s. Originally developed by Elena Biriukova in Ukraine, the Ukrainian Levkoy is created by crossing the hairless Donskoy female with the Scottish Fold males, leading to a hairless cat with unique folded ears.

In addition to its unique looks, the Ukrainian Levkoy is also known for its sweet, playful, and outgoing personality. These cats get along well with children and other pets and are easy to train. They develop strong bonds with the members of the household and tend to be friendly with strangers and new pets.

Ukrainian Levkoy Kittens


Ukrainian Levkoy cats are a mixed breed, so it may be difficult to find specific breeders.

If you do choose to look for breeders, be sure to conduct your research. Kitten mills, like puppy mills, are prominent and focus on high turnover of kittens. Often, kittens and parents are kept in horrible conditions and suffer health and behavioral problems that can progress into their adult lives.

When you’re researching breeders, watch out for “red flags” like the breeder refusing to allow you to see the facility or the parents of the kitten, breeders who always have kittens available, and breeders who seem eager to sell kittens quickly. Kitten mill breeders are in the business for the money, not for the wellbeing of their animals, so they aren’t likely to care about placing them in good homes or doing the necessary health and wellness checks of the parents.

Rescuing a Ukrainian Levkoy is also an option, though they may be difficult to find in rescues or shelters. Breed-specific rescues aren’t available for the Ukrainian Levkoy, but a rescue for Donskoy or Scottish Fold cats may have Ukrainian Levkoys.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Ukrainian Levkoy Cat

1. It’s One of the Rarest Cat Breeds

The Ukrainian Levkoy is a newer mixed breed that came from breeding the Donskoy cat with the Scottish Fold, which also makes it one of the rarest cat breeds.

2. It’s Named for Its Distinctive Ears

The Ukrainian Levkoy has distinctive, folded-over ears that differentiate it from other hairless cats. It was named for these ears, which resemble the leaves of the Levkoy plant.

3. It’s Not Always Hairless

Though the Ukrainian Levkoy is typically hairless, some individuals have light, downy fur instead of hairless skin, which may come from the parent cats.

Parent breeds of the Ukrainian Levkoy
The parent breeds of Ukrainian Levkoy: Left – Donskoy (Viachaslau Herostratos, Shutterstock) | Right – Scottish Fold (Lina Kolt, Pexels)

Temperament & Intelligence of the Ukrainian Levkoy

Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪

The Ukrainian Levkoy is a tolerant and sociable cat that’s ideal for families with young children. These cats bond with every member of the household and tend to be easygoing with rambunctious children. It’s important to supervise playtime between young children and cats, however, and teach children to play with the cat appropriately.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

Ukrainian Levkoys tend to get along with other pets, including other cats and dogs. They’re easygoing and bond with the other members of the household—human and pet alike—but this can depend on the individual personalities of the pets involved. Take time to properly introduce and socialize your pets and supervise them until they show no signs of aggression or stress.

Small animals, such as hamsters, rats, birds, or reptiles, should always be kept separate from your cat. Despite its friendly personality, the Ukrainian Levkoy is still a predator and would see these animals as prey. Never allow your cat to interact with your small pets and don’t allow your cat to stalk your pets while they’re in a cage or tank, which can be stressful to both of them.

Things to Know When Owning a Ukrainian Levkoy:

Food & Diet Requirementscat emoji

The Ukrainian Levkoy doesn’t have any specific nutritional needs. Like all cats, they require high-quality cat food with sources of animal protein and all the vital nutrients for a complete and balanced diet. It’s best to choose a commercial cat food that’s approved by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). You have plenty of choices for brands, food formulas, ingredients, and food types to suit your cat’s needs and preferences and your budget.

Cats are obligate carnivores and need high protein, moderate fat, and minimal carbohydrates, as well as a range of vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and amino acids. Trying to prepare homemade food for a cat is extremely challenging and could subject it to nutritional deficits.

Exercise 🐈

Ukrainian Levkoys are inquisitive and energetic cats that like to explore their environment. These cats benefit from having plenty of environmental enrichment, including cat trees, perches, scratching posts, and toys. If possible, provide interactive toys like electronic laser pointers or remote-control toys. If you have other pets in your home, the Ukrainian Levkoy will enjoy playing with them throughout the day.

Training 🧶

These cats are highly intelligent and seek to please their owners, like dogs, and benefit from discipline and training. In addition to litter box training, Ukrainian Levkoys can learn basic tricks, such as sit, stay, and fetch, and will work hard to make you happy.

Cats should always be trained with positive and negative reinforcement—never punishment. Like most cats, it’s best to begin training when they’re kittens, but you can still train your adult rescue cat. Treats are helpful for training, since cats are highly food motivated. It’s best to use a treat that’s enjoyable and saved only for training to hold their interest.

Grooming ✂️

Ukrainian Levkoys are hairless cats and have low-maintenance grooming needs. They don’t shed or need brushing, though they benefit from regular baths. If your cat won’t tolerate a bath, wiping it down with a cat-safe wipe is a good option to remove dirt, debris, and oil buildup. It’s important to avoid overbathing, which can strip the natural protective oils from your cat’s skin.

Along with bathing, your cat should have its nails trimmed regularly and its teeth brushed. Teaching your cat to tolerate these grooming tasks is more effective if you can start when it’s a kitten, but adults can be taught with incremental rewards-based training with treats.

The Ukrainian Levkoy’s skin is sensitive. Your cat should always have a strong sunscreen before going outside or spending time in the sun. In cold weather, your cat should be kept indoors. A sweater is necessary for taking your cat to a vet or traveling in cold weather, since these cats are prone to frostbite and hypothermia.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Ukrainian Levkoys are generally healthy cats, but they can be predisposed to some of the same conditions that affect the parent breeds—the Donskoy and Scottish Fold. They are prone to health problems related to their hairless skin, such as frostbite, sunburn, and general irritation.

Otherwise, the Ukrainian Levkoy may be prone to many of the same conditions that cats experience as a species, such as feline lower urinary tract diseases (FLUTD), vomiting, fleas, worms, and eye problems like glaucoma or cataract.

Minor Conditions
  • Fleas
  • Cataract
  • Skin irritation
Serious Conditions
  • Frostbite
  • Sunburn
  • Vomiting
  • Parasites
  • Glaucoma

Male vs Female

The Ukrainian Levkoy is a sexual dimorphic cat breed, so the males are typically larger. This difference is negligible when it comes to feeding or medication costs.

Otherwise, the primary differences between male and female Ukrainian Levkoys are related to sex hormones. Intact male cats may spray or roam in search of a mate and may have territorial aggression with other cats in the household. Intact female cats may become more vocal and needier during their heat cycle.

These issues can be corrected by spaying or neutering your cat. In addition to preventing behavioral issues related to hormones, spaying or neutering your cat can prevent health problems with the reproductive organs, such as certain cancers or infections.

Ultimately, choosing between a male or female Ukrainian Levkoy depends on your personal preferences and the individual personality of the cat.

Final Thoughts

The Ukrainian Levkoy is a newer mixed breed of cat, but it’s gaining popularity for its unique looks and friendly personality. This cross between the Donskoy and Scottish Fold is easygoing and low maintenance, making it a good choice for new cat owners, families with children, or households with multiple pets. Though it may be difficult to find a breeder of a Ukrainian Levkoy cat, it’s well worth the effort to bring one of these special cats home.

Featured Image Credit: Oleksandr Volchanskyi, Shutterstock

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