Attention feline lovers, there is a new cat breed that is sure to get your attention for its unusual appearance. No, they are not miniature werewolves, nor are they a crossbreed of wolves and cats.
The Lykoi cat breed, which is also popularly known as the werewolf cat, is not just an ordinary domestic cat – its eerie appearance is so captivating that many people are going gaga over this pet.
— Mental Floss (@mental_floss) November 7, 2015
Lykoi earned its moniker “werewolf kitty” because it resembles a werewolf, and the name Lykoi means “wolves” in Greek. They have ears like those of a wolf’s, but what really makes them unique is their lack of fur.
At a glance, one would think this breed has some kind of skin disease because they tend to lose much of their fur as they mature, causing a patchy coat and leaving their skin exposed. They are born looking like a normal kitty, but as they grow older, they start assuming the features of a werewolf because their hair becomes sparse and they become bald as time goes by.
Like dogs, the werewolf kitty wags its long tail, plays fetch, and has a well-developed sense of smell. They lack hair around their eyes and nose like the Sphynx cat, and they have no undercoat. The Lykoi was first believed to be a mutation of the Sphinx cat because of their physical similarities. But DNA tests proved that they are of different breeds.
The Lykoi is apparently a mutation of the domestic short-haired cat, and their unusual skin condition is not caused by a genetic disease. Dr. Johnny Gobble, a veterinarian and founding breeder of this Werewolf kitty wrote on his website that it is not a “cat with a skin problem,” as some people who are disgusted by the pet claim.
Werewolf Kitty vs. Sphynx Cat
“Well let me assure you. These are very healthy cats and they are about to prove just how unique they really are! I know that some have seen photos and have been disgusted, but once you have looked a Lykoi in the eyes, you are under their spell!” Gobble wrote on his website.
“The first kittens, they looked like little hunting dogs running around on the carpet,” Gobble described the werewolf-like kitty on ABC News. “I thought it was neat.”
Because of its appearance and lack of information about it, some people are scared of this breed of cat. “People are creeped out by them – there’s people out there that completely hate them. There’s people out there that hate me because they think I spliced DNA.”
According to Gobble’s website, the hair follicles of these werewolf kitties lack all the essential components needed to create hair, which explains why the Lykoi has no undercoat and the follicles that produce hair do not have the proper balance of these components to maintain fur. This is the reason why these cats molt and become bald as they grow older.
Aside from the lack of hair, the Lykoi can be likened to hunting dogs when it comes to its attachment to its owners, Gobbles wrote on the FAQ page of his website. He described the Werewolf kitty as “extremely loyal to their owners (slaves), very scent-motivated (yes, many cats are… but these guys go almost ‘on point’ when they get a whiff of something!), and very intelligent.”
The mutation of the short-haired cats appeared about 20 years ago, but the breeding started in 2010.
Those who are interested to have a werewolf kitty as a pet need to prepare a considerable sum, as the Lykoi cats are pretty expensive. The price ranges from $1,500 for a blue, to $2,500 for a black breed.
[Image via YouTube]