LT here. I have heard my friends talking a lot about Lykoi cats so I thought I had better do some research since I like keeping up on things.
Lykoi is commonly called wolf and even werewolf but does not be scared – these cats are friendly and make good pets. What is amazing is that they are a mutation from a domestic shorthair and the mutation has occurred in just the last 20 years – very recent! The breed was developed in Vonore, Tennessee.
Lykoi cats can be completely covered in hair or be partially hairless – so take your pick. If they lose all their hair they can like a Sphynx cat but it will grow back – unlike a Sphynx. Lykoi cats have hair that resembles that of a possum and are genetically different from Sphynx cats.
One unique characteristic of Lykoi cats is that they shed a lot when they are older but the hair grows back later in life depending upon the season. A human guy that works for meshed his hair but it has not grown back yet – and probably won’t. Some humans wear a little rug on their head – called a toupee – but the smarter guys just go natural. Cats seem to be able to do lots of things that humans can’t do.
So how did these Lykoi cats come about? A woman named Patti Thomas (co-founder of the breed) discovered two different sets of domestic shorthairs with the Lykoi genes (not blue jeans) that had been adopted in 2010 from a rescue in Virginia. In 2011 a second pair of Lykoi cats were located in Tennessee by Johnny Gobble (popular name around Thanksgiving I am guessing). The breed is now recognized as a Championship Breed by The International Cat Association (TICA) and began competing against other Championship Breeds in May 2017. Very cool!
Another cool thing is that Lykoi cats have a naturally occurring gene found in feral cats – always cool when something occurs naturally! Johnny Gobble and his wife Brittney did careful evaluations to ensure that the cat’s unusual appearance was not caused by sickness or disease – kudos to them for doing that!
For humans that want to work for unusual-looking cats, this breed is a great way to go! The unusual look and characteristics make for good conversation when friends come over – better than talking about that new car so much. Plus, Lykoi cats can be very loving if treated properly by their human employees. And, just think, Lykoi cats have championship status – very few of the human workers will have that!
So let’s look into this fur thing some more. Lykoi cats have an unusual pattern and the fur comes and goes. What’s up with that? I mean, is that ok? Well, it turns out that it is. The University of Tennessee did some testing. The dermatologists (skin doctors) there examined Likoi cats for any skin abnormalities. They also looked at biopsy samples of the skin – that’s when a little piece of the skin is removed (does no permanent damage so don’t worry) and studied. The dermatologists could find no reason for the coat pattern. They did find that some hair follicles (hair seeds more or less) lacked the necessary components to create hair – causing Lykoi cats to lack an undercoat – but not a concern. They also found that even the follicles that could produce hair lacked the proper balance of components to maintain the hair – what’s up with that? Again, not a concern but the Lykoi cats molt because of that. Thus, becoming almost completely bald from time to time but it grows back – unlike human men’s hair. The determination by the dermatologists was that it’s all a natural mutation so everything is ok. Again, I think it is very cool that the cats that were discovered as founding the breed (at least for humans) were strays, located in shelters or in feral colonies. I just cannot emphasize enough that nature favors cats over almost every other animal – the hair growing back is just one example.
So let’s talk more about appearance. Being a cat myself I must say that it does not matter to me at all what another cat looks like. The smell I remember but looks come and go. But humans care about such things. In fact, I hear that some humans spend a lot of money changing their appearance.
Some humans think Lykoi cats are beautiful – some, not so much. What’s odd is that the babies (i.e., kittens) look the same as other kittens. Then after about one to two weeks they lose their coats and start to appear fluffy. Then after a few more weeks, the Lykoi coats start growing in. After 3 or 4 months the Lykoi appearance is complete.
Even though the Lykoi coat looks stiff like bristles it is actually very soft and silk-like. In fact, I have some Lykoi cats friends and when we give each other a bath (lick each other’s fur) it’s almost like licking butter. And I like butter!
So, friends, I hope you found the Lykoi cat information interesting! I try to learn something new every day – hope you do too!