Ukrainian Levkoy Cat

This is a guest post about the Ukrainian Levkoy cat by Liz Johnson from


Ukrainian Levkoy cat
Ukrainian Levkoy cat. Sorry, I don’t know who took this picture. Please tell me and I will pay you.
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment written by visitors. It is a way visitors can contribute to animal welfare without much effort and no financial cost. Please comment. It helps this website too which at heart is about cat welfare.

The first thing you’ll notice when you see one is the fact that they are hairless and have floppy ears.

You’ll also notice that they have an angular wedge-shaped face that is stepped – almost like very shallow stairs. Levkoys look a bit like a regal and contemplative but slightly morose king. When they sit up, they look composed and dignified.

They’re midsized domestic cats with a lengthy, athletic build, beautiful almond shaped eyes, and a whippy tail. Their legs are slightly long.

They can be completely bald or they can have extra short hair like peach fuzz.

Levkoys can be fairly vocal – much like a Siamese.

Update: In Germany the Levkoy is considered a product of ‘torture breeding’ and a man has been arrested for breeding these cats in his apartment (22nd Feb 2024). They authorities seized 48 cats. He will be prosecuted for torture breeding. There are several breeds that are in the same category such as the flat-faced Persian and the Sphynx. Also the Scottish Fold which is so popular with celebrities.

Ukrainian Levkoy Cat
Ukrainian Levkoy Cat. The cat on the right is “Ukrainian gillyflower Helen Grig’s Pink Panther”. Color: cream tabby with white. Date of birth: 21/02/2008. Owner: E.Butomova. Club “Astra”, Moscow. By Photos by Nickolas Titkov. See originals on Flickr. Note about this photo collage by Michael. I have requested permission to use the originals from Nickolas and not received a response. I made the decision to publish here and have provided full credits and link. Problem? Please contact me.


As with the Donskoy and Peterbald cats, the Ukrainian Levkoy is a descendent of a Russian bald rescue kitten known as Varya. In fact, one side of the gene pool comes from the Donskoy. The other comes from the Scottish Fold cat.

The breed inherited its hairlessness from the Donskoy and the floppy ears from the Scottish fold.

The cat originates from Ukraine. The Levkoy plant has folded leaves and the Ukrainian Levkoy cat has folded floppy ears that are similar in appearance to the plant’s leaves.

So, we have the perfect naming convention here – a person might guess the origin from “Ukrainian” and the appearance of the ears from “Levkoy”.

These interesting cats were first registered by the International Cat Fanciers’ Association, which is based in Ukraine. They are a legitimate breed association due to the fact that they closely coordinate with the Cat Fanciers’ Association, Inc. based in the United States.

The Levkoy has been around since about 2004, so it’s a relatively new breed.

Lifespan is unknown since they haven’t been around long enough. If we were to infer based on their genetic makeup, they might live to be in their late teens or even into their 20’s.

Breeders can be found in Ukraine and in Russia.


Levkoys are gentle and sociable. They are energetic and love to play.

They get along well with humans and various household pets, even dogs.

The Levkoy enjoys the company of children as long as the children aren’t rough.


Recessive genes can cause a whole string of health issues and some breeds of hairless cats do have a lot of medical problems.

Unlike some of the other hairless cat breeds, Levkoys actually get their hairlessness from a dominant gene rather than from a recessive gene.

As a result, the Ukrainian Levkoy is a healthy, robust breed.

Special Care

Like all hairless cats, Levkoys have special care needs.

But they don’t have enough hair to absorb skin oil, protect the eyes, or keep the ears clean.

Although they don’t need to be brushed, they do need special skin care:

  • Weekly baths
  • Eyes should be wiped just before bath time
  • Ears need to be cleaned just before bath time
  • Claws should also be cleaned just before bath time

They get cold easily so they need to wear cat jerseys and cat sweaters. They also require extra bedding areas. Levkoys need to be able to sleep where ever it happens to be the warmest at various times of day and night.

They strongly prefer either being under the covers at night with their humans or sleeping on a heated cat bed. During the day they’ve been known to seek out warm laps from time to time.

Levkoys are vulnerable to getting sunburn and skin cancer. They should be kept out of direct sunlight.


Do you find the Levkoy’s appearance to be interesting and cute or do you find it troubling? If you were to get a hairless cat, would you choose a Levkoy? Would you be willing to attend to a Levkoy’s special needs? Do you have any questions?

29 thoughts on “Ukrainian Levkoy Cat”

  1. They are just awesome. I love their looks I am hooked, I am also a fan of the Chausie. Like many have expressed I don’t like the idea of fooling around with genetics.I am one who always when shopping looks for food that says non gmo I got very interested in health because I am a cancer survivor and have celiac and am prediabetic and that was a life changer for me.I am just trying to make it clear anything that harms an animal because of trying to fool with mother nature I havbe no use for.
    My question is this. Have any of the cat breed registeries accepted them? Have their been reports of health issues anyone have data on the oldest living THE UKRAINIAN LEVKOY is?

    • Hi Lorrie, thanks for commenting. I will have to do a bit of research in order to answer your question. Please give me a day or two to do this when I will make another comment.

  2. I have put a deposit down on one from Georgia.
    They are Gorgeous!
    Not all have the folding ears. From what ive read when breeding one is to have straight pointed and the other folded. I cant wait to bring mine home!

    • Good question, Michael 😉 . I am not sure. I would expect there to be one or two so if I were you I’d search with this search term “Ukrainian Levkoy breeders” and/or ‘Ukrainian Levkoy US breeders”. Good luck and thanks for asking. Sorry I can’t be of more assistance.

  3. Hi Michael,

    Good question.

    It’s too early in the Levkoy game to say for sure but I can tell you that if there have been any reports of Osteochondrodysplasia in Levkoys, the reports must be pretty obscure.

    I know for a fact that Levkoys get their hairlessness from a dominant gene.

    I know that Scottish Fold cats are vulnerable to Osteochondrodysplasia but I haven’t seen any reports about the Levkoy suffering from the same.

    I know that two spontaneous mutations of dominant FD genes (the ones that create folded ears) were used to breed the Levkoy.

    So, since the folded ears come from purely dominant genes, my best guess is that they don’t suffer from Osteochondrodysplasia. But I do apologize if you find information to the contrary.

    I don’t want to say for certain, but I’m fairly confident that it wouldn’t be a concern.

    Tough question, I hope I at least got a passing grade. 😀 😉

    =^-^= Hairless Cat Girl =^-^=

    • Ah yes, from your answer to mine and Michaels question you make a good important differentiation – its that the gene is dominant so probably the behaviour and results of that factor play out as meaning they all come with folded ears. Its amazing to think they are so new that little information is avaiable about them. They are so interesting, it makes me wonder what other cats might exist on the future – since all these breeds started by chance in some ways. It’s always the case that once upon a time one cat was born with folded ears for example. So what cats the future hold is an exciting prospect as long as they are not in danger of the negatives of breeder’s agendas. I dont really have a problem with the principle of breeding in modest form – it’s just the extremes of it that bother me. Anyway as long as people love these cats and care for them and they are happy then I would love to see one in real life. Michael says they look so fragile but certainly don’t seem it once you interact and hold them. 🙂

      • Agreed again. Breeding modestly and responsibly brings pleasure. Although even that could be questioned because of the so called cat overpopulation problem in the USA. There is no place in the world for extreme breeding but sadly there is a tendency to do it. It is a misguided activity.


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