Is the new cat breed, the Lykoi Cat bizarre or beautiful? Just when I thought that there couldn’t be any new cat breeds making the scene to tickle my fancy, I nearly fell off my chair when I discovered that this isn’t the case. In fact, there is another breed hovering over the horizon and one that is getting ready to make a grand debut on The International Cat Association’s (TICA) show circuit.
If you admire the charm and allure of the affectionate and highly intelligent Sphynx kitty – but at the same time secretly think that this cat breed appears somewhat bizarre – I have news for you. In the bizarre department the Sphynx can’t hold a candle to the Lykoi Cat. In my humble opinion, this newly developed kitty closely resembles an alien creature from outer space.
According to the Featured Creature website and information found on the Lykoi website, when the Lykoi breeding program was being considered, testing was necessary to rule out any diseases or disorders causing the hair coat appearance. Veterinarian and Lykoi breeder, Dr. Johnny Gobble performed infectious disease tests at his clinic and DNA testing was done by UC Davis to ensure that the cats were not carrying the Sphynx/Devon gene. A DNA panel for genetic disease, color and blood type were also performed.
Dermatologists at the University of Tennessee confirmed the cats did not have skin abnormalities, and biopsies of skin samples showed no reason for the coat pattern. What was found is that:
“some hair follicles lacked all the necessary components to create hair; which is why they lack an undercoat.”
Additionally, dermatologists discovered that the follicles that were able to produce hair lacked the proper balance of these components to maintain the hair. This oddity explains why the breed molts and from time to time become almost completely bald.
After all tests were performed and all findings demonstrated that the Lykoi was the result of a truly natural mutation, lacking any credible evidence to prevent breeders from proceeding. Thus the formal Lykoi breeding program was started.
The Lykoi was presented to The International Cat Association (TICA) in 2012, and passed to “Registration Only” status, making them a breed recognized by TICA. And while the breed is still considered “experimental”, this is the first step toward TICA giving the breed recognized “Championship” status.
The Lykoi has large golden eyes and is wrapped in a patchy grey coat. According to its description, it has “the appearance of being a tiny werewolf”. The breed got its name from the word “lukos”- the Greek word for “wolf”. Dr. Gobble said,
“The show-quality cats have that classic scary movie look, like a human who is partially being covered by hair.”
While I constantly profess never having met an “ugly” cat, as far as this writer is concerned “bizarre” doesn’t begin to describe this new breed. While all genetic and DNA testing found the cats to be perfectly healthy, I cannot wrap my head around the reason why the Lykoi is gaining such popularity. I adore the Sphynx. At least these cats are covered in a fine peach- down and are very pleasing to the touch.
After you watch the video featuring the Lykoi cat, uploaded to YouTube by LykoiCat, do share your opinion about the breed with a comment.
Photo credit: Lykoi website