This is a guest post about the Ukrainian Levkoy cat by Liz Johnson from Hairlesscat.org.
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.
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.
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?
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