Derived from the Greek name for werewolf, Lykoi cats earned their name due to the mask like appearance on their faces where they grow little to no fur and the fact they are known to “transform” throughout their life. With an undeniably odd werewolf-like appearance, Lykoi cats are warm, loving, amiable companions and devoted lap cats. Learn more about the Lykoi cat breed before you add one to the family. There’s no way around it: The Lykoi might be a … challenging cat to love. This werewolf-like cat is generally medium-sized with a slender, toned body and wedge-shaped head that features a hairless “mask” of skin around its eyes, nose, muzzle and backs of the ears. Some Lykois are even completely hairless. This often gets them confused with sphynx cats, though the two share no genetic connection. While the Lykoi’s fur is not long and will not tangle, their generally dishevelled appearance may make it harder to spot scrapes and minor injuries, so a daily once over to go through the coat is sensible, with a proper comb through once a week. Lykoi’s can shed their entire coat, before growing it back for the next season, so a good grooming routine is imperative for this breed. Brushing them once, or twice a week will be enough to stay on top of all the shedding. It is also a good idea to bathe this breed once a month or so to keep their exposed skin clean and free of any oil build-up. With a unique, partially hairless coat that lends a wolfish appearance, the lykoi looks like no other cat breed. Lykoi also have a hairless mask that connects the nose, muzzle, eyes, and ears, further suggesting the appearance of a werewolf. It should come as no surprise, then, that the breed name was derived from the Greek word “lycos,” which means wolf.
According to the breed standard, the Lykoi’s coat should look like that of an opossum. The Lykoi’s coat seems like it would feel rough and wiry, but it’s actually soft and silky to the touch. There is no undercoat, and the guard hairs grow in varying amounts, which differs among individual cats and also throughout the year. Although some Lykoi are almost entirely hairless at times, in the show ring, more coat is preferable to less coat.
Lykoi should have roaning, which is a color pattern consisting of a mixture of pigmented hairs and non-pigmented white hairs (amelanistic hairs). Roaning is best seen on solid-colored cats, especially black roan.
Remember that a greasy coat can be evidence that your cat is no longer attempting to groom themselves, which can be indicative of poor or failing health or excessive weight. As with all cats, Lykoi benefit from regular vaccination, parasite control and an annual veterinary health check.