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Home > Cats > Cat Breeds > Lykoi (Wolf Cat) Breed: Info, Traits & Pictures

Lykoi (Wolf Cat) Breed: Info, Traits & Pictures

Lykoi werewolf cat

The Lykoi is one of the most amazing and unique cats out there—and that’s saying something! They are extraordinary both in appearance and personality. In 2011, Johnny and Brittney Gobble and Patti Thomas started breeding the Lykoi, which came from a recessive gene mutation in domestic shorthaired cats, specifically feral cats.

Breed Overview


Small to medium


6–12 pounds


18+ years


Black roan, white, mink, blue, sepia

Suitable for:

Active families or singles


Independent, playful, smart, affectionate, curious, energetic

The Lykoi is a partially hairless cat that is typically a black roan color. Roan is a solid color that is interspersed with another color. In this case, this breed has black fur with a great deal of white, which can give it an almost grayish color. Their coat can also come in white, blue, and browns. They are known as wolf cats because they resemble wolves.

Lykoi Characteristics

High-energy cat will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy cats require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a cat to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train cats are more willing and skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Cats that are harder to train are usually more stubborn and will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some cat breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every cat will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds' potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some cat breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other animals. More social cats have a tendency to rub up on strangers for scratches, while less social cats shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your cat and expose them to lots of different situations.


Lykoi Kittens

Kitten Lykoi cat
Image Credit: Eric Isselee, Shutterstock

Finding a Lykoi might not be an easy task. These fascinating cats are quite rare so ensure you buy from an ethical breeder. They might be hard to find in shelters but you can always ask and you can also be surprised about the other adorable kittens that they have.

Lykois are highly energetic cats that are exceptionally social and might have the ability to be trained. They don’t have the same health issues as purebred cats and tend to live at least into their late teens. The Lykoi tends to be curious and energetic, meaning they need enough mental stimulation to avoid boredom. Keep reading the Lykoi’s full care guide to know what your kitty needs to grow into a happy and healthy cat.

Temperament & Intelligence of the Lykoi

Lykois are energetic and curious cats that love to play and explore as much as possible. This also means that while they are affectionate, they don’t spend much time sleeping on laps — they have better things to do.

This breed is also intelligent and a friendly and social cat. Lykois might be a little aloof with strangers, though, as they prefer the company of the people they know and love.

They have a strong prey drive from their feral cat background. In fact, they are known to enjoy stalking and jumping to surprise their owners on occasion.

Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪

Lykoi cats are great for families because their playful natures make them wonderful with children. They also seem to take on guard duties. As long as you give your cat an escape route and a place for them to be able to hang out and sleep, particularly if you have very young children, the Lykoi is an excellent breed for your family.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

Lykois do get along well with other pets, including cats and dogs. Just like with children, these cats tend to watch over and guard different animals. Their playfulness will make them fun for other pets to play with.divider-cat

Things to Know When Owning a Lykoi

Food & Diet Requirements

Lykois don’t need different food compared to other cat breeds. Just ensure that you give them high-quality cat food, and you might want this to include canned food. This adds extra moisture to their diet, which is essential for all cats.

You’ll also want to ensure that your Lykoi gets enough fresh and clean water every day. Consider getting a cat fountain, as most cats prefer running water over standing. Any extra water can help prevent kidney issues in the future.

Exercise 🐈

Cats are good at exercising themselves through play and the zoomies. Lykoi cats are particularly high-energy, so you can be assured that they will get plenty of exercise. You can also spend quality time and play with your cat with toys and provide interactive toys for when you’re away. Also, cat shelves and cat trees are always good ideas!

Training 🧶

Lykois are intelligent and tend to have more dog-like traits than most other cat breeds, so training is possible. But like most cats, training is dependent on the cat themselves and if they have any interest in actually learning the tricks.

Grooming ✂️

Lykoi cats are partially hairless, so there are special considerations for grooming. Their fur is surprisingly soft, but there isn’t much of it, so they need protection from cold weather and the sun. Some cats tend to have excess oil inside their ears and on their nails, so you’ll want to wipe both areas with a cloth on occasion. They should be kept as indoor cats only.

During shedding season (fall and spring), most Lykoi shed almost their entire coats, so they are definitely not hypoallergenic. They will need frequent baths to help with that oil problem—just be sure to use shampoo for cats.

Provide your Lykoi with a cat scratcher, which can help protect your furniture and generally keep their nails trimmed. Also, consider getting dental treats or otherwise brushing their teeth regularly.

Health and Conditions 🏥

The Lykoi is a healthy breed with no known serious health conditions. However, all cats are predisposed to certain health issues, regardless of the breed.

Minor Conditions
Serious Conditions

All Lykois will have issues with their skin because they are nearly hairless.

Male vs Female

The only physical difference between the male and female Lykoi is the size. Female Lykois typically weigh 6 to 9 pounds, and males are 7 to 12 pounds.

Unless you plan on becoming a Lykoi breeder, you’ll want to get your cat spayed or neutered. Spaying the female can keep her from trying to get outside and stop her discomfort every time she goes into heat. Neutering the male will prevent him from displaying aggression toward other male cats and will stop his marking behavior.

The temperament of these cats depends on their individual personality. Some believe that female cats are more standoffish and males are more affectionate, but it’s much more likely that a cat will act a certain way based on their upbringing and background.

Image Credit: Nynke van Holten, Shutterstock



3 Little-Known Facts About the Lykoi

1. Lykoi cats have a Greek name

The name “Lykoi” translates to “wolf” from the Greek word, “Lycos.” However, they technically originated in the U.S. and have nothing to do with Greece in any way.

2. The Lykoi look and act like little wolves

These cats were named after wolves because of their appearance, but they also tend to sometimes act in a dog-like manner. They enjoy fetching and sometimes form packs with other Lykoi cats.

3. The Lykoi shed like most cats

Strange as this may seem, considering that they are practically hairless, Lykoi cats tend to shed just as much as any other cat!

Lykoi Cat
Image Credit: danilobiancalana, Shutterstock


Wrapping Up

Finding a Lykoi kitten might be tricky but not impossible, though you should expect to pay a high price. Look for a Lykoi breeder, and if there isn’t one in your area, you should be able to find breeders who will be willing to fly one to your location. Just be sure you’re dealing only with a legitimate and responsible breeder.

You can also consider the rescue option. Keep an eye on your local animal shelter and rescue organizations. There are also breed-specific organizations, like Lykoi Cat Rescue, that you can check out.

If you’re hoping to bring home a cat that looks and sometimes acts a little wolfish but also has an independent streak, perhaps the Lykoi will be an excellent fit for you.

Featured Image Credit: Nynke van Holten, Shutterstock

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