If you enjoy seeing your favorite Halloween creatures brought to life, you’ll love this werewolf cat breed. Lykoi kitties (its name is derived from the Greek word “lykos,” which means “wolf”) look eerily similar to the half-man, half-wolf hybrids on TV — and it turns out these fascinating felines have more in common with canines than you might think.
Lykoi cats are hairless or have minimal fur around their eyes, chin, legs, muzzle, paws because of a genetic mutation. The pattern of their fur growth gives Lykois a very werewolf-like appearance. If you look closely, you’ll notice small tufts of fur on the tops of a Lykoi’s paw, aka “hairy hands” — a common werewolf characteristic, according to Lykoi breeder and veterinarian Johnny Gobble.
In addition to their appearance, Lykois act similar to their namesakes, Gobble said. A pack of Lykoi kitties will chase after a toy like its prey, similar to a group of dogs hunting. And Lykois tend to wag their tails like dogs when they’re together. Because Lykois seem to prefer chasing things as opposed to cuddling with their owners on the sofa, a Lykoi may not be the cat for you if you want a snuggle buddy.
Gobble and his wife, Brittney, aren’t sure what gene is responsible for the Lykois’ signature fur pattern, but they do know the similarities between Lykois and werewolves isn’t the result of an infectious disease. Werewolf cats don’t have an undercoat and can molt, leaving them completely furless, so they can’t stand freezing-cold temperatures like their film and TV counterparts.
Currently, Gobble and his wife breed Lykois by mating black cats with Lykois. The gene responsible for the Lykois’ interesting fur growth is recessive, he says, which means that all the kittens of Lykois mated with black cats will carry the Lykoi gene but still look like regular kitties. Once those kittens get older, they’ll mate with cats from another litter than also have the Lykoi gene to create another generation of true Lykoi cats.
Despite their odd appearance and piercing yellow eyes, we’re “pawsitive” we wouldn’t mind running into one of these adorable felines — even if it happened to be on Halloween!