By Brittney Gobble
Are they truly cats? Or a cross with a monkey/opossum?
This question cracks me up every time! They are 100% cats. They are extremely unique looking, but that is what they “naturally” look like. We did not do any crazy mad scientist experiments to “create” these cats. We even had the breed standard written to resemble the first pair of Lykoi so that breeders will stay true to the appearance of the “original mutation”.
What is up with the two tone hair? Are they “grizzled”, smoke, or tabby?
No. This coloration is not found in any other cat breed in the world! It is called “roan” in dogs and horses. They are born with a solid color (like black) and as the kitten coat falls out, they grown in equal amounts of solid white hairs and solid black hairs. The color is solid from root to tip (where as with the other colorations the hair shaft is two different colors). DNA testing showed that these cats are not tabby.
Are they half Sphynx?
NO! The founding Lykoi all had DNA testing done by UC Davis in California and do not have the Sphynx or the Devon gene. The Lykoi gene is it’s own special “mutation” from the domestic shorthair cat population.
Is this gene dominant or recessive?
The Lykoi gene is recessive.
Can the Lykoi be shown?
Yes! There are 5 steps to become a Championship show breed in TICA. As of Septmember 2016 we were passed to full Championship status in TICA. As of May of 2017 they are able to compete against all other breeds in TICA shows and win awards. Lykoi are MISC in CFA. They are also accepted, or in the process of being accepted in registeries and associations around the world!
Are there any known genetic health issues with this breed?
No, at this time we have found nothing. Although since the breed is a natural mutation from domestic shorthair cats, the Lykoi could share any health issues common in your typical barn cat.
What are their personalities like?
I like to compare the Lykoi to hunting dogs. They are extremely loyal to their owners (slaves), very scent motivated (yes, many cats are…but these guys go almost “on point” when they get a whiff of something!), and very intelligent. They are aware of EVERYTHING going on around them. They can be clingy at times, but generally if you are too busy to snuggle they will take “no” as an answer and will go amuse themselves…as long as they are close enough to keep an eye on you!
Are there other colors other then the black?
Can I use a topical flea treatment on my Lykoi?
Yes! Every breeder will have a different opinion on this, but as a Vet, Johnny felt very strongly about flea treatment (we do have an indoor/outdoor dog). We use Revolution and apply it topically on the neck area (you may have to wait a minute for it to soak in before you apply the entire tube). Revolution treats fleas, ticks, some intestinal parasites and heartworms. It is very important for your animals to be on a heartworm preventive, especially if you live in the South! We also have used Interceptor in our Lykoi. It is a heartworm preventive and treats some intestinal parasites. We have never had any skin irritation or an allergic reaction in our cats from these products. But do keep in mind that any animal, of any breed can have an allergic reaction to vaccinations or any medication. It all depends on that particular animal. We just haven’t found the Lykoi breed to be prone to problems with topical flea treatments that you obtain from a Vet. Topical flea treatments that are not obtained from a Vet can cause reactions more frequently because they may not have the proper amounts of medication or they may contain other ingredients. Also DO NOT divide up a tube of dog topical flea control for use on a cat, this could be fatal. **So the bottom line is… we feel that it is safe to use topical flea treatment that is preoperly dosed and obtained from your Veterinarian**
How often should I bathe my Lykoi and what Shampoo should I use?
I use a shampoo called “Hylyt” made by DVM. It can be purchased from Ebay or Amazon. It is amazing!!! If you don’t want to use Hylyt, a gentle pet shampoo from the pet store is best. Or check out Artisan Soap By JC on Etsy. How often to bathe depends on your kitty. Some require once a month, others only need it every few months (or if they get into something and make themselves dirty). I am strongly against using Johnson’s Baby Shampoo or any other human shampoo….these are not the correct pH for kitties and can cause a lot of excessive oils. See more about grooming and bathing on our “Grooming“ page
10 Quick Facts
By Brittney Gobble
1. The Lykoi breed was established in TICA cat registry in 2011.
2. The Lykoi breed was started in Tennessee by Dr. & Mrs. Gobble. We registered the original 5 cats (the two pairs of Lykoi siblings and one mother) together on October 6, 2011. The first Lykoi to be born in a breeding program was born September 14, 2011 and is named “Gobsgobblins Daciana Dream” owned and bred by Johnny & Brittney Gobble.
3. The Lykoi is currently a Championship Breed in TICA. It is also a MISC breed in CFA.
4. The number of unrelated natural mutation Lykoi Cats reported to us (from the feral cat population, and not from a breeding program) is over 40.
5. All foundation Lykoi were tested by the Gobble’s for diseases….skin sample testing, echo-cardiograms (to check heart health), DNA testing, Thyroid testing, infectious disease testing, blood type testing, and organ panel testing.
6. Lykoi are not hypoallergenic.
7. They do shed (quite a bit), and can even go bald from time to time. Coat varies in thickness/hairlessness based on the individual cat and the climate in which the cat lives.
8. We are always on the look out for other Lykoi that pop up in the feral cat population to learn more about the breed, and whenever possible to obtain these new lines to broaden the gene pool! Over 20 domestic short hair cats were also used to help establish the breed and increase genetic diversity.
9. There are an estimated 350-400 Lykoi in the world as of early 2018.
10. Most of the Lykoi that have popped up have been feral, strays, or in shelters. Most of the domestic cats used were also either strays, or even cats set to be euthanized simply because they were available as adults at a time when too many adorable kittens were also available (and we were able to get these kitties with the agreement we would do full health testing, have one or two litters, and then spay/neuter and place them in loving pet homes). The Lykoi breed is based on SECOND CHANCES! These cats are incredible, healthy and so unique. We didn’t “create” them, but we are very happy that they are being given a chance to show how wonderful they truly are…not something that should have ever been tossed aside simply for being “different”.