Appearance and features:

The Lykoi is a partially or almost entirely hairless cat that is genetically distinct from the Canadian Sphynx. The hair coat is unique in appearance in that it resembles the coat of an opossum when mostly coated. Standards call for a solid black roan coat, a wedge-shaped head, and a lithe body of solid weight without excessive bulk. Lykoi are said to be friendly and unchallenging in their behavior. They display a high level of affection for their owners.

A unique characteristic of the cat breed is that the Lykoi sheds a lot when older but regrows its hair later in life depending on the season.

The missing coat of the Lykoi’s face gives the breed a werewolfish appearance.


This is a small to medium-size cat weighing 4 to 7 pounds.


The Lykoi is a natural mutation from a domestic shorthair that has the appearance of a werewolf. The mutation has occurred in domestic cats over the last 20 years. DNA testing has been done by UC Davis to confirm that the cats do not carry the Sphynx/Devon gene. The Lykoi breed was developed in Vonore, Tennessee and is said to resemble a werewolf. The word “lykoi” means ‘wolves’ in Greek.


The hair coat is a combination of amelanistic hair and solid black hair. The mix of hair can vary from being almost black to almost white. The more white hair there is in the coat, the more silver the Lykoi will look. The coat pattern is called roan in other animals, but the Lykoi is the only recognized cat breed with this pattern. The partial hairlessness can also vary. (TICA Breed Profile)


The Lykoi is a naturally occurring gene in the feral cat population.  Discovered in 2010 in Virginia, two unrelated sets of these feral black haired domestic shorthairs with the Lykoi gene, were then bred by Patti Thomas, who co-founded and named the breed.  Then in 2011, a second pair was located in Tennessee, by Johnny Gobble.

The Lykoi went before The International Cat Association (TICA) registry in 2012 and was passed to “Registration Only” status by unanimous consent. The breed is now recognized as a Championship Breed and can begin competing against other Championship breeds in May 2017, with TICA. Work is currently being done to expand the breeding program.


This breed is active, playful, intelligent, and loving.

Health concerns:

They have not shown any specific health concerns at this time.

Breed Characteristics

Here is a helpful guide for the different characteristics of the breed.  On a Scale of 1-5.  1 being very low level to 5 being high level.

Energy Level
Extra Grooming
Affection Level
Social Needs
Kid Friendly
Friendly to Strangers
Health Concerns
Dog Friendly

Hypoallergenic: No

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