The origins of the Lykoi cat

It all started in Virginia on September 4, 2010, when Patti Thomas heard about a mom and her beautiful little kittens.

She first discussed these kittens with Cheryl Kerr because her veterinary clinic had sent her pictures, thinking that it may have been a natural mutation of Sphynx. The kittens were almost totally naked during the first pictures (of course today, we know that this is actually the moulting phenomenon). Patti was quick to get this little family, supported by other breeder friends.

The first DNA samples were sent to Dr. Lyons after a few days.

On December 14, 2010, Dr. Lyons confirmed that these babies were neither Sphynx nor Devon Rex. Moreover, none of the genes she had worked with in the past were known. In April 2011, a consent was made between Patti Thomas and the Gobbles. The kittens and the mum would be owned by both parties and would go to the Gobbles for further testing and mating.

On April 27, 2011, miraculously, an email was sent by Ann Jorgenson, about an announcement for two (2) kittens closely resembling those found at the Patti Clinic, advertised as half-Sphynx. Fortunately they were in Tennessee. The Gobbles were then looking for kittens as well as three (3) in Vermont and two (2) others in Tennessee. It was then that the Lykoi was registered with TICA (the International Cats Association) as an experimental breed.

Some facts:

  • September 14, 2011 Daciana Dream arrived.
  • The first Lykoi born from a planned marriage with the Vermont male “Lining Wolfie” and the Tennessee female “Oposum road kill”. On April 26, 2012, the first black lykois “roan” King Artemis and his sister Queen Ulrica were born.
  • Artémis and Ulrica each paired with an F1 (gene carrier), were sent to Florida and Virginia in August 2012, to establish the first breeder programs.
  • On December 17, 2012, Goddess Diana was born and later she traveled to France to establish the first European breeding, which, by the way, works to recognize the breed with the LOOF (The Official Book of Feline Origins). A big thank you to Christine Boulanger for this advancement!

In August 2013,

catteries were established in British Columbia and southern California and received their first cats from Tennessee. Then, catteries were seen in Arizona, Oregon, Kansas, Canada Quebec (who work to recognize the breed with CCC), Tennessee, Nevada, Australia and South Africa.

In 2015,

about 18 catteries worked together for the recognition of the breed by the TICA and bring it to the Championship. More than 130 Lykoi cats were registered there. Mating plans have changed enormously due to several natural mutations found around the world that brought new blood to the main program of use of black shorthaired domestic cats to cross with our lykois. Many different families have emerged.

In 2016,

the lykoi was presented at the TICA annual meeting in California, San Diego. It was at this time that the lykoi was recognized and was able to join the other races at the competitions in May 2017. The breeders are established all over the world, including Belgium, the Czech Republic, Poland, Brazil, Russia, Japan, Taiwan and the list goes on …

Why did “Lykoi” name was chosen?

Simply because Lykoi means wolf in ancient Greek.


Criteria of the breed

 Lykoi has a black and / or melanistic coat color with white hairs. It is also partially stripped of hair. He never has hair in his face (eyes, chin, muzzle and behind the ears). It’s this characteristic that gives this werewolf look to the Lykoi.


They are very sociable and require a lot of attention. Some Lykoi also have “cat-dog” characteristics by carrying the ball and chasing.


Even today, the breed continues to evolve with the help of breeders who work together.

Source: (Text and pictures)


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