The Lykoi is a breed of cat, a natural mutation of the domestic shorthair. It was developed in Memphis, Tennessee and is said to resemble a werewolf.

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 coat, a wedge-shaped head, and a lithe body of solid weight without excessive bulk. Lykois 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 of when older but regrows its hair later in life. The hairless face and grey coat of the Lykoi gives it a werewolfish appearance.

History of the cat breed

Two different sets of domestic shorthairs discovered in Tennessee in the 2010s provided the foundation cats now recognized as the breed.

The Lykoi went before the The International Cat Association (TICA) registry in 2012 and was passed to "Registration Only" status by unanimous consent. The breed is now a "recognized" breed with TICA. Work is currently being done to expand the breeding program.


At the University of Tennessee, dermatologists examined them for any skin abnormalities. Along with biopsy samples of the skin, the dermatologists could find no reason for the coat pattern. What they did find is that some hair follicles lacked all the necessary components required to create hair (which is why Lykoi lack an undercoat). They also found that the follicles that were able to produce hair, lacked the proper balance of these compontents to maintain the hair (which is why Lykoi do molt and can become almost completely bald from time to time). It was determined as a true natural mutation.


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