There’s a new breed of werewolf cats called Lykoi.
See the cute kitteh on the right? He’s one of a new breed called Lykoi, developed by vet Johnny Gobble. The breed came about from a mutated gene that inhibits hair growth, leaving the cat with sparse facial hair and a werewolf cat-like appearance. In fact, the name Lykoi comes from the word “lycanthrope” (werewolf). The gene is a natural one, but generally cats with this gene don’t make it out in the wilderness– it’s just too cold.
Aside from the patchy hair that makes them notable, the first few generations of Lykoi cats seem rather healthy thus far. Tests conducted by Leslie Lyons, an aptly named expert in cat genetics at the University of Missouri (home of The Tigers), found no recognized genetic disorders in the cats; a battery of tests done by Gobble at his clinic, from blood screenings to thyroid function exams, turned up nothing out of the ordinary. Gobble cautions, though, that giving the breed an entirely clean bill of health right now would be premature. “It’s way too early,” he emphasized. “A lot of health problems won’t show up until a cat is 6 or 7 years old, and we don’t have any Lykois that old yet.”
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