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World's Rarest 'Werewolf Cat' Found In Cape Town -- 5 Things To Know About This Feline

Jun 02, 2016 05:13 PM EDT
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Lykoi Cat

(Photo : Christine Auverdin Boulanger/Wikimedia Commons)

There's a new breed of our feline friends that's having an identity crisis. Meet the werewolf cat or Lykoi, one of the rarest cats in the world that acts like a dog and looks like it came straight out of Halloween movie.

Recently, one of these werewolf cats was spotted roaming in the public gardens of Cape Town.

Named Eyona, the hairless cat is a unique breed of feline that's produced from natural mutation. To date, there are only 35 recorded werewolf cats, Science Daily reports.

For animal lovers who are interested in this breed of cats, here are five things to know about these tiny werewolf-looking creatures.

1. Newcomers to the Cat Kingdom

Daily Mail reports that Lykoi or werewolf cats appeared in 2010 from the breeding efforts of Johnny Gobble, a veterinarian, and his wife Brittney. The founding cats were born in 2010 and were totally unrelated -- one was from a possible Sphynx mutation while the other was from a natural mutation of black short-haired cat.

“Our founding cats come from two unrelated litters. The first litter was presented to Patti as a natural occurring Sphynx mutation. This confirmation was done with DNA testing for Devon/Sphynx gene which the kittens did not have," said Patti Thomas, a colleague of Gobble.

2. It's Almost Hairless

Just like the Sphynx cat, another rare breed of cat that's famous for being hairless, Lykoi cats have no hair in most parts of its body such as the eyes, nose, ears and muzzle. However, unlike the Sphynx, it has some patches of fur on its body but does not grow a full coat of fur due to its incomplete hair follicles. Lykoi cats can also be almost completely bald from time to time.

3. It Looks Like a Cat But Acts Like a Dog

Gobble's website describes the werewolf cats to having a houndog personality, which hunts around the house for food. Just like dogs, Lykoi cats are very loyal and shows caution to strangers but can become friendly quickly. They also have a strong prey drive and are very playful.

4. It Doesn't Have a Skin Abnormality

When Gobble first saw the founding cats, he thought that their lack of hair may be due to a skin disease and immediately went to a dermatologist. However, it turns out that the cats are perfectly healthy.

"We also performed DNA panels for genetic disease, color and blood type on all the founding cats. At the University of Tennessee, dermatologists examined them for any skin abnormalities (and they too fell in love with these cats!). Along with biopsy samples of the skin, the dermatologists could find no reason for the coat pattern," Gobble said.

5. It's Extremely Rare and Expensive

Next Shark says that there are only seven breeders of Lykoi cats around the world with only 32 show standard Lykoi and 22 non-standard colored ones. And if you're thinking of having one for your own, you may have to shell out a lot as these werewolf cats can cost for more that $2,000.

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