There's a new feline on the block, an unusual creature with features so wolflike that it's being described as the werewolf cat.
These cats are actually called Lykoi, from the Greek word for wolf, and they get their distinct look from a natural mutation, according to a website set up by Dr. Johnny Gobble, a veterinarian and founding breeder.
Gobble's website said the mutation began appearing in domestic shorthair cats about 20 years ago. He began breeding Lykoi in 2010.
"The first kittens, they looked like little hunting dogs running around on the carpet," Gobble told ABC News. "I thought it was neat."
Lykoi have unique hair patterns. The cats molt, and at times can become almost completely bald like a Sphynx. They have no undercoat, and lack hair around the eyes, nose and muzzle.
Gobbles described the personality of Lykoi cats in a FAQ on his website:
"I like to compare the Lykoi to hunting dogs. They are extremely loyal to their owners (slaves), very scent motivated (yes, many cats are...but these guys go almost 'on point' when they get a whiff of something!), and very intelligent. They are aware of EVERYTHING going on around them. They can be clingy at times, but generally if you are too busy to snuggle they will take 'no' as an answer and will go amuse themselves...as long as they are close enough to keep an eye on you!"
Not everyone is happy with Lykoi.
“People are creeped out by them," Gobble told ABC News. "There’s people out there that completely hate them. There’s people out there that hate me because they think I spliced DNA."
Gobble wrote that the cats have been tested and their appearance is not caused by a disease or disorder, nor do they have the Sphynx or Devon genes. He also said the cats are healthy and do not have cardiac problems or other health issues beyond those faced by more common cats.
Gobble's website said there are no kittens available for purchase or adoption at this time, but there is a waitlist for when they become available. They will range in price from $1,500 for a blue to $2,500 for a black roan.
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