Nada Cats FAQ

The following Nada Cats FAQ (frequently asked questions)

includes questions on finding a reputable breeder as well as FAQ about the Lykoi Cat breed.

How do you determine whether a breeder is reputable?

According to TICA there are specific ways to determine the difference between a REPUTABLE BREEDER and a KITTEN PRODUCER.

The defining difference between a Reputable Breeder and a “kitten producer” is the concern for and the responsibility a person shows for their breed, breeding program, fellow breeders, their individual cats and kittens, and purchasers thereof.

Reputable Breeders spend time and money on that which they believe to be for the best interest of the breed, their cats and those directly and indirectly affected by the breeder’s actions.

Reputable Breeders see their breeding program as an unfinished work, a creative masterpiece that drives them towards excellence and purrfection. The “kitten producer,” on the other hand, is motivated by profit. While the “kitten producer” is happy to sell quantity to dealers and brokers, the reputable breeder insists on individual contact with each prospective owner and will only place a kitten after careful and thorough screening. Direct contact is necessary in order to ensure a mutual compatibility between the would-be purchaser, the cat or kitten and the breeder. Due to this concern, a reputable breeder will help the novice purchaser select the cat or kitten that is compatible with their lifestyle, personality and expectations, even if it means talking them out of a cat or kitten. Screening is necessary to ensure a successful placement and is foremost with the reputable breeder.

Reputable Breeders are concerned with pedigrees. The breed standard is of utmost importance to their goal for excellence and the betterment of the breed. A reputable breeder would NEVER think of breeding without knowing the pedigree or without holding the papers qualifying the dam and the sire as breeder quality. A reputable breeder will own the right to breed, the papers proving such, and will have the pedigree of his/her cats as well.

Reputable Breeders are willing and able to educate and be educated, have a willingness to answer questions correctly and care about the concerns of the potential new owner. They will allow visits to see the mother and kittens and, if available, the father, in their environment and when it is feasibly safe to do so. The “kitten producer” may offer seemingly good reasons to meet in places with available kittens other than the raised environment.

Reputable Breeders insist upon contracts and require that cats and kittens be returned to them if, for any reason, the purchaser is unable to keep them. These breeders show responsibility to the breed and the cats and kittens they have “created” for the lifetime of the pet. Health records, pedigrees and care information are a source of great pride to the breeder that is reputable, as well as a sanitary, clean, healthy and happy environment.

Reputable Breeders are excited at the prospect of furthering their education through breed clubs, at shows, seminars and will take advantage of available resources. These breeders tend to live around their cats and kittens. Every opportunity to participate in activities with other reputable breeders, ensuring them that their breeding program compares to others within their breed group, is looked upon favorably by this reputable breeder.

Reputable Breeders are realistic and understand that sometimes things go wrong. However, they maintain a responsibility to the situation. If it is within their power, they do what is needed to rectify a problem fairly. The reputable breeder does not abandon a situation.

Source: ®Brigitte McMinn 1999

Nada Lykoi Cats FAQ

Where did Lykoi Cat come from?

Most of the Lykoi Cats that have popped up have been feral, strays, or in shelters. Most of the domestic cats used were also either strays, or even cats set to be euthanized simply because they were available as adults at a time when too many adorable kittens were also available (and we were able to get these kitties with the agreement we would do full health testing, have one or two litters, and then spay/neuter and place them in loving pet homes).

The Lykoi Cat breed is based on SECOND CHANCES! These cats are incredible, healthy and so unique. We didn’t “create” them, but we are very happy that they are being given a chance to show how wonderful they truly are…not something that should have ever been tossed aside simply for being “different”. So a huge thank you to all the people giving these babies their chance to shine in the spotlight!

When did the Lykoi breed become established?

The Lykoi Cat was established in TICA cat registry in 2011. The Lykoi was accepted to Championship and began competing against other Championship breeds in May 2017, in TICA (The International Cat Association).  Several other Cat Associations around the world are working with breeders to establish the Lykoi Cat to Championship status in their registries.  This includes CFA (Cat Fancier’s Association), LOOF (Livre Officiel des Origines Felines), WCF (World Cat Federation), FIFe (Federation Internationale Feline), ACF (Ausy=tralian Cat Federation), ANCATS (Australian National Cats Inc) ETC..

Does the Lykoi Cat breed have health problems?

All foundation Lykoi Cats were tested for diseases….skin sample testing, echocardiograms (to check heart health), DNA testing, Thyroid testing, infectious disease testing, blood type testing, and organ panel testing. We have continued to test all of our breeding cats with Basepaws as of August 2017 as well as Optimal Selection.  Links to these results can be found on each of our Lykoi Cats Profiles.

Do Lykoi Cats shed? Are they safe for people with cat allergies?

They do shed  or molt rather (quite a bit), and can even go bald from time to time. Coat varies in thickness/hairlessness based on the individual cat and the climate in which the cat lives. Our newer lines seem to have much more of a stable coat than our original foundation cats. Please Note: Lykoi are not hypoallergenic.

How many Lykoi Cats are there?

The number of unrelated Lykoi Cats reported to us (from the feral cat population, and not from a breeding program) is 40+.

There are over 100 Show standard Lykoi in the world. There are more than 30 non-standard colored Lykoi registered. This does not include all the gene carrier cats (the black cats carrying the Lykoi gene). There are over 300 registered cats.

This does not include all the gene carrier cats (the black cats carrying the Lykoi gene).

All the Lykoi breeders are strict about not adding to the stray pet population, and most also work closely with rescues. We believe that both rescue workers and reputable breeders have a place and BOTH are needed to assist in controlling the stray population and educating owners about spaying and neutering to avoid unplanned pregnancy. All Lykoi kittens, from every Lykoi breeder, will not go home until spayed or neutered so there is no risk of “oops” breeding or cats ending up being bred by backyard breeders. Team Lykoi is trying to show the world that a breed can be established with health and personality as the first goals, while continuing to also support rescues.

What are Werewolf Cats?

When the original Lykoi Kittens were obtained many people mentioned how they looked like little werewolves so they eventually became affectionately known as the Werewolf Cat.   This resemblance also led to the Lykoi Cats name as Lykoi means wolf in Greek.

What kind of DNA Genetic Mutations do the Lykoi Cats have?

June 2020, the below article was published and identified 6 Mutations for the Lykoi Cat’s Coat.

We are honored to be named in this study as one of the original breeders of the Lykoi and assisting with DNA submissions since 2012, in search of the Lykoi Gene Mutations.

Funding was provided in part by the Gilbreath McLorn Endowment of the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Cat Health Network (D14FE-552), the Winn Feline Foundation (W16-030) (LAL). We appreciate the assistance of cat breeders, including Patti Thomas, Cheryl Kerr and Christine Boulanger. Photographs were provided courtesy of Brittney Gobble. We appreciate technical assistance and support with the manuscript from Thomas R. Juba, technical assistance from Nicholas A. Gustafson, and assistance with figures from Karen Clifford. 

You can read the full study at the link below.  We want to think all of the parties involved with this study.

“Werewolf, there wolf: variants in Hairless associated with hypotrichia and roaning 2 in the lykoi cat breed.”


What is up with the Lykoi Cat’s Skin and coat? 

During early development of the breed Dr. Leslie Lyons and Barbara Gandolfi along with their team at MSU conducted specific research on the breed.  This research is entitled,

” Clinical and Histologic Description of Lykoi Cat Hair Coat and Skin”


Clinical and Histologic Description of Lykoi Cat Hair Coat and Skin: Short
Communication Michelle L. LeRoy, David A. Senter, Leslie A. Lyons, Barbara Gandolfi, Dae Young Kim
Seven Lykoi cats and five domestic short to medium haired controls were biopsied to analyze for comparison of clinical and histopathologic features. While clinically Lykoi cats appear to have a more sparse hair coat with fewer numbers of hairs, there was no scientific documentation of whether this was a result of decreased numbers of hair follicles or an abnormality of the hair follicles and resultant abnormal hair production. Lykoi cats demonstrate a significantly lower density of hair follicles per area as well as fewer numbers of hair follicles per hair follicle unit. This can be appreciated both on transverse sections of skin biopsies and clinically with dermatoscopic evaluation. Secondary hair follicles, though present,
are much sparser than normal control cat skin. Hair follicles did not appear to have overt abnormalities and hair shafts were considered normal. No abnormalities in dentition or other markers of ectodermal dysplasia were noted.

Figure 1. Dermatoscopic evaluation of Lykoi cat skin (a) and normal cat skin (b)Periadnexal structures were examined and compared between the two study groups. Lykoi cats subjectively appeared to have an increased proportion of sebaceous glands on skin biopsy compared to normal control cats. Sebaceous glands, which are part of the pilosebaceous units
in most mammals, are responsible for production of sebum. Sebum keeps the skin pliable and hydrated, protects the skin and hair coat from overwetting, has antimicrobial properties, likely plays a role in pheromonal responses, and is a marker of overall animal health. Measurements
of sebaceous gland area from Lykoi cat biopsies compared to normal controls revealed that while normal controls varied, Lykoi cats consistently had a higher percentage of sebaceous (a) (b) glands represented in the hair follicle unit area. Additionally, apocrine sweat glands were often
dilated. Statistical analysis is pending. A previous clinical study examined the presence of lymphocytes in the epidermis and adnexal
epidermis of normal cats. This study found that lymphocytes were not detected in normal tissue samples from normal cats. Lykoi cat skin was immunohistochemically stained for CD3, a lymphocyte marker, and results showed that all Lykoi cats sampled had a significant percentage
of hair follicle units with a mild, moderate, or severe number of periadnexal lymphocytes. The significance of this finding is unknown at this time. Genetic testing thus far has localized the gene that is responsible for the phenotype of the Lykoi cat to a particular chromosome and region. Identification of the specific gene is currently underway. The Lykoi phenotype is unique both clinically and histologically. The information
from studying this genetic variant adds to knowledge regarding the biology of skin and hair growth in cats as well as other mammals including humans.