The world has been very much focused on the ongoing conflict in Ukraine lately, which is affecting not only its civilians, but also its animals. The whole situation has been just heartbreaking to see. Kitties are very popular in Ukraine, just as they are here. However, while Ukrainians have many different feline friends, only one cat breed originated in the region: the Levkoy. A vet takes a look at these striking cats below.
The Ukrainian Levkoy is a fairly new arrival. Between 2000 and 2011, a breeder named Elena Biriukova developed the Levkoy by crossing the Scottish Folds and the hairless Donskoys. The Ukrainian Levkoy isn’t currently recognized by any of the major international breeders associations, such as the CFA or TICA. However, in 2005, they were accepted by one of the regional ones, the ICFA RUI.
Levkoys have a very distinctive and unique look. Their most striking feature are their coats, or lack thereof: Fluffy is actually hairless. These kitties’ heads are quite angular, and their ears are sometimes rounded, like the Scottish Fold’s. They also sometimes have curly whiskers and/or long tails with pointy ends. It’s also worth noting that they can get pretty big!
Levkoys are extremely affectionate and lovable, and they get very attached to their owners. In fact, they are so sociable and friendly that they can get quite depressed if left alone too much. If you get a Levkoy, you may want to get your feline friend a buddy, so she doesn’t get lonely. Fluffy is also very playful and frisky, and needs plenty of toys and playtime.
For the most part, the Levkoy has the same care needs as other cats. However, because they don’t have fur, they can get chilly very easily. These guys often need to have sweaters when it’s cold, and usually appreciate having heated or thermal beds. They can also get sunburned, so you would need to use sunscreen on your kitty if she’s allowed to go outside. Ask your veterinarian for care tips.
Because Levkoys are so new, we don’t have much data regarding their long-term health yet. However, they are probably susceptible to the same medical conditions their ancestors often get. Scottish Folds often develop kidney issues or cardiomyopathy, while Donskoys are prone to dental issues and dysplasia. As with any other pet, proper veterinary care is crucial.
Many wonderful charity organizations around the world have been stepping up to help the Ukrainian people and their pets. One that is specifically focused on helping animals is IFAW, or International Fund For Animal Welfare. To learn more about them, or perhaps to make a donation, visit their website here. Every little bit helps!
Do you have questions about your cat’s health or care? Contact us anytime!