Over the past few months, the world’s attention has been very much focused on the conflict in Ukraine. The situation has been just heartbreaking to see, and is affecting not just its people, but also its animals. Cats are just as popular in Ukraine as they are here. However, while Ukrainians have all sorts of kitties, only one breed originated in the region: the Levkoy. A vet takes a look at this unusual feline below.
The Ukrainian Levkoy is definitely a new kit in town. Between 2000 and 2011, a breeder named Elena Biriukova developed the breed by crossing Scottish Folds and hairless Donskoys. The Levkoy has not yet been recognized by the larger international breeders associations, such as the CFA or TICA. However, they were officially accepted by a regional one, the ICFA RUI, back in 2005.
For the most part, Levkoys have the same needs as other cats. However, because they don’t have fur, they get cold easily. They often need sweaters when it’s cold, and will appreciate a heated or thermal bed. Like our other feline pals, they often like basking in the sun. You’ll also need to use sunscreen on your kitty when she is sunbathing or outdoors on sunny days. Ask your vet for care tips.
Levkoys are considered a hairless breed, though some of them do have some down. Their heads are unusually angular, and their ears are sometimes rounded, like the Scottish Fold’s. They sometimes have curly whiskers and/or long tails with pointy ends. Fluffy can also get pretty big!
Levkoys are very affectionate and sociable, and they get really attached to their humans. In fact, they are so friendly that they can get depressed and anxious if left alone for even eight hours. If you get one, you may want to get your new pet a buddy, so she doesn’t get lonely. Levkoys are also very playful, and need lots of toys and playtime.
Because Levkoys are so new, we don’t have much data regarding their long-term health yet. However, it stands to reason that they would be susceptible to the same conditions their ancestors often get. The Scottish Fold may develop kidney issues or cardiomyopathy, while Donskoys are prone to getting dental issues and dysplasia. As with any other cat, proper veterinary care is crucial.
As you may know, Many wonderful organizations around the world have been stepping up to help the people of Ukraine and their beloved pets. One that is specifically focused on helping animals is IFAW. To learn more about them, or perhaps make a donation, you can visit their site here. Every little bit helps!
Do you have questions about your cat’s health or care? Contact us, your local animal clinic in North Miami, FL!