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Are Lykoi Cats Hypoallergenic? Vet Reviewed Facts & FAQs

woman holding lykoi cat
Image Credit: Jaroslaw Kurek, Shutterstock
Last Updated on November 16, 2023 by Rachel Giordano

Vet approved

	Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Paola Cuevas

MVZ (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Lykoi cats, also called “wolf cats” or “werewolf cats,” are loving companions who love to cuddle in your lap. This unique-looking breed is affectionate, sociable, and only weighs between 6–12 pounds. Their sparse coats may look coarse and rough, but despite this appearance, the coat is short and fine. Speaking of the coat, are Lykoi cats hypoallergenic? Unfortunately, Lykoi cats are not considered hypoallergenic due to their longer topcoat that sheds frequently.

In this post, we’ll explore this fascinating cat breed and other breeds that may be a more suitable option for the allergy sufferer.

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Are Lykoi Cats Hypoallergenic?

Despite the fact that they are partially hairless, this rare designer cat breed is not considered hypoallergenic.  Their topcoat sheds frequently and they can still cause problems for allergy sufferers, as dander is an allergy trigger 1. Most people who are allergic to cats react to the allergen known as Fel d 1, a protein found in cats’ saliva and sebaceous secretions 2. There are eight other recognized cat allergens, but Fel d 1 is responsible for 96% of reported allergy reactions.
It’s important to note that no cat breed is 100% hypoallergenic, but depending on different factors, some breeds are more likely to be easier on allergies than others. If you only have mild allergies to cats, you may be able to live with a Lykoi, but if your allergies are severe, you may have issues keeping one in your home.

lykoi cat
Image Credit: Eric Isselee, Shutterstock

How Much Does the Lykoi Cat Shed?

When you consider the appearance of these partially hairless cats, shedding is not something that immediately comes to mind. The Lykoi is partially hairless because they are unable to grow a full undercoat at any time. This is because of the “Lykoi gene.”  Still, these cats shed more than the average shorthair cat breed. The Lykoi sheds heavily twice a year and may even shed their entire coat.

A unique feature of these cats is that their coat changes often, as their fur goes through seasonal changes in which the fur may grow out longer, or the fur may shed entirely. The fur changes throughout the cat’s lifetime, and the colors are unusual, growing in with various white, gray, or black patches.

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What Are the Symptoms of a Cat Allergy?

If you’re unsure you have a cat allergy, look out for these signs whenever you come in contact with a cat. We should note that these signs can develop within a few minutes of cat exposure, or may take several hours.

  • Hives or a rash on the chest and/or face
  • Itchy, red eyes
  • Coughing and wheezing
  • Redness of skin after coming in direct contact with the cat
  • Itchy, running, or stuffy nose
  • Sneezing
woman in blue sweater having allergy
Image Credit: Polina Tankilevitch, Pexels

Can Cat Allergies Be Managed?

Some cat lovers will simply deal with the unpleasant issues a cat allergy brings on; however, you can take over-the-counter antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal steroid sprays to ease symptoms. You can also opt for weekly allergy shots or immunotherapy, as it’s technically called, to reduce your allergies.

Another option is to keep the cat out of the rooms of the home you frequent. As much as you want to, do not let your cat sleep with you, as this will absolutely aggravate your allergies. Keep the home as clean as possible, and vacuum using a HEPA filter to collect the dander.

What Are the Best Cat Breeds for Allergy Sufferers?

Now that we know the Lykoi is not an ideal choice for those with cat allergies, what breeds are considered better choices? Have a look at the list below to help you make a better decision for a “hypoallergenic” cat breed.

cat breeder and his devon rex cat
Image Credit: Veera, Shutterstock

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Final Thoughts

The Lykoi cat is a rare designer cat breed with unusual fur. Despite being part of semi-hairless cat breeds, the fur they have sheds frequently and is not ideal for the allergy sufferer. You can take specific measures to help ease your allergies if you only have mild flare-ups, but you should avoid this breed if you have asthma or some other severe allergy that can be triggered around cats.

While there is no true 100% hypoallergenic cat breed, some do not shed as much or produce less Fel d 1, which may allow someone with allergies to have a cat. Sadly, the Lykoi is not one of them.

Featured Image Credit: Jaroslaw Kurek, Shutterstock

About the Author

Rachel Giordano
Rachel Giordano
Rachel Giordano is a Pensacola, Florida-based musician and writer. She lives with her partner and their two dogs, Sophie, a Boston Terrier, and Aero, a Border Collie/Sheltie mix. Rachel holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication and loves writing about all types of cat breeds. When she’s not writing about cats, she loves to write suspense/thriller novels. A musician by night and writer by day, she enjoys sharing her knowledge of the needs and requirements of our furry friends.

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