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Over the past month, the world has been watching the conflict in Ukraine. The situation is affecting not just its people, but also its animals, which has been just heartbreaking to see. Kitties are very popular pets in Ukraine, just as they are here. However, while Ukrainians have all sorts of feline buddies, only one cat breed originated in the region: the Levkoy. A vet takes a look at this unusual kitty below.
The Ukrainian Levkoy is a fairly new breed. Between 2000 and 2011, a woman named Elena Biriukova developed the breed by crossing the hairless Donskoy and the Scottish Fold. The Levkoy isn’t officially recognized by any of the international breeders associations, such as the CFA or TICA. However, in 2005, they were accepted by a regional one, the ICFA RUI.
Levkoys have a very distinctive look. The most striking thing about them is the fact that they are, well, bald. Their heads are unusually angular, and their ears are sometimes rounded, like the Scottish Fold’s. These lovable cats sometimes have curly whiskers and/or long tails with pointy ends. They also get pretty big!
Levkoys are affectionate and lovable, and they get very attached to their owners. In fact, these kitties are so sociable and friendly that they can get depressed and anxious if left alone for just eight hours. If you get a Levkoy, you may want to get your feline pal a buddy, so she doesn’t get lonely. Levkoys are also quite playful, though rarely aggressive. They need plenty of toys and playtime.
For the most part, Levkoys have the same care needs as other cats. However, because they don’t have any fur, they can get chilly easily. They usually need sweaters when it’s cold, and will appreciate heated or thermal beds. They can also get sunburned, so you’ll need to use sunscreen on your feline friend if she’s allowed out. Ask your vet for care tips.
Because Levkoys are so new, there isn’t much data regarding their long-term health yet. However, they may be susceptible to the same medical conditions their ancestors often get. Donskoys often have dental issues and dysplasia, while the Scottish Folds may develop kidney issues or cardiomyopathy. As with any other kitty, proper veterinary care is crucial.
Many wonderful organizations around the world have been stepping up to help the people of Ukraine and their beloved pets over the past few weeks. One that is specifically focused on helping animals is IFAW. To learn more about them, or perhaps make a donation, you can visit their website here. Every little bit helps!
Do you have questions about your cat’s health or care? Contact us today!