As we have all seen, the conflict in Ukraine is affecting not just its people, but also its animals, which has been just heartbreaking to watch. Kitties are very popular pets in Ukraine, just as they are here. However, while Ukrainians have all sorts of feline pals, only one kitty originated in the region: the Levkoy. A veterinarian takes a look at this unusual breed below.
The Ukrainian Levkoy is fairly new. Between 2000 and 2011, a breeder named Elena Biriukova developed the breed by mixing hairless Donskoys and Scottish Folds. The Levkoy has not yet been recognized by any international breeders associations, such as the CFA or TICA. However, back in 2005, they were accepted by a regional one, the ICFA RUI.
Levkoys have a very distinctive look. Their most distinctive feature is their fur, or lack thereof. As mentioned above, they are a hairless breed. Their heads are unusually angular, and their ears are sometimes rounded, like the Scottish Fold’s are. Levkoys sometimes have curly whiskers and/or long tails with pointy ends.
Levkoys are quite affectionate and lovable, and they bond very closely to their humans. In fact, they are so friendly that they can get depressed and anxious if left alone for only eight hours. If you get one, you may want to consider getting your feline pal a buddy, so she doesn’t get lonely. Levkoys are also very frisky and playful, and need plenty of toys and entertainment.
In general, Levkoys have the same needs as other kitties: good food, fresh water, clean litterboxes, and proper veterinary care. However, because they don’t have hair, they are prone to getting chilly. They often need sweaters when it’s cold out, and will appreciate a heated or thermal bed. They can get sunburned, so you’ll also need to use sunscreen on your feline pal if she’s allowed out. Ask your vet for specific care tips.
We don’t have much data regarding the Levkoy’s long-term health yet. However, they may be susceptible to the same medical conditions their ancestors often have. Donskoys tend to get dental issues and dysplasia, while the Scottish Folds are prone to kidney issues or cardiomyopathy. As with any other pet, proper veterinary care is crucial.
Many wonderful organizations around the world have really 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 website here. Every little bit helps!
Do you have questions about your cat’s health or care? Contact us anytime!