What is the Origin of the Ukrainian Levkoy Cat?
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Have you ever seen an Ukrainian Levkoy cat? With their hairless coat and slender silhouette, you might have confused them for a Sphynx cat; however, their strange folded ears are an easy way to tell them apart.
This Eastern European breed is very new: so much so, that the Ukrainian Levkoy hasn't yet been recognized by any international association. Even if there is no official breed standard yet, in this AnimalWised article we'll explain what is the origin of the Ukrainian Levkoy cat as well as their main traits.
When was the Ukrainian Levkoy cat first bred?
This cat breed originates from Ukraine, and has only recently arrived to the cat fancy scene. The process to breed the first Ukrainian Levkoy began in the year 2000 and was led by Elena Biriukova, who crossbred Scottish Fold and Donskoy cats.
The Ukrainian Levkoy is considered an experimental breed, as the founders are still developing them. By 2005, individuals of this breed were recognized by an Ukrainian club. Five years later, the Ukrainian Levkoy breed was recognized in Russia as well. In these two countries, these cats can participate in shows.
What are Ukrainian Levkoy cats like?
Among this breed's most significant physical features we can find their inward-folding ears, the angular, long shape of their face, which can remind us of that of a dog, and the notable sexual dimorphism when comparing males and females. Male Ukrainian Levkoy cats grow to be notably bigger than their female counterparts.
Of course, Ukrainian Levkoy can also be recognized for being almost hairless, which makes them a good hypoallergenic breed for allergic families. You won't need to brush your Ukrainian Levkoy, but you will have to take care to protect them against extreme temperatures and sunlight. Their skin is soft, and they have wrinkles.
The Ukrainian Levkoy is an intelligent, sociable and family-oriented cat which shares the best attributes of their parent breeds. However, this breed is still rare and difficult to find outside Eastern Europe.
The Ukrainian Levkoy cat is the result of purposeful crossbreeding between female Scottish Fold cats - hence their folded ears, the result of a dominant mutation - and hairless male Donskoy cats - hence their sparse hair, also resulting from a dominant mutated gene. Ukrainian Levkoy cats also show the influence of Oriental cats.
What are Scottish Fold cats like?
The Scottish Fold breed, as its name suggests, originates from Scotland. The breed can be traced back to a specific individual: Susie, a white female cat who had two kittens with a genetic mutation that caused them to have small, folded-over ears in the 1960s.
One of these kittens was bought by a cat fancier, who registered the breed and worked to maintain the mutation. Over the decades, the breed was refined and made healthier by crossbreeding with American and British Shorthair cats. This explains the visible similarities, such as their small ears and their rounded and robust appearance.
The morphology and appearance of the Scottish Fold cat make them resemble a cuddly toy, while their sweet face goes well with their friendly and quiet character. Scottish Fold cats are great companions, ideal for living with children; in fact, they are among the 10 most affectionate cat breeds. They are also very tolerant of other pets.
The Scottish Fold is a generally healthy cat that doesn't normally need much specific care besides daily brushing. However, you should never breed two Scottish Fold cats together because serious recessive bone conditions may appear.
What are Donskoy cats like?
The Donskoy cat is unrelated to the Sphynx cat, although it is quite easy to confuse them. This breed originated in Russia in the late 1980s, when a cat fancier came across Varvara, the first cat, who was not born hairless; she and her descendants lose their hair as they grow up. This is caused by a mutation, which was discovered to be the result of a dominant gene. The breed was first named Don Sphynx, but it is now known and standarized as Donskoy.
Donskoy cats look quite a lot like their descendants, the Ukrainian Levkoy cats, except for the upright large ears. They are almost hairless, their face is angular and long, and their body is slender and muscular, ending in surprisingly long toes. Their coat can come in four different types, from completely bald to occasionally woolly.
As for temperament, Donskoy cats are not as mysterious as they look. They are very curious and inquisitive pets, who love to meet new people and be the center of attention. Donskoy cats are intelligent and easy to train, and they will love to be by your side all day long.
Now that you know what is the origin of the Ukrainian Levkoy cat, would you like to adopt one? Don't forget to take a look at the following articles:
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