With the interest in hairless breeds becoming something of a fashion, breeders across the world are attempting new crosses to achieve the desired hairless look. In 2004, Russian breeder Elena Vsevolodovna Birjukova attempted a cross that involved the bald Donskoy and the Scottish Fold. This created a new breed that incorporated the hairless trait of the Donskoy and the unique, folded-ear trait of the Scottish Fold. The Ukrainian ‘Levkoy’ acquired its name in light of this folded-ear trait, with the Levkoy plant boasting bent leaves. Extremely rare, various out-crosses having contributed to the development of the breed, including the hairless Sphynx. The Ukrainian Levkoy is not recognised by the major international cat associations.
In structure and appearance, the Ukrainian Levkoy is often likened to a naked Siamese or the Sphynx. The breed boasts a long and proportioned build, with long nimble legs, a narrow tail, a wedge-shaped head, large, overturned ears, oblique eyes and hairless, wrinkled skin. The cat might be lacking in hair but it is covered in a velvet-like down that provides a degree of protection. Hairless breeds are more vulnerable, however, especially when exposed to the sun or cold climates. They are also more prone to injury and need bathing more regularly than other breeds. The face of a Ukrainian Levkoy is distinctively angular and not easily mistaken as belonging to another breed.
The Ukrainian Levkoy is described as a highly affectionate with a laid-back, playful temperament. The Levkoy is both intelligent and inquisitive and will make sure it uncovers anything you try to hide, albeit treats, the dog’s food, or you own personal belongings. To keep this cat entertained and stimulated throughout the day, ensure a variety of interactive toys and playthings are available to it. Compatible with children and other house pets, the Levkoy makes a delightful addition to any home setting, providing the needs of an active and capable cat are met. On average, a healthy Ukrainian Levkoy will weigh in the region of 8-12 pounds, with a typical life expectancy of 12-15 years.
The Levkoy is thought to be a healthy and resilient breed, although due to its relative rarity, determining any breed-specific or genetic health complaints is difficult.