Ukrainian Levkoy: Folded Ears and Hairless Coat, Need We Say More?

Ukrainian Levkoy cats sitting together
Steve Corelli
Written by Steve Corelli

If you like hairless cats, then there are quite a number of options for you to consider—take the Peterbald and the Minskin for example. Each of these cat breeds is unique in its own way, but you might be wondering how you’re supposed to choose between them when they all look quite similar. Well, if you’re looking for something a bit more special and unusual, how about a cat that’s not just bald, but also has folded ears like the infamous Scottish Fold? The Ukrainian Levkoy is cute enough to steal your heart.

These cats are certainly different if nothing else—but to sweeten the package, they are also playful, active, and affectionate. This East European feline beauty is healthy and will live with you for a very long time. They are relatively new to the cat world, so if you are one of those people that like to be the first in everything, no reason you shouldn’t go for these delightful cats.

This article will explore the origin and the history of the Ukrainian Levkoy. We’ve itemized certain main highlights you should know about this distinct cat breed. We’ve also included information about its personality, size, and health problems. This rare new breed isn’t an easy one to adopt, so make sure you are able to make an informed decision by brushing up on the care features and other relevant traits of this cat breed.

Breed Characteristics

Ukrainian Levkoy lying

  • Adaptability: Low; shouldn’t be allowed outdoors
  • Grooming: High Maintenance; their coat needs to be cleaned regularly
  • Health: Good
  • All Around Friendliness: Very Good
  • Exercise Needs: Moderate

Cat Breed GroupSemi-Hairless, Crossbreed
WeightMales: 11-15 pounds

Females: 7-12 pounds
Lifespan12-20 years

These cats are muscular and medium in size. They have almond-shaped eyes that are slanted and a wrinkly, hairless coat. The prominent cheekbones make their face appears rounded. The cat has long legs that stand on oval paws with fine toes. Their nose has a slight stop at eye level. Some of these cats have short, curly whiskers, whereas others do not have any.The Ukrainian Levkoy originated in Ukraine in 2004 after a successful breeding took place between a female Scottish Fold and a Donskoy male. The breed has gained popularity in its home country, in Russia, and also in other parts of Europe. The cat is bred for its hairless coat and folded ears.

The cat breed is still in its developmental stage. Since the breed is new, much is still to be discovered regarding its health and potential problems. However, Levkoy cats that are well taken care of can live for up to 20 years.

The Ukrainian Levkoy can weigh up to 15 pounds. They have a minimum weight of 8 pounds. They are social, family-oriented, gentle, and playful. They do not like to be handled roughly, and as such may not be the best fit for younger children.

Like most, if not all, hairless cats, the Levkoy does not require hair-brushing, but frequent baths are necessary to prevent the accumulation of oil on their coat. They should also be kept on a high-calorie diet and be dressed in sweaters in cold weather.

Main Highlights

gray Ukrainian Levkoy with green eyes

  • The Ukrainian Levkoy originated in Ukraine in the year 2004. The name Levkoy was inspired by a plant with folded leaves with the same name.
  • The Ukrainian Levkoy is an experimental and man-made breed. The cat is bred for its hairless body and inward-folded ears.
  • There are only ten Ukrainian Levkoys outside the Soviet Union.
  • The Ukrainian Levkoy has yet to be recognized by any cat international fancier association. The cat breed’s recognition is still limited to Ukraine and Russia. This cat breed is accepted in all colors and patterns.
  • Ukrainian Levkoy personality is playful, friendly, sweet-natured, and intelligent.
  • The hairlessness of this cat breed comes from a dominant gene rather than a recessive gene like in most hairless cat breeds.
  • They make good house cats that get along well with other house pets.
  • The Levkoys become less playful as they age.
  • Their average litter size is between three to five kittens. Levkoy kittens need constant attention and care because of their hairless bodies.
  • They are intelligent enough to be taught tricks and to be trained to walk on a leash.

Breed History

Ukrainian Levkoy meowing

The Ukrainian Levkoy is a very recent man-made cat breed. In the Crimean province of Ukraine in the year 2004, an experimental breeding took place between a male Scottish Fold and a female Donskoy cat. The kittens born inherited the baldness of their Donskoy mother and folded ears from their Scottish Fold father. The first registered cat was born on January 21st, 2004, and was called Primero.

The breed is still in the developmental stage with oriental and domestic cats being used for breeding to broaden the gene pool and improve the health of the Ukrainian Levkoy. Most Levkoys today belong to the fourth generation.

In 2005, the breed was recognized in Ukraine by the ICFA RUI {Roland Union International}. The breed was crowned champion in a cat show competition in 2010 in Ukraine. Later that year, it was recognized in Russia by the ICFA WCI. Levkoy cats have been appearing in shows since.

There are ten Ukrainian Levkoys that have been awarded the champion title. Russia gave out the first title in 2011. Although the cat breed is yet to gain popularity in the west, taking its unique appearance into consideration, it’s just a matter of time.


The Ukrainian Levkoy is a medium-sized cat. The females generally weigh less than the males, as is the case with most other cat breeds. They weigh between 11 and 15 pounds

This is a slender and muscular breed. The special angular contour of the cat’s head gives them a dog-like profile. They have long legs and a tapering tail. The acceptable standard for the breed’s eye color is green or blue, but considering the breed is still being developed, this could change in the future.

Personality and Character

Ukrainian Levkoy playing with a toy

The Ukrainian Levkoy has a friendly, playful, sociable, and cheerful temperament. This is an intelligent breed that enjoys human company. They are easy going and affectionate. They are moderately active and would spend a few hours of the day running or playing around.

They make great lap cats because of their loving nature and need for warmth. They tend to be vocal, but not to the same degree as the Siamese cat breed. They usually only make themselves heard when they are hungry. They are intelligent and enjoy learning a trick or two. They can be trained to wear a leash.

Health and Potential Problems

Ukrainian Levkoy cats are generally healthy, but they can be prone to some common health challenges, such as gum diseases and tooth decay. They need to be dewormed regularly and receive the required vaccination against infectious feline diseases.

The breed is new, so there is very little information on the health challenges that may be inherent in the breed line. It is yet to be established whether they will be suffering from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy like many other cats or not.

One thing that’s clear is that, as is the case with all hairless cats, you must take care to keep your Ukrainian Levkoy warm at all times. Also, due to their lack of hair, they are especially vulnerable to parasites that can be spread through skin contacts, such as fleas and ticks. Finally, be watchful for more severe skin-related conditions such as skin cancer or fungal infections.

Care Features

gray and white Ukrainian Levkoy lying on sofa

Because of their hairlessness, these cats are unusually prone to sunburns and skin cancer. As such, they should not be exposed to direct sunlight. They should also not be exposed to the cold. They should be dressed warmly in cold weather with sweaters and overalls that will keep their furless skin warm. You can also get a heated bed for the cat or at least prepare warm blankets for them.

The Ukrainian Levkoy should be kept indoors to protect them from exposure to fleas, ticks, and other diseases that can be contacted from the outdoors. In case you plan to create an outdoor-like enclosure for them inside the house, ensure that you grow non-toxic plants. Cat towers or trees are also great for this active and energetic breed.

Feeding Schedule

The Ukrainian Levkoy needs to be kept on a high-quality diet which is usually a mix of homemade, canned, and dry cat food. The advantage of high-quality cat foods cannot be overemphasized. Below are some benefits they can offer to your cat:

  • High-quality cat food is densely packed with nutrients
  • Smaller servings of premium foods will satisfy your cat
  • Less waste is generated by the cat
  • Fillers like grains and vegetables have little percentage in the food constituent
  • Better health and wellbeing

Consistency in the feeding time is also important, so pick a schedule that you can commit to. Twice to three times a day in the right proportions should suffice.

There are special cat foods that have been designed for hairless cat breeds like the Sphynx which will offer benefits to the Ukrainian Levkoy. It is important to note that during the colder seasons, a change in their diet may be required to keep their body temperature stable. For this, a high-calorie diet is necessary

Coat, Color, and Grooming

Ukrainian Levkoy wearing pink sweater

The Ukrainian Levkoy is almost hairless. They are covered in a peach fuzz which may not be visible to the naked eye. The fuzz is usually found around the paws, the tail, the nose, and somewhere near the whisker pads or the mouth. Their coat is soft and pleasant to the touch, but their skin feels hot.

Their skin is soft and elastic, but in places where there is excess skin, it becomes wrinkled and folded. Their skin pigment and colors come in a wide variety. Their skin should be cleaned weekly since natural oils tend to accumulate on their coat due to their lack of hair.

It is best to clean their coat with a damp cloth instead of a full bath since these cats get cold easily. Use warm water when you give full baths. Their eyes also lack lashes to protect them. Therefore, avoid pouring water right down their face during a bath. Rather, simply wipe their eyes with a clean, damp cloth.

Their ears need to be cleaned as well using a cotton ball. They need to have their nails trimmed as often as they are bathed. Weekly tooth-brushing is a must. If you can, ensure daily brushing to reduce the chances of them developing gum issues. If you can’t brush their teeth yourself, we recommend getting professional help.

Children and Other Pets Compatibility

The Ukrainian Levkoy is playful and friendly with older children who know how to respect and properly treat the cat. Special care should be taken when kids younger than six years old play with this breed so that they do not pull on the cat’s fragile ears out of curiosity.

Domestic pets like cat-friendly dogs will also get along with this cat breed. Always ensure proper introduction of pets in a controlled environment and under strict supervision.

Wrap Up

orange Ukrainian Levkoy

In conclusion, the Ukrainian Levkoy cat breed, although still in development, has many great things to offer. Much is yet to be discovered about this distinct breed, so, to err on the side of caution, you should only get a Levkoy kitten from a reputable and responsible breeder and at the age of no less than sixteen weeks. At that age, they would have been properly socialized and received the required inoculations.

If you don’t live in Ukraine or Russia, it will, unfortunately, be quite difficult for you to adopt a kitten of this breed. Regardless of that, are you still intent on adopting one because you’ve fallen in love with the Levkoy? In case you prefer a cat that’s more common but no less friendly, we have another breed we’d like to suggest to you. If you have had any experience with a Ukrainian Levkoy, we would love to hear from you. Please post a comment in the section below!

About the author
Steve Corelli
Steve Corelli

Steve Corelli is a Pet Nutrition Expert from Allentown, Pennsylvania. He is the author of many nutritional strategies for different breeds and a member of some Pet Food development teams. His Maine Coon Stephan, as you might guess, is always well-fed.