Ukrainian Levkoy is an experimental cat breed, which is characterized by its original appearance, good manners and special affection for its owner. It is easy to take care of the Ukrainian Levkoy, and it is a lot of fun communicating with this cute pet.
- History and Breed Standard
- The History of the Ukrainian Levkoy
- The Provisional Standard for the Ukrainian Levkoy Breed
- Ukrainian Levkoy fur: is it possible
- Levkoy character features
- How to choose a Ukrainian Levkoy kitten
- Upkeep and Care of the Pet
- Apartment preparation
- Skin Care
- Claw Care
- Ear Treatment
- Dental Care
- Eye Care
- Training to go to the litter tray
- Pregnancy and childbirth
- Ukrainian Levkoy Nurture
- Diseases and Vaccinations
History and Breed Standard
The Ukrainian Levkoy is a very new breed that was developed in the XXI century. Its creator was Elena Biryukova, felinologist, who thought of creating a new breed in 2000. To get a completely new type of cat, she first drew them. With the first sketches came the realization of what types of the breed could be used for breeding.
The History of the Ukrainian Levkoy
To create the Ukrainian Levkoy, Elena Biryukova crossed the Donskoy Sphynx and Scottish fold cat. But the breeder wanted to create an original breed, which would not look like other breeds and would serve only as a basis. The first kitten breed of the Ukrainian Levkoy emerged in January 21, 2004, and was given the name – Levkoy Primero. The baby was velour, almost bald, with unusual forward-curving ears and beautiful almond-shaped eyes.
The name for the new breed did not appear immediately. Outwardly, the kitten reminded the breeder of a tiny dragon or a lion cub. But one day, Elena Biryukova saw a Levkoy flower, and the petal form reminded her of ears, and the name was given in quite a romantic way — Ukrainian Levkoy.
At the beginning of 2006, the offspring of Levkoy Primero numbered around 40 animals. In December 2007, the first monobreed WCF took place – the ring of Ukrainian Levkoy. In September 2010, Levkoy was granted the right to participate in the Championship of Ukraine according to the ICFA RUI system.
The Provisional Standard for the Ukrainian Levkoy Breed
The breed has not yet been recognized in the international felinological organization, but in June 2012, the first official presentation of Ukrainian Levkoy to the WCF Board took place, and at the same time, a preliminary standard for this breed was submitted for consideration.
According to the preliminary standard, the Ukrainian Levkoy is a naked fold-eared cat. It has a medium size, long body with well-developed muscles. According to the tactile sensations, this cat breed is soft and warm. A special feature – an angular head with a ”stepped” profile. Ukrainian Levkoy cats are smaller in size. This breed is friendly and active.
Standard pre-sets and other criteria of the “ideal” Levkoy:
- The Ukrainian Levkoy should have a wedge-shaped head with clearly defined cheekbones and eyebrows. The length of the skull refers to the total length of the head as 2:3. The skull is quite broad, slightly convex, with many vertical wrinkles radiating horizontally above the eyes. The nose is medium length, straight, with a well-marked transition to the cranial part. The muzzle is short, wide and rounded. The jaw and chin are well developed. The nose and the lower point of the chin form a vertical line.
- Left-sided vibriesses are convoluted, thick, but can be shortly broken off or absent.
- Ears are small, folded in the middle part, with one or two horizontal folds, almost pressed to the head or slightly raised.
- Ukrainian Levkoy Straight (breeder form) — ULV 71-differs only in directly set ears, wide open, with tips apart. There is no independent breeding.
- The eyes are medium-sized, almond-shaped, obliquely set; the color of the eyes can be of different colors.
- The body is medium length, dense, muscular and hot, with a wide chest and croup. A noticeable belly, deep groin line.
- Extremities with strong bones, forearms are straight, rounded legs, long fingers, and mobile.
- Tail is average length, straight, strong and flexible, tapering at the tip, can be covered with delicate, dense and adjacent slightly wavy coat or individual hairs.
- The Levkoy cat’s skin is elastic, overly wrinkled on the head, neck, armpits and groin. For younger cats, the muzzle may be covered with short thin hair, slightly elongated on the cheeks and at the base of the ears (ear muffs). Seasonal thin pubescence of the whole body may appear. The residual fur of the “flock” type is up to 2 mm long, preserving light fur on the muzzle and limbs, sometimes in the form of a brush on the tail. It is also allowed to have a tenuous overgrown “brushpoint” on the front surface of the limbs to the elbows and hocks, separate bristles on the flock. Brush-variation – “bristly” – does not participate for the championship certificates, but it is used for breeding. Preference is given to animals with a complete lack of visible hair.
- Kittens can be born hairless or with Rex Undulation and a “bald spot” on the head. Twisted whiskers — mandatory hallmark in newborns of Levkoy. Eyes open early — on the 1-3 days of life.
- Any color is acceptable.
As with any breed, Levkoy has deviations from the standard. Such animals are rejected and do not participate in further breeding. Violations of breed standards include:
- Half-standing ears;
- A long, narrow head;
- Long arched nasal bridge;
- Round, directly set or small deep-set eyes;
- Light, weak, or stretched body;
- A tail with a creak, as well as short or incorrectly ending tail;
- Undershot jaw.
Cats disqualified at the exhibition have straight hair, erect ears, inverted eyelids, a stiff, unbending tail, an undershot of more than 2 mm, and the absence of canines.
Fold forms (fold) are bred only with the breeder form ”Levkoy Straight.” Rough-haired individuals with bent ears, which were born from Ukrainian Levkoy, are also important for maintaining the phenotype. They can be paired not only with representatives of their breed but also with Donskoy and Peterbald Sphynxes.
Ukrainian Levkoy fur: is it possible
The ideal Levkoy has no hair. But it is possible to have residual fur on tail, paws, behind ears and on the muzzle, and also full coverage of the body with short fur, resembling velour, – up to 3 mm.
Ukrainian Levkoy kittens can be born:
- Completely hairless;
- With remnants of fur in some places (muzzle, ears, paws, tail);
- With a velour coat (from 1 to 3 mm long), evenly covering the whole body.
Along with folds, Levkoy can have straight ears.
Levkoy character features
The Levkoy are inquisitive, active and intelligent cats. They are not aggressive, but they are gentle and friendly. They can get very attached to a person, can sit for hours next to the owner or lie in their lap. There is an opinion that they are more like dogs than cats. They are faithful and loyal creatures. Levkoys easily find a common language with all household members, whether those are people or pets. These cats are distinguished by a rare ingenuity, which makes them ideal pets. They’re sensitive to human well-being. If the owner shows that they are in a bad mood or not feeling well, the cat of this breed will not leave them in trying to rectify the situation. She will caress and purr until she sees that her master’s mood has improved or thinks that her purring has worked effectively.
Cats of this breed are playful and active, easily learn to walk on a leash and can accompany the owner on walks. They love games with balls and clockwork mice, and will never refuse to run. The Levkoy cannot be called intrusive, as they can observe the actions of the owner for a long time, occasionally reminding themselves of a gentle purr or a light touch with their paw. Usually, owners get a lot of joy in communicating with the Ukrainian Levkoy.
How to choose a Ukrainian Levkoy kitten
It is best to buy a Ukrainian Levkoy kitten from nurseries with a good reputation, so you can protect yourself from unpleasant surprises and unexpectedness. Before you go to a breeder, study the breed standards. If the kitten is purchased as a pet, then the choice should be guided only by personal sympathies. A Levkoy kitten should be outwardly healthy and active, friendly and inquisitive. If you plan to participate in exhibitions, the future pet will have to be carefully inspected to ensure they comply with breed standards.
Examining the baby, you need to pay attention to the structure of their head since it is the main characteristic of the breed. The head should be wedge-shaped, but cheekbones and brow arches are very clearly defined. The muzzle should not be too long, with a well-developed jaw and chin.
The kitten should have folds on their head, neck, in the armpits, and in the groin area since excessive skin elasticity are also signs of the breed. The absence of folds is considered a disadvantage.
Do not forget that the breed is not officially recognized, so they will not succeed at the highest titles at exhibitions. Judges will only assess if the cat complies with breed standards. But the Ukrainian Levkoy can become an ideal pet because the real representatives of the breed demonstrate exceptional affection for their owner. Breeders are very strict about the fact that the sold kittens were non-aggressive and friendly.
Upkeep and Care of the Pet
The Ukrainian Levkoy are quite unpretentious, so they do not need any special conditions. Caring for this breed is basically the same as caring for Sphynxes.
Before the pet starts living in the new house, the rooms should be prepared. It is necessary to remove items that may pose a danger to the cat. It is also worth hiding valuable items behind closed doors or simply removing valuable things.
You need to take care of the safety of the pet, closing the windows and vents with special grids that are firmly closed. Cats are quite strong animals and squeezing out a poorly fixed grid is not difficult for them. If a balcony or loggia is not glazed, then you need to close the exit, so the pet can’t get out.
In the rooms where the animal is going to stay, there should not be any plants, as they can cause poisoning if the kitten suddenly decides to taste the flower. It is necessary to ensure that access to slots and narrow spaces where the kitten can squeeze in and injure itself are closed.
Like all cats, they need special accessories that will make their existence comfortable:
- A sleeping place can be both purchased and homemade. It should be warm and soft, of sufficient size that the adult cat does not feel cramped;
- A scratching post is obligatory for the kitten at its most early stages. It’s good when there are several scratching posts. This will not only help the pet safely scratch with his claws, but it will also protect the furniture.
- Food and water bowls can be of any shape and made of any safe material;
- Before choosing a tray, ask a breeder for advice or see what trays the cats used in the nursery;
- Any toys can be bought since Levkoy cats are ready to play with everything that their owner offers;
- Claw cutter to take care of the pet’s claws;
- A special toothbrush;
- A soft washcloth;
- Special shampoo for cats;
- Care products;
- A personal towel;
- A comb with natural bristles for the care of woolly hair;
- Clothing for a hairless animal;
- Carrying cage.
Hygiene procedures are very important for cats; therefore, accustoming them to these products begins at a very young age.
The delicate skin of the hairless Ukrainian Levkoy needs to be cared for. The sebaceous glands of a cat produce a special secretion, which is distributed in the hair of ordinary cats and accumulates on the skin of hairless animals. The accumulation of a large amount of secretion causes unpleasant sensations when touched, and the smell is also not pleasant.
To remove secretions, you can use wet wipes without alcohol or periodically bathe your pet in warm water with special shampoos. After wiping or water treatments, the cat’s skin can be lubricated with a special cream to avoid drying out or the skin peeling off. The use of human remedies is not recommended as they can cause allergies.
The Ukrainian Levkoy needs to be bathed as they can become dirty if they aren’t bathed regularly. If the pet has fur then, use ordinary cat shampoos and balms for bathing. Ukrainian Levkoy cats don’t really like water treatments, but they can be taught to swim, if you start training them from a young age, calming the kitten and showing them that the water is not scary. To reduce stress, it is recommended to put a soft terry towel on the bottom of the bathtub or a special basin and hold the animal slightly during the procedure, gently communicating with it. After bathing, the kitten can be encouraged with a favorite treat.
Breeders recommend wiping the pet’s tail with a special degreasing agent that does not harm the skin. In the cold season, rare hair pieces can appear on the tail of a hairless Levkoy, which can be removed using ordinary eyebrow tweezers.
The Ukrainian Levkoy cat’s skin is very delicate, so you should protect it from burns and injuries. Dry air can cause peeling of the skin, and you may need to purchase a humidifier to avoid this problem.
The Levkoy cat’s claws need to be periodically cut so that the cat cannot injure itself. A special claw cutter is used to cut the claws. Cut only the light part of the claw, translucent in appearance, because there are already vessels in the pink part. Cut the nails frequently – once every 3-4 weeks. You can divide the procedure into two days: on the first day, trim the front paws, the second — back paws.
Levkoy ears need to be inspected and cleaned at least once every two weeks. Cleaning is carried out carefully with the help of special wet wipes for ears or sponges, cotton wool or ear sticks soaked in a special lotion. Do not go deep into the ear canal, so as not to harm the pet. After cleaning, you can lubricate the surface of the ears with cream or Vaseline. If the owner discovers inflammation or other suspicious phenomena (for example, ear mite), pet should be immediately sent to a veterinary doctor, instead of dealing with self-medication.
To care for the teeth of the Ukrainian Levkoy cat, special toothpaste and toothbrushes for animals are used. The animal should be accustomed to this procedure from infancy. Along with toothpaste and a toothbrush, it is possible to use special wipes and goodies for cleaning teeth. However, the pet should be examined by a veterinarian periodically to avoid the formation of tartar or abnormal tooth growth.
The Levkoy cat eyes need daily care. You can buy special wet wipes for this purpose, or wipe your pet’s eyes with a cotton sponge soaked in chamomile broth or warm tea leaves. If there is abundant discharge coming from the eyes, it is possible to use tetracycline ointment, but it is best to immediately take your pet to the veterinarian. If there is no discharge at all, then this is also a reason to see a doctor.
Training to go to the litter tray
Ukrainian Levkoy cats are very smart and clean. They are easily trained to go to the tray and then relieve themselves in a strictly designated place. Usually, they get used to going to the tray under the control of a cat mom, so in a new house, the kitten only needs to be shown where the tray is. Also, at first, breeders recommend that while the kitten is getting used to its home, use the sort of filler to which the kitten has been accustomed to using in the nursery. When the baby gets used to it, you can change the type of filler at the request of the owner.
It is necessary to remember that the Ukrainian Levkoy has a fast metabolism, so it has a good appetite. But you need to take food management seriously. Levkoy cats should not overeat, and their diet should be balanced and implemented on a schedule.
Like any other cat, Levkoy cats can be fed with natural food or commercial food.
When choosing natural food for cats, it needs to be cooked separately, avoid using human food. In the Levkoy cat diet, the following products should be included:
- Meat — beef, veal, chicken, turkey, rabbit;
- Offal – liver, neck, heart, stomachs;
- Sea fish – sardine, cod, hake, salmon, trout, notothenia;
- Dairy products – kefir, yogurt, cottage cheese, cream;
- Eggs (1 yolk per week);
- Animal and vegetable fats (0.5 tsp. per day);
- Vegetables – cauliflower, carrots, zucchini, beets;
- Cereals – rice, millet, buckwheat;
- Greens – parsley, dill, lettuce, and green grass (corn, barley, oats).
- Green (sprouted) oats for cats
- Fatty meat: lamb and pork;
- Raw egg whites;
- Salt and seasonings;
- Onion and garlic;
- Sausages and any smoked meat;
- Any canned food;
- Sweets and confectionery;
- Spicy, fried, salty and fatty foods;
- Potatoes and pasta in any form.
At the same time, the diet of Ukrainian Levkoy should additionally include vitamins and minerals.
When feeding the Levkoy cat ready-made commercial food, it should be selected carefully, using food quality that is not lower than premium. These foods contain all the essential pet vitamins and minerals and do not require any additives.
Usually, adult cats of this breed are fed three times per day. Cats should have constant access to clean water.
Pregnancy and childbirth
The Ukrainian Levkoy cat bears kittens for 63-65 days. In the third week, you can determine whether pregnancy has occurred or not since it’s during this period that the nipples of the expectant mother become pink. By the fifth week, the cat begins to gain weight, and on the sixth day, its nipples are filled with milk. There may be signs of toxicosis: nausea and vomiting.
A pregnant cat needs protein and calcium, so after consulting with a veterinarian, it is necessary to give a special complex of vitamins or use specialized food in their diet.
For childbirth, you need to prepare a secluded place for your pet. It can be a box covered with diapers, where the cat can feel safe. Usually, the Ukrainian Levkoy cats easily deal with childbirth, but they may need human help.
For assistance, you may need:
- Sterile gloves;
- A box for kittens;
- Scissors, pre-wiped with alcohol;
In the case of normal labor, it is not necessary to interfere with the process. If only a part of the kitten has appeared, and then the female cat cannot give birth to it at all, you need to help her by gently taking the baby with a napkin and pulling on it lightly during the next attempt. Usually, the umbilical cord is gnawed, and the kitten is released from the amniotic fluid within 15 minutes after the baby appears. If the female cat did not gnaw the umbilical cord and did not destroy the last, then the owner cuts the umbilical cord at a distance of about 2 cm from the tummy; the bubble also needs to be cut, releasing the kitten.
Ukrainian Levkoy Nurture
Levkoy nurture starts when the kitten is brought into the house. The kitten should be trained to become accustomed to the leash if you plan to walk the animal on the street. And also, from a young age, teach it to use the tray after eating. If the kitten is trying to sit in the wrong place, you need to transfer it to the tray.
The kitten needs to get used to the necessary hygienic procedures. Use a few drops of valerian to attract the attention of a small pet to scratching posts. If he tries to sharpen his claws on furniture, he should be strictly told, “Don’t!” The kittens of this breed are smart and quickly understand the requirements of the owner.
You cannot punish the kitten physically. Usually, a strict reprimand is enough for the pet to realize that the owner is unhappy with his behavior.
Diseases and Vaccinations
When buying the Ukrainian Levkoy cat, you need to carefully study possible congenital anomalies and the predisposition of cats of this breed to certain diseases.
Possible congenital anomalies:
- Kittens can have a “bent ear.” This can be determined at the age of more than four weeks. In the presence of this anomaly, the ear of an adult cat is reduced, the tip is very bent forward;
- “Twisted ear” – an anomaly in which the tips of the ears are bent back, which is a breed defect for the Ukrainian Levkoy cat;
- “Denovo” – there are folds on the ears of a kitten, and the bent tips of the ears diverge to the sides, making the ear seem to be cut;
- “Wolf’s mouth” – this is manifested by deformation of a soft or hard palate, sometimes, both palates at once;
- Congenital blood diseases;
- Anomalies in the structure of the eye;
- Neuromuscular disorders.
There is a predisposition of Ukrainian Levkoy cat to the following diseases:
- Metabolic disorder;
- Umbilical hernia;
- Mastitis (inflammation of the mammary glands);
- Uterine prolapse;
- Tumor formations;
- Dermatomycosis (fungal skin lesions);
- Aujeszky’s disease, or false rabies (acute viral disease affecting the central nervous system);
- Infectious peritonitis;
- Panleukopenia, or “feline distemper”;
- Infectious rhinotracheitis;
To prevent diseases, cats are vaccinated, which should contribute to the development of immunity against various types of diseases. The very first vaccination of a kitten is done at the age of two months with repeated vaccination in 2 weeks’ time. The next vaccination is done at 6 months, then at 12 months. Adult cats are vaccinated once per year.
Preventive vaccinations are given to an exceptionally healthy pet. Approximately 10 days before vaccination, the cat must be given a cure for worms.
The Ukrainian Levkoy is a young, promising cat breed, which has a lot of fans. These cats have an unusual appearance; they are intelligent, sociable and easy to teach. In addition, they are quite picky in the surroundings they are in. The owner of Levkoy cat should only follow the recommendations common to all cats. You can choose a Levkoy cat for exhibitions, but you need to remember that this breed has not yet been officially recognized, so it’s better to look for a true friend in this cat, rather than an exhibition sample.