Found: A Rare ‘Werewolf’ Kitten Born Without a Breeder - Atlas Obscura
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Found: A Rare ‘Werewolf’ Kitten Born Without a Breeder

A Lykoi kitten, with a naturally occurring mutation, was found in South Africa.

Here’s Eyona. (Photo: TEARS Animal Rescue)

In Cape Town, South Africa, volunteers for an animal rescue group have found a kitten belonging to what’s sometimes called the “world’s rarest breed of cat”—Lykoi cats, whose hair grows in an unusual, wolf-like way.

This kitten was found under a bush with a litter of other, normal-looking kittens. Lykoi cats’ difference comes from a rare genetic mutation, and after testing, the group determined that this kitten had that same quality, which makes it the 35th cat discovered to have developed the mutation spontaneously.

Back in 2010, though, breeders in American started raising cats that showed this quality. Because of the mutation, the cats lack hair on their faces. They also cannot grow an undercoat and can molt so that at times they’re bald. These changes give them a shaggy appearance, which the breeders thought resembled that of a wolf. They named the cats Lykoi after the Greek word for wolf.

The kitten found in South Africa was named Eyona, which means “the one.” The rescue group is keeping him safe; he’s much in demand, but they want to give him a chance to grow up happy and safe before anything else.

Bonus finds: Hidden walls covered with old murals, treasure shipwreck

Every day, we highlight one newly found object, curiosity or wonder. Discover something amazing? Tell us about it! Send your finds to sarah.laskow@atlasobscura.com.