At first, Cornish Rex cats appear to be all angles—long tail, lithe body, structured cheek bones and legs a runway model would kill for. A second look will show the tightly muscled body and big bat ears. Nearly naked, they seem odd, until touching them—then your only thought is wow! A Cornish Rex will feel like a two-days-from-ripe peach, a chamois cloth, cut velvet or like nothing else. The coat is short, close to the body and has a rippled look. Having shorter hair, they seem to shed less but are not truly hypo-allergenic—no animal is.
Thin, long legs may give the appearance of a delicate cat but watch the Rex run and jump. Rex have strong muscles and can jump to the top of seven foot tall shelves without visible effort. Many Rex use their paws like hands and play fetch or will pick up a toy and throw it themselves.
History of The Cornish and Devon Rex Breeds
This breed first appeared in a litter of barn cats born in Cornwall, England about 1950. The first Cornish Rex came to the United States seven years later. In 1964, the breed was accepted for championship status in the CFA.
A litter of curly haired kittens was born in Devonshire, England in 1959. Similar in body style to the Cornish Rex, the Devon Rex has a coat that ranges from a suede-like feel to a curly mop.
With less hair to insulate their bodies, Rex are heat seeking missiles and can be found on the television, a heat vent or snuggled as closely as possible to a human. Affectionate, intelligent and inquisitive, these cats crave company and want to be included in your every activity, including eating.
A mid-sized cat of six to nine pounds, Rex maintain a kittenish curiosity throughout their lives. The large ears will require occasional attention but they are basically self-cleaning cats. A wipe with a damp cloth and regular nail trims will be all the grooming help required.
Special Care Issues
Don’t be casual with breeding Rex—mismatched blood types can cause a near fatal condition in the kittens due to incompatibility factors. Rex do best when they are kept indoors, given run of the house and can be near their people. A sunny windowsill with a good view can keep them warm and entertained. Although both Cornish and Devon Rex are life long active cats, look for that long-legged, big-eared, sturdy body to light on your lap as soon as you sit down.
Written by Sandra Murphy – Sandra Murphy lives in the land of booze, blues and shoes – St Louis, Missouri. When not writing, she works as a pet sitter. In her spare time, she caters to the whims of Reilly and BB, stray cats rescued by her dog, Avery.
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