Selkirk Rex is not like the other cat breed. Rex has distinctive curly coat that makes it stand out among all other cat breeds. In fact there are three Rex in the world, Devon Rex, Cornish Rex and Selkirk Rex. This rex can be long or short haired and it has a chunky build, short muzzle and a round head.
In 1987, a Persian breeder named Jeri Newman from Montana discovered the most incredible kitten born to a feral cat. The kitten had a wavy, soft coat and in fact, it is the only kitten in the litter to display such wonder. The kitten, Depesto then bred with a black Persian Male, thus resulting 6 wavy coat kittens!
Newman would used the litter to create a new breeding program called the Selkirk Rex. The name was after the Selkirk Mountains in Wyoming where the first was born at an animal shelter. Cat Fancier’s Association (CFA) gave a permit to outcross until 2025 in order to build genetic diversity. CFA also gave a statement,
Persian for kittens born before January 1, 2020; British Shorthair or Exotic for kittens born before January 1, 2025. Selkirk Rex kittens born on or after January 1, 2025 must have only Selkirk Rex parents.
Today, the breed are very popular in the USA and Canada where its striking, thick, curly coat has gained it the nickname ‘Sheep cat’.
Selkirk Rex have two coat length, short hair or long hair. Both coat lengths display wavy curls, and curling is more visible in longhaired version. Even their whiskers are also curly. The coat is soft and plush, with a luxurious feel. This breed is solidly built, with substantial muscle and boning. If your cat have a litter, you may have some with curly hair and some with straight hair. Both haired have the same personalities although the straight one cannot compete in a show.
Their coat requires special care. Brush their coat weekly or twice a week. The good news is the curly coat does not shed much as you think. Why? Well it’s because any loose hairs tend to stay trapped in the coat rather than drop off onto your clothes and furniture. However, because shed hair stays in the coat, a Selkirk Rex may become matted if the coat is not groomed regularly.
Over brushing is discouraged as it tends to loosen up the curls, thus making them a straight hair rex. Instead, combing with a wide-toothed comb will help prevent mats while maintaining that wavy curls. In addition to combing, regular baths can also help avoid matting. Use a light shampoo so that it do not weigh the coat down and it makes the coat look great! You may want to avoid using conditioners or conditioning sprays because these products may loosen the curls. After a bath, towel dry to remove most of the water, then allow the coat to air dry.
Do not use hair dryers on the rex! It can result in frizz or a flat coat rather than crisp curls. Next, trim their nails short and neat. Inspect the ears weekly and if the ears look dirty, wipe them out with a cotton ball or square of gauze with a pet-safe cleaner. Consult with your breeder or veterinarian for more.
- Weight: 3 to 8 kg
- Coat length: Short and long, plush and wavy
- Amount of shedding: Medium
- Color: Any
- Pattern: Any
The Selkirk Rex is sweet, affectionate and very mellow. are exceptionally tolerant and friendly cats and get along great with everyone, including other pets and gentle children. This laid back breed is happy to sit on your lap and loves to have a cuddle. It is also more than happy to play games and makes a great family pet.
- Lifespan: 10 to 15 years
- Active: Medium
- Intelligence: Medium
- Vocalize: Medium
Like many purebred cats, the Selkirk Rex is prone to certain hereditary genetic conditions. Some congenital diseases that might be seen in the Selkirk Rex include:
- Polycystic kidney disease (PKD): Cysts on the kidneys that are present at birth
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: A disease that causes thickening of the heart muscle)
- Hip dysplasia
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