If you’re after a cute and very distinctive cat, look no further than the Devon Rex. This is one cat that knows how to make a statement.
The Devon Rex Cat is a relatively recent breed of cat, originating in the second half of the twentieth century. Its name comes from the town in which it was first bred, Devon, in southwest England. The Rex refers to a mutation in the coat which resulted in curly rather than straight hair. The first Devon Rex arrived in Australia in 1971 and has been a firm favourite with local cat lovers ever since.
There are two well-known rex cats in Australia: the Devon Rex and the Cornish Rex. Devons are distinguished by their pixie-type face (some even describe them as alien-like) with large eyes, upturned noses, and oversized ears which sit low on their wide heads. The ears may be as long as the face. They have full cheeks and a tapered chin which adds to the elfin appearance. The Devon Rex is a fine-boned, small to medium size cat. And its other striking feature is its short, curly coat which has a shimmering or rippled appearance. The coat may vary greatly in colour and pattern. The whiskers and eyebrows also curl, and may even snap off. The legs are slender, and the front legs are shorter than the hind. The paws of the Devon Rex are small and oval.
The Devon Rex weighs on average 2.5 to 4kg, with the females weighing around 3 kg and males about 4 to 5 kg. The Devon Rex often lives until the mid-teens, and sometimes may live even longer.
Devon Rex cats are relatively easy to take care of. They do shed a little, but only rarely cause problems for people with allergies. Grooming is not really required other than stroking their fur to ease any loose fur. This can be done with a chamois cloth, or just your hands. Brushes can be used but may damage the coat so it’s best to take care. Their very large ears should be cared for by cleaning carefully -and gently – with a cotton bud. Just once a month should do the trick.
The Devon Rex is regarded as a generally sound and healthy animal. It can be prone to dental problems, so to help prevent this, always feed them a well-balanced diet that includes fresh, raw bones. Your vet can advise on the appropriate diet for your cat, and may suggest including dental chews which help to control plaque. The Devon can also be prone to obesity so care must be taken to control the amount of food they do intake. They’re active little things, and do have a huge appetite!
And as with many cats, it’s also advisable to include yearly check-ups from around age eight or nine. Annual blood tests can aid early diagnosis of problems such as kidney disease which often afflict older cats.
The Devon Rex is active and playful and, dare we say, mischievous. They’re the sort of cat you might see swinging from the curtains. They do love games and love company, so will benefit from play time with family members. They may even latch onto guests who drop by, and snuggle up to their new friends on the lounge. You would not generally describe them as lap cats however as they have too much energy, and curiosity. The Devon Rex will enjoy having scratching posts and lots of toys and games to keep them occupied.
The breed can be a great family cat, and is suited to both a small house and apartment, as they do prefer to spend time indoors (especially when they can find a sunny spot inside on a chilly day). They are ideally suited to a home where a family member can be home most of the time, as they do crave companionship. Where this isn’t the case, a second cat may be worth considering.