Despite its short coat, the Rex does not appear to feel the cold. It does not need coddling and is quite hardy in even the coldest weather. It is a pretty, unusual-looking cat with a coat of curly hair and curly whiskers and eyebrows. Characteristically, the coat feels warm to the touch because the hair is so fine and short.
There are four types of Rex
Selkirk Rex and although similar in many ways, the Devon Rex is particularly playful, and its pixie-like face betrays a devilish sense of mischief. It is also said to wag its tail like a dog when pleased. Intelligent and enterprising, all Rexes make excellent pets for all the family. One point to watch, however; the Rex has a tendency to overeat and can easily ruin its streamlined figure. Overfeeding should be avoided as a fat Rex is particularly unattractive.
Rexes are very easy to groom. All that is needed is a silk cloth or a chamois leather to polish the coat, and lots of hand grooming to remove any dead hairs. Before a show it is a good idea to give a bran bath to remove any grease in the coat, which might upset the flow of the waves and curls. If the coat is really dirty and requires a wet bath, it is advisable to do this a couple of weeks before a show, as the curl goes limp immediately after a bath.
Origin and history
The first two strains of these curly-coated cats appeared as natural mutations in England, the United States, Germany and Canada almost simultaneously. The Cornish Rex is so-called because it first appeared in Bodmin, Cornwall, in 1950, in an otherwise normal litter of farm cats. It was named after the Rex rabbit, which also has a curly coat. The curly kitten was mated back to its mother, and this produced more curly-coated kittens. Some of the offspring were imported into the United States, as were some from Germany. These, when mated together, appeared to be compatible, as they produced all curly-coated kittens.
However, another strain of curly-coated cats appeared in a litter of kittens in Devon, England, in 1960, and these, when mated to the Cornish Rex, were obviously incompatible, as they produced all straight-coated kittens. Hence two separate varieties of Rex cat are recognized and should not be intermated, as they are genetically quite different.
The Rex was first recognized as a breed in 1967 and is now accepted in all countries of the world. Rex cats from England have been imported into Australia and New Zealand, and New Zealand breeders have introduced the Rex gene into Manx stock. Theoretically, it is possible to rex the coat of any breed of cat, but a longhaired Rex is not being bred, as the coat tends to be lank and unattractive. The first all Rex cat show was held in Kentucky, November 1980.
Mating two Cornish Rexes together and two Devon Rexes together produces 100 percent Rex-coated kittens. By mating a Rex to a Siamese, the Himalayan coat pattern is introduced and the very attractive Si-Rex is obtained. Rex queens kitten easily and make good mothers.
Rex kittens are robust and healthy. They will certainly keep you busy, being highly active, precocious and mischievous.