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Cornish Rex Cat History, Character, Health, Breeding & more

Short and long hair cats are a common image in the cat world. But cats with curly fur or even without any coat at all are known rather less! One of the rare cat breeds, whose representatives have a striking coat structure, is the Cornish Rex.

Cornish Rex History

Cornish Rex cats may look different from many well-known cat breeds. But they come from small backgrounds, their origin is quite humble: The first cat with frizzy hair was born on a farm in Cornwall in the 1950s. "Kallibunker", a cream-colored tomcat with curly fur, differed from his siblings not only in his coat texture. Delicate, petite, with a narrow head and large ears, as well as a long tail, the male caused a sensation in the breeding community of England. His characteristics were most likely caused by a spontaneous mutation. In order to preserve these genes and to create a new cat breed, Kallibunker was back-crossed with his mother. The curly kittens resulting from this mating were crossed with Burmese, Siamese, and British Shorthair. The gene, which caused the outstanding soft coat, is inherited recessively. That means in plain language: It is inherited covertly. Carriers of the gene mutation do not necessarily show the famous soft coat of the Cornish Rex cat. But they can pass it on to their offspring: If both parents are carriers of the gene and the kittens receive one of the recessive genes from each parent, the mutation also continues in the appearance of the kittens, in the so-called phenotype.

The Devon Rex cat breed has a similar appearance to the Cornish Rex. Unlike the Cornish cats, the curly coat of the Devon Rex is based on a different mutation. The Devon Rex consists of undercoat and shortened awn hairs, which results in a wavy, soft coat texture. This peculiarity is caused by a mutation in the gene "LPAR6". This leads to a disturbance of the protein structure of the hair and an altered coat structure.

Cornish Rex Appearance



The coat of the Cornish Rex resembles that of a mole - and it is the outstanding feature of the cat breed. In the 1950s, this interesting coat structure appeared through an accidental mutation on a farm in Cornwall, England, and has been purposefully developed ever since. The curly hair of the Cornish Rex cat was caused by a random mutation, but it is different from the mutation that causes the curls in the Devon Rex cat breed. The term "Rex" describes this unusual coat structure, but it is mainly used in rabbit breeding.

The reason for the wavy structure of the coat of the Cornish Rex: it consists only of an undercoat. The coat of the Cornish Rex cat is therefore extremely soft, comparable to the fur of a rabbit or silk. Even the whiskers are curled! However, the extremely fine coat of the Cornish Rex also makes it extremely sensitive to cold temperatures. This breed is only conditionally suitable for keeping outside the house - and even there it prefers warm resting places.

All coat colors are allowed in the Cornish Rex, including these:

Solid: According to the breed standard, animals may be solid, any color may be combined with white. Black, Chocolate, Orange, and the respective dilutions Blue, Lilac, and Cream are welcome.
Tabby: Cornish Rex may be mackerel, "tabby", according to the breed standard. Various tabby markings include "classic", mackerel spotted and ticked. In the "ticked" coloration of the coat, each hair is banded several times.
Bicolored: Any coat color of the Cornish Rex cat may be combined with white.
Tricolored: Tricolored animals, also called "tortie", are always female because of the genetic basis.

Cornish Rex cats are medium-sized and slender. Cats weigh up to 4 kilograms, males up to 5 kilograms. The cats have a muscular yet slender build. Particularly striking are the slender legs, reminiscent of members of oriental cat breeds. The tail and head are also long and particularly slender. In contrast, the ears of the Cornish Rex are striking. These are particularly large and have a wide base. Oval, medium-sized eyes shine with a desire to explore and reveal that behind the Cornish Rex's plush appearance hides a spirited and explorative cat.

Cornish Rex Character

The Cornish Rex has retained the original character of a farm cat. It is spirited and eager to move. Some owners report that even at an advanced age, the cats retain the cluelessness of a young cat. They love to jump, climb, and even fetch! Some Cornish Rex can also be taught tricks. It is not for nothing that Cornish Rex cat is called "dog in a cat's body" by its friends! As an intelligent animal, it explores everything with outstanding curiosity and especially likes to play with its human. But also extensive cuddling and snuggling are completely in her sense! Cornish Rex cats are considered people-friendly, they fully join their human family. As sociable animals, they are reluctant to be alone.

At the same time, a Cornish Rex knows exactly what she wants and likes to assert her head - against fellow cats and humans! Here, a well-thought-out education is a be-all and end-all, so that their little mole cat does not soon dance around on their heads. Fortunately, education can be combined with fun and games. Have you ever heard of clicker and target training? Intelligent animals like the Cornish Rex love employment with brains! This is all the more important because the Cornish Rex cat's fine coat makes it particularly suitable for keeping as an indoor cat. So that the clever animals do not get bored or get silly ideas, they should offer your apartment cat plenty of employment!

Cornish Rex Allergy

Contrary to common rumors, the short, soft coat does not make the Cornish Rex hyperallergic cats, which are also suitable for cat hair allergy sufferers. In fact, a so-called "cat hair allergy" has nothing to do with the amount of hair a cat has or loses, but has its origin in the saliva composition of the particular cat. Cornish Rex cats shed their fur just like other cats, their saliva, like most cat breeds, contains the allergy-causing glycoprotein Fel d 1. So the absence of the awn hairs of the coat does not make the Cornish Rex better tolerated by cat hair allergy sufferers than other cat breeds.

Cornish Rex Care and attitude

The care of a Cornish Rex does not differ from the species-appropriate keeping of other cats. Their soft fur is not exceptionally high-maintenance, but it makes the animals sensitive to drafts and cold. As an outdoor cat, a Cornish Rex cat is therefore only suitable to a limited extent. The intelligent, spirited cats still want to be kept busy - especially if they are kept indoors, you should offer your Cornish Rex a variety of climbing, hiding, and playing opportunities, such as playhouses or tunnels. The clever cats love challenges. So give them plenty of opportunities to let off steam so they don't get any ideas! For this purpose, you can offer your cat, for example, a multi-level scratching post as well as other scratching furniture.

Cornish Rex diet

Cornish Rex cats, just like other cat breeds, benefit from a species-appropriate, complete diet. As carnivores, cats depend on plenty of healthy protein. They can only utilize carbohydrates to a limited extent. The ideal food for the Cornish Rex cat has thus based on the composition of the mouse: scientific findings show that the cat's sensitive taste buds actually prefer food that, with 26 grams of protein, 9 grams of fat, and 8 grams of carbohydrates, corresponds to the composition of its natural prey animal. This composition is perfect for feeding a cat in a species-appropriate way. Cat food should therefore have the highest possible meat content. As desert animals, cats rarely visit the water bowl, they take the necessary liquid mainly with food. The ideal cat food should therefore have as high a moisture content as possible - moist food is more in keeping with the cat's natural diet than dry food.

Cornish Rex Breeding

The Cornish Rex belongs to the rather unknown cat breeds. The reason is, among other things, that the characteristic coat of the cats is inherited recessively, hidden. Nevertheless, there are breeders in Germany and Europe, who breed Cornish Rex with the special, curly coat.

Breeding is hard work: professional breeders are members of one of the numerous cat breeding associations. Their animals, therefore, have papers, but this is not the only difference to so-called "breeders" who offer "pedigree cats without papers at a low price" in the classified section of the newspaper. A responsible breeder ensures that his animals meet the breeding standard of the breed, but the animal itself always comes first - and this includes a species-appropriate diet, care by the veterinarian, and mating with understanding, with knowledge of possible genetic peculiarities and risks. A responsible breeder mates his animals thoughtfully. Of course, his animals are dewormed and vaccinated and are regularly presented to the veterinarian. He accompanies the mother cat through pregnancy and birth. He takes care of his kittens around the clock, he offers them the best possible food and the necessary health care. This often includes basic immunization against common infectious diseases and, if necessary, deworming. He places the kittens at 12 weeks of age at the earliest. Because he knows: In the first three months kittens learn everything cat-important from parents and siblings. Only kittens that are allowed to spend this important imprinting period in the family grow up to be well-socialized, mentally and physically healthy animals. All this is omitted with unprofessional breeders, who offer their animals for a low price. Here the supposed bargain is often at the expense of the health of the animals. Therefore, when buying your Cornish Rex, trust only a professional, responsible breeder.

Cornish Rex Price

However, pedigree cats have their price: A Cornish Rex often costs 700 Euro upwards. Who can not afford this, should dare to look at the local animal shelter. Because papers do not protect against the errors and confusions of life - and so many pedigree cats find themselves in the care of animal protectors. Maybe you will find your dream cat in the animal protection?

We wish you and your Cornish Rex a wonderful time getting to know each other!

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