History

The Devon Rex was first discovered in 1960 by a lady named Miss Cox from Buckfastleigh, Devon, Southwest England, UK. She had noticed a stray feral tom cat with a curly coat that lived in an abandoned mine had mated with a tortie and white stray that she had adopted. As a result her adopted cat had a litter of kittens, in amongst the kittens was a brownish-black male with a coat like the sires. She decided to keep this kitten, naming him Kirlee.

Miss Cox had heard about a program that Brian Sterling-Webb was undertaking to preserve the new gene of the Cornish Rex; the results indicated that the gene creating the curly coat of Kirlee was different to the Cornish Rex.

As Kirlee grew up he subsequently produced another Rex kitten, this led on to in-breeding and breeding with short-haired cats to produce the Devon Rex. In 1971 this saw the arrival of the Devon Rex in Australia. Since its arrival it has attracted many cat lovers with its playful and friendly nature and its odd but striking appearance.

 The name “Devon Rex” is derived from its place of discovery “Devon” and the term used to describe the mutation in the coat “Rex” which is wavy or curly. All ancestry of the Devon Rex today can be traced back to Kirlee. Sadly he was killed in 1970 in a car accident.

 

Appearance

The Devon Rex has an unusual shaped head with a well-defined chin, full cheeks, long slender neck and big ears. Due to their unique appearance they are often called “pixie cats” or “alien cats”.

 The appearance of the Devon Rex is;

  • Ears: set low on the side of their heads, they are large and slightly rounded.
  • Eyes: large
  • Nose: slightly upturned
  • Whiskers: short – sometimes they can be curled up making it appear that they have no whiskers
  • Body Type: lightly built
  • Legs: long and sturdy
  • Paws: Small and oval
  • Toes: unusually large
  • Coat: it can range from being thick and curly to very fine and suede like and it can become thinner or thicker depending on the season. Their coat is unusual because it has little guard hair, generally cats have 3 types of hair (down hair, awn hair and guard hair).
  • Coat Colour: any colour or pattern
  • Adult weight: can range from 2.5kg to 4kg – males are generally heavier than females.

 

Behaviour/Traits

The Devon Rex is a very social cat that loves the companionship of people or other animals (cats, dogs, etc.) for long periods of time. They have been described as being a cross between a dog, cat and monkey.

 Some of their traits and behaviours are;

  • Active
  • Affectionate
  • Loving nature
  • Like to be close to you and will sit at your feet, follow you around the house or cuddle up on your lap or in your arms
  • Like to be close to the head or neck of their human companion
  • Mischievous
  • Playful
  • People-oriented
  • High jumpers
  • Often found in nooks and crannies, such as laundry basket, shelves, cupboards
  • Like to be up high
  • Devoted to one person
  • Loyal
  • Human-loving
  • Dog-like qualities
  • Very intelligent – they can be trained to fetch, walk on a lead and perform many tricks that are usually associated with dogs.

Allergies

Due to the Devon Rex shedding very little hair and missing a layer of hair (guard hair) that is seen in other breeds of cats, people with cat related allergies can easily co-exist with the Devon Rex. However people with these allergies may still experience some allergies as the Devon Rex is not hypoallergenic. Before deciding to purchase a Devon Rex it is advised that you arrange to spend some time with them and handle one or two of them. After your visit it is advisable to wait at least 24 hours to see if there has been an allergic reaction before deciding to purchase one. If possible try and arrange to spend some time with them more than once to ensure that you don’t experience any allergic reaction.

 

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