The Devon Rex is a breed of cat with distinctively unique elfin features. An extremely short curly coat, small to medium sized body the Devon Rex is blessed with a pixie like wedge shaped head, large eyes, short muzzle, strong chin, and extremely large and low set ears. Whiskers and eyebrows are short and crinkly. Despite its smallish stature the Devon Rex is muscular with hind legs that are longer than the forelegs.
An extremely fun-loving and mischievous breed, the Devon Rex has popularly been referred to as a ‘monkey in cat’s clothing’, or compared with the character ‘Denis the Menace’. The Devon Rex is intelligent and active, in fact they like to get into everything from playing games of fetch and hide-and-seek to learning whatever tricks you want to teach them. They enjoy human company and will follow their owners everywhere, they are very loyal and almost dog-like in their need for companionship. Your Devon Rex will want to sit on your lap when you sit down at night or sit perched on your shoulder as you go about your day. They also prefer to sleep with you in your bed rather than on their own.
The Devon Rex is great with children, perhaps because they tend to remain a ‘kitten at heart’ throughout most of their lives. They also tend to get on well with other cats and dogs in the house. Their sociable nature means that they are best suited to a home where their owners will have the time to spend with them, the Devon Rex isn’t the cat for you if you are out of the house for long periods of time each day.
Did You Know?
The breed originated in Devon, England in the late 1950s when Miss Beryl Cox took note of a stray tom cat living in a nearby deserted tin mine who had an unusually short and curly fur coat. She noticed this stray tom at about the same time she took in a pregnant stray white tortoiseshell who later gave birth to four kittens – one of which had the same short curly coat as the tom – and who was subsequently name Kirlee. After many failed efforts to reproduce the short curly coat with multiple curly coated Cornish Rexes, Kirlee went to live with Mrs P. Hughes, a member of the Cornish Rex group. Kirlee was mated to one of her straight coated females which produced one curly coated female from a litter of three. This was the start of the Devon Rex breed.
All Devon Rexes can trace their ancestry back to Kirlee, who sadly met an untimely demise in a road accident in 1970.
With their trademark short, curly coat the Devon Rex is less likely to cause allergic responses but it is not a strictly hypoallergenic breed. They still shed, although their unique coat means shedding is much less than other breeds.
Caring for Your Devon Rex Cat
Due to their extremely active nature Devon Rex cats always seem to be hungry, and are known to beg for and steal food from their owner’s plates. Looking at their sorrowful facial expressions, they’ll have you believing that they haven’t had a decent meal in days. Care must be taken not to overfeed the Devon Rex, for fear of them becoming obese.
The Devon rex’s curly coat is relatively low maintenance. Gentle grooming or brushing your hand over their coats is all that’s required. If your Devon Rex has a lot of white on his coat, he may pick up dirt more easily so a quick ‘wash and wear’ bath helps will help keep him clean and in top condition.
Devon Rexes can produce more ear wax than other breeds so make sure the ears are inspected regularly to ensure that wax build up is kept to a minimum.
If you have a Devon Rex cat in your life, please share your experiences below.
Image: Nickolas Titkov via Flickr.