The Cornish Rex is a sturdy, yet dainty medium sized cat. It’s most defining features are its extremely short, curly hair and large ears. The breed originates from Cornwall, England where first discovered in 1950 among a litter of barn kittens. The Cornish Rex is the perfect pet for those seek an exotic/otherworldly looking, active cat to be apart of the family.
The Cornish Rex is a people-oriented and active cat that makes them the perfect pet for families especially with kids. They have kitten-like personalities and love to play games such as fetch. Although they will love to be next to you where it is warm, by your side or on your lap, they are also very active and you may often see them run, race, jump high, fetch and sometimes even contrive to do acrobatic jumps.
The Cornish Rex has an extremely short, soft, curly coat and even curly whiskers. The Cornish Rex’s has a distinct egg-shaped head, large eyes, high cheekbones, strongly bridged Roman nose, and large ears set high on the head. They have long, skinny legs and a skinny waist.
Cornish Rex’s most commonly come in the following colors:
The story of the Cornish Rex begins in Bodmin Moor, Cornwall. On July 21, 1950 a tortoiseshell cat named Serena, owned by Mrs. Nina Ennismore gave birth to a litter of five kittens. One red & white coloured kitten in this litter had an unusual curly coat. The kitten was named Kallibunker (Kalli) and was to become the founder of the Cornish Rex breed. Nina’s veterinarian suggested she contact geneticist A C Jude. He advised she mate Kallibunker back to his mother. This breeding produced three kittens. One was a straight coated female the other two curly coated males. Sadly, one male died at 7 months of age, the second male named Poldhu (along with Kallibunker) went on to sire further litters. Due to the gene pool being very small in the 1950s-1960s the Cornish Rex was an endangered breed. They were out crossed to domestics as well as Siamese, Russian Blues, American Shorthairs, British Shorthairs and Havana Browns to create great genetic diversity and a strong, healthy foundation for the breed.
All cats have the potential to develop genetic health problems, just as all people have the potential to inherit diseases. Any breeder who claims that her breed has no health or genetic problems is either lying or is not knowledgeable about the breed. Run, don’t walk, from any breeder who does not offer a health guarantee on kittens, who tells you that the breed is 100 percent healthy and has no known problems, or who tells you that her kittens are isolated from the main part of the household for health reasons.
The Cornish Rex is generally healthy, but his coat offers little protection from the sun’s rays, so don’t let him bask outdoors. He may also be prone to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and patellar luxation, a condition in which one or both kneecaps may slide out of place, and cause difficulty walking.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the most common form of heart disease in cats. It causes thickening (hypertrophy) of the heart muscle. An echocardiogram can confirm whether a cat has HCM. Avoid breeders who claim to have HCM-free lines. No one can guarantee that their cats will never develop HCM. Cornish Rexes that will be bred should be screened for HCM, and cats identified with HCM should be removed from breeding programs. Do not buy a kitten whose parents have not been tested for this disease. It is always wise to buy from a breeder who provides a written health guarantee.
Remember that after you’ve taken a new kitten into your home, you have the power to protect him from one of the most common health problems: obesity. Keeping a Cornish Rex at an appropriate weight is one of the easiest ways to protect his overall health. Make the most of your preventive abilities to help ensure a healthier cat for life.
The Cornish Rex has a short coat that is soft and silky with no harsh guard hairs. The fur lies in tight waves close to the skin and tends to be especially short and wavy on the chest and belly.
When it comes to the Rex coat, the less grooming the better. The hairs are delicate, and brushing or combing can damage it. Ears and paws may develop a greasy feel, so clean them regularly.
The only other care he needs is weekly nail trimming and occasional ear cleaning. Brush his teeth frequently with a vet-approved pet toothpaste for good overall health and fresh breath. Look and sniff inside his big ears to make sure there’s no redness or bad odor that could indicate an infection. If the ears look dirty, wipe them out with a cotton ball moistened with a gentle cleanser recommended by your veterinarian.