The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Meet The Cornish Rex Cat - Often Called the Greyhound of the Cat World

Monday, March 25, 2013

Meet The Cornish Rex Cat - Often Called the Greyhound of the Cat World

It’s hard not to stare or take a second glance at this cat with giant bat like ears perched on an egg-shaped head and a soft, curly coat. Go ahead and declare the Cornish Rex to be funny-looking. He won’t take offense. In fact, he is a happy-go-lucky comedian who loves to perform tricks and show off new antics to his favorite people. He may even outrace the family dog in a game of fetch. This is one cat who is never shy when it comes to demonstrating his delight in being with you.

The most striking feature of the breed is its very noticeably curly coat. Ideally falling in marcel waves, the coat is very short, lies close to the body, and is incredibly soft to the touch, prompting comparisons to cut velvet, karakul lamb, rabbit fur, or silk. In fact, nothing else feels exactly like a Cornish Rex coat.

Although otherworldly in appearance, Cornish Rex cats originated in Cornwall, England, where one first appeared in a litter of barn cats in 1950. A cream-colored male, named Kallibunker, was covered in tight rows of tiny curls, giving him the appearance of a miniature lamb. As he grew, his differences from his littermates became more dramatic: a slender, fine-boned body standing on long legs, a narrow head, enormous “bat ears,” and a long, whippy tail. Kallibunker was a genuine mutation and was bred back to his mother to produce curly kittens. The curly coated cats were bred with Burmese, Siamese, and British domestic shorthair cats, resulting in a broad genetic base for the Cornish Rex breed and the knowledge that the gene was recessive.

Some Rexes enjoy retrieving and will bring back objects for you to toss again and again. They are adept climbers, leapers, and sprinters, and have marvelously agile paws. No shelf or cupboard is safe from a persistent Cornish.

In selecting a Cornish Rex kitten, consider what characteristics are most important to you and discuss them with the breeder, who usually knows each kitten and can help match you with the right one.

Is the Cornish Rex Hypoallergenic?
Despite the assumption that the Cornish rex's lack of hair makes the cat breed hypoallergenic, this is not necessarily true. It should be recognized that no one cat (or dog) is truly capable of being hypoallergenic.


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