Selkirk Rex: A Cuddly and Playful Breed

The Selkirk Rex is a naturally occurring curly cat breed that looks like a stuffed animal you’d love to pick up and snuggle. The breed is medium-sized with solid, sturdy bodies and plush coats. These cats come in both long-haired and short-haired versions. Selkirk Rex cats may make good family pets, as they are generally playful, loving, and patient.

Breed History

The Selkirk Rex cat breed originated in Montana in 1987 when an unusual-looking kitten was discovered in a litter born to a rescued cat. The kitten was given to Persian breeder, Jeri Newman, who named her Miss DePesto. She was bred with Jeri’s black award-winning Persian, which produced a litter of six kittens – three with curly hair and three with straight hair. This litter showed that the Selkirk Rex coat gene is dominant, unlike the genes for Cornish Rex and Devon Rex cats.

Jeri named the breed after her stepfather, “Selkirk.” To date, these cats are the first and only breed to be named after a person. The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) accepted the Selkirk Rex for recognition in 1992, and the breed achieved Championship Status in 2000. The International Cat Association (TICA) recognized the breed in 1992.

The Types of Selkirk Rex Cats

Selkirk Rex cats come in both shorthair and longhair. The shorthair cats have a plush, dense curl to their coats, similar to that of a teddy bear while the longhair cats have a more tousled look, resembling that of a woolly sheep.

Breed Appearance

Selkirks are medium to large in size with strong, heavy boning. The breed’s head is round, containing no flat planes.

When they’re born, Selkirks have curly whiskers. The whiskers are brittle and may break as they get longer. A Selkirk’s hair and whiskers do not change as they mature; if they are curly when they are kittens, they will also be curly as adults. The breed has the most curl on its flanks, stomach, and around its neck. A Selkirk’s back contains the least amount of curl. These cats come in any and all possible solid and combination of colors.

Selkirk Rex Personality

In general, Selkirk Rex cats are relaxed. These cats get their cuddly nature from their Persian and British Shorthair ancestors. However, Selkirks are more active than either of these breeds.

Selkirks like people and other animals. Given its social nature, this breed doesn’t enjoy being left alone for long periods of time. They are affectionate and tolerant, but they may not necessarily be lap cats. They love to play and they will demand your attention if they feel they’re being ignored.

Lifespan of the Breed

A Selkirk Rex generally lives between 10 and 15 years. As with any cat, a feline’s diet, genetics, activity level, overall health, and environment can affect how long it lives.

Interesting Facts About the Selkirk Rex Cat Breed

Because the gene for curly hair in the Selkirk Rex cat breed is dominant, curly and straight-haired kittens can be born in the same litter. Selkirk Rex kittens actually temporarily lose their curly hair around six months of age. They grow sparse, straight hair from around six months of age until they fully mature at the age of two years. Selkirk Rex cats are one of four breeds that have curly hair. This breed has three layers of hair, whether it is long-haired or short-haired, and each layer of hair is curly.

Selkirk Rex Grooming Needs

You don’t want to brush these cats too frequently because doing so may make its coat appear less curly. Combing these cats a couple of times each week is sufficient for preventing and untangling mats. Regular combing also helps remove dead hair and skin cells from the cat’s coat.

Some Selkirk Rex cats have a tendency to get a greasy coat. If this is the case, the cat may need regular baths with moisturizing shampoo. Allow the cat to air dry as using a hair dryer ends up making the feline look like a poodle.

Selkirks are unique cats with plush, curly coats and loving and affectionate personalities. The breed’s gentle personality makes it a good family pet. With proper nutrition, care, and a loving home, a Selkirk may live into its teens, providing many years of companionship to its humans.

 

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