The Devon Rex is an intelligent cat breed that originated from England during the late 1950s. They are said to resemble a pixie which in folklore are mischievous little troublemakers. But they are also people-loving pets and they will welcome the attention of friends and family alike. It is known to be an active and energetic breed that enjoys delighting its human with its playful acts. Let us know more about the history and characteristics of the Devon Rex cat breed.
The Devon Rex is the cousin of the Cornish Rex cat breed. It was a happy accident that eventually became a breed. The ancestor of the Devon Rex was a feral tom cat with a curly coat who lived in an abandoned tin mine in Buckfastleigh, Devon in England. It mated with tortoiseshell and white female that was owned by a woman named Beryl Cox. One of the kittens in the litter that was born in 1960 was a brownish-black male who had the same curly coat as its father.
Ms. Cox, being familiar with the Cornish Rex, thought that the kitten might carry the same gene. She named the kitten Kirlee. But to everyone’s surprise, a different gene was responsible for its curly coat. Instead of having the tight uniform waves of the Cornish Rex, Kirlee had a more tousled curly coat and whiskers. It also had large ears instead of high up ones like those of the Cornish Rex.
With that, a breeding program was developed to preserve these cats which became known as Devon Gene 2. In 1968, which was less than a decade later, a Devon Rex was first imported to the United States. The breed was recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association in 1979 and in the present time, it is now recognized by other cat associations as well. All of the Devon Rex cats today have a family tree that goes back to Kirlee.
Characteristics of a Devon Rex Cat
Average weight: 5 – 10 pounds
Life Span: 9 – 15 years
The Devon Rex has large ears, high cheekbones and striking eyes that’s why it is often described as having an elfin appearance. But its most outstanding characteristic is its soft, wavy fur. It has a curvy body that starts with its head then a modified wedge shape with convex curves forms the outer edge of its earlobes, cheekbones, and whisker pads. It also has wide-set, oval-shaped eyes and large ears that are set low on the head. There are also some Devon Rex cats which tips of the ears are tufted with fine fur.
The body of a Devon Rex is well-covered with fur and most of them are thick on the back, sides, tail, legs, face, and ears. There are some with loose and shaggy curls while others have thin and suede-like coats. Its coat can come in any genetically possible color, pattern, or combination of colors and patterns, including white, blue, black, chocolate, lavender, cinnamon, and red. There are also some with smoke patterns which have white undercoat deeply tipped with a specific color.
Its body should feel hard and muscular. Its legs are long and slim which are supported with small, oval paws. Its long, fine tail is covered with short fur tapers at the end.
The Devon Rex loves to perch right at head level, on the shoulder of its human or favorite person. It has a lively interest in anything that is going on and it always loves to be involved with any activity. You can expect this cat to stay as close to you as possible, while occasionally communicating its opinions in a quiet voice. It definitely loves people and welcomes the attention of friends and family.
It is also a smart cat that has a moderate activity level. The Devon Rex is not always in constant motion but it likes to learn tricks and play fetch as well. When you’re out, it’s better to leave it with puzzle toys and interactive toys to keep them busy. It prefers to sleep under the covers because it’s like a heat-seeking missile and it targets the warmest spots it can find.
When it comes to having children at home, the Devon Rex is a perfect choice as a pet because it will love to play with children who’ll treat it with respect. It can also live well with cat-friendly dogs especially when introduced well.
Caring for a Devon Rex Cat
It is very easy to maintain the coat of a Devon Rex. Just remember to groom it gently to avoid breaking its delicate hairs. You do not need to use any kind of brush or comb. You just simply have to brush your hand over the coat to keep it looking good. The best thing about its coat is it does not shed much compared to other cat breeds. It also has a fine fur that is not very noticeable on clothing and furniture. Baths are also not necessary unless you own a white Devon Rex or it has a lot of white on its coat.
The rest of the grooming needs of a Devon Rex are basic care such as tooth brushing, ear cleaning, and nail trimming regularly or as needed. Always keep its litter box clean as well to keep your pet’s coat spotless.
Devon Rex cats may feel warm to touch but they are constantly seeking warmth. Therefore, if you are cold, your pet is most likely cold as well. To keep it comfy, you can buy it a nice sweater or two which will help it retain heat.
Give your pet healthy and high-quality cat food. Devon Rex loves to eat, that’s why you should always keep an eye on your pet’s weight to prevent it from being overweight or obese. For safety, keep your Devon Rex as an indoor-only cat. This will prevent it from being hit by a car or from being attacked by dogs and other animals outside. You can simply build your pet a nice, large enclosure on your yard where it can jump and climb safely.
The Devon Rex is another great pet for those who are seeking an affectionate and loving pet.