Cornish Rex Cat

The Cornish Rex cat is an elegant cat with a short wavy coat.  Read more about the Cornish Rex Cat in our breed profile.

History Of The Cornish Rex Cat

The Cornish Rex cat originates from Cornwall where a single rex kitten - a cream male named Kallibunker - first appeared in a litter of 5 kittens born on 21 July 1950 owned by Nina Ennismore. Kallibunker was mated back to his mother in August 1952 and produced a normal coated female and two males, one of which later died. After inbreeding this line as far as was considered reasonable the Cornish Rex cat was outcrossed to short haired cats.

After a while Nina Ennismore was breeding more cats than she could sell and had to put a number of cats to sleep in 1956 including Kallibunker. By the late 1950s Nina Ennismore had stopped breeding Cornish Rex cats but not before sending out several Cornish Rex cats to breeders in the USA in 1957.

Brian Stirling-Webb in the UK was determined to see the Cornish Rex developed as a breed and located a rex male named Kirlee living in Devon with Beryl Cox. Kirlee was produced by a stray cat and sired by a rex coated feral male and was offered to Stirling-Webb. However, when Kirlee was mated to Cornish rex cats from Cornwall only straight haired cats were born showing that two separate recessive rex genes existed - the Cornish Rex and the Devon Rex.

Meanwhile a black rex cat named Lummchen had been adopted by Rose Sheuer-Karpin in East Germany and had produced two rex kittens and subsequent matings between this strain and the Cornish Rex cats proved they were the same gene.

In 1963 the Cornish Rex Cat was accepted as a breed in the USA and Canada and accepted for championship competition.

In 1967 the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy in the UK recognised the Cornish Rex and Devon Rex as two distinct breeds allowing them to be shown in competition.

Appearance Of The Cornish Rex Cat

The Cornish Rex cat has a small head with prominent high cheekbones, large eyes, hollow cheeks, strong chin, high bridged roman nose with the muzzle narrowing slighting towards the end. The ears of the Cornish Rex cat are large and set high on the head. The neck is long and graceful and the body is arched and slender, being deep in the chest with a small waist and fine legs - similar to a whippet dog.

The coat of the Cornish Rex cat is short and wavy lying close to the body, extremely soft to the touch and can be White, Black, Blue, Red, Cream, Silver, or Tabby, Tortoiseshell, Pointed (with with coloured points) and Smoke (white tipped with colour) in any of the colours available. The whiskers are curled.

Size Of The Cornish Rex Cat

The Cornish Rex is a medium sized cat.

Character Of The Cornish Rex Cat

The Cornish Rex cat is jolly, active, agile, acrobatic, affection, fast and extremely playful throughout its life. Cornish Rex cats eagerly learn how to play games such as fetch or catch.

Lifespan Of The Cornish Rex Cat

The Lifespan of the Cornish Rex cat is 9-15 years.

Requirements of the Cornish Rex Cat

Cornish Rex cats have no special requirements.

Inherited Diseases Of The Cornish Rex Cat

Although most Cornish Rex cats are healthy, hereditary diseases that are known to appear in the breed are hypotrichosis (hereditary baldness). Cornish Rex cats can also have a slight tendency to hind-leg lameness due to their body shape.

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