A Cornish Rex with its conspicuous curly coat

The Delightful and Elegant Cornish Rex Cat

Cornish Rex cat is a stunningly unusual but undeniably elegant feline with an egg-shaped face, conspicuous curly fur, long limbs, and wide-set ears. Combining all features, it is deemed as the “greyhound” of the cat family. Its distinct appearance is said to be a result of a harmless natural mutation. But, despite its odd look, this furball is renowned for being active, friendly, easy-going, and delightful, making it an ideal companion to many busy families and households.

Origin of the Cornish Rex Cat

The Cornish Rex cat traces its roots from England during the 1950s, with its name derived from the Cornwall region. Its distinct appearance was first seen in its ancestor, a kitten born from a British Shorthair, but with an unusual curly fur and peculiar long-limbs.

Nina Ennismore, the kitten’s lovely owner, reached out to a geneticist so they can breed the kitten back to his mother once he reaches his sexual maturity. The mother gave birth to three kittens, with two of them possessing the recessive gene linked to the fur. Since then, the early Cornish Rex kittens were bred to Burmese, Siamese, and British Shorthair cats to preserve the breed and expand its genetic pool.

The Cornish Rex cats soon reached the United States in 1957 and were bred to different cat breeds, such as the Havana Brown and the American Shorthair. The event proved to be providential for these felines, as the Cornish Rex cats almost reached extinction in the late 1950s. Through cat enthusiasts’ help, the breed has become more stable and is renowned for its lovable antics and easy-going personality.

A White Cornish Rex cat

Physical Characteristics of the Cornish Rex Cat

  • Length: 18 inches long
  • Weight: 6 to 9 pounds (Males), 5 to 7 pounds (Females)
  • Life Expectancy: 9 to 13 years
  • Coat Color: White, blue, black, red, chocolate, cream, lavender, silver, tabby, smoke, plus an array of shadings and patterns
  • Type of Coat: Short, Crimped
  • Eye Color: Amber, Blue, Copper, Aqua, Green, Gold, Orange, Odd-eyed, Hazel, Yellow

Cornish Rex cat is an elegant cat, with peculiarly long limbs, and tail, allowing them to stand high as if they are on tip-toe. Their head is egg-shaped, accentuated by relatively high cheekbones and striking fine lines. What differentiates the Cornish Rex from other breeds is their conspicuous short, dense, curly, and silky coat, sans the guard hairs but boasts prominent waves on the sides and back.

A Cornish Rex with a staredown

Cornish Rex Cat Personality

Cornish Rex cats are known for their high-spirited, sometimes naughty, but sweet and pleasant disposition. They are interactive, entertaining their owners with their playfulness and talkativeness, and people-oriented, longing for human companionship, and very driven to be part of the families.

These felines are confident and can be seen following their owners as they go around the house. Otherwise, they can be seen keenly waiting for a snuggle or the chance to sit in their owner’s lap.

While they may appear sophisticated, their sense of humor and desire for attention sometimes takes over, enticing everyone with their innate charm. They can perform tricks, play with different stuff, or amuse visitors with their ability to climb high points in the house, without much effort. As intelligent felines, they can also learn things their owners wish they didn’t grasp to do, such as opening doors and cabinets or handle things dexterously with their long limbs.

When it comes to energy levels, Cornish Rex cats are sometimes described to be dog-like. These felines are highly active and have an intense willingness to play fetch. They are agile, always of the move, perfect to those homes with the same busy environment.

Cornish Rex cats are also gentle and affectionate, but they are not the quiet type of cats. They are not as vocal as their Siamese ancestors, but they would not hesitate to share their feelings and thoughts if they deem to do so.

A Blue female Cornish Rex cat

Caring for the Cornish Rex Cat

While it is distinct, the curly fur of the Cornish Rex cats is relatively easy to maintain. In fact, it might be better to veer away from the frequent brushing as their finer hairs are somewhat delicate and are susceptible to damage. Moreover, they have no guard hairs, which means their coat can be oily every now and then. Regular bathing is recommended to keep them from being greasy to touch.

Its refined appearance and slender build may imply that these felines are on the laidback side. However, they are actually the opposite as they are pretty athletic and brimmed with lots of energy. These felines love to run, jump, play, which is why getting cat trees and high perches may help exhaust their vigor and provide them with their necessary exercise requirements. Then, as sociable and intelligent cats, interactive toys, like puzzles, may both help stimulate their mind and satisfy their cravings for human companionship. With proper training, they can learn to fetch, sit, shake, wave, and other tricks in no time.

Cornish Rex cats would also have no issue dealing with cat-friendly dogs, pets, and children, as long as they were treated with care and respect. Proper introduction at a young age is an excellent way to ensure that they will harmoniously.

Given their vast heritage, Cornish Rex cats are generally healthy and often live a long, healthy life. The only concern is that they are relatively more vulnerable to sunburn due to their delicate fur, so keeping them indoors or using pet-friendly sunscreen is necessary to keep their skin healthy.

Cornish Rex cats are perfect for families looking to have lovely, playful, affectionate furballs. Their desire for human companionship never ceases, and they will be happiest in homes that can match the love and attention they yearn.