Devon Rex has been dubbed with so many names, such as the pixie cat, gremlin cat, a bat, or a feline that looks like an elf. With its physical appearance alone, the breed enticed many cat enthusiasts across the world. However, what captured many families’ hearts is its extrovert, quirky, mischievous, yet lovable personality. It is a high-powered natural comedian that can run all day long to keep its family entertained. Thus, making it an ideal cat for an active household that can keep up with its go-go and playful demeanor.
Origin of the Devon Rex Cat
The Devon Rex is a relatively new cat breed that was accidentally discovered in the Devonshire region in England in 1960. A kitten with a curly coat was spotted along with other litters at a former tin mine. It was named Kirlee and was initially deemed a Cornish Rex kitten.
However, further test breedings showed that Kirlee has a distinct makeup, which was another product of harmless natural mutation. Not much is known about its roots. Its mother was a stray feline, while its father is said to be a roaming cat who also sported the same curly fur.
From then, Kirlee has become the ancestor of the Devon Rex breed, and a new program was started to develop and expand the breed. Its name was derived from its birthplace, and its unusual fur resembles that of the rex rabbit. Eight years later, the breed reached the United States and was fully recognized by the Cat Fanciers’ Association in 1979.
Physical Characteristics of the Devon Rex Cat
- Length: 15 to 18 inches
- Weight: 8 to 10 pounds (Males) 5 to 8 pounds (Females)
- Life Expectancy: 9 to 13 years
- Coat Color: White, blue, black, cream, red, lavender, chocolate, fawn, and cinnamon, plus an array of shadings and patterns
- Type of Coat: Short
- Eye Color: Aqua, Copper, Blue, Green, Amber, Hazel, Gold, Yellow, Orange, Odd-Eyed Amber, Aqua, Blue, Copper, Green, Gold, Hazel, Odd-eyed, Orange, Yellow
What are most conspicuous about the Devon Rex cats are their big, wide, oval-shaped eyes, and their large, bat-resembling ears, which gives them their pixie-, gremlin-, or elf-like appearance. They also have a short, plush, wavy coat, extending to their slender legs and small, oval paws. Meanwhile, their whiskers are delicate and hardly grow more than an inch. These felines occur in many patterns, shadings, and marking, yet the most popular among all is the original color of their ancestor, Kirlee, who sported as black smoke coat.
Devon Rex Cat Personality
Devons are people-pleasers, known for their quirky, outgoing yet lovable personality. They are deemed to be the feline counterparts of the poodle, who will love snuggling with their owners at nights, or wake their masters in the morning, showering them with kisses and adorable purrs to show their affection.
Besides their distinct appearance, they are also popular among many families due to their playfulness, high energy, and fun-spirited personality. They have sufficient vigor to run around the house all day round to keep their loving family amused. Otherwise, they will follow household members to watch whatever they do, be it watching television, preparing meals in the kitchen, or even when taking a quick shower.
As for their smarts, Devons are known to be intelligent, able to learn tricks quickly, fetch toys, walk on a leash, and recognize both their own name and their master’s. Add a highly inquisitive nature and an ample amount of mischief, and they can act as natural comedians in most types of homes.
Lastly, devon rex cats always yearn for human companionship, making them warranted lap sitters and shoulder perchers. They will be best in families that can satisfy their thirst to be always on their side in return for this cat’s pure loyalty and devotion.
Caring for the Devon Rex Cat
The Devon Rex cats’ curly coat is relatively easy to maintain. In most cases, it only needs soft brushing using the hand to protect their delicate hair and keep them manageable. Plus, their hair is fine, and they don’t shed that much, which means less fur can be seen on furniture and clothing. Unless the Devon Rex cat is white or has some white marking that quickly looks dirty, bathing is rarely necessary.
However, given that their coat is short and thin, they are usually impacted by extreme weather. They should not be exposed to direct sunlight to protect them from sunburn. They must also be kept from cold temperatures as these cats can quickly feel cold.
When it comes to dental hygiene, weekly brushing is enough to keep their teeth and gums healthy and avoid periodontal disease. Other parts of their grooming routine include eye cleaning, ear cleaning, and nail trimming, if necessary.
Devon Rex cats can learn tricks with their outgoing demeanor, given they are trained with persistence and patience. They are vigorous and will require plenty of space to roam around, climbing posts, perches, and interactive toys that may help consume their high-powered energy.
As with other family members, Devon Rex cats are highly sociable and will have no issues getting along with toddlers and other pets. As long as proper introductions are made and that they are treated with respect, these furballs will build strong bonds with them.
While a generally healthy breed, Devon Rex cats may be vulnerable to certain conditions, such as patellar luxation, hereditary myopathy, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Regular consultations with the vet can help detect and prevent any disease, leading to their long and happy life.
Devon Rex cats are ideal for those looking for a strange-looking yet outgoing feline to add to their lovely homes, and their quirky, playful, and lovable personality would radiate most with families that can return and match their genuine devotion and affection.