A cinnamon tabby Selkirk Rex cat

The Snuggly and Wooly Selkirk Rex Cat

Bearing the nickname “cat’s in sheep clothing,” the Selkirk Rex Cat is renowned for its wooly coat. Its charisma doesn’t end in its fur as this feline is a cheery, playful, and social furball that keeps its family entertained. Moreover, it is affectionate, devoted, and loyal – no surprise that this breed melts many hearts across many homes.

Origin of the Selkirk Rex Cat

The majority of the feline breeds were a product of a natural genetic mutation in cats. Fortunately, these furballs were discovered by someone, which led to their development. The story is true for the Selkirk Rex cat with Jeri Newman, a breeder from Livingston, Montana, responsible for its evolution.

Newman has always been enticed with new feline breeds. In 1987, a cat from one of her clients gave birth to five kittens, with one of them sporting an unusual curly fur. Jeri Newman took the said kitten, and as it turns out, it was a distinct rex gene, different from the Cornish Rex and Devon Rex cats, as it was a dominant one.

Due to the kitten’s pestering demeanor, often longing for attention, Newman named it Miss DePesto. When the kitten reached adulthood, Newman crossed it with a Persian Male. Miss DePesto gave birth to a litter of six, half of it possessed the same wooly coat. Newman then incorporated other cats, such as the American Shorthair, British Shorthair, and the Exotic Shorthair into the gene pool.

Selkirk was first recognized by The International Cat Association in 1994 and is now accepted in other major cat registries.

A Selkirk Rex cat in a cat show

Physical Characteristics of the Selkirk Rex Cat

Length: 9 to 11 inches

Weight: 11 to 16 pounds (Males) 6 to 12 pounds (Females)

Life Expectancy: 10 to 15 years

Coat Color: Any color with various shadings and patterns

Type of Coat: Short, Long

Eye Color: Any color

Selkirk Rex cats have a stocky body, heavy bone structure, and roundish eyes. A peculiar flat area also occurs between their ears atop their roundish heads. These felines are most conspicuous of their curly, wooly fur, which can either come in short or long hair variety in an array of colors, shadings, and patterns.

A close-up look at the Selkirk Rex cat

Selkirk Rex Cat Personality

Given their Persian and British Shorthair ancestry, Selkirk Rex cats are renowned for their docile, relaxed, but snuggly nature. They like being held, and are affectionate towards their families.

As tolerant felines, they also wouldn’t mind being children and other pets, as long as they know how to treat and deal with these cats accordingly. However, being gregarious, they dislike being left alone, especially for extended periods.

While Selkirk Rex cats are generally calm and endearing, it doesn’t mean that they are placid. In fact, they are renowned for having a silly side and being active, though not overly vigorous. These felines would love to play, and simple toys are enough to keep them amused.

Brimming with curiosity, expect that these cats would also jive in whatever is happening around and survey their surroundings. Lastly, while not vocal, they would not be shy in asking for their owner’s attention using their small, cute voice if they feel they don’t get what they deserve.

A Selkirk Rex cat in a cat show

Caring for the Selkirk Rex Cat

Selkirk Rex cat’s fur is unique, so is its grooming requirement. It’s a great thing that their coat doesn’t shed that much. The pitfall is loose hair easily gets trapped in their curly fur rather than falling off, making it vulnerable to mating. With that, it is advisable to groom them regularly to avoid such scenarios.

Regular means not too often, though. Over-brushing their coat may affect the natural curls of their fur. Frequent baths may be necessary to keep it in its tip-top condition and free it from matting. Plus, using a wide-toothed comb can help free any trapped loose hair without causing any damage to their fur.

While generally calm, Selkirk Rex cats are relatively active, and they aren’t a smallish type of felines, either. They are quite stocky and boast a heavy bone structure. It is advisable to give them ample space to run and play their favorite games freely and safely, without knocking things over accidentally, or even intentionally, around the house.

Selkirk Rex cats are generally sturdy in terms of health, but there are few things to be wary of. Like most cat breeds, they are vulnerable to polycystic kidney disease and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Since they are developed to have shorter snouts, these felines are also at risk of breathing issues. Moreover, their unique coat imposes them to threats of hair loss.

Regular consultation with the vet helps detect or prevent any condition before they go out of hand and ensure that these fur balls live a long, healthy life.

Selkirk Rex cats are perfect for families looking for a snuggly, wooly companion to add to their lovely homes. They may be placid most of the time, but they have their playful and even silly side that will keep their family amused. More importantly, these felines are devoted and loyal, melting the hearts of many cat enthusiasts around the world.