Monday, August 8, 2016
Cat Breeds: Selkirk Rex
The Selkirk Rex isn't an ancient breed. In fact, it can only trace it's origins to Montana in 1987. Persian breeder Jeri Newman took in a female kitten with an unusual look about her. Quickly named Miss DePesto, the kitten had curly whiskers, a wavy coat, and tightly curled hair in her ears. The other kittens in the litter did not exhibit these traits, leading Newman to believe Miss DePesto might have a new mutant Rex gene.
So Newman bred Miss DePesto to a black Persian male. The resulting litter had six kittens, three of whom had the curly coat of their mother. This meant that the gene was dominant, not recessive like both the Cornish Rex and the Devon Rex. This was the beginning of a whole new breed, and breeders throughout the country were quick to catch on.
TICA accepted the Selkirk Rex into its New Breed program in 1990, then granted it Championship Status in 1994. Since then, most registries have accepted this cat as a unique and recognizable breed.
The Appearance of the Selkirk Rex
With heavy boning and a muscular body, the Selkirk Rex is a medium to large size cat who weighs more than he looks like he should. His round head, round eyes, and tilted ears give him a sweet and open expression.
Like many breeds, the Selkirk Rex has both a longhaired and a shorthaired variety. The shorthaired cats have curls that are both dense and plush. Cats with this coat resemble teddy bears in their way. Longhaired cats...well, they tend to look like they're always having a bad hair day. They have the same fur as their shorthaired brothers, only longer, so they look a lot like tousled little sheep. Think a lamb that you've thrown in the dryer.
Regardless of coat length, the Selkirk Rex can be of any color. Curls will stand out most on the belly, neck, and flanks and are soft and fluffy to the touch. All Selkirk Rex cats need to be groomed regularly. Shorthaired cats can probably thrive with only a once a week brushing, but longhaired cats need to be completely groomed at least twice a week, preferably more, just to keep the coat free of tangles.
The Personality of the Selkirk Rex
This adorable cat loves attention. He is laid back enough to just hang out and he is always up for a cuddle. When someone wants to pet and stroke his unique fur, he typically thrives on the attention. That's good, because with a coat like his, it's often too much for guests to resist a quick pat.
With a love of games and a true desire to please, the Selkirk Rex is good with children as long as introductions are slow and positive. He'll play games with children and even occasionally want to dash around the house with them, but he also needs his space. If he backs off, let him go. He'll rejoin the game when he's ready.
If you're looking for a unique breed who loves people and can't get enough attention, you might want to consider the Selkirk Rex.