Devon Rex Breed Summary
Loyal, Active, intelligent, Affectionate
Said to resemble a pixie due to their big ears, large eyes and playful personality, the Devon Rex is a highly active, somewhat mischievous cat! This kitty loves to play and always want to know what their humans are up to – so don’t be surprised to be followed by a furry shadow when in their company. While they're a fairly quiet cat, the Devon Rex will let out a soft chirp if they want your attention. When this cat isn’t jumping up to a high spot, you’ll be likely to find them curled up in the lap of their loved ones. With their endearing looks, kind, playful nature and intelligence, there’s no wonder this cat is a popular family pet! Fun Fact: ‘Rex’ refers to the this cat’s unusually curly coat. The term 'Rex' came about when King Albert I of Belgium entered some curly haired rabbits in a rabbit show. They didn’t meet breed standard, but as the judges were afraid to anger the king, they accepted the rabbits and wrote ‘Rex’ (latin for king) next to the names of these rabbits on the score sheets!
|Lifespan||9 – 13 Years|
|Height (at the withers)||Males and Females: 11in – 15in|
|Weight||Males: 8lb – 9.9lb, Females: 6lb – 8lb|
|Coat||Short wavy coat|
|Color||White, blue, black, cream, red, brown, frost, platinum, fawn, chocolate, chestnut, cinnamon, lavender, champagne, seal|
|Eye color||Amber, aqua, blue, copper, green, gold, hazel, odd-eyed, orange, yellow|
|Common health issues||Hip dysplasia, patella luxation, congenital hypotrichosis, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy|
The Devon Rex is a friendly, intelligent cat that boasts an abundance of energy! Their enthusiasm for life is unmatched and they love to be involved in anything and everything, absorbing attention like a sponge. With their energy comes a mischievous streak, and they enjoy playing whenever they get the chance – whether that’s jumping up to great heights, playing with toys or having a game of fetch with their humans! These are extremely people-oriented cats and as such they like to be included in everything that goes on in their home, especially if it involves their people. You might find this cat perched on their owner’s shoulder, keen to know what they’re typing on a computer, or curled up in a warm lap after a day of playing. Although this playful cat isn’t particularly chatty, they tend to make a lovely little ‘chirp’ sound when they want your attention. Due to their sociable, affectionate nature, the Devon Rex is most at home in a household where there’s more than one person around – they also don’t like to be left home alone too long. Be warned – boredom can lead to destruction! This cat gets along well with other animals and children too, they also make wonderful travel companions and therapy cats because they love to be held and petted.
A native to the UK, the Devon Rex was first bred in Devon – as their name suggests! This breed is relatively new to the cat world and they boast an interesting history involving natural gene mutation. So, how did they come to be? Well, in the late 1950s, a stray tom with a curly coat that resided near an abandoned tin mine mated with a calico female with a straight coat that belonged to Beryl Cox. As a result, the litter produced one kitten that had the same short, curly coat as its father. Cox named this kitten ‘Kirlee’. As the gene that produces the curly coat in the Devon is recessive, and therefore both parents need to carry the curly-hair gene, some breeders believe the stray tom and calico female must have been related. There were attempts to breed Kirlee with Cornish Rex cats, but these resulted in kittens with straight coats – proving that the Devon Rex has no relation to the Cornish Rex. After a new breeding program was established, all Devons can trace their heritage back to Kirlee! In 1969, less than a decade later, a Devon Rex was brought to the USA and the Cat Fanciers Association gave the breed full recognition in 1979.