At first glance, the Cornish Rex appears to have come from ancient Egypt due to its striking resemblance to the Egyptian goddess Bastet. The breed sports a distinct physique that’s largely made up of graceful curves and arches. A closer look reveals that Cornishes have an equally amazing coat that’s arguably the softest out of all cat breeds out there. Cat experts have been praising the quality as that of rabbit fur, karakul lamb, silk and even cut velvet!
The special features of the Cornish Rex include a small head that assumes the shape of an egg, upward-slanting oval eyes, a Roman nose that has a lengthy bridge, pronounced cheekbones and a rounded forehead. The whip-like tail and the satellite ears round everything up in the physical department.
Cornish Rexes are affectionate, active and people-oriented. They can spend hours running, jumping and playing around and doing childish antics, which is sure to be a hit to kids and guests alike.
History of Cornish Rex
Despite having an alien-like appearance, Cornishes originated in Cornwall, England. The first Cornish Rex showed up in 1950 in a litter of barn cats. Serena, the cat’s mother gave birth to five healthy kittens, one of which sported an orange and white curly coat pattern. Kallibunker, the cat was then tested and confirmed by a geneticist to be a unique mutation which was quite similar to the Rex Rabbit fur. With the expert’s advice, the owners tried to replicate the results, with success.
Three kittens came out of the breeding experiment, 2 of which had curly hair just like Kallibunker. After a breeding sequel, more of the curly-haired variety was produced. Cornish Rex was given to the breed because it had a coat similar to that of an Astrex rabbit.
Breeders used other cat varieties such as American Shorthairs, Havana Browns and Siamese to expand the gene pool, which resulted in more colors and patterns that were not seen before. The breed was then brought to the U.S. in 1957, with the CFA recognizing the breed in 1964. Other prominent cat registries such as the American Cat Fanciers Association and the International Cat Association have also recognized the breed shortly thereafter.
Size of the Cornish Rex
Cornishes fall under the small to mid-sized category. Their long, slender body is muscular and is heavier than they appear to be- the males weigh in anywhere from 6 to 10 lbs. The cat’s long limbs can make high jumps, quick running starts and turns without warning.
Personality of the Cornish Rex
The Cornish Rex is a master of comedies, complemented by an extremely extroverted nature. As cats, they are affectionate and highly intelligent, despite their aloof and sly appearances. A good day to them is nothing but fun and plenty of frolicking about. Owners will be delighted by their playful, inventive and sometimes mischievous nature.
This breed can be trained to play fetch and retrieve small toys. You’ll see them perched up high or exploring every nook and cranny of your house most of the time, jumping off high places just because they want to do it!
Cornish Rex Kittens
Interested Cornish Rex enthusiasts will have to wait for up to 6 months to get the right pet for their home. Basic inoculation, vaccination and social interaction and growth comes first if you want a healthy, well-adjusted Cornish as a pet.
Kittens are born with the distinctive curly fur. There may be times when the fur appears suede-like and flat, but once they mature it becomes wavy again. Moreover, the short hair should lie close to the body and shouldn’t be bare or sparse in places.
It helps to have an understanding of what personality you’d like your Cornish to have and speak with a reputable breeder about it. They will know who to match you up with for a greater chance at finding the perfect kitten. Visit the home and meet the parents for a closer look at their temperament. Finally, ask if the parents have been tested for diseases and always ask for a written health guarantee.
Cornish Rex Health
This breed is somewhat lacking in the natural coat protection department, so it’s best to keep your pet indoors most of the time. Cornish Rexes are prone to developing dermatitis and familial hypotrichosis, and an increased risk of vitamin K coagulopathy, which is a hereditary blood-clotting condition. Have your pet tested by a qualified veterinarian to rule out these health conditions.
Care of the Cornish Rex
Your cat will prefer to sit right next to you most of the time if they’re not out doing incredible feats of athleticism. Ignore your cat too much or leave him or her unattended and he or she will start doing mischievous stuff. In these cases it’s better to engage your pet using toys that attract attention and stimulate both body and mind.
Litter Box Training
It’s a rule of thumb to always keep your pet’s litterbox clean at all times. Scoop out the waste and replace with fresh litter at the end of each day.
Cornish Rex Nutrition
Make sure to feed only the highest quality pet food for your Cornish cat. It has to meet your cat’s dietary requirements and it has to be appropriate of his or her age. Cornishes are prone to overeating, so it’s best to be disciplined and not share any more than what’s necessary. Provide enough space and activities so your pet can exercise regularly.
Coat Color and Grooming
A Cornishes’ coat can come in a variety of patterns and colors. Colors can range from lavender, chocolate, cream, red, blue, black and white, while the patterns can be any of the following- shaded, points, smoke, tabby, calico and tortoiseshell. Grooming is simply a matter of running your hands over your pet’s coat. For longer fur a fine-toothed comb or a soft bristle brush does the trick quite well. Clean and trim the eyes and nails, respectively.
Cornish Rex Grooming
Giving your cat a bath is just a matter of when he or she has white spots on his coat. Weekly nail trimming and ear cleaning are a must. Use a vet-approved toothpaste for everyday dental hygiene.
Children and Other Pets
Cornish Rex is a darling and will prove to be a perfect fit for any family. This active cat can keep each family member on his or her toes and make great entertainers for friends and guests. This breed doesn’t mind being held and touched as long as they’re treated with respect. Introduce to other animals slowly and you can be sure that this cat will mesh in well.