The Devon Rex is a pixie in every sense of the word. Featuring large eyes, wide ears and a playful personality, this breed never fails to make one curious. Furthermore, these cats have a wedge-shaped head that somehow fits all the elf-like attributes.
Devon Rexes are unique in that they have huge, expressive eyes atop pronounced cheekbones, a slender physique with long legs and a long body and an equally unusual fur style! The short, wavy coat looks curiously similar to desert dunes, further amplifying the mystical aura of this breed.
These cats are a result of natural mutation with a dominant gene for being silly most of the time. Think of a cross between a dog, a cat, a monkey and Dennis the Menace and you’ll get the picture. In a family, Devons are loyal and exhibit endearing dog-like qualities.
History of Devon Rex
Kirlee, a kitten in Devon, England made this all happen. Breeders thought that Kirlee was dominantly Cornish Rex in genetic makeup, but breeding programmes soon showed that Kirlee had a unique trait. Kirlee was named as such because the cat had a wavy coat.
Breeders thought that Devon Rex was a fitting breed name as it originated in Devonshire, and that the curious coat was similar to that of a rex rabbit. In 1968, the breed crossed American shore, and in 1979, the Cat Fanciers Association gave the peculiar cat full recognition.
Size of the Devon Rex
The breed belongs to the midsized category, with adults weighing in at 6 to 9 lbs. and the females weighing less. Though long, the physique is quite muscular and hard and complemented by elegant limbs.
Personality of the Devon Rex
Devons are quite affectionate and very sociable creatures. Furthermore, these cats love to speak with humans in various chirps, coos and trills along with the purrs and the meows. They can be active when they want to and are intelligent by nature. Devons are playful and they love to show off, whether it be acrobatics or just by clowning around. They love to join in on any fun and are always curious about what their owners and family members are doing.
The long limbs enable them to reach high places with little to no effort. Devons can be taught to play fetch or even play a few keys on the piano!
Devons shine when their owners are around and available to play with. Most of the time, these cats love mischief and are always bouncing around the house.
Devon Rex Kittens
Devon Rex kittens should only be introduced to new homes once they reach 14 to 16 weeks of age and when they have been properly socialized and fully vaccinated. At an early age the kittens will exhibit the infamous wavy fur that’s soft, fine and full-bodied. The fur should be thickest on the sides, the back, the face, legs, ears and tail, while being shorter around the belly, chest, neck and top of the head. Fur appearance can range from being suede-like to being wildly curly.
Coats also vary depending on their life stage. Kittens may molt as they grow, while adults can change their coat over the seasons.
When choosing a Devon Rex it’s best to visit a reputable breeder and getting to meet the cat’s parents. Ask the breeder for proof of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and patellar luxation testing, and a written health guarantee as well.
Devon Rex Health
Devon Rexes are healthy most of the time, but owners should keep an eye out for patellar luxation, hereditary myopathy and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Have your cat checked by a professional vet for HCM via an echogram. Patellar luxation symptoms include an uneven gait or when your cat starts to hop or limp unnaturally. Your vet can perform surgical correction if the kneecap pops out in a frequent manner.
Care of the Devon Rex
This cat breed shouldn’t be left alone in the house for long periods of time as they can become quite destructive when they get bored. Keep your Devon indoors as they don’t have much natural protection from the sun. Play with your pet by challenging him or her with puzzle toys and teaching tricks to keep him occupied. A scratching post or a cat tree should provide basic feline necessities.
Litter Box Training
Litter box training should begin the moment you set your cat down on the floor of your home. The good thing is that most kittens who come from reputable breeders are already trained to use the litter.
It’s essential to keep the litter clean all the time. Scoop out the waste when you see it and change the litter material everyday.
Devon Rex Nutrition
Devons have a reputation for being sneaky food thieves, and if you’re not careful your cat can swipe your food when you’re not looking!
They eat anything and everything, from fries, burgers, grapes and even olives or asparagus! Devon Rexes are always hungry and don’t mind second-hand food. Keep your Devon fed but watch out for your pet’s weight to ensure a happy, full life.
Coat Color and Grooming
Coat pattern and color can come in many varieties, including pointed, bi-color, tabby, smoke and shaded. Colors can be red, lavender, cinnamon, chocoloate, blue, black or solid white. Due to its unique fur, grooming your cat should be a gentle affair. Give your cat a wash once every 2 or 3 weeks or when they start building up an accumulation of skin oil.
Devons can exhibit any eye color, including, blue, aqua, amber, gold, yellow, orange or even sometimes the odd-eyed variety.
Devon Rex Grooming
Aside from the occasional bath, your cat needs regular grooming in the form of nail trims, ear check-ups and daily brushing of teeth. Use a cat-safe toothpaste and clean the ears using a cotton ball and a gentle cleanser.
Children and Other Pets
The Devon Rex is suited for large families and homes that are quite active most of the time. Their playful, outgoing nature makes them pet favorites. This breed can travel and make good therapy pets. You can get a Devon for companionship and for cuddling purposes. Moreover, this breed works generally well with other pets around the house, i.e., dogs, birds, or even other Devons.