Selkirk Rex

Selkirk Rex.

The Selkirk Rex is one of the newest breeds to come out of the purebred fancy. When fully grown, Selkirks exhibit a unique, thick and soft coat that’s similar to that of wool. The peculiar coat is often described as someone having a bad hair day as it’s in perpetual disarray. Selkirks are humorously called felines in sheep’s clothing as they have equally curly whiskers as their curiously curled fur!

More than that, the Selkirk has proved itself to be a congenial companion for cat lovers around the world. The teddy bear-like appearance perfectly complements this breed’s gentle traits. Those who are looking for a cat they can cuddle will find plenty to love in the Selkirk Rex.

History of the Selkirk Rex

The baffling curly coat is a natural occurrence that came from a housecat by the name of Miss DePesto of Noface, located in a Montana shelter in 1987. It was later found that the feline had a new rex gene, and the task of breeding was left to Jeri Newman and her black persian named Photo Finish of Deekay.

Miss DePesto gave birth to 3 curly-haired cats out of a litter of 6, which proved that the Selkirk gene was dominant. Moreover, gene dominance gave the assurance that the same appearance could easily be replicated along with the straight-haired variety.

In 1990, the Selkirk was introduced as a formal breed into the International Cat Association and fully recognized in 1994, along with other major cat fanciers and registries.

Size of the Selkirk Rex

Selkirks belong in the mid to large cat type and have a surprising amount of heft. The males can range from 6 to 16 lbs. with the females weighing less. The body is stocky and muscular with heavy bones while the eyes and the head are wide and round.

Personality of the Selkirk Rex

There are 3 Rex breeds in the cat kingdom, and while all of them have the characteristic wave, the Selkirk sets itself apart due to its unique personality. The Selkirk has the same personality as its parent breeds, the British and the American Shorthair. The gentle, laid-back nature is coupled with the playfulness and the cuddly traits of its Exotic and Persian ancestry.

The breed is smart and can learn how to open drawers and doors in search of a toy or a tasty treat. Sometimes owners will see their Selkirks clowning around and playing with whatever’s on hand. They can also speak or hold conversations with people in a quiet tone.

Selkirks won’t go out of their way to demand your attention. They do love to cuddle and are outgoing to the point that they allow visitors and guests to touch their unusual, fluffy coat.

Selkirk Rex Kittens

selkirk rexYou’ll be able to spot the Selkirk breed by its curly whiskers as soon as they’re born. The whiskers are quite brittle and break easily as it grows. The characteristic hair and whiskers stay curly all throughout their lives. The Selkirk will have the unique gene even if their coats and whiskers get less curly over time.


Selkirk kittens should be made available only when they reach 12 to 16 weeks. If you’re interested in having a Selkirk, it’s always wise to go with a breeder who’s raising the litter and the parents in their own homes. Visit the house and meet the kitten’s parents to get a feel for their temperament.

Ask the breeder what steps they’ve done to ensure their litter is as healthy as could be. Don’t forget to inquire about common illnesses that have appeared within the cat’s lineage.

Selkirk Rex Health

The breed isn’t prone to any disease or health problems, and they can live for as long as 13 years or more. Keep an eye out for the common cat issues such as hip dysplasia, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and polycystic kidney disease.

Care of the Selkirk Rex

selkirk rexSelkirks do well for themselves on short periods of time, but they’ll need care and attention sooner or later. Cat owners should invest in puzzles that challenge their pet’s minds and toys that will hold their attention for long periods of time. Devices that reward with tasty treats when properly manipulated is a good example.

Keep your cat indoors to prevent acquiring diseases from other cats and away from environmental dangers. Provide cat trees and an adequate scratching post for their natural feline instincts.

Litter Box Training

Selkirks are particular when it comes to hygiene, so cat owners should do the same. Prepare the right-sized litter box at a quiet area in your home as soon as possible. Scoop out the waste on a daily basis and make sure you change the litter everyday.

Selkirk Rex Nutrition

Get a combination of dry and wet food that will meet your cat’s dietary requirements appropriate to their age. Keep an eye on your cat’s weight in order to prevent complications as they get older.

Coat Lengths and Grooming

The Selkirk’s thick, wavy coat grows to be like lambswool upon reaching maturity. There are 2 coat length varieties- short and long. Brushing should be done on a weekly basis. Make sure to remove the dead hairs and take care of the tangles or matted areas. Buy a vet-approved shampoo that leaves the curly coat feeling silky and clean.

Coat and Eye Colors

The Selkirk comes in a variety of colors, including lavender, chocolate, cream, red and black. The eyes can assume any color.

Selkirk Rex Grooming

Your Selkirk will require basic grooming in the form of nail trims and brushing. Use a cat-friendly toothpaste and check the ears for wax buildup.

Children and Other Pets

The Selkirk Rex will prove to be a wonderful addition to your family. Gentle, affectionate and sociable, this cat mixes well with family members and children. This breed can be put in the same room as a cat-friendly dog and won’t cause much trouble for other cats. Prepare a separate feeding bowl and a separate litter box for when a new pet comes into your home.

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