Devon Rex, best known as the Pixie of the Cat Fancy, are charmingly silly in both look and antics. This cat breed is interested in everyone and everything around them. Their playful demeanour means Devon Rex simply learn tricks and are always up for a game of fetch, hide-and-seek, or tag.
This unique cat breed holds loyal, human-loving, dog-like characters. Their human companion must be prepared to be owned by a Devon Rex. This cat will eat and sleep with you. They may even perch comfortably on your shoulder while reading or while you are on the computer. They will follow you around the house from room to room, sit at your feet, or jump on your lap as you relax on the couch. A Devon Rex will accompany you on your household chores, happily cooing, trilling, and chirping. Children and Devon Rex are naturals as best pals and tireless buddies.
Family members will often find a Devon Rex cradled in their arms or nestled in their laps. Also, you should not be surprised to see a Devon Rex cat tucked in bed with you or another family member cuddled underneath the sheets or comfortably settled onto a pillow. Devon Rex remain kittens at heart until they grow old, and their affectionate nature associates them deeply with every family member. The amicable nature of the Devon Rex makes them unsuitable to spending long periods without human companionship.
- Grooming: Once a Week 2/10
- Shedding: Low 2/10
- Hypoallergenic: Low 2/10
- Activity Level: High 10/10
- Playfulness: High 10/10
- Friendliness to other pets: High 10/10
- Friendliness to children: High 10/10
- Affection towards it’s owners: High 10/10
- Vocality: Low 2/10
- Intelligence: High 10/10
- Independence: Low 2/10
The Devon Rex's ancestral home is Buckfastleigh, Devon, England, where a feral cat with a curly coat lived in an abandoned tin mine. A tortie and white stray cat adopted by Miss Beryl Cox had a litter of kittens sired by the feral tom in 1960. One of their kittens was a brownish-black male with a coat just like his dad. Miss Beryl kept this particular kitten and named him Kirlee. Aware of Kallibunker, who is the first Cornish Rex, and the efforts to preserve that new gene, she wrote to Mr. Brian Sterling-Webb, thinking her cat, Kirlee, could contribute to that breeding program. It turned out that the gene producing Kirlee's curly coat was distinct from the one producing Kallibunker's marcelled waves.
There were several differences in the coat between Kirlee and the Cornish Rex Kalli. While Kalli had whiskers that were curled and bent, Devon Rex's gene resulted in stubby or missing whiskers. Kirlee had tight curls but not as uniform as those of the Cornish Rex, giving them a windblown look. Moreover, Devon Rex cats have huge, low-set ears giving their head a pixie-like appearance emphasized by their large, curious eyes and short nose.
Cat breeders began developing a program to preserve the gene discovered in Devon as well. The gene discovered in Cornwall was designated Gene 1, while the one discovered in Devon Gene 2. Brian Sterling-Webb now worked to preserve this gene as well, along with Mrs. Madge Shrouder and Mrs. Agnes Watts. All Devon Rex cats trace their ancestry back to the cat Kirlee who was unfortunately killed in a car accident in 1970.
Devon Rex cats are small to a medium-sized cat that maintain the appearance of Kirlee, the foundation of Devon Rex cat. They have a sturdy and muscular body, with their hind legs longer than their forelegs. They also have a modified wedge-shaped head with large, curious eyes, a short muzzle, broad cheekbones, and a strong chin. Their large ears are low set. Their compact, supple body is covered with curls and loose waves.
Devon Rex cats are well-muscled, weighing on average from 2.27 – 4.08 kilograms, with males being heavier than their female counterpart. Their short, soft, curly coats differ from cat to cat. The standard show coat is an even, full coat of loose curls, and for individual cats, coats ranging from thin suede-like coat to a tousled mop of curls. Some Devon Rex cats may have virtually bare patches as well. Their coats often differ over the life of the cat, and when shedding, their coat will frequently break off, so no curl is visible until the new coat grows back. Devon Rex kittens often go through this stage. Their eyebrows and whiskers are also crinkled and short like the coat.
One of the surprising things when you pick up a Devon Rex cat is how warm they are to touch. They feel like soft hot water bottles, which make them ideal for cuddling up to in winter. While Devon Rex cats have the same body temperature as the other cats, their unique coat does not provide as much insulation as other cats’ coat do. So, they feel warmer. They also love heat, and you will find them basking in the windows or looking for other warm places, like the top of the television.
Opposing popular opinion, Devon Rex does shed just like all other cat breeds, but the structure of their coat makes the shedding less prominent compared to other breeds. For some reason, there is a notion that this cat breed is hypo-allergenic. But they do produce allergens like other cat breeds. Some people who are allergic to cats are able to endure Devons, but others are not, probably because it depends on their personal allergies. If you happen to be allergic to cats and are considering having a Devon Rex, it is best to make arrangements to spend some time in the company of a Devon Rex first before acquiring one.
Devon Rex is smart, playful and energetic. They are very spirited and want to participate in everything. They are also powerful jumpers, so no spot goes unexplored to this cat. Expect a Devon Rex perching on top of doors or climbing to unexplored areas. Devon Rex are very people-oriented. They will perch on your shoulder while you cook supper, curl in your lap while you relax and watch a television show or snuggle under the sheets to sleep with you at night.
Devon Rex are not particularly talkative, but they do chirp when they feel like they need you to check on something that has captured their interest. These active cats work great in a busy household as they thrive on companionship. But because of this nature, they should not be left alone for long hours as they can become mischievous if bored. This exceptional cat breed is intensely loyal, affectionate, and have dog-like qualities. If you plan to own one, you must be prepared to lose your privacy. This loving cat with eat with you, read the newspaper with you and sleep with you. They will follow you around the house and will accompany you and “help” you with your household chores.
Devon Rex can be found, if not playing, cradled in their human companion’s lap or arms. They love being tucked in bed with you, using even your covers and pillows for their comfort. This cat breed remains kittens even in adulthood. Because of their deep affection and connection with their families, it is not ideal to leave Devon Rex alone for long periods without a companion. Whether a two-legged or four-legged companion, they do well with people, other cats, cat-friendly dogs, and even birds, rabbits or ferrets. Watch out, though; Devon Rex are food hounds. Be prepared to guard your plate against the swift and smart Devon Rex as they will find ways to get your food. They have a good appetite and would never turn down a meal and would be happy to help you with yours.
Devon Rex is a very trainable cat. They are eager to learn and quite intelligent. Whether it is obeying commands, puzzle game, or learning new tricks, this fun-loving cat breed will be engaged and attentive. Challenge their smart minds and keep them attentive. Give them many puzzles and interactive toys that they can play with alternately.
These social and good-natured cats are gregarious and affectionate cats and will do everything for human attention and interaction. When this cat breed is properly socialized and trained at an early stage, they will blossom into a well-rounded and well-mannered feline companion.
Their wavy coat is easy to care for and maintain. Groom them softly, so you do not break their delicate hairs. In many cases, brushing your hand all over their coat is all they need. The best thing about their coat is that it does not shed that much, and their fur is so fine that it is not very visible on clothing and furniture.
While Devon Rex needs little grooming, you can still train them to be brushed to keep their coats healthy and in a tip-top condition. Start by using a very soft brush so it won’t pull or break their delicate fur and their skin. Encourage them every grooming session by giving them small treats if they behaved well. You can upgrade your brush into a more suitable one for their coat needs.
Ideally, brushing their teeth daily is best; however, weekly brushing works well too to help prevent tooth and gum diseases. For their nails, trim them twice a month or when needed. To keep their eyes clean and healthy, wipe the corners weekly with a clean, soft, damp cloth to remove any dirt or discharge. Make sure to use a different part of the clean cloth for each eye to avoid any infection.
Eliminate dirt, debris and wax every week to ensure their ears won’t develop any infection. Use a clean cotton ball or soft, damp cloth and a vet-approved ear cleanser to clean their ears. If you notice a foul odour, immediately contact your vet for care and treatment.
Like many other cat breeds, Devon Rex are very particular about their bathroom hygiene. So, make sure to keep their litter boxes clean. This is also to help keep their coat or fur clean of dirt and debris from a dirty litter box. Moreover, if it is left unclean, they tend to use other places in the house.
Devon Rex are generally a healthy cat breed. Their life expectancy is between fifteen to eighteen years with proper care, provided with a high-quality and age-appropriate diet and exercise. However, the following health conditions have been seen in the cat breed:
- Congenital hypotrichosis – also known as hereditary baldness. It is a health condition that is possibly the result of a genetic recessive gene.
- Devon Rex myopathy – is also known as spasticity. It is a hereditary condition that becomes apparent between three weeks and six months of age. It causes muscle weakness.
- Hip dysplasia – is a malformation of their hip socket that causes laxity of the hip joint.
- Malassezia dermatitis – is a single-celled yeast that causes greasy skin, ear infections, and itchiness. It can be treated with antifungal drugs.
- Urticaria pigmentosa – is a dermatological issue that causes crusty sores on their body. It can be treated with prednisolone and essential fatty acids.
Due to their intelligence, playfulness and affectionate nature, Devon Rex are excellent for families with children and other pets. This cat breed and your child can be best pals as they can tirelessly play all day. Just make sure to supervise younger kids to avoid any accidents and won’t hurt the cat by pulling their fur or twisting their tail.
These cats are wonderful to live with other cats, especially their kind and cat-friendly dogs in the same household. But make sure to introduce pets slowly and in controlled environments to make sure they learn to get along well together.