The calm and gentle Selkirk Rex can bring a smile to everyone’s face and warmth to their heart. Aside from their soft, curly fur and appearance similar to a cuddly stuffed toy, this unique cat breed is laidback, easy-going and relaxed, perfect for everyone who wants an affectionate feline companion. One of the rexed cat breeds, they are oftentimes called the cat in sheep’s clothing.
These medium-sized, plush-coated cats have solid bodies and boning. They have tousled shamble to their lush coats, making them appear like they are having a bad hair day. But this trait makes them adored by many cat lovers and enthusiasts worldwide. Because of their structure, they can quickly fill your arms for a quick cuddle.
The Longhaired Selkirk Rex have a tousled look comparable to a woolly sheep, while their shorthaired counterpart has a thick, plush curl like those of a teddy bear’s. So, if you are looking for a feline companion you can cuddle with while relaxing on your sofa or a playmate for your kids, Selkirk Rex makes an excellent family pet.
- Grooming: Twice a Week 6/10
- Shedding: Medium 6/10
- Hypoallergenic: Low 2/10
- Activity Level: Medium 6/10
- 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: Medium 6/10
- Independence: High 10/10
In 1987, a feral blue tortie and a white cat in Montana had an odd-looking kitten in their litter of five. When they were nine weeks old, a Persian cat breeder named Jeri Newman took the kitten and named her Miss DePesto – because she’s always pestering him for attention.
Mr. Newman discovered that Miss DePesto’s mother had hair that wasn’t wholly. The mother has a small kink at the end. With his observation, Miss DePesto had curly whiskers, brillo hair in her ears and a coat that is similar to a body wave. Her eyes were slanted, had a fine muzzle with a strong whisker break, a wide flat spot between her ears and eye-catching cheekbones. Like the Cornish Rex, Miss DePesto’s body was heavy; it was well-boned and had long legs.
With Miss DePesto’s littermates, Mr. Newman noticed that all had normal coats. He also observed that there are no curly cats in the area where Miss DePesto was born. This made him believe that Miss DePesto may be the foundation of a new mutant rex gene. So, he decided to breed Miss DePesto when she was fourteen months old to his black Persian male. On July 14, Miss DePesto has a litter of six kittens, of which three of them are curly. This outcome proved that this new mutant gene is dominant; unlike that of the Devon Rex and Cornish Rex, Miss DePesto carried the longhaired variety.
In order to preserve the genetic diversity and give the breed a more pleasing appearance, cat breeders outcrossed them not only to Persian but also to American Shorthair, British Shorthair and Exotic cats.
The International Cat Association accepted the Selkirk Rex in 1990 into the New Breed program and, in February 1994, recognised it for championship competition. At the same time, the American Cat Fanciers Association recognised the cats and by the Cat Fanciers Association in 2000, even though the CFA began registering the cats in 1992.
The longhaired Selkirk Rex has a dense, lush curl and has an even more dishevelled appearance that resembles a woolly sheep. Both the shorthaired and longhaired comes in a wide array of colours. This cat breed boasts a medium-sized body with a strong, heavy boning that gives them a substantial feel. However, Selkirk Rex takes time to grow to their full maturity. Their head is rounded with large, round, expressive eyes. Their muscular body appears rectangular, which, when carried, feels firm under their soft, curly coat.
It is notable that those Selkirk Rex who has the best coats are the mature altered male cats and spayed female cats. Their curls are most visible on their flanks, undersides and neck. Their dense, plush coat is very soft and falls in loose curls, which makes them so irresistible to carry and cuddle.
Because of their parent breeds, Selkirk Rex has a personality that a lot of cat owners truly enjoy. They are affectionate, patient and tolerant. It reflects the cat breeds’ nature used to develop and create the Selkirk Rex breed. The Persian cats added their lovable nature; the Exotic Shorthair cats brought a playfulness to the package, while the British Shorthair cats added the relaxed personality.
Selkirk Rex, fortunately, is a patient cat breed. They accept being touched by strangers with excellent tolerance. They love human affection and attention; that’s why it is okay for them to be picked up and hugged by their owners.
This loving cat breed is known to be playful and loves to snuggle with their human companion. They are not as active as the other cat breeds; thus, they will not wear you out or annoy you with their neediness. Selkirk Rex are not needy or demanding your attention, but they will readily welcome anyone who wants to touch them and hug them. They are very sweet and attentive to the family. Due to this demeanour, they get along well with children and the elderly.
While you will frequently see a Selkirk Rex resting and relaxing, these cats are also smart. You can expect them to learn how to open cupboards, doors, or cabinets in search of treats or toys. It is recommended to challenge their cleverness by engaging them in learning new tricks, teaching them how to play a game of fetch or follow commands. Provide interactive toys to keep them busy.
Their affectionate nature makes them enjoy being a lap cat and will giddily “talk” to you in their soft, quiet voice to communicate with you. Don’t worry if you need to leave them alone for some time; they can entertain themselves for long periods of time.
This playful cat breed is also known to be adaptable in any environment. Selkirk Rex can thrive whether they are living in a one-bedroom apartment or to a palatial house, living as a single pet or part of a bigger pack. The only requirement they need is your love and attention. Because of this, they make an excellent pet for the elderly and families with children.
Like other breeds, Selkirk Rex love climbing a cat tower. They also love a window seat where they can watch the world go by. In addition, they love having many toys such as felt mice, plastic balls, laser pointers, interactive games, and feather teasers.
Early socialisation is the most important thing to consider with a Selkirk Rex. Because of the attention they are getting due to their very soft and curly coat, they need to get used to it without affecting their good nature. That’s why it is important to prepare your cat for this kind of environment to keep them safe and happy. Good thing, being relaxed and calm is natural for this cat breed. But still, it is recommended to support your cat in building positive connections with different scenarios and people to prevent unpleasant encounters and stress.
Selkirk Rex has a lot of playful energy, and they will jump at any opportunity to interact with their human companions. Take advantage of this by teaching them basic commands and tricks. You can teach them to walk on a leash or play a game of fetch. Like other cat breeds, it is best to follow your cat’s lead. Try using their favourite treats and toys during training session to keep their attention. The key is consistency. Your Selkirk Rex may look comical at times, but they are intelligent. That’s why mental stimulation is important with this cat breed.
With appropriate training and socialisation at an early age, Selkirk Rex will blossom into being a well-mannered and well-rounded feline companion ideal for families, children, the elderly and other pets in the household.
Coat & Care
Even with their luxurious, long, thick coat, this adorable cat breed needs only a little grooming. A weekly combing is sufficient to keep their silky waves healthy and unfrizzy. But take note not to use a brush and not over-comb their delicate coat as it could lead to frizzies.
In terms of bathing your Selkirk Rex, thick shampoo that doesn’t rinse well must not be used because it will make their fur fall flat. Regular combing will keep your feline’s fur from piling up everywhere in your house since Selkirk Rex does shed moderately. They shed more during the summer season, so do take note of it.
As mentioned, never a used brush in grooming your Selkirk Rex’s fur. Start using a comb that will gently comb their soft curly fur at an early age. If they behave well after every grooming session, reward your Selkirk Rex with small treats and kibbles to encourage them to have this grooming routine. As they grow into adulthood and get used to having their curly coat getting combed, you can advance your tools to a more age-appropriate comb for their coat needs.
Brushing their teeth every day is still the best; but, weekly brushing works well to help prevent tooth and gum diseases. To keep their nails clean, trim them twice a month or when needed. For their eyes, keep them clean and healthy by wiping the corners of their eyes with a clean, soft, damp cloth to remove any dirt or discharge. Make sure to use a different part of the clean cloth to prevent any infection.
For their ears, remove dirt, debris and wax weekly to ensure it won’t develop any infection. You can use a clean cotton ball or a soft, damp cloth and a vet-approved ear cleanser to clean their ears. You can ask your vet for tips on how to care for their ears properly. If there is a foul odour, go to your vet for immediate care and treatment.
Like many other breeds, these cats are very particular about their bathroom hygiene. That’s why it is essential to keep their litter boxes clean all the times. A clean litter box will also help keep their curly fur clean with any dirt or debris from the litter box. Lastly, they tend to develop a behaviour of using other areas in the house to do their business when it is always left unclean.
Selkirk Rex is generally a healthy breed. But it is suggested that their vaccinations and parasite treatments are up-to-date, and regular vet appointments are scheduled recurrently.
Children & Other Pets
Because of their peaceful, laidback, gentle, and loving nature, Selkirk Rex is perfect for families with children and the elderly. They are excellent for children as they are very playful and can diligently play fetch and follow commands. But as always, supervise any interaction and playdates with your Selkirk Rex and a child to prevent any accidents that may happen and the possibility of hurting the cat by pulling their fur or twisting their tail. Moreover, they can be lap cats for the elderly and can be delightful feline companion all day.
Selkirk Rex are known to do well as a single pet or part of a pack. They can thrive pleasantly with cat-friendly dogs, other cats, and other pets in the same household. Just be cautious in letting them meet for the first time. So, it is best to gradually introduce them in controlled environments to ensure that they will go well.