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The Selkirk Rex Longhair is a truly unique breed. This easy-going long-haired cat has a distinct curly coat and gentle demeanour, making them an extremely cuddly companion. They originated in the USA in 1987, and their ancestors include American Shorthairs, Persians, Himalayans, Exotic Shorthairs, and British Shorthairs.
Like all curly-haired cats, the Selkirk Rex Longhair is rare but highly sought after. It's not just their adorable woolly coat that intrigues cat lovers but also their intelligent, curious, and animated personality.
Meet the Selkirk Rex Longhair
The Selkirk Rex Longhair is a medium to large cat with a heavy-boned and muscular structure underneath its thick, plush coat. They typically weigh between 10 and 15 pounds and can live for up to 15 years. Their legs are noticeably stocky and slightly shorter than average.
Selkirk Rexes have large heads with large, round eyes that give a gentle expression. Their curly hair is due to an autosomal gene abnormality called ADWH. This results in curled hair shafts all over their body, with more on the undersides and neck. Plus, some also have curly whiskers!
Most Selkirk Rexes are born with loose, flowing ringlets, but some kittens will have straight hair. During adolescence, their fur may temporarily straighten before thickening and curling as they get older. However, the long-haired Selkirk Rex generally has looser ringlets than the short-haired variant.
Despite their sheep-like coat, the Selkirk Rexes shedding and grooming levels are not higher than average. Combing them two or three times a week is generally enough to release any tangles, and baths are rarely needed. The Selkirk Rex Longhair can come in a wide range of colours and patterns. Pointed and bicolour Selkirk Rexes are common, as are cinnamon, silver and chocolate colours.
The temperament of a Selkirk Rex Longhair
The Selkirk Rex's personality will depend on the breeds used in its development. However, they are generally laid-back and reserved like the British Shorthair, cuddly and affectionate like the Persian, and curious and playful like the Exotic Shorthair. Therefore, they have an ideal balance between placidness and activeness, making them pleasant pets to have.
Most Selkirk Rex owners will describe these felines as sweet and endearing but a little bit goofy. Their playful nature means they may play with their toys in a silly but funny way. They don't have super high energy levels, though, so they will usually come to snuggle with you on the sofa once they tire out. As well as being physically affectionate, they will communicate with you through their soft, gentle meows and chirps.
While they are not super needy, Selkirk Rexes need social interaction and can get bored when their owners are away. So, make sure they have plenty of toys and a couple of good cat trees around.
Selkirk Rexes are intelligent and curious cats that can sense the emotions of their owners. Therefore, they will comfort you when you feel upset and calm you down (from a distance) when you are angry. Whether they are clowning around, cuddling your foot, or chatting to you about their day, your Selkirk Rex will always make you smile!
10 reasons to add a Selkirk Rex Longhair to your family
- They are unique - Selkirk Rex Longhairs have the nickname "cat in sheep's clothing" because their curly fur and whiskers are so unusual.
- They are soft and cuddly - A Selkirk Rex feels as smooth as they look. Plus, because they have such a cuddly nature, they make a real-life teddy bear.
- They're easy to groom - Many people assume their plush coats need regular grooming. However, in reality, you'll only need to comb them a couple of times a week.
- They're patient and gentle - Thanks to their ancestors being British Shorthairs and Persians, Selkirk Rex Longhairs naturally have a very mild temperament. This makes them a fantastic family pet for young children to grow up around.
- They are mini clowns - They can be pretty goofy when they play, which is always amusing. So if you've had a bad day, watch your Selkirk Rex playing contently with their toys and feel your worries melt away.
- Their fur changes as they grow - Having a Selkrir Rex from an early age is a beautiful experience as you'll see how their coats change throughout the first two years. While they may be born with gorgeous curls, many lose them around six months of age, and they will temporarily have straight hair until full maturity.
- They are intelligent - With so many remarkable personality traits, you may not realise how clever a Selkirk Rex is at first. Many have figured out how to open cupboards to get to their food, so you might need to get some child proof locks!
- They are confident around strangers - Selkirk Rex cats do not get stressed or anxious around new people. They will instead lap up the extra attention like a dog.
- They have a cute voice - Selkirk Rex cats like to chat with their owners, so they are not mute by any means. But, they have a very gentle, soft-sounding meow that is pleasant to listen to rather than annoying.
- They come in a variety of colours - A Selkirk Rex Longhair can be one of many different colours and patterns, including the sought after pointed style.
Best homes for a Selkirk Rex Longhair
Selkirk Rex Longhair cats are sociable and friendly towards everyone. They are comfortable around guests, of which they usually become the centre of attention because of their unique looks. Luckily though, they adore this extra recognition and welcome it. They do well in most homes but will thrive with owners who have plenty of time for them.
Selkirk Rex cats have a very gentle nature, which makes them a lovely pet for children. They enjoy receiving attention from kids and demonstrate a lot of patience and tolerance towards them. They generally get on well with other pets too, but of course, be sure to introduce them slowly.