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The Selkirk Rex Shorthair is a one-of-a-kind breed, famed for its plush, curly fur and affectionate nature. They originated in the USA in the late 80s but are still extremely rare in the rest of the world.
Their fur may be shorter than their long-haired siblings, but they still have that adorable sheep-like appearance and smooth feel. What’s more, with their friendly, loving nature, they make the ideal lap-cat, teddy bear, and lifelong companion.
Meet the Selkirk Rex Shorthair
The Selkirk Rex Shorthair is a medium to large cat with a solid build, similar to their ancestor, the British Shorthair. As their fur is relatively short, you can see their rectangular shape and muscular form. Their stocky legs stand on large, round paws and have a thick, fluffy tail. Once fully grown, they will be between 10 and 15 pounds.
Their heads are very round, as are their eyes, which can be any colour. Their ears are medium size and set fairly wide apart. However, the most unique facial feature of a Selkirk Rex Shorthair is their curly whiskers. These are caused by the same gene abnormality that causes their hair to form tight curls.
Selkirk Rex Shorthairs can be any colour or pattern. Their short, double coat is thick but feels soft and subtle. Shorthaired Selkirk Rexes tend to have tighter curls than the long-haired variants, which have looser ringlets. What’s more, the tail and neck often appear curlier than the rest of the body.
Interestingly, the curliness of their coat can change over time. Like humans, the climate affects the frizziness of it, and so does their age. They will be born with loose waves, but as teenagers, their fur becomes straighter before re-curling as an adult. Surpingsly, their coat requires very little grooming. It’s best to comb it rather than brushing it, and once or twice a week is sufficient.
The temperament of a Selkirk Rex Shorthair
Various breeds are used to create the Selkirk Rex Shorthair, such as American Shorthairs, Persians, Himalayans, Exotic Shorthairs, and British Shorthairs. Each Selkirk’s exact temperament will depend on who their ancestors are. In general, though, they are known to be a very loving and affectionate breed.
They love to cuddle and play with their owners and are laid-back enough to make fantastic lapcats. Many will play in a very quirky way, especially when chasing their toys around. They are super curious and love to climb to explore every part of the house.
These good-natured kitties are so easy to get along with, and they get on with everyone, too. However, they need plenty of social interaction, so be prepared to have a fluffy follower during the day and snuggle buddy in the evening.
The Selkirk Rex is also a very intelligent cat, especially in an emotional sense. Their bonds with their owners can be so deep that they are in tune with their emotions and know when they feel sad or stressed.
10 reasons to add a Selkirk Rex Shorthair to your family
- They look like sheep - While a sheep may not make a suitable domestic pet, a Selkirk Rex is undoubtedly the next best thing if you find sheep adorable.
- You don’t need to groom them much - The Selkirk Rex’s curly hair is not a handful. All you need to do is comb it once or twice a week.
- They will offer you emotional support - A Selkirk Rex will sense your emotions and be by your side to comfort you whenever you are down.
- They come in an assortment of colours and patterns - Their fur is not only fluffy and curly, but it can be any colour or pattern. So, whether you love colour-point cats or tabbies, you’ll find a Selkirk in your favourite shade.
- They will make you laugh - Selkirk Rexes are known for their clown-like personality and quirkiness. You’ll witness this when you play with them or even just from observing them play on their own.
- Their fur is constantly changing - A Selkirk Rex’s fur changes throughout their life. It is affected by their age and other factors like climate and hormones. So, like humans, sometimes their hair will be extra curly, and they can have bad hair days too!
- They have curly whiskers - Their faces give a gentle and kind expression, but the best facial feature of a Selkirk Rex is their unique wavy whiskers.
- They are confident - A Selkirk Rex is bold enough to adapt well to new people and changes to their environment.
- They adore human attention - They are also incredibly social and love meeting new people. Therefore, your Selkirk Rex will undoubtedly be the main attraction at any dinner party.
- They are chatty, but in a cute way - Selkirk Rex owners often comment on the pleasant-sounding chirps and trills of their feline. They don’t tend to use the traditional meow much but will talk to you in their soft-sounding voice instead.
Best homes for a Selkirk Rex Shorthair
Being social butterflies, the best home for a Selkirk Rex is one where they get regular attention. They make great pets for young families as they do so well around children. In fact, these kitties are known to become lifelong friends with kids, thanks to their patience and tolerance.
Alternatively, a Selkirk Rex would do well with seniors who are retired and are at home often. While they are playful, they don’t have extremely high energy levels, so they are not too much to handle.
If you and all household members work during the day, having a furry friend for your kitty is advisable. Another cat or even a dog can meet the social needs of a Selkirk Rex, and they quickly accept other animals in the home, too.