Selkirk Rex

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Is the Selkirk Rex right for you?

The basics:
The Selkirk Rex may look like he got left out in the rain and needs a good brushing, but this naturally curly coat has a tussled look no matter what you do. Some would describe this cat as having a perpetual bad hair day, but Selkirk Rex enthusiasts will tell you the somewhat scruffy façade is part of their charm. Sweet, social, and highly tolerant of all the remarks about their hair, the Selkirk Rex is an easy fit to most families.

If you’re wondering just how the Selkirk ended up with such a fabulous mop, their story begins rather recently, in 1987. A feral cat in Montana had a litter of kittens, and of those 5, one had hair that just couldn’t be tamed. The mother had slightly unusual hair, kinked just at the end, but her unusual kitten had curly whiskers and Brillo-pad hair. The kitten was sold to a Persian breeder, who decided to see what she could do with the new breed.

Unlike other Rex breeds, the Selkirk offers no benefits to those with allergies. They’ll need brushed a couple of times a week, but take care not to stretch out their curls!

Appearance / health:
The Selkirk Rex is a medium sized cat with heavy boning and a semi-cobby build. Their legs are somewhat stocky with large, round feet. The tail is thick, tapering to a rounded tip. The Selkirk Rex’s neck is short and thick. The head is rounded with full cheeks, a short, squared muzzle and curly whiskers. They have large, round eyes that can come in all variety of colors. The ears are broad-set, medium in size, and pointed.

The Selkirk Rex’s unusual coat may come in medium or semi-long lengths. The curls are the coat’s dominant feature, especially prominent on the neck and tail. The shorter coat has a thick undercoat and a soft, plush texture. The longer coat has loose, individual curls. Both the long and short coat may have a tussled, unkempt look. Whiskers and eyebrows are curly. They may come in all varieties of colors and patterns.

The Selkirk Rex is largely a healthy breed. Curly fur inside the ear can cause excess wax production, and some Selkirk’s may have greasier coats that require frequent bathing. Any other health problems the Selkirk Rex may be prone to are usually the result of breed outcrossing, such as Polycystic Kidney Disease from Persians, and Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy from British Shorthairs. Responsible breeders will screen their breeding cats for the genetic markers for these diseases.

Behavior / temperament:
The Selkirk Rex is a social, affectionate, and very tolerant cat. He may not be clingy, but he doesn’t like being left alone and he’ll spend his days following you from room to room. The Selkirk attracts a lot of attention because of the unusual coat, but fortunately this patient cat can usually weather the storm of curious strangers. He’s playful but not overly active, taking his cue from the placid temperaments of the Persian and British Shorthair of his lineage. They get along well with children and other pets.

The Selkirk Rex is a smart cat often described as silly or clownish. They love to play games, and are good at manipulating puzzle toys. They’re also good at manipulating drawers and cupboards, so keep the treats well secured! They can be somewhat chatty, but their voice is quiet and sweet.


affectionate cat, Incredible Disposition, lovely Selkirk Rex

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