Size: Small to medium
Coat Length: Short hair
Body Type: Slender
Appearance: The Devon Rex is a small to medium-sized cat with a muscular body. The adult males weigh from 3.5 to 4.5kg and females between 2.5 to 3.5kg. They have a distinctive “rexed” coat – short, soft and wavy, almost wire like. You can see a Devon Rex in any possible colour or colour combination. This furry creature has surprisingly large ears with rounded tips. The eyes are large and oval, and in various colours.
Grooming Requirement: Not a lot grooming needed
Activity Level: High
Affection: Very affectionate
Time Alone: 0 to 4 hours a day
Attention: Needs a lot of attention
Temperament: The Devon Rex is a smart and friendly cat and loves attention. They aren’t the most active, but they like to learn tricks and may surprise you. They enjoy puzzle and interactive toys. These are curious cats and one of those that don’t do well with long hours home alone, something to bear in mind if you plan to take a Devon kitten home.
Interesting Facts: The Devon Rex has an interesting nickname “The Poodle who purrs”. One of the reasons that people call the breed this is the cat’s tendency to wag its tails when happy. Pixie cat and Alien cat are other names that you may hear when people talk about the Rex.
Behaviour Toward Other Animals and Children: You’re unlikely to have any problems with the Devon Rex, but you always have to train and socialise new pets. This is a great family cat even if with small children, so long as they’re taught how to approach and handle cats. The Devon Rex is accepting of other pets in the home.
Common Health Problems: Some of the most common health issues are congenital hypotrichosis, hypertonic cardiomyopathy, malassezia dermatitis, hip dysplasia and urticaria pigmentosa. Devon Rex myopathy (spasticity) which is an inherited disease may also occur in some cases.
Lifespan: Average 9 to 15 years.
This breed is characterized by a short and delicate coat. Devon Rex are very muscular, agile and possess long, hind legs and pointed ears. The Devon Rex gene is inherited in such a way that it allows for a straight-coated cat and a Devon Rex curly-coated cat to create a selection of straight (variant) or curly-coated (rex) kittens.
The first Devon was discovered in 1960 by Beryl Cox in Buckfastleigh, Devon, UK, among a litter of kittens near a defunct tin mine. It was first suggested that the kitten shared the same genetic make up as the Cornish Rex, a breed born a decade earlier in nearby Cornwall. Test breeding, however, established that Kirlee the kitten was yet another unique result of natural genetic mutation.
The cat became the progenitor of a new breed, the Devon Rex, named after its birthplace of Devonshire. The name was also inspired by the breed’s curly coat, which had a texture similar to that of the Rex rabbit. When Kirlee was bred with one of the straight-coated cats, three kittens were born. Two of them had straight coats and the third – a curly one. Later, this offspring was also qualified as Devon Rex.
It was not until 1967, however, that the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF) recognized the Devon Rex cat as a separate breed. A year later, in 1968, one such cat emigrated to the United States. The Cat Fanciers’ Association gave the breed full recognition in 1979. The Rex Cat Club was founded in May 1964 by Madge Shrouder-May and Agnes Watts and the organization’s task is to ensure the future of the Rex breed.
- A Devon Rex kitten has to be raised on a variety of foods, raw chicken necks and chicken mince being some of the preferable choices.
- The cat will require three meals a day until the age of six months and two until the age of nine.
- The animal has to be provided with some form of calcium supplement until the age of nine months. Should one choose to keep the cat on a raw food diet, one should provide dried kitten food as it contains sufficient amounts of calcium and serves as a complete and balanced diet.
- Raw chicken necks are key in preventing tartar build-up on the animal’s teeth.
- Should dried food be used instead, one should provide only good quality biscuits.
- Raw Liver is an important diet component, however it should not be eaten more than twice a week.
Both pedigreed and mixed-breed cats are prone to several health implications that may be genetic in origin. The Devon Rex is not an exception to the rule. For example, they could develop an inherited muscle disease, called Devon Rex myopathy or spasticity. Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) has also been identified in the breed and patellar luxation appears to be more common in Devon Rex than in other breeds. They may also be predisposed to hip dysplasia.
The coats of these animals are easily maintained. While grooming, the owner should be careful not to damage the delicate hairs. To avoid such incidents, one is recommended brushing with one’s own hands as opposed to using a dedicated brush. In addition, these coats are largely unaffected by shedding, while the delicate nature of the fur will ensure that any stray hair will remain unnoticeable on clothing and furniture.
- The ears of a Devon Rex require regular inspection as they are vulnerable to severe infections.
- Their teeth should be periodically checked and brushed with a special wipe to prevent teeth and gum diseases from occurring.
- Bathing is rarely necessary, unless the cat has a white or predominantly white coat.
- The litter box should be maintained spotlessly clean. Devon Rex, similar to other cat breeds, have particular requirements when it comes to bathroom hygiene.
- Should an eye discharge be observed, the owner should gently swab the substance from the kitten’s nose with an outward motion.
Playing activities are of significant importance for kittens. As a result, these animals should always be presented with new objects to play with. The active and social Devon Rex is a suitable choice for families with children and cat-friendly dogs. The cat is able to play fetch, learn new tricks and appreciate the attention of well-mannered children. New pets should always be introduced at a slow and steady pace in order for the animal to grow accustomed to the newcomers.