Selkirk Rex – a cat resembling a lamb 🙂
The creator of the breed – Jeri Newman – named it in honor of her stepfather. Therefore, she created a unique breed in terms of the name – it comes from a human name. However, this is not the only reason why the breed stands out from the rest. Let’s find out what other features make the Selkirk Rex deserve the status of a separate breed.
The breed is not recognized by the FIFe. However, it is accepted by other felinological federations: ICA, ACF and CFA.
We distinguish two types:
- Selkirk Rex Shorthair
- Selkirk Rex Longhair
History of the breed
The breed comes from the American state of Montana. The first known representative of her was born in 1987. The kitten was one of six young born in a shelter for homeless animals. Its siblings were covered with ordinary short hair. The characteristic fur of the “misfit” did not escape the attention of the local breeder of Persian cats, Jeri Newman, who adopted the cat. Newman named her Miss DePesto and crossed her with a black Persian cat. Of the six kittens that the cat gave birth to, three were covered with curly hair.
The Selkirk Rex is a large, muscular cat with heavy bones. The head is round, the ears are medium-sized and protruding. The eyes are large and round – they give the cat a cute look. The cheeks are clear and full.
The whole body is covered with a soft layer of thick, curly fur, which, according to some felinological federations, has two forms: longhair and shorthair. In the shorthair variety, there is a ruff around the neck, the length of which is the same as that of the rest of the fur.
In longhair Selkirk Rex the ruff is significantly longer than the hair on other parts of the body. In both varieties, most of the ringlets cover the neck, abdomen and tail. The coloration can be anything you like; meets, among others tortoiseshell, chocolate, lilac. The color of the irises can also be any.
People who live with these cats often describe them as cute and kind. Moreover, the Selkirk Rex is a really cool guy. Its ancestors are Persian and British Shorthair cats, which are characterized by inborn calmness and tenderness towards their owners. However, unlike the aforementioned relatives, the Selkirk Rex is more energetic – it enjoys numerous games with its owners.
It will not always willingly jump onto knees, but that does not mean it doesn’t like people. It is sociable and tolerant, but unable to stay alone for too long. It loves chase games – you can use the “runaway light” in them.
If it is ignored for too long, it will request attention with a soft meow.
So far, no diseases that could be characteristic of the Selkirk Rex breed have been known. These cats are rather healthy. In breeding a breed, however, it is very important to pay attention to the correct structure of the head. It is necessary to prevent twisting of the nasolacrimal duct. This would lead to, inter alia, inflammation of the skin of the mouth.
Similar to other Rexes, Selkirk has irritations inside the auricle. There is also excessive production of earwax within the breed. Both phenomena are caused by a significant amount of hair growing in the ear canal.
In homozygous cats (possessing identical alleles of a given gene), the hair may have a tendency to be greasy. In this situation, the cat requires more frequent baths.
After Persian cats, these cats may have genes responsible for the occurrence of polycystic kidney disease. However, they can inherit hypertrophic cardiomyopathy from British Shorthair cats.
The thick coat of the Selkirk Rex requires regular grooming. This will prevent tangles and remove any dead hair. If the cat is not groomed regularly, unnecessary hair will stick to the furniture and clothes.
These cats do not get dirty too quickly, so they do not require frequent bathing (except for the aforementioned homozygous cats). However, if it does need to be cleansed, use a moisturizing shampoo, then rinse and let it dry freely in a warm environment. If we want to use a dryer for drying, we must take into account that a dry cat will look like a poodle.
Detailed data / dimensions
- Weight: 4-6 kg (8.8 – 13.2 lb)
- Height at the withers: 22-27 cm (8.6 – 10.8 in)
- Lifespan: 15-20 years
Selkirk Rex – interesting facts
- The gene responsible for Selkirk’s curly hair is dominant. In Cornish Rex and Devon Rex, this mutation is based on recessive genes.
- Selkirk Rex kittens have straight hair. It curls during adolescence, i.e. around 2 years of age.