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Devon Rex – The Ultimate Guide

The Devon Rex loves people and welcomes any attention. This breed is known for a wavy coat, slender body, and astonishing ears. Read on and discover more about this rare breed.

Devon Rex is a cat with a rather unusual appearance. This breed is so unique that once you get the chance to spend time with her you will never want to leave her.

Originally from the UK, the Devon Rex is mostly known for its curly coat and triangle-shaped head. Moreover, this breed evolved as a result of a genetic mutation.

Quick Facts

Real name: Devon Rex
Origin: United Kingdom
Breed type: Domestic cat
Weight: male small <8 lbs, female small <8 lbs.
Lifespan: 9-13 years
Coat color: Chestnut, Lavender, Seal, Cinnamon, White, Blue, Champagne, Brown, Red, Blue, Black, Fawn, Frost
Pattern: Points, Shaded, Tabby, Ticking, Smoke, Solid Color, Bicolor, Tricolor/Calibo, Points
Grooming needs: High
Tendency to shed: Low
Coat length: Short and curly

Devon Rex: History

The Devon Rex is a breed that is quite similar to cat breed called Cornish Rex. Moreover, the coat of the Devon Rex is similar to coat of the Cornish Rex. They are often mixed and usually associated with hypoallergenic cats , although they are not hypoallergenic technically.

What is known about this breed is the place of origin. The Devon Rex was discovered in Buckfastleigh, Devon, UK, in 1959. Credits for the discovery of this breed goes to Beryl Cox. As soon as the breed was discovered the proper testing was conducted only to point out that test mating showed no resemblance or link with the known Cornish Rex.

The Cat With The Curly Coat

At the time the Cornish Rex was well-known and participated in several various exhibitions in England. Their appearance made a big interest and their pictures often appeared in newspapers. In Devon, Beryl Cox saw one of the pictures and she immediately got interested.

She lived near an old tin mine where a colony of unusual cats lived. They had curly coats. Cox had a kitten with curly hair, although the mother had straight hair. This kitten was named Kirlee and he become famous as the beginning of the breed known as the Devon Rex. Kirlee was the perfect cat for Beryl.

At first, breeders strongly believed that the curly coat is a clear indicator that there is a link between the Devon Rex and the Cornish Rex. They even believed that they could be bred to each other. However, each breeding gave the kittens with straight coats. Thanks to the curly coat it was determined that this were two different breeds.

Furthermore, to resolve this mutation, breeders decided to breed Kirlee with his daughters. Therefore, the breed has a long history of inbreeding.

Devon Rex: Physical Appearance

The Devon Rex is a medium-sized cat that is surprisingly muscular for a smaller breed. Next to its fine bones, Devon Rex has a graceful appearance. Their paws are long and fine, with oval paw pads in the end. Its torso is large and well-developed, while their neck is muscly and thin. Also, they have long and thin tails that are covered with fur. Their eyes are very expressive, being round and large. Eyes are oval-shaped and may be any color as long as it compliments the color of the fur. The muzzle is short.

The most characteristic trait of the breed are Devon Rex’s ears. They are large and protrude from low down at the back of the head. They are covered in fine fur and at the base, they are larger. They are rounded at the tips and covered in fur. Devon’s fur is curly, as mentioned earlier, dense and wavy. The coat is fairly unruly and the may have or may not have an overcoat. Their coat is often compared to a poodle or a sheep’s coat. The only part of the body where the coat is fluffy is down on the cat’s stomach.

When they are fully grown, the Devon Rex weighs 6-11 pounds (3-5 kilos), and measures around 13 inches (35cm).

They Are A Natural Mutation

They may look like not your average cat and they may have that kind of alien-look, but they are a natural mutation. Yes, they may appear strange, but that’s just because they are not so common. But, this cat with wavy curls is just unique. This mutation is natural, although we will probably never know how it started and why. That being said, it’s important to note that human had nothing to do with the mutation itself.

But, humans did interfere to save this unusual breed and help it survive.

Devon Rex: Personality

The Devon Rex is well-known for its playful side and preferences of an active lifestyle. This is truly an energetic breed. When surrounded with the family members, your Devon Rex will transform into a real house-clown. This breed will entertain its owners for hours and they will expect a favor in return. The best return present would be to shower your kitten with attention and pets. In return, you will get some purring.

This companion cat will love the company of other cats as well, as long as you devote them enough of your time and affection. But, just like any other breed each cat is individual and comes with its unique traits. Surprisingly for a cat, they love the company of children.

Fun fact: It’s not uncommon for some of these cats to learn to walk on a leash.

Living With Devon Rex

Shortly said, the Devon is a jumper. Anything that is set high, including perches and trees should be provided. Your Devon will love you extra for that. Giving them unlimited space for exercise and active life will bring you more peaceful nights.

This breed also loves to eat, so you should monitor nutrition and diet closely and keep it controlled. If you have a corner in your place with extra sunlight, make sure to make it Devon’s corner. This breed loves to spend hours in a warm place and should be provided with additional areas of warmth in the winter. You won’t have to clean a lot after this cat, because they don’t shed a lot.

This interesting breed possesses some dog-like qualities including loyalty. This breed will own you. A Devon will eat with you, sleep with you and follow you around the house. If you have children your Devon will be best friend with them all day long. Devons and children are naturally the best friends and they will show you that in no time.

You will see your Devon whenever the family members are, but your Devon will probably be in your lap or on your pillow. Devons don’t like to be left alone for too long, so make sure that your Devon always has a companion.

Surprisingly, this is one of the few breeds that will play with birds, rabbit or even ferret. They even love spending time with dogs. About one thing you should take care of – the food.

Devons are real foodies and they would love to try a bite of everything. If you are eating a burger, your Devon will want a bit as well, and if you are eating olives, your Devon would love to have an olive or two. They will be more than happy to help you with your meal, and they will never turn down the food.

Important: Never brush your Devon Rex because of the coat, because it’s fragile. Gently rub them with a cloth to have a nicely groomed Devon Rex.

Devon Rex: Grooming

The Devon Rex is kind of a wash-and-go type of cat. Moreover, this breed doesn’t need any special care. You will enjoy keeping this cat neat and clean because it demands so little. As mentioned above, you shouldn’t ever brush your Devon Rex. Just a gentle rubbing with a cloth will do. But, you will have to think about ears.

Devon’s ears are the most memorable part of the body and they do demand special attention, mainly because they are large. They need to be cleaned regularly because dirt can gather in them. During the hot summertime, the ears should be protected by putting the sunscreen on them because they have light hair and skin.

Devon Rex: Health

Due to inbreeding, the Devon Rex is more sensitive to certain illnesses than other breeds. Therefore, occurrence of myasthenia is an auto-immune neuromuscular disease that can lead to chronic muscle weakness.

Also, the Devon is prone to feline neonatal isoerythrolysis. Interestingly, the Devon Rex population has two distinct blood groups which aren’t compatible if they are mixed by way of reproduction between a mother and her kitten.

For this reason, breeders are advised to test the blood group of their cats before any breeding even starts. The illness can cause the destruction of red blood cells in newborns after consuming the antibodies present in a mother’s milk. As soon as you notice the first symptom it’s crucial to stop the kitten from being breastfed and consult a veterinarian.

The Devon Rex has an unusual and sensitive coat that reflects to the skin that can itch. They are susceptible to baldness, as well.

Devon Rex: Summary

When selecting your Devon Rec cat or even a kitten, you must take the time to properly do your research and find a responsible breeder or to visit the local shelters and search for the breed. Make sure that you have everything set for welcoming your Devon Rex.

Moreover, make sure that you have a calendar of scheduled vaccination, planned neutering or spaying, and provide scratching posts because this breed loves to be active.

All together, proper nutrition, adequate surrounding and much love followed with proper grooming and veterinarian check-ups should enable your kitten a long, healthy, and joyful life.