The Devon Rex breed stems from a curly-coated cat found in 1960 by Beryl Cox, in Devon. She attempted to take him in, but he refused to be tamed. Beryl kept an eye on the cat, though, and noticed that he had mated with a local female cat. She found the litter in a field at the end of her garden, and one of the resulting litter also had curly fur - she named the curly kitten Kirlee, and took him home. Like the Cornish Rex, the Devon's coat is caused by a recessive gene, and inbreeding was necessary to perpetuate the breed - the Devon gene is different to that which curls the coat of the Cornish Rex, and crossing Devon and Cornish Rexes produces litters of straight-coated kittens. The two mutations must have arisen independently, despite arising so close geographically, ie in Devon and Cornwall. Within 10 years the breed was recognised in Britain.
The first impression of a Devon Rex is of an impish face and a crinkly coat. The cheeks are wide, the eyes are large, and the ears are very large, and set low on the head. The cat's face has a distinct dip, or stop, in its profile, and the chin is well defined. The short coat has almost no guard hairs at all and is mostly made up of the undercoat of down hairs. Like the Cornish Rex, the Devon has the characteristic Rex 'Marcel Wave', and the fur forms ripples and waves, particularly on the back. The whiskers and eyebrows also curl, and are prone to snapping off. The legs are slender, and the hind legs are longer than the fore legs. The paws are small and oval..
|Colour||The Devon Rex can be any cat colour or pattern.|
|Age Expectancy||Devon Rexes can usually expect to live into their mid-teens, and many live even longer.|
|Weight/Height Range||The Devon Rex weighs between 2.5 - 4kgs.|
|Ailments||Despite its somewhat fragile appearance, the Devon Rex is a healthy and vigorous breed. Rexes may be considered elderly at between eight and ten years old and regular check ups from this age on are advisable. Yearly blood tests may be advisable to aid early diagnosis of problems such as kidney disease which is unfortunately common in older cats. Most geriatric cats will benefit from appropriate adjustment to their diet, and many cats will live well into their teens. Because of the back-crossing needed to establish the breed's initial gene pool, there have in the past been genetic spasticity problems, but careful breeding has all but eliminated this now.|
Devons are fondly described as "little terrors", and "monkeys in cats' clothing" whose antics include swinging from the curtains and climbing the wallpaper! These lively and extrovert cats seem to be born comedians. They have several 'dog-like' qualities, such as a fondness for fetching toys, and can be trained to walk on a harness and lead. They are very gentle and loving cats, and hate to be bored or alone. Visitors to the house may be surprised to find that they are thoroughly investigated by a nosy Devon Rex before they have a chance to sit down. The cat will respond well to cat-loving guests and will snuggle up to them. However Rexes are not lap cats and will soon be off and attempting to get the visitor to dangle and throw its toys. Lots of things to play with and climb on should be provided for this cat, and multilevel scratching posts will be much appreciated for the opportunities they present. If you are looking for a cat that will really value your attention, and you have the time to give it the attention it deserves, then a Rex may be the cat for you.
|Compatibility with Cat||High|
|Other Animal Compatibility||High|
Feeding & Grooming
|Feeding||The Devon Rex is an active cat - and usually very hungry - cat, and requires around 80kcal of good quality food per kg of bodyweight, per day. Care must be taken not to let this breed become obese, due to its fondness for food!|
|Upkeep||The Devon Rex's wavy coat needs the minimum amount of care - just a quick stroke with a chamois leather, or the owner's hands, will smooth the fur and emphasise the waves of the coat. A good quality diet will ensure that the cat receives all the natural oils its coat needs to stay in good condition. Rubber brushes may be used to help remove dead hair, but caution should be exercised as excess use may permanently damage the hair. Like all cats', the Devon Rex's teeth also benefit from care. Many cats will allow you to brush their teeth if they are introduced to it over time, and your vet or veterinary nurse should be able to advise you on how to do this and what products to use. Special chews are also available to help control plaque, and again your veterinary surgery can advise on this. Like any cat, the Cornish Rex should have its ears checked for wax regularly, and its claws clipped occasionally. Like the Cornish Rex, although these cats shed much less than other breeds, it is not true to say that they do not shed at all, or are hypoallergenic. However, they are less likely to cause allergies than other cats.|
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