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CFA Pedigreed Breed We Love: Cornish Rex

Cornish Rex cats, distinguished by their soft, curly coat, are active cats whose kittenlike antics last for their lifetime.



"Are those cats from outer space?" No, Cornish Rex cats are not from outer space and, in spite of their resemblance to ancient Egyptian statues, they are not from Egypt, either. As their name implies, these cats originated in Cornwall, England, where they first appeared in a litter of barn cats born about 1950.


In appearance, Cornish Rex cats are a study in curves, starting most noticeably with their coat, which ideally falls in washboard waves. The coat is very short, lies close to the body, and is incredibly soft to the touch, prompting comparisons to cut velvet, karakul lamb, rabbit fur, or silk.


Because of their extremely short, fine-textured coat, many people have the impression that the Cornish Rex does not shed and is hypoallergenic. This is not strictly true. While Cornish Rex hairs are not easy to find lying on the furniture, they are there, and owners will find them in the dryer filter and clinging to some fabrics. Certainly, by comparison to some other cats, the shedding is minimal. Even so, most allergic people are bothered by the dander (dead skin cells) and the saliva, both of which are present in Cornish Rex cats.


In personality, the Cornish Rex is extremely affectionate and people-oriented. They are also active cats whose kittenlike antics last for their lifetime and who can be very inventive in their play. Favorite Cornish Rex games are fetch, catch, and even "discus," in which the cat uses its handlike paw to pick up and toss a small object. In spite of their sophisticated, elegant appearance, Cornish Rex cats are anything but cool, aloof, or dignified. They are perfect pets for the owner who wants active cats to participate in family life.


Cat Fanciers' Association, Inc. (c) 2011



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