CFA Pedigreed Breed: Selkirk Rex

One of the newest natural breeds, this naturally curly cat originated from a housecat, Miss DePesto of Noface ("Pest"), found in a shelter in Montana. She was given to Persian breeder Jeri Newman, who bred her to a black Persian. Pest produced three curly kittens out of six, proving that, unlike the Devon Rex and Cornish Rex, her mutation was dominant. This means that curly kittens can be born in the same litter with straight-haired ones.

Selkirks are healthy and sturdy. They are incredibly patient, loving, and tolerant cats. From the moment of birth, curly-haired kittens can be distinguished from their straight-haired littermates by their curly whiskers, which are brittle and may break as they grow longer. The whiskers and hair do not change as the cat grows older; if they are curly at birth, they are curly as an adult. Even if the coat later shows less curl, the cat has the curly gene and retains the curly whiskers.

This breed is not for the uptight, organized pet owner. These cats' humans must be prepared to take all kinds of hair jokes, such as "The cat with the bad hair day," "Why don't you groom your cat?" or "This cat is our dip-and-dry variety." Such comments lead to the hidden secret: they make you laugh. Although they may not always win the beauty pageant, Selkirks always win the title of Miss Congeniality.

Selkirk Rex owners are consistently stopped by people with anxious hands wanting to feel this soft, plush pet. The fortunate humans are those who can take these live teddy cats home for cuddles and hugs.

Cat Fanciers' Association, Inc. (c) 2011


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