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The Quirky Cornish Rex
CatsBreeds

The Quirky Cornish Rex

Ben, Critter Culture Staff
Updated Nov 5, 2020

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A beautiful and athletic cat, the Cornish rex is unique in appearance and temperament. These felines have a short velvet-like coat that sets them apart from other cat breeds. They are energetic and playful cats who fit well with active families looking for an interactive playmate. Their dexterity and intelligence make them quick learners and inquisitive explorers.

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1

The Cornish rex's history

Cornish rex curly coat aliven / Getty Images

The Cornish rex was first identified in the Cornwall region of England in 1950. One kitten in a litter of five was born with a soft curly coat, unlike that of his siblings. This special cat was further bred with others to produce a larger pool of similarly coated felines. They were identified as a recognized breed in the 1960s as professional breeders began offering these unusual pets.

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2

The Cornish's curly coat

Cute two kittens Cornish Rex peering with plush basket. Sicha69 / Getty Images

Cornish rex cats are specifically known for their velvety soft and curly coat. The curls tend to roll in uniform waves across the back and abdomen, giving the appearance of a well-groomed animal. While many breeds of cats have multiple layers of hair, these cats only possess the soft undercoat or down layer. This means they are much less prone to heavy shedding.

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3

General appearance

Cornish Rex Domestic Cat, Adult standing on Grass slowmotiongli / Getty Images

Aside from their gorgeous coat, the Cornish rex is a long-legged athletic cat. They have adorable shell-like upright ears and large eyes. The weight of these felines ranges from 6 to 10 pounds, with males being at the larger end of the spectrum. Their color is not limited and can range from white, brown, red or grey, to combinations of each. Eye colors tend to differ depending on the color of the coat.

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4

Personality traits

Cornish Rex kitten in the arms of a man.

The Cornish rex breed is a highly sociable and friendly cat. These furry pals are keen to interact with humans and other house pets, including dogs, other cats, and small children. Some owners have reported that their cat will, much like their canine counterparts, fetch a toy. While both vocal and active, Cornish rex cats enjoy being handled and will contentedly cuddle with their owners.

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5

General health

cornish rex veterinarian SbytovaMN / Getty Images

There are no known genetic conditions or ailments specifically associated with the Cornish rex. This means that ensuring each cat is offered a healthy diet and is stimulated with lots of exercise and attention will help to offset any lifestyle-related issues. Any health concerns should be brought to the attention of a veterinarian to ensure a prompt diagnosis and treatment.

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6

Grooming needs

cornish rex kitten in fur Watcha / Getty Images

Grooming a Cornish rex is as simple as an occasional gentle brushing session. Occasional baths are only necessary if the cat is especially dirty, but, like every other cat breed, the Cornish rex is an expert at grooming itself. Taking some time every week or two to ensure their teeth are clean, there is no build-up in the corners of the eyes and ears. Cornish rex cats are meticulously clean and will appreciate regular attention to litter box maintenance.

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7

Feeding and diet

Cornish rex kitten smelling a grass

Cats require a high level of meat protein and fat, and minimal carbohydrates in their diet. Many prefer to eat wet or canned food over dry kibble, with many owners offering a combination. With their strong need for mental stimulation, a Cornish rex might enjoy food puzzles or games. Cats tend to eat small amounts of food throughout the day, making it is necessary to have food and water available at all times.

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8

Pet allergies

Beautiful Devon Rex cat (Blu Point type) In the home interior. Selective focus, bokeh Artem Bolshakov / Getty Images

The allergy symptoms that many humans experience from cats is caused by the animal's saliva and dander. Cornish rex cats do not tend to shed as much as other cat breeds. Many owners claim this to help with their allergy symptoms. To see if you can manage your allergies with this particular breed try spending time with one in advance.

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9

Playtime and interaction

Cat of breed German or Prussian rex is one of the first curly breeds. Dizfoto / Getty Images

The Cornish rex breed is extremely active and loves attention. They enjoy climbing and running and will thrive in an environment where this is encouraged. Try pulling toys on strings for them to chase or offering a climbing structure with interesting textures and challenges to experience. A bored but intensely curious Cornish rex is apt to find trouble around the house.

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10

Quirks

Closeup on curly black and white cornish rex cat looking in the camera

The biggest attraction many Cornish rex owners have to their cat is their luxurious fur. As this coat is much less dense and with fewer layers than a typical feline, they do experience the elements more easily. In cooler climates, these cats may enjoy a blanket to cuddle in or a light sweater to wear. Should they spend time outside, ensure protection from direct sun to prevent any chance of sunburn.

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