Little is known about the ancestry of this breed. Kirlee, a kitten born in Devon, England, in 1959 was the first recognized cat of the breed. First thought to be a Cornish Rex, Kirlee, was soon discovered to have a natural genetic mutation. The Devon Rex is named after his birthplace as well as his curly coat, which has a texture like the rex rabbit. It wasn’t long after this breeds discovery that it emigrated to the United States. The breed was fully recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association in 1979.
The Devon Rex has a slender medium-sized body. They are muscular with long, slim legs and small, oval paws. Their tail is long and fine with short fur that tapers at the end. With large ears, high cheekbones and striking eyes, they are often described as having an elfin-like appearance. The Devon’s most outstanding characteristic is their soft, wavy fur. Some Devon’s have a thin, suede-like coat while others may have a loose, shaggy curl. A thicker coat of hair covers their back, sides, tail, legs, face, and ears. The top of their head, chest and abdomen have a more downy-like less dense covering. The "rexed" coat is soft and fine, seeming to be without the harsher guard hairs that most cat coats have. The Devon Rex can be found in almost any color pattern including solid colors.
This is a friendly breed that loves people and being part of the family. They take an active role in everything you do including sitting down for a meal. Don’t be surprised to see them take a seat at the table. They love to eat and will snack whenever the opportunity arises. The Devon’s favorite perch is sitting on his owner’s shoulder. They are very agile and have even been caught on top of the door. Giving them a large climbing space will help keep them active and in shape. These are smart cats with a moderate activity level. They will play fetch and enjoy interactive toys which keep them busy while you are away.
While the Devon Rex may feel warm, they are always seeking to be warmer. If you feel cold, they probably do too. A good sweater will help them retain heat. They prefer to sleep under the covers and will target the warmest spots they can find. While they love to bask in the sun, a cat-safe sunscreen is recommended to keep them from burning. Their wavy coat is easy to maintain and gentle grooming with your hand is usually all it needs. The Devon doesn’t shed much and the fur is so fine that it is hardly noticeable.
The Devon Rex is generally healthy and usually weighs 5 to 10 pounds. They have a normal life span of 9 to 15 years but can have just a few health problems.
• Congenital hypotrichosis, otherwise known as hereditary baldness
• Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a form of heart disease
• Malassezia dermatitis, a single-celled yeast that causes ear infections, greasy skin and itchiness
• Hip dysplasia, a malformation of the hip socket
• Urticaria pigmentosa, a dermatological problem that causes crusty sores
• Devon Rec myopathy, also called spasticity, a generalized muscle weakness
The Devon Rex makes a perfect pet for families with children and cat-friendly dogs. They are very social and love attention. If you are looking for new member for your family, the Devon Rex could be just what you are looking for.