It is difficult to find a breed similar to this throughout the feline kingdom, both for its physical features and for its behavior. Even its origin is peculiar, because in it humans did not intervene, as it did happen in many other breeds, although it had a decisive role in the fixation of its type and in the definition of the breed over the years.
The devon rex is a breed with a fairly short history, since it was discovered in the 60s. It appeared in the county of Devon, in England, hence the name of this place was used to refer to the breed, accompanied by the term rex, which refers to its characteristic wavy fur, as with the Cornish Rex, the most similar breed to this one.
The first cat to be born with the characteristics of devon rex as we know it now, took place because of a natural genetic mutation. Its origin was as simple as that of crossing a domestic cat with a stray cat. Among all the kittens born at this junction, one of them possessed the distinctive characteristics of a curly fur and larger than normal ears, which gave it an elf-like appearance.
This specimen was later used in crosses with female cornish rex, with the intention of perpetuating the curly hair gene. However, the results obtained were not as expected. All kittens were born with straight hair, which allowed to discover that the gene of curly hair in both breeds was different. Thus, the breeding program continued on another path, and the crosses happened until they found the pattern that would define the devon rex as its own race.
Although the crosses began in 1960, it was not until 1968 that the breed began to look like such. Afterwards, many breeders looked at them and acquired specimens to include in their breeding programs. So they got, in 1972, for the American Cat Fanciers Association to recognize them as a race. Despite how popular they became in the United States, it would still take a few years to reach Europe. Specifically, it was in 1979 that the first specimen of devon rex was unveiled in Europe.
Once they began to be part of the feline championships around the world, breeders and individuals put their interests in this breed. That is why the number of specimens bred continued to rise over the years, making this breed very numerous in all parts of the world today.
Devon Rex Features
There is no doubt that the devon rex is a cat that stands out for its physical appearance. It is much smaller and more compact than others, with a weight that does not usually exceed 11 pounds (5 kilos) under normal conditions. In addition, it has a sharp head and short snout, and large, triangular ears, similar to those of bats, which also makes its expression very striking. Even his eyes are larger than in other breeds, and look huge in proportion to his head. That, coupled with bright, striking colors, makes his expression so vivid.
Its appearance may be similar to that of the sphinx cat, although it is evident that they differ in the fur. Even specimens of devon rex can be born with long hair due to crosses with Persian cats, hence they keep an important difference with any other breed. Of course, the waves stand out in their fur, which takes on a curly and unique shape.
It also differs from the curly fur of the cornish rex, since, in this case, the waves are much smaller. It is true that the volume of the fur is lower than that of other cats, which for some is an advantage, as it tends to cause fewer allergies. As for the color, there are no limitations in terms of shades, all are accepted and in any shape, pattern and design. Hence there is a great variety of cats devon rex for all tastes.
It is also worth noting that it has a thin and elongated body, long, thin legs and small feet. The hind legs are usually slightly longer than the front legs, giving it a sympathetic appearance. Similarly, the tail is narrow and elongated, sharp towards the tip, although it appears thicker due to the amount of hair that coats it.
Devon Rex’s behavior
And if the devon rex cat is especially eye-catching for its physical appearance, its temperament is not left behind. Sometimes it may seem difficult to treat due to its eccentricities, but the truth is that it is a very sensitive animal that requires an owner who knows how to understand all its needs.
At first, the devon rex may look like a serious and very quiet cat, but in reality it is quite the opposite. Its energy is very high and sometimes even may seem inexhaustible, but it needs to feel confident to show itself as it is. It also generates a very close relationship with its owners, and demands a lot of attention. Therefore it is only recommended for people who can dedicate the necessary time.
It is a very active and playful animal, which can spent all day running from one side of the house to the other. Although it is also true that it is a feline who enjoys life indoors more than life outdoors. That’s why it’s a big pet for families living in flats or houses without access to the outside.
On the other hand, the devon rex is a very sociable cat, which tends to get along well with other cats and other animals in general, although it is always advisable to get used to it since kittens to treatment with dogs and other pets. Similarly, it is an unrivalled companion for children, and is that they will never get tired of playing alongside them.
Main Diseases of Devon Rex
At the beginning, most specimens suffered from limp due to its longer than normal hind legs, but it is something that has been corrected over time and that has practically disappeared thanks to controlled breeding. But today, devon rex is not a breed that has inherited diseases associated with it. However, special attention should be paid to some problems that it may develop as part of unhealthy habits.
The most important thing to avoid any discomfort is to go to the vet frequently and keep up with its schedule of vaccinations and deworming. With that, and some basic care, you’ll make sure you always have a healthy cat.
In terms of hygiene, devon rex does not require too much care to keep its fur shiny and in good condition. This is because it barely loses hair, so that one brush a week and a full bath every two months will be more than enough to take care of it properly. You have to pay more attention to its large ears, which can accumulate wax and dirt, so it is necessary to clean them frequently with a cotton and cleaning products specific for cats.
On the other hand, it is advisable to provide the devon rex with a small warm and comfortable corner, as a nest, where the animal can snuggle up and rest. Its low fur does not allow it to protect itself from the cold, so it requires help to warm up, especially during the winter and colder times of the year. You can even buy special clothes for cats, such as sweaters, so that your little feline has no problem or at the worst of the year.
Another thing to keep in mind of devon rex is that it is an animal that has a voracious appetite despite its small size. This means that if the ration is not controlled, it could gain weight easily and become obese, which is very dangerous for cats. Therefore, to avoid health problems, it is essential to adapt the amount of food to its size, always opt for quality food and offer several portions a day. This will also prevent the appearance of gastric problems.
Equally important is to offer your cat the possibility to perform all the physical exercise it needs, which in the case of devon rex is a lot. Because it’s only when he can release all that energy that characterizes him is when this cat is really happy. In addition, if its needs are full, it is also much easier to educate it.
Things to know about the Devon Rex
It is known in some areas as ‘cat poodle’. because its characteristics can somehow remember such dog breed. In addition, they tend to move their tail almost like a dog when they are happy, and are able to learn some tricks similar to those of their canine companions, such as chasing and returning toys.
All rex cats are named after the fact that they possess curly hair. However, the genetics between different species of cat rex is also very different. That is the reason that, when putting together a specimen of each breed for a crossover, the result that takes place is that of specimens of smooth hair.
It is one of the few feline breeds in which all possible colors and variations of the fur appear. So it’s no wonder to find very different specimens of devon rex from each other in terms of their coloration, but they always maintain their physical features and temperament.