How a Breed was Born
About Devon Rexes
The Devon Rex is a breed of cat with a curly, very soft, short coat. They are often associated with being one of the most hypoallergenic cats available because of their type of coat. However, they are technically not hypoallergenic.
The first Devon was discovered by Beryl Cox in Buckfastleigh, Devon, UK, in 1960. She named the first Devon and founder of the whole breed, Kirlee. Who is pictured above. The breed was initially thought to be linked with the Cornish Rex; however, test mating proved otherwise. Cats have three types of hair: guard hair, awn hair, and down hair. The Devon Rex's coat is unusual because there is little guard hair
The curl in Devon Rex fur is caused by a different mutation and gene than that of the Cornish Rex and German Rex, and breeding of a Devon with either of those cats results in cats without rexed (curled) fur. Devons, which are small to medium-sized cats, are often called "pixie cats" or "alien cats" because of their unique appearance. Their uncommonly large, slightly rounded ears are set low on the sides of their wide heads, their eyes are large, and their noses are slightly upturned. Unlike most cats, their whiskers are very short and often curled to such an extent that it may appear as if they have no whiskers.
This adorable combination only hints at the mad-cap personality within – a cross, some say, between a cat, a dog, a monkey, and Dennis the Menace. They are a fun and fun-loving breed with a relaxed and social attitude rarely associated with cats. Delightfully silly in both appearance and antics, Devons are interested in everything and everyone around them. Their playful nature means Devons easily learn tricks and are always up for a game of hide-and-seek, tag, or fetch.
This unique breed possesses intensely loyal, human-loving, dog-like qualities. A person must be prepared to be owned by a Devon. A Devon will eat with you, sleep with you, and perch cozily on your shoulder while you are on the computer or reading. They will follow you around the house, sit at your feet, or jump on your lap the minute you sit down. A Devon will accompany you on your household chores, happily trilling, cooing, and chirping as they look for ways to help. Children and Devons are naturals as best friends and tireless playmates.
Family members will frequently find a Devon nestled in their laps or cradled in their arms. You should not be surprised to find a Devon tucked in bed with you or another family member, snuggled underneath the covers or firmly settled onto a pillow. Devons remain kittens at heart forever, and their loving nature connects them deeply with every family member.
The social nature of the Devon makes them unsuited to spending long periods of time without companionship. Devons do not discriminate in terms of the company they keep. They do very well with people, other Devons (often creating a “Devon pile”), cats, dogs, and even the occasional bird, ferret, or rabbit.
Words of caution: Devons are food hounds. Whether it is the traditional burger and fries or the more unusual asparagus tips, grapes, or olives, be prepared to guard your dinner plate from the fast and crafty Devon in the house. They never turn down a meal and would be happy to assist you with yours. Do not be taken in by the pleading or the heartbreakingly pitiful expressions that would suggest they have not had a meal in weeks.
The appearance of the Devon Rex is far from ordinary, given their long skinny necks, oddly shaped heads, ridiculously big ears, and coat that can range from wildly curly to a soft suedelike down. They really are 100% feline, even if they seem to be 99% personality and 1% cat. Adult Devons are midsized cats, averaging six to nine pounds, with males heavier than females. The coat may vary over the life of the cat, with some kittens dropping much of their coat (molting) during their development, and some adult coats changing seasonally. Devons are low maintenance, wash-and-wear companions. Despite popular myth, Devons are not hypoallergenic. They do shed, although their unique coat may make the shedding hair less obtrusive than that of many cats. While some people with animal allergies tolerate Devons very well, anyone with allergy issues should arrange to handle a Devon before considering acquiring one.
They may look like they have just arrived on Earth on an alien spaceship, but they are a natural mutation. They originated in Devonshire, England, in the late 1950s when a Miss Cox found that a stray cat in her care had given birth to a rather odd looking curly-haired kitten. Delighted with the kitten’s elfin features and wavy curls, she named him Kirlee – the founding father of this unique breed.
Mother Nature created the feline oddity, this lithe and winsome pixie cat. Man had no hand in the mutation, but man did step in and make it possible for the mutation to survive and flourish, providing cat lovers around the globe the opportunity to meet, love, and be loved by one of nature’s true miracles – the Devon Rex cat. Colors include a wide array of solid, shaded, smoke, tabby, bi-color, and pointed patterns.
When selecting your Devon Rex kitten or cat, it is important you take the time to properly interview and get to know a breeder, as this will be to your advantage when looking for a Devon Rex to join your family. Breeders will usually make kittens available between the ages of 14 to 16 weeks, when they have had sufficient time with their mother and littermates to be well socialized and old enough to have been fully vaccinated. Keeping your Devon indoors, neutering or spaying, and providing acceptable surfaces (e.g. scratching posts) for the natural behavior of scratching, are essential elements for maintaining a healthy, long, and joyful life.
Sources: Wikipedia and CFA.org