Cornish Rex Cat Breed Profile
9 - 15 years
On average, Cornish Rexes lives for about 10 - 14 years, though greater ages than this are not uncommon.
Average Litter Size
A rough average is six kittens, though more or less than this is not unusual.
General Physical Description
The Cornish Rex is an eye-catching cat with its curly coat and long-legged elegance. This small to medium sized cat's most distinctive feature is its fur, which is short with a distinct wave or curl and lacks primary guard hairs. Each individual hair is ‘waved’, which produces an overall rippling effect to the fur. A Rex’s coat is plush and wonderfully soft to the touch. The Cornish Rex has a ‘foxy’ face, and its alert expression indicates its outgoing nature and kittenish playfulness. Although slightly built and fine boned with long limbs and a long narrow head, the Cornish Rex is a muscular cat. The legs are long and straight, giving an impression of height, and the paws are dainty ovals. The tail is long, thin and tapered, while the back curves upwards slightly and is arched with a rounded rump. The head is a medium wedge shape with high cheekbones, a curved forehead and a straight nose. The ears are large and cup-shaped, set high on the head, and are wide at the base with rounded tips. The Cornish Rex’s waves (known as ‘Rexing’) are dense and evenly formed, particularly on the back. The whiskers and eyebrows also curl, and may be prone to snapping off. Show cats should have no hairless or straight-haired patches.
Weight Height Range
Cornish Rexes generally have voracious appetites, which can lead to obesity if owners are not careful. An average Cornish Rex needs between 70 and 90 kcal per kilogram weight per day, and you will need to monitor its food intake closely.
Cornish Rexes may be considered elderly at between eight and ten years old and regular veterinary check ups from this age on are advisable. Yearly blood tests are a good idea, to aid early diagnosis of problems such as kidney disease which are unfortunately common in older cats. Most geriatric cats will benefit from appropriate adjustment to their diet, and many cats will live well into their teens.
Owners of show Rexes say that it is necessary to remove any grease from the coat before showing, but that wet bathing can leave the hair looking limp and tired. A bran bath avoids this problem, and tends to produce a better result. Bran bathing is a simple, although often messy, process. First warm a bowl of dry bran in the microwave or oven until it is at body temperature, then massage it into the cat’s fur and remove using a brush. Finally stroke the cat to bring out the waves and shine, and then polish with piece of silk or chamois leather.
Country Of Origin
Compatibility With Other Cats
Compatibility With Other Animals
Suitability For Children
Character & Temperament
This affectionate and intelligent cat loves company, both from people and other cats. It craves attention, and if this is not forthcoming, will demand it! A Cornish Rex is ideal for families where there is always someone at home, but it is likely to become unhappy if it is left at home alone all day. Another cat in the house can keep it company if people are not always at home; Cornish Rexes generally get along well with other breeds of cat, although the Rex will think another active cat is much more fun than a feline couch potato! Cornish Rexes are friendly, and ‘good mixers’ so, if properly introduced, dogs and children are no problem. A gentle cat, the Cornish Rex makes a wonderful friend for a child that treats it with respect. It takes a lot to make a Cornish Rex angry, but it will defend itself if necessary and show its claws if pushed too far. This curious, fun-loving and intelligent breed is sometimes described as ‘dog-like’ in its behaviour, and visitors to the house will probably be thoroughly investigated. Many Cornish Rexes enjoy retrieving games and learning tricks in return for rewards. They can also be trained to wear a harness and lead. Although they love people, Cornish Rexes are not lap cats, and prefer a game where their owner throws and dangles toys for them, to a cuddle in front of the TV. A stimulating environment, with plenty of toys, scratching posts and things to climb on are much appreciated by the Cornish Rex, and a multi-level ‘cat aerobic centre’ is probably the best present they could ask for!
Playfulness As An Adult
Grooming & Upkeep
The Cornish Rex does not moult heavily and it was once believed that people who are allergic to cats would find that Rexes give them no problems. However, cat allergies are not actually caused by hair, but by allergens in the skin and dander, so Rexes can still cause problems for allergic humans. That said, a Rex will shed less on your clothes and upholstery, so the ‘low-moult’ coat does have an advantage! The coat is easy to care for, and a weekly going over with a baby brush is usually sufficient. Firm stroking with the hand from head to tail will emphasise the waves of the coat, and the cat will enjoy it too! The Cornish Rex's teeth also benefit from care. Many cats will allow you to brush their teeth if they are introduced to it from an early age, and over time, and your vet or veterinary nurse should be able to advise you on how to do this at home and what products to use. Like any cat, the Cornish Rex should have its ears checked for wax regularly (wax is very easy to see in its thin-furred ears) and its claws clipped occasionally.
Cornish Rexes come in all coat colours and patterns, including the Si-Rex which has Siamese type pointing. The eyes, which are oval shaped, tone with the coat colour.t>t>t>t>t>
History And Uses
All Cornish Rex cats are descended from Kallibunker, a wavy haired kitten born to a straight haired mother and unknown father on a Cornish farm in 1950. Mrs Ennismore, who lived on the farm in Bodmin, sought advice about her unusual red tabby kitten with its curly-coat; and bred him back to his mother, producing two more curly coated kittens. These early Cornish Rex kittens did not have the slim bodies of the Rexes we see today, but were of the stocky British Shorthair type, and initially pedigree British Shorthairs, as well as Burmese, were used for out-breeding. Once the Cornish Rex arrived in the United States, Siamese and Oriental Shorthairs were introduced into the bloodlines. The curly coat is the result of a single natural recessive gene mutation, which has also been occurred spontaneously in North America and Germany during this century. The Devon Rex, however, is the result of a different gene mutation, and Cornish and Devon Rexes are not cross bred.
Suffers From Allergies
Tendency to Cause Allergies