The Selkirk Rex has been called a cat in sheep’s clothing due to its unusually curly coat. In fact, it is only one of the four feline breeds with a wavy fur. It is an affectionate and sociable cat, which makes it a wonderful companion and therapy cat. With its laid-back and gentle temperament, this kitty may very well be the Persian’s curly-coated version.
A recent development, the Selkirk Rex only emerged in 1987 in the USA. A calico cat at a shelter had a litter that had one kitten looking unusually curly compared to its siblings. The odd-looking kitty was noticed by a Persian cat breeder, Jeri Montana. She took the kitten into her fold and proceeded to breed it with a Persian.
The resulting litter had three kittens with the same curly fur, establishing that the gene was a dominant one. It was also further understood that the feline was a new breed and was not related to the other curly-haired cats. Montana then named the kitty Selkirk Rex, after a member of her family. As such, it is the only cat breed named after a person.
It was only in 2002 that the Selkirk Rex first reached the UK. It had since been assigned championship status in 1994 by the TICA and was acknowledged by the Cat Fanciers’ Association in 2000. The GCCF also recognised this feline breed, awarding it championship status in 2009.
Appearance and Grooming
The Selkirk Rex cat is medium to large in size and may weigh anywhere from 3 and 7 kg. It has a rounded head and full cheeks, similar to the Persian’s. Its ears are tufted and set wide apart. Its rectangular muzzle boasts a set of whiskers that are also rather curly like the rest of its fur. Its large, round eyes can be of any hue.
This feline’s frame is rather cobby-type, making it one sturdy breed. It has broad shoulders and a large rump. The legs are moderate in length and ends in firm and round paws. The tail is moderately long and is thicker at the base and ends in a rounded tip.
Its coat, which is its main distinguishing feature, is triple-layered and curly all over. The curls, unstructured and loose, are tightest at the belly, neck, and tail. Its whiskers, as mentioned, are also similarly curly. This semi-long fur comes in a variety of colours and patterns.
Is the Selkirk Rex hypoallergenic? Considering that the fur is not the main trigger for allergies among humans, the answer is no. But do Selkirk Rexes shed? Yes they do. Considering its dense fur, this feline needs to be bathed every now and then to remedy oiliness, whether short or long haired.
Temperament and Intelligence
This loving feline is cuddly, patient, and tolerant like its Persian ancestor. It is a playful kitty and is outgoing, which is a delightful trait for a cat with an unusual coat that begs to be touched.
A people-loving pet, the Selkirk Rex gets along with other pets and children very well. It likes attention and will act the clown to endear its charms to its humans. It also likes to lounge on laps and speak in its trademark quiet voice. However, it is not talkative and demanding of attention. Due to its fondness for human company, it does not like being left alone for long.
Despite its calm and laid-back ways, it is an intelligent cat that can get into cheeky behaviour. It can learn to work doors and drawers on its own, especially when it is seeking a toy or treat it likes.
Nutrition and Feeding
The Selkirk Rex should be provided a nutritious diet that fulfils its daily needs. It should be consistently given the same food following the same feeding times. If there are changes to its diet, those must be done gradually to prevent stomach problems.
The serving portions should depend on the Selkirk’s weight, age, and activity level. Its meals must include at least 25% protein and just 5% carbohydrates. Its weight should also be monitored to keep it from going overweight.
Health and Exercise
On average, the Selkirk Rex’s life expectancy ranges from 10-15 years. However, it is known to be affected by the following health issues:
- Polycystic kidney disease
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
Cost of Ownership
A well-bred Selkirk Rex for sale will cost about £300-£600. Average insurance expenses would cost £12 (basic) or £24 (lifetime) monthly. Food costs may range from £15-£20 each month. For vaccinations, boosters, annual checks and other veterinary costs, pet care costs may add up to more than £600 each year.
On average, an owner of this cat breed will spend about £25-£55 per month. The insurance costs can also affect this estimate. For its entire lifetime (10-15 years), the expenses can be as low as £3,000 to as high as £9,900 overall. This estimate does not include the initial costs incurred in acquiring this cat.
Selkirk Rex Breed Highlights
- This curly-haired kitty is affectionate, gentle, and people-loving.
- It likes human company so much that it does not like being left alone for long.
- The Selkirk Rex’s dense coat needs frequent brushing and occasional baths to keep it in good condition.
- This cat is a good choice for families as it interacts well with children and other pets.
Are you sure the Selkirk Rex is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.
Cat Breed Selector Quiz