History & Overview
The Cornish Rex appeared in the county of Cornwall, England. Originally called the “English Rex”, until the second form of rex cat was discovered in nearby Devon. Sometimes referred to in the popular press as the “Poodle Cat” or “Coodle”. This is not to be confused with the new type of Rex Cat from Germany, also known as the Poodle Cat.
This extraordinary creature—though it may look like it came from Venus or Mars—arose in 1950 when a perfectly ordinary cat named Serena had an ordinary litter, except for one fuzzy little “ugly duckling.” The wavy coat was confirmed as being a true recessive mutation. The name was easy: Cornish for the kitten’s birthplace and Rex for its wavy fur resemblance to that of Astrex rabbit.
The Cornish Rex, a well-coordinated, athletic cat, is a born acrobat, with lively intelligence. It is happy and affectionate, has a piercing voice, and eats like a horse despite its delicate appearance. It is no more demanding than any other cat.
There are two types of Cornish Rex:
- English Cornish Rex, bred from a Burmese and British, is a heavy, stocky cat, with a triangular skull and a relatively straight profile; its ears are set widely apart, and its eyes are large.
- American Cornish Rex is lighter, more fragile, with an oval head, enormous ears, and the lean look of a long-distance runner.
The Cornish Rex is a curly-coated, fine-boned cat standing high on its legs. Distinctive arched back and tuck-up resembling a greyhound. Hard, muscular body that is warm to the touch. The coat quality, texture, waviness, and distinctive body type are of prime importance.
The breed has several traits that make it unique:
- Slightly curly hair all over its body in regular waves like a crimped coiffure; even the whiskers and eyelashes are wavy;
- A long, egg-shaped skull with no flat panes; all long curves;
- A lively and mobile expression, with large, round eyes that always look surprised or questioning;
- At birth the Cornish Rex looks like a baby bat, with its enormous ears, or like a spider, because of its long, spindly legs; it is born all curly, like an astrakhan lamb.
Sourcing A Cornish Rex
A reputable cattery is the best source for acquiring a Cornish Rex cat. These are serious individuals who carefully select cats for their breeding programs in order to strengthen the chances of producing the most desirable characteristics in breeding while diminishing recognized faults as well.
Aside from their preoccupation with breeding and showing Cornish Rex kittens and cats, cattery breeders are very concerned about the health of the kittens. All reputable breeders give a health guarantee. Reputable cattery breeders will recognize the importance of early socialization and sell only kittens and cats whose temperament makes them suitable as pets.