Cornish Rex Cats: Kittens for sale. Very thin layer of hair. Lean muscular playful adventurous cat. Children friendly cats. Pet-friendly cat. Lap cat. Cornish Rex info.
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The Cornish Rex is an unusual breed of domestic cat, in that the Cornish Rex has no hair at all except for a thin, downy layer. The coats of most cat breeds are a blending of three different types of fur: the outer fur or "guard hairs,” a middle layer called the "awn hair,” and the down hair or undercoat, which is generally very fine and very short. The Cornish Rex has only the undercoat.
The soft, fine awn hairs that make up the Cornish coat form a tight uniform wave that lies close to the skin. The awn wave extends from the top of the head, down across the back, sides, and hips, and continues to the tip of the long, tapering tail. The Cornish Rex is often compared to a washboard in appearance, and to chenille in touch, with its incredibly soft and silky texture. The curls even extend to their whiskers, which are short and curly.
The Cornish Rex’s very large, tall ears and soft, big, oval eyes blend into the egg-shaped head, and give these cats a wonderfully expressive appearance. The body, though it appears to be lithe and lean, is actually very tight and muscular, making the breed very powerful and strong. The light coat means that they are best suited for indoor living in warm and dry conditions. Their body temperature is slightly higher than that of most cats (102 F); thus, they tend to hang out around light bulbs, the tops of computer monitors, electric blankets, and other warm places, including human laps and shoulders.
Often the Cornish Rex is referred to as the “Greyhound” of the cat world, because of the sleek appearance and the galloping run that is characteristic of the breed. These cats tend to stay playful and kitten-like throughout their entire long lives. Some Cornish Rex like to play fetch enthusiastically, race other pets, and do acrobatic jumps. Precious objects perched on high shelves are never safe from the inquisitive, athletic Cornish Rex.
The Cornish Rex is an adventurous cat and a very intelligent one. It readily adapts to new situations and will explore wherever it can go, by jumping into refrigerators, examining washing machines, etc. The Rex is extremely curious, seeks out the company of people, and is friendly towards other companion animals. It is a very suitable pet even for timid children.
The breed is good for folks who like to have their lives run by active, gazelle-like felines that love a good joke--as long as it's not on them! Everything is a game to the Cornish Rex, and they can be hard to ignore when they're in a sociable mood, which is most of the time. Rexes are determinedly outgoing with their favorite humans. The Cornish Rex can be quite demanding at times, and may show up at your dinner plate, determined to steal your food. They do not like to be left alone for long periods of time, so companion animals are a good idea if everyone in the family works long hours. The Cornish is definitely a lap cat, and any lap will do. With their warm suede feel and slightly higher body temperature, they make perfect winter lap warmers, too.
The Cornish Rex comes in a wide variety of coat colors and patterns, as outlined in the breed standard: solids--including white, black, chocolate, orange, and the diluted blue, lilac and cream; all forms of tabby--including classic, mackerel, and ticked tabbies; bicolor "tuxedo" coat in many colors; tortoiseshell; "smoke" colors; and the color-point pattern that is standard in the Siamese breed.
The Cornish Rex is a genetic mutation that first originated with a litter of kittens born in the 1950s on a farm in Cornwall, UK. One of the kittens, a cream-colored male named Kallibunker, had an extremely unusual, fine, curly coat and, instead of possessing a cobby body like his litter-mates and mother, Kallibunker’s body was long and lithe. He also displayed large ears, a slender tail, and a unusual wedge-shaped head. Kallibunker became the first Cornish Rex. His owner then backcrossed Kallibunker to his mother to produce two other curly-coated kittens .
An interesting side-note: using the word "Rex" to imply curly or otherwise unusual fur originates from an occasion when King Albert I of Belgium entered some curly-haired rabbits in a rabbit show. They did not meet the breed standards, but the show's officials did not wish to risk offending the king by rejecting them. So they accepted them, but wrote "Rex"--Latin for "king"--beside their names.
Two Cornish Rexes arrived in America in 1957, by courtesy of fancier Fran Blancheri. One died shortly after arrival, but the other, LaMorna Cove, who was pregnant by Poldhu (one of the kittens sired by Kallibunker), survived and produced a Rex litter. LaMorna and family became the foundation cats for the Cornish Rex breed in America.
Since the gene pool was small, breeders outcrossed to other breeds to maintain genetic diversity. Siamese , Havana Browns, American Shorthairs , and Domestic Shorthairs were among the breeds used. This not only provided genetic diversity, but a wide selection of colors and patterns from which to choose. Outcrossing has since been disallowed because there is now enough diversity within the breed itself to keep the breed healthy. The CFA accepted the Cornish Rex for Championship in 1964, and all the North American registries now accept the Cornish Rex.
The Devon Rex looks similar in appearance to the Cornish Rex, but the Devon Rex mutation is different from the Cornish Rex mutation, in that the Devon has shortened guard hairs, while the Cornish Rex lacks guard hairs altogether. Crosses between Devon and Cornish Rexes are not permitted in pedigrees, and matings between them will not produce cats with short wavy fur.
Despite some belief to the contrary, the Cornish Rex's short hair does not necessarily make it non- or hypo-allergenic. Allergic reactions from cats are not the result of hair length. The true culprit is a glyco-protein known as Fel d1, produced in the sebaceous glands of the skin, saliva, and urine. Most people with cat allergies are reacting to this protein in cat saliva and dander. When the cat cleans its fur, the saliva dries and is transformed into dust, which people then breathe in.
Since Cornish Rex cats groom as much as or even more than ordinary cats, a Cornish Rex cat can still produce a reaction in people who are allergic to cats. However, it is widely reported to cause lesser to little allergic reaction, as is the Devon Rex. It is highly recommended that potential owners visit catteries to test their own allergic reactions. Note that for more serious allergies, there are several breeds theorized to lack or produce less of the offending protein, such as the Balinese , Oriental Shorthair , Javanese , Sphynx , and Siberian .
The Cornish Rex requires little grooming, although they do have a tendency to get greasy ears and toes. Weekly bathing is recommended, especially if human allergies are an issue. Females, on average, weigh between five and seven pounds, while males weigh eight to ten pounds. Cornish Rex (and other Rex breeds) are at risk for dangerous and potentially deadly side effects from certain anesthetics. Veterinarians should err on the side of caution, and use special, milder anesthetics for surgery.
If you’re seeking a cat with an unusual appearance, and a lively, inquisitive, and charming personality, the Cornish Rex may be tailor-made for you!