Known for its prominently large eyes and curly coat, the Devon Rex is a beautiful kitty adored for its playfulness and cuddliness. And the word has it, there is never a dull moment with these furriendly bundles of joy! In honor of their unique appearance, they are often affectionately referred to as the Pixie cats. So, without further ado, humble hoomans, please meet the charming "alien cat" from England!
The Devon Rex is a medium-sized, uniquely beautiful kitty. They are lightly built and their long, sturdy legs and large toes make them purrfectly adapt to jumping and leaping. The Devon typically weighs 6-11 pounds and measures around 13 inches. They have exceptionally large, slightly rounded ears. The head is wide, eyes are large and bright and the nose is slightly upturned. Unusually, their whiskers are very short and often curled to such an extent that it may appear as if they have no whiskers. Their coat is short, curly and plush, without the undercoat. They come in a variety of colors and patterns, except amber.
The story of the alien cat begins in an abandoned tin mine in Buckfastleigh, Devon, England in 1959. This is where a lady named Beryl Cox discovered and adopted a homeless little curly cat who she named Kirlee. Kirlee was produced from a male curly cat and a female shorthair tortoiseshell cat, and was the only curly kitten in his litter. Fascinated by his prominent appearance, Beryl was determined to mate her special little cat in order to create a new cat breed and preserve his unusual looks. She first attempted to cross Kirlee with another curly breed, the Cornish Rex, in hopes to produce more curly kittens. However, it turned out that the curly coat trait of Kirlee and the Cornish Rex is determined with completely different genes, so the cross-breeding was unsuccessful. So, instead, Kirlee was bred with domestic cats and then inter-bred to his curly female kittens. The curly kittens were then continued to be bred to each other and the new breed was born. Because the breed originated from just one single cat, Kirlee, the World’s first Devon Rex, this resulted in a poor genetic pool of the breed. This is not preferable in terms of breed-specific health, however.
The Devon Rex can be a fairly healthy breed. However, due to the small gene pool, there is a higher incidence of some genetic diseases. The breed is prone to hip dysplasia, patella luxation, vitamin-k-dependent coagulopathy (a deficiency of blood clotting factors), and myasthenia (an autoimmune neuromuscular disease).
Mischievous, playful and intelligent, the Devon Rex remains a “kitten-at-heart” even at an older age. Devons are lovable kitties who love cuddling and snuggling, but, frankly, they never get tired of getting into trouble. They love playing, exploring, fetching and hunting. When they’re not jumping, climbing or making a mess, your Devon Rex may be found lurking through the window or spying on you in the shadows. In light of this, they are sometimes called “Monkeys in a catsuit”. They are extremely friendly and people-oriented, but because they’re also exceptionally playful and mischievous, they get along better with older children than younger, and they are typically welcoming to other pets.
Top 5 fun facts about the curly Pixie cat
1. Their curly coat has a unique genetic make-up. Although they have a similar coat structure, the curl in Devon Rex fur is actually caused by a completely different mutation and gene than that of the Cornish Rex and German Rex. In fact, the breeding of a Devon with either of those cats results in cats without rexed (curled) fur.
2. They are NOT hypoallergenic. Because they have a short, slow-growing coat, it is a common misconception that the Devon Rex is hypoallergenic. However, while some Devon cats may indeed be hypoallergenic, this won’t be because of their fur. The cat allergies are caused by the allergens produced in cat saliva, and not the hair itself.
3. They are NOT easily trainable. The Devon Rex is highly intelligent, which is why they can learn a lot of different tricks. You can teach them to walk on a leash, to fetch, to pee in the toilet, whatever you name it. But don’t expect this job to be easy! Even though they are very smart and social, it is often rather challenging to motivate the Devon Rex to actually train. Here are some tips to help you train your kitty.
4. There are only two blood groups in the Devon Rex population. Because of a small genetic pool, only two blood groups can be found in this breed. This makes the breeding challenging and blood testing is required in order to prevent neonatal isoerythrolysis.
5. Their ears are large and…high-maintenance. The Devon Rexhas large, sensitive ears and it is recommended to clean them weekly in order to prevent dirt accumulation. Furthermore, if you let your Devon outside during the summer days, it is recommended to put sunscreen on the sensitive skin of their large, exposed ears.
The Devon Rex is a beautifully unique, playful and mischievous little kitty. They are friendly and loving, and they make for wonderful life companions. Do you have a little Devon of your own? Share with us on social media!