Harper Jefcoat
Harper Jefcoat

Cornish Rex - A Complete Breed Profile & Facts

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8 min read

cornish rex

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  • Cornish Rex History and Origin
  • Cornish Rex Personality and Temperament
  • Cornish Rex Appearance
  • Cornish Rex vs. Devon Rex
  • Interesting Facts About Cornish Rex Cats

A Cornish Rex is an active, playful, medium-sized domestic cat that is popular for its extraordinary appearance. It can be distinguished from other cat breeds by its extremely soft and curly coat.

This sleek cat is surprisingly heavy, warm to touch, and is arched bodied. Cornish Rex cats are very affectionate and loving, making them great pets. Learn more about this breed’s history, personality, and interesting facts in this article.

Cornish Rex History and Origin

The history of the Cornish Rex cat is not as rich as its fellow breeds but is equally interesting. The first-ever Rex came into existence in 1950 in Cornwall, England, when a tortoiseshell and a random white cat produced five kittens.

Out of these litters, one was a curly orange-coated kitten and one white male kitten, which was named Kallibunker by the owner. This cat was vividly different from its other mates as its hair was short and curly, unlike its mother.

The Kallibunker had large ears and a slender tail. Moreover, it had a foreign wedge-shaped that resembled a Rex rabbit. Noticing the appearance, the owner, Nina Ennismore, contacted a British geneticist A.C. Jude to study the kitten and its genes.

On Jude’s advice, Nina backcrossed Kallibunker to its mother, and the mutation resulted in curly-coated kittens. Observing the breed, the name Cornish Rex was decided for it as the cat was developed in the Cornish origin and resembled an Astrex rabbit.

In 1960, when the breeders studied the Cornish Rex breed, it was concluded that this breed was developed due to a recessive gene. Both the parents have to contain this gene in order to produce Cornish Rex kittens.

When the Cornish Rex was bred with Siamese and British Shorthair Cats, the litters produced had normal coats, but they had the recessive gene. On the other hand, when the Cornish cats were crossed among themselves, wavy-coated litters were developed.

In 1957, the first Cornish Rex was brought to the United States and was recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association in 1964.

Cornish Rex Personality and Temperament

Cornish Rex are active cats that are highly intelligent and have an amazing sense of humor that keeps the owners entertained. These cats are always excited and interested in everything you are doing.

These hyper cats love to play fetch, jump around the house, and steal food to gain energy for antics. These energetic beings need your attention and appreciation for all their naughty activities. Due to their intelligence, they are quick learners so that they can be better trained. Moreover, Cornish Rex is a type of cat that will not sit in your for hours. It will always be on the go. This cat might not speak English but exactly knows how to deliver its message through its glance and gesture.

Cornish Rex is a playful cat that goes along well with families, especially children. It is extremely social and do well with other animals as well. The outgoing nature makes them good travelers and great therapy and support cats.

Cornish Rex Appearance

The appearance of a Cornish Rex breed is different from regular cat breeds. It is a petite-looking, short to medium-height cat that is surprisingly heavy. The body of this cat is sleek with a long torso and a deep chest.

The arches and curved body of Cornish Rex show no sign of flatness. The head of this cat is small and egg-shaped that is attached to a thin neck. The nose has a Roman look that forms a straight line in profile till the chin. The high cheekbones add depth to the features.

The large, erect, and alert ears stand high on the head that portrays the image of the cat’s attentiveness. The eyes are also large and oval in shape that are extremely expressive and bright.

  • Coat and Color

    The coat is what makes this breed different. Cornish Rex comes in all color types and patterns. Cornish Rex has an extremely silky, soft, and short coat that is free from guard hairs. Although it is relatively dense, the fur is noticeably wavy or curly.

    There is a variety of colors and patterns in the coat of a Cornish Rex. When the Cornish Rex was mutated with other breeds, including Russian Blues, American Shorthairs, and Havana Browns, many colors in the coats were formed.

  • Cornish Rex Care

    The one most important element in your cat’s mood and health is how you take care of it and fulfill its basic requirements. The whole personality and health of your cat depend on how well you take care of your pet.

    The basic needs of a cat include a good diet, grooming, and taking proper care of its health. Being an owner, you have to be concerned about the physical and mental fitness of your furry friend.

  • Nutrition and Diet

    Feeding the best diet to your pet is extremely important. Especially if your pet is active and full of energy, it will require a nutritious diet. Cornish Rex is a cat breed that is not a dainty eater and can easily gain weight. So the owner should have a keen eye on the eating schedule.

    The diet of your Rex depends on its lifestyle, size, age, and sex. The owner should get a good commercially manufactured cat food that is rich in proteins, minerals, and other required nutrients. In addition to this, you can also prepare food at home under the vet’s advice.

    Unlike other cat breeds, Cornish Rex appreciates vegetables and fruits as well. You can offer these as a treat to your cat or serve a required quantity with their meals.

  • Health

    Although Cornish Rex is active and a healthy breed, it can still be prone to some genetic health problems that can be inherited. Any breeder who claims that his cat breed has no health problems is either lying or does not understand the breed.

    The coat of your Cornish Rex requires protection from the rays emitted by the sun. It is recommended by the experts to not let your cat be in the sun for long.

    In addition to the sensitivity from the rays, Cornish Rex cats have a tendency to develop Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and patellar luxation. HCM is a heart disease that causes the thickening of the heart muscles.

    In order to ensure your pet’s health, provide a good diet. Moreover, your cat should regularly exercise. Arrange activities indoors for your pet to keep it energetic, fresh, and healthy.

    Cornish Rex is prone to weight gain. If you want your cat physically fit, take care of its weight and try to maintain it.

    If you notice anything strange about your cat’s eating pattern or health, immediately get medical help. Consult a veterinarian and get your pet examined in time before the issue gets serious and untreatable.

  • Grooming

    The Cornish Rex is known for its unusual coat. The short, silky, and wavy coat with no harsh guard hairs makes the grooming process easier.

    The body of this cat is coated with delicate hair that is tightly waved except on the chest and belly. This cat does not require proper grooming as regular brushing and combing can damage their skins.

    Apart from this, their ears, eyes, and paws should be weekly cleaned. The paws can get greasy, which is extremely unhygienic for the cats. Get their nails trimmed weekly as well. Moreover, the dirt is usually caught in the ears that can be the source of infection.

    In order to prevent bacterias in the mouth, brush your cat’s teeth daily. It will help keep the breath fresh.

    There are now professional groomers available to provide cleaning services for your pets. You can take your Cornish Rex to the groomer for occasional bathing and deep cleaning.

Cornish Rex vs. Devon Rex

Cornish Rex and Devon Rex are two cat breeds that are not only similar in names but in their origins as well. Both these cats look alike as they are lean, muscular, and have large ears. However, there are several distinct features that set each breed apart.

Cornish RexDevon Rex
Cornish Rex has longer legs, a broader chest, a finer coat, and a smaller waist than a Devon Rex.Devon Rex is a cat larger than Cornish Rex that has low-set ears and shorter whiskers and legs.
Cornish Rexes are more active, energetic, and playful in nature.Devon Rexes are more docile and easy-going.
They have a slightly longer lifespan and have fewer hereditary diseases.Devon Rex has a shorter lifespan as compared to Cornish Rex due to more hereditary diseases.

Interesting Facts About Cornish Rex Cats

This unique breed has several interesting facts that not every person is familiar with. If you are a cat lover and fascinated to learn about the different characteristics, the following “not so known” facts can be really amusing for you.

  • Cornish Rexes are not Hypoallergenic - Although Cornish Rex’s have a short, fine, and silky coat, they are not hypoallergenic. If you are getting this cat and are allergic, reconsider the decision.

    Cornish Rex will trigger your allergies as it produces dander and dead skin cells that are extremely harmful.

  • Cornish Rexes are Very Demanding - Cornish Rexes are a very demanding breed. They are always after their owners to give them attention for whatever they do. They do not like to be left alone at home. So if you are extremely occupied by the work or are not able to give your Cornish friend time, get a company for it.

  • Cornish Rexes as Emotional Support Animals - Due to their playful and active nature, Cornish Rexes are amazing emotional support animals. People having mental illnesses require the emotional support of others to treat their conditions.

    Seeing your cheerful friend jumping around and performing antics can help a person stay calm and handle attacks better. To get a Cornish Rex as an emotional support cat, a person requires an ESA letter written from an expert.

Cornish Rex is a result of a natural mutation that is known for its distinctive coat fur and playful nature. These cats are friendly, loyal, and affectionate towards their owners. If you have children in the house, these cats will be super excited to be around them.

Getting a Cornish Rex will be your best decision as they can provide great companionship and entertainment to you and other animals around you.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a Cornish Rex cat cost?

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The Cornish Rex costs around $75 to $150 when adopting. While if you have to get it from a breeder, the range can rise high from $800 to $1300.

Do Cornish Rex cats shed?

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The Cornish Rex cat’s fur is soft, thin, and fine without any guard hairs. Due to this, Cornish Rex do not shed much. Moreover, these cats require little to no grooming, making it easier for the owners to look after their furry friends.

Do Cornish Rex cats need baths?

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Like other cats, Cornish Rex secret oils. Due to the thin coat of hair, these oils are not absorbed because of which frequent bathing is required.

Where can I buy a Cornish Rex cat?

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Buying a Cornish Rex is simple. You can contact breeders or visit adoption and rescue centers to buy a Cornish Rex. The cost when buying a Cornish Rex from a breeder is usually $800 to $1300, while it is less when getting it from an adoption center.

How long does a Cornish Rex live?

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A Cornish Rex usually lives for about 15 years. These creatures are active and energetic beings that can even live longer if proper care is given by the owner.


Harper Jefcoat


Harper Jefcoat

Harper Jefcoat is a dedicated pet enthusiast and expert author at the RealESALetter.com. With a deep-seated passion for animals, Harper brings a wealth of knowledge and personal experience to his writings. Specializing in canine behavior and wellness, he aims to help pet owners understand and care for their furry friends better.

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