Selkirk Rex

By PetMD Editorial on Jul. 16, 2008

Physical Characteristics

Selkirk Rex is a medium-sized cat with a broad and round head. Its curly hair covers the cat's entire body, but is usually more pronounced in the neck and tail. The curly hair, however, appears at birth, straightens naturally and then reappears when the cat is between eight and ten months old. This plush and silky coat will then mature when the cat turns two. This breed also has long or short-haired cats, unlike the other Rex cats.

Personality and Temperament

Selkirk is extremely generous with its love, and lavishes it on you. It revels and shines when it is surrounded by people, and hates to be left alone. Playful and curious, it will follow you about the house wanting to be noticed. The Sekirk is also easygoing and does not cause trouble.

History and Background

The Selkirk is the latest cat to join the Rex breed. The woman behind this cat's success is Jeri Newman, a Persian breeder from Livingston, Montana. Always interested in new cat types, she was given an unusually curly kitten from a client of hers in 1987.

Newman called the kitten Miss DePesto because of her constant pestering, and later mated it with a Persian male, producing a litter of six. Three of these kittens also had fascinating curls. Newman then introduced the qualities of the British Shorthair, American Shorthair and Exotic Shorthair into the Selkirk bloodline, and promoted the breed in various cat associations.

With the aid of a few like-minded breeders, Newman succeeded in gaining recognition for the Selkirk Rex. It was displayed to The International Cat Association (TICA) board of directors in 1990 and accepted into the "new breed" and "color" class. In 1992, The Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) accepted the breed for registration in the "miscellaneous" class. The breed now has Championship status with the American Cat Association, the United Feline Organization, and TICA.

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