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Cornish Rex

The cat with a Whippet-like body and curly coat

By: Kelly Caldwell

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Cornish RexThe Cornish Rex is one of the most unique-looking cats around, and they know it! These attention-lovers are always ready to be involved with whatever you are doing.


These unique felines are actually the result of a genetic mutation. In 1950 in Cornwall, a barncat gave birth to a litter, but one of the kittens stood out from the others—his coat was curly. The owners named this little guy Kallibunker and decided there needed to be more of him. So, they started breeding him and eventually discovered that some cats carry the recessive gene that causes a curly coat but in order for the kittens to develop this unique trait, both parents must carry the gene. The breed was officially recognized by the Cat Fancier’s Association in 1963.

Appearance and Markings

The Cornish Rex’s Whippet-like body and distinctive curly coat make him one of the most unique-looking cats. His egg-shaped head features high cheekbones and prominent ears that seem always on alert. His coat lies close to the body and is soft to the touch—some claim the softest in the cat kingdom.

Behaviour and Temperament

Cornish RexThough he looks delicate, the Cornish Rex is actually quite hardy and athletic—keen to play, race, and perform amazing acrobatic jumps around the home. He’s not much of a lap cat, however, as he likes to always be moving and exploring. This isn’t to say that he doesn’t like snuggles. The Cornish Rex loves their owner and will do just about anything to spend time with them. They just prefer snuggles and scratches in small bursts before they run off again, trying to impress you with their energy and agility.

The Cornish Rex is also known to have quite the sense of humour. They like to open doors, cupboards, drawers—anything they can get their paws on, really! They are quite social and have no issues meeting new people. They’ll probably even put on a show for them, performing high jumps and other impressive tricks. They are highly intelligent so need to lots of stimulation, puzzle toys, and room to move about.


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