While Rex cats might look like something beamed down from the mother ship, Rex are card-carrying members of Felis catus, the domestic cat. What makes Rex unique are their characteristic coat mutations that make the fur curly and wavy and their agreeable, affectionate, outgoing personalities.

Mutations that affect the feline coat include plush, curly hair (the Selkirk Rex), long curly locks (the LaPerm), and ultra short wavy hair (the Cornish and Devon Rex). All of these coat types arose spontaneously and separately within the domestic cat gene pool.

Rex cats are different because they possess mutated genes that give these breeds their distinctive coats. Some of these mutations are dominant (Selkirk Rex and LaPerm), and some are recessive (the Cornish and Devon Rex). The Selkirk Rex coat is curly, soft, and plush. The Selkirk possesses all three hair types – guard, awn, and down. All are curly, with the curl more pronounced around the neck and the tail. Even the whiskers are curly, which gives the face a whimsical appearance.

The first Selkirk rex was discovered in USA in 1987. The kitten, a dilute calico female, had an unusual coat that resembled lamb’s wool.

The kitten was named Miss DePesto of Noface and was bred to a black Persian male. The mating produced a litter of six – three of which were curly. With the time it become clear that Selkirks posses the dominant curly gene and that the hair length can be either short or long.

Read more on Selkirk Rex breed.