Devon Rex Cats. Full Breed Guide

The Devon Rex is a distinctive cat breed known for its elfin-like appearance, featuring large, set-back ears, wide-set eyes, and a notably short and curly coat. Originating from Devon, England in the 1950s, they are often characterized by their playful, friendly nature and high energy levels, earning them the nickname “the pixie of the cat world”. In addition to their unique appearance, Devon Rex cats have a special appeal because they are considered hypoallergenic, which makes them suitable companions for some people with allergies. Their loyalty, interactive personality, and the ability to learn tricks make them an engaging family pet.

Appearance

The Devon Rex is a medium-sized cat breed that is most recognized for its unique appearance. It is characterized by its soft, short, and very curly coat, which comes in a wide range of colors and patterns. The fur has a distinctive feel due to the reduced length of guard hairs; it’s often described as similar to cut velvet or plush.

The Devon Rex is a medium-sized cat breed that is most recognized for its unique appearance. It is characterized by its soft, short, and very curly coat, which comes in a wide range of colors and patterns. The fur has a distinctive feel due to the reduced length of guard hairs; it’s often described as similar to cut velvet or plush.

The Devon Rex is a medium-sized cat breed that is most recognized for its unique appearance. It is characterized by its soft, short, and very curly coat, which comes in a wide range of colors and patterns. The fur has a distinctive feel due to the reduced length of guard hairs; it’s often described as similar to cut velvet or plush.

History Of Devon Rex Breed

The Devon Rex breed has its roots in Buckfastleigh, Devon, England, during the 1950s. The first Devon Rex was a feral tomcat with a curly coat who, along with a tortoiseshell British domestic cat, produced a litter of kittens in 1960. One of these kittens, named Kirlee, also had a unique, curly coat. Kirlee is considered the progenitor of the breed.

The Devon Rex breed has its roots in Buckfastleigh, Devon, England, during the 1950s. The first Devon Rex was a feral tomcat with a curly coat who, along with a tortoiseshell British domestic cat, produced a litter of kittens in 1960. One of these kittens, named Kirlee, also had a unique, curly coat. Kirlee is considered the progenitor of the breed.

The Devon Rex breed has its roots in Buckfastleigh, Devon, England, during the 1950s. The first Devon Rex was a feral tomcat with a curly coat who, along with a tortoiseshell British domestic cat, produced a litter of kittens in 1960. One of these kittens, named Kirlee, also had a unique, curly coat. Kirlee is considered the progenitor of the breed.

Devon Rex resting near laptop.
Devon Rex Cat Resting

Personality

Devon Rex cats are well known for their lively and playful personalities. Often compared to dogs in terms of their loyalty and interactive nature, they love to be part of their family’s activities and thrive on companionship. They are also very intelligent, capable of learning tricks and commands, and some even enjoy playing fetch or walking on a leash.

With their high energy levels, Devons enjoy jumping and climbing, and they are particularly good at it due to their strong, agile bodies. This means they often appreciate tall cat trees and may frequently be found in high locations around the home.

Despite their active tendencies, Devon Rex cats also enjoy spending time cuddling with their owners. They have a habit of perching on shoulders, laps, or even heads, and love to snuggle under the covers for warmth. They are often described as “people cats” because they prefer the company of their human family members and can sometimes become depressed if left alone for too long.

Health

Devon Rex cats are generally healthy, but like all breeds, they can be susceptible to certain genetic and health conditions. One condition that can affect this breed is hypotrichosis, which leads to hair loss and can sometimes leave the Devon Rex almost completely bald.

Another health issue that can occur in Devon Rex cats is patellar luxation, a condition where the cat’s kneecap may dislocate or move out of its normal location. This condition can vary from mild to severe; severe cases can be alleviated with surgery.

They are also prone to a genetic disorder called Devon Rex Myopathy, which affects muscle function and can cause generalized weakness, difficulty swallowing, and even respiratory problems. This condition typically manifests in kittens or young cats and unfortunately, there is no cure. However, the condition can often be managed with supportive care.

Lastly, Devon Rex cats can suffer from hereditary myocardiopathy, a heart condition. Regular veterinary check-ups and proper screening tests are important to identify any potential health issues early on.

As with all cats, Devon Rex cats should be kept indoors to protect them from diseases spread by other cats, attacks by dogs or coyotes, and other dangers that outdoor cats face, like being hit by a car. Also, cats who are exposed to sunlight for many hours a day may develop skin cancer.

As with all cats, Devon Rex cats should be kept indoors to protect them from diseases spread by other cats, attacks by dogs or coyotes, and other dangers that outdoor cats face, like being hit by a car. Also, cats who are exposed to sunlight for many hours a day may develop skin cancer.

Care

Devon Rex cats are a relatively low-maintenance breed but do require some specific care due to their unique characteristics.

Coat and Grooming: Their short, curly coat is low-shedding, but they still benefit from weekly brushing to remove loose hairs and distribute skin oils. Despite their somewhat hypoallergenic nature, Devon Rex cats still produce dander, and regular grooming can help minimize this. Bathing should be done only when necessary because it can strip their skin of essential oils.

Skin Care: Due to their thin coat, they are more prone to temperature extremes, so it’s important to make sure they stay warm during cooler months and are not overly exposed to the sun during the hotter months as they can get sunburned.

Diet: They have a healthy appetite and are prone to becoming overweight if not monitored. Feed a balanced diet appropriate for their age, health status, and lifestyle, and ensure they maintain a healthy weight.

Exercise: Devons are active and playful cats that require plenty of mental and physical stimulation. They’ll appreciate a variety of interactive toys, climbing trees, and play sessions to keep them engaged and well-exercised.

Teeth: Regular dental care is also important; brush their teeth frequently with vet-approved pet toothpaste for overall health and fresh breath.

Regular Vet Checkups: Regular veterinary check-ups are crucial to monitor for the breed-specific conditions that Devons can be prone to, like myopathy and patellar luxation.

Social Needs: Devon Rex cats are extremely social, so they will need a lot of interaction with their human family. If left alone for extended periods, they can become anxious or depressed. If your household is empty for most of the day, it might be a good idea to have two pets so they can keep each other company.

With appropriate care and attention, a Devon Rex can be a delightful, playful, and loving addition to your household.

About The Author

Jennifer Terell, a valued author at Allpetsville, is an experienced cat owner and breeder. Her deep understanding of felines, coupled with a passion for writing, contributes to her insightful and engaging articles.

Her expertise in cat behavior, health, and breeding offers readers a comprehensive guide to feline care. Through her writings, Jennifer’s love for cats resonates, making her a reliable resource for cat owners and enthusiasts on their pet parenting journey.