Cat Breeds: Rex Cats
The distinguishing feature of all Rex cats is their waved coat pattern. Rex fur grows at a much slower rate than the fur on most cats, and is the way it is because it is less developed. most cats, both longhairs and shorthairs, have three levels of hair – a fine down undercoat, a layer of bristly awn hairs, and outer guard hairs. On Rex cats (with the exception of the Selkirk Rex) the outer guardhairs are usually non-existent, and the awn hairs are much shorter than usual, resulting in a fine, downy coat that tends to wave or curl. Even the whiskers of a Rex are shorter than usual.
Another characteristic share by most Rex cats is the athleticism . They have compact, muscular bodies, and are notably active and agile. Nevertheless, they are ready to bond strongly with their owners and are more likely than many cats to take to going for walks on a lead. The name rex is taken from a curly-coated rabbit of the same name. A geneticist compared the fur of the Cornish Rex cat and the Rex rabbit and found the genetic make-up of each to be similar.
The various Rex breeds are all quite distinct, and were discovered and developed quite independently of each other. They were all, however, due to spontaneously occurring mutant genes. They were named after the regions in which they were discovered.
German Rex cats (which have slighter denser fur) were first bred specifically in East Berlin jsut after World War II. Ohio and Oregon Rex cats, which were discovered in the states of the same names, do not appear to have survived as breeding lines.
Over the next few weeks, we will provided you with the significant differences between each of the Rex Breeds: Cornish Rex, Devon Rex, and Selkirk Rex.
The facts presented in this Blog Post were retrieved from ‘The Ultimate encyclopedia of cat breeds and cat care‘ by Alan Edwards.