Selkirk Rex Cat Breed_how to tell if your cat has a double coat

Selkirk Rex Cat Breed Profile: Health, Traits, Groom, Care

What is a Selkirk Rex cat breed and what about its profile, behavior, traits, lifespan, health, training, personality, grooming, care, and other interesting facts? Selkirk Rex cats, renowned for their captivating charm and unique curly fur, often raise several intriguing questions. This breed, known for its distinct appearance and striking attributes, has piqued the curiosity of feline enthusiasts. Let’s delve into some of the most frequently asked questions to gain a more profound understanding of these captivating creatures. This breed is an enchanting breed of feline elegance, and is renowned for its distinctive and captivating curly coat. In this detailed discussion, we shall delve into the intricate aspects of Selkirk Rex cat care, nutrition, and exercise regimens that are pivotal to ensuring their health, happiness, and overall well-being.

The History of Selkirk Rex Cats

Birth of the Breed:

The captivating tale of the Selkirk Rex cat breed began with the birth of a curly-haired kitten in Montana back in 1987. This enchanting kitten’s mother was a rescued cat of unknown lineage, and fate led it into the care of a cat breeder named Jeri Newman. Miss DePesto, as she was affectionately named by Newman, drew her moniker from a character portrayed by actress Allyce Beasley.

Genetic Discovery:

When Miss DePesto matured, she was intentionally bred with a black Persian male named PhotoFinish of Deekay. This union resulted in a litter of six kittens, consisting of three with straight hair and three with the coveted curly coat. This vital breeding experiment confirmed that an autosomally dominant gene was responsible for the development of the distinctive, curly coat.

Name and Lineage:

With this genetic revelation, the Selkirk Rex breed took root and was named after Jeri Newman’s stepfather, Selkirk. In the following years, breeders embarked on a journey of crossbreeding with American Shorthairs, Himalayans, Persians, British Shorthairs, and exotic Shorthairs to further develop and diversify the breed. Remarkably, The International Cat Association (TICA) was the first organization to extend recognition to the Selkirk Rex breed in 1992, marking an important milestone.

Acceptance by Cat Registries:

The acknowledgment of the Selkirk Rex’s uniqueness and charm didn’t stop with TICA. The American Cat Fanciers Association recognized the breed in 1998, and the Cat Fanciers Association followed suit in 2000. Today, the Selkirk Rex enjoys international acceptance and acknowledgment by cat registries, solidifying its status as a cherished and admired feline breed.

Distinctive Features of the Selkirk Rex

The Selkirk Rex, a captivating feline breed, boasts distinctive attributes that set it apart from its fellow Rex counterparts, such as the Devon Rex and Cornish Rex. One of the most striking features of the Selkirk Rex is its full and luxurious coat, a remarkable contrast to the typical short, wavy fur associated with Rex breeds. This lavish coat envelops the Selkirk Rex, bestowing it with an aura of elegance and regal charm. Additionally, the Selkirk Rex is characterized by its substantial and robust body, another aspect that further distinguishes it within the feline world. While many Rex breeds exhibit slender and lightweight physiques, the Selkirk Rex’s ample and well-proportioned frame adds to its allure, making it a truly remarkable breed that stands out in the feline kingdom.

A Unique Name with a Human Connection

The Selkirk Rex claims a distinctive accolade as the sole feline breed in the world to be named after an individual. This unique appellation is a testament to the breed’s intriguing history and the connection it shares with a person of significance. Unlike other breeds, which often bear names derived from geographical locations or attributes, the Selkirk Rex proudly carries the name of a human, adding an element of personal identity and connection that is unparalleled in the world of cat breeds. This human association lends an extra layer of fascination to the breed, making it all the more special and memorable.

The Curly Charm: “Poodle Cat”

Among the Selkirk Rex population, there are some individuals whose fur is so profoundly curly and distinctive that they have earned the affectionate moniker of “Poodle cat.” This endearing nickname is a testament to the remarkably curly nature of their coats, which closely resemble the tightly wound curls often associated with poodle dogs. These curly-haired Selkirk Rex cats exude an irresistible charm, their unique appearance drawing in admirers with an almost magnetic allure. Their distinctive coat showcases the genetic diversity and captivating variations that can be found within this remarkable breed, making them a delightful and cherished subgroup within the world of feline enthusiasts.

Selkirk Rex Temperament

The Selkirk Rex cat, often referred to as the “Poodle cat” or “The cat in sheep’s clothing,” is a captivating feline breed known for its remarkable and endearing temperament. This breed is a captivating amalgamation of characteristics that are bound to tug at your heartstrings. Calmness is at the core of their disposition, which bestows them with a unique serenity that is a soothing presence in any household. Their innate tranquility seamlessly blends with an overwhelming affection, making them truly delightful companions. These cats are inherently loyal to their human counterparts, a trait that endears them to those who seek unwavering companionship. Additionally, they exude a charming aura that effortlessly draws people in, making them not just adorable pets but also enchanting social animals that tend to leave lasting impressions.

Selkirk Rex Personality

The Selkirk Rex cat, often affectionately referred to as “The cat in sheep’s clothing,” is a captivating feline with a truly distinctive character. This woolly-haired wonder is not your typical lap cat. It boasts a unique independence that sets it apart. Nevertheless, this breed is known for its overall tranquil disposition and a penchant for human companionship.

This charming and inquisitive creature finds joy in the simple pleasures of life, such as a leisurely nap. As they mature beyond their kitten years, Selkirk Rex cats earn their reputation for steering clear of mischief. Yet, they are not just docile beings. They have a playful side that will surely amuse and entertain you with their delightful and often whimsical antics.

Although they may not be inclined towards extended cuddle sessions, these cats harbor an aversion to prolonged solitude. They thrive on the company of others, whether it’s cozily snuggling up to watch TV with their human counterparts or peacefully napping alongside a fellow feline.

It’s important to note that not all Selkirk Rex cats exhibit identical personality traits. Select breeders have undertaken outcrossing with Persians, Exotics, British Shorthairs, and American Shorthairs, leading to variations in personality while retaining the breed’s signature adorable curly coats and exceptionally gentle dispositions.

Nurturing the Health of Selkirk Rex Cats

When it comes to the health of Selkirk Rex cats, there are no specific dietary requirements, but some considerations can be beneficial. Opt for a diet that includes higher levels of Omega fatty acids, which contribute to maintaining their skin’s health and keeping their distinctive coat looking its best.

Given their propensity for weight gain, it’s crucial to choose a brand of cat food that emphasizes high protein content and low carbohydrates to ensure their overall well-being.

The unique coat of the Selkirk Rex, replete with cascading curls and a plush, soft texture, necessitates a bit of care, though less than one might assume. Regularly check for tangles and carefully comb them out to prevent the formation of painful mats. Striking a balance is key because excessive brushing and combing might cause the fur to appear wavy rather than letting the curls shine.

In terms of grooming, don’t forget to attend to your cat’s dental hygiene by brushing its teeth and maintaining well-trimmed toenails. This practice not only safeguards against periodontal disease but also prevents potential damage to your furniture, your skin, and your clothing.

While not all Selkirk Rex cats require this, some produce an excess of body oil and need the occasional bath. When embarking on this cleansing endeavor, exercise caution by employing gentle cat shampoo and allowing your feline friend to air dry gradually. Steer clear of hair dryers as they may harm the cat’s delicate skin and alter its appearance, making it resemble a poodle.

Playful Pastimes and Well-being

Selkirk Rex cats are spirited playmates, particularly when offered the opportunity to interact with humans or fellow feline friends. Their enthusiasm for jumping and climbing is remarkable. Consider investing in a tall cat tower and a window seat to offer a view of the outside world. Supply them with an array of scratching posts, puzzle toys that pique their curiosity, and other diversions like empty boxes and crinkly paper bags.

In their youthful years, Selkirk Rex cats don’t need much encouragement to play. However, as they age and their tendency towards obesity becomes more pronounced, a gentle nudge towards playtime may be necessary.

Selkirk Rex Other Names

The Selkirk Rex cat is affectionately known by a myriad of intriguing aliases, each reflecting its distinct characteristics and appearance. Apart from its official moniker, the most notable pseudonym is the “Poodle cat.” This nickname is a direct nod to their distinctive curly and often dense coat, reminiscent of a poodle’s fur, adding to their allure. Another whimsical moniker they have acquired over time is “The cat in sheep’s clothing.” This sobriquet perfectly encapsulates the essence of their charming curly coat, which occasionally bears resemblance to a fluffy sheep. The simplicity and familiarity of “Selkirk” are also used by cat enthusiasts and admirers, signifying a more personal connection with these extraordinary felines.

Life Expectancy

Selkirk Rex cats have the potential to be cherished members of your family for an extended period, with a life expectancy that typically spans 14 to 15 years. This longevity provides ample time to establish a profound bond and create cherished memories with these charming and affectionate companions. It’s a testament to their hardiness and resilience, a quality that ensures a lasting presence in the lives of those fortunate enough to share their homes with these endearing felines.

Selkirk Rex Affection Level

When it comes to measuring the depth of affection these cats offer, one must understand that Selkirk Rex cats are at the pinnacle of the feline world. Their affectionate nature knows no bounds. They yearn to give and receive copious amounts of attention. In their world, petting and snuggles are not mere indulgences but a fundamental need, a language they speak fluently. They thrive on the warmth of human interaction and excel at forging deeply emotional bonds with their human companions. If you’re looking for a feline friend who will be your constant cuddle partner and is always eager to share moments of affection, the Selkirk Rex cat is an ideal choice.

Selkirk Rex Activity Level

The Selkirk Rex cat’s activity level is another facet of their unique personality. Unlike some high-energy breeds that require a constant flurry of activity, Selkirk Rex cats offer a balanced approach. They engage in active play and demand attention, but they do so with an air of serenity and grace. They are not overly demanding, yet they appreciate having a designated space for their playtime. This balanced activity level makes them suitable for a wide range of living situations, from cozy apartments to more spacious homes, making them adaptable and versatile companions.


One crucial aspect to consider when selecting a pet is its compatibility with other animals, particularly if you already have cats, dogs, or other pets in your household. The Selkirk Rex cat’s pet-friendliness shines as they tend to be remarkably accepting and adaptable when it comes to cohabiting with other animals. Their calm demeanor, coupled with their affectionate nature, makes them inclined to get along well with other furry friends, fostering a harmonious and tranquil atmosphere in a multi-pet household.

Selkirk Rex Kid-Friendly

For families with children, the temperament of a cat can be of paramount importance. Selkirk Rex cats, with their higher rating in this area, prove to be excellent choices for households with kids. Their gentleness and patience make them well-suited to interact with and accommodate the energetic and inquisitive nature of children. Their affectionate disposition is a source of comfort for both children and parents, ensuring a safe and nurturing environment for family playtime and bonding.

Selkirk Rex Intelligence

Intelligence in cats can manifest in various ways, and the Selkirk Rex cat showcases its higher intelligence ratings by being inherently curious, investigative, and easy to train. Their inquisitive nature often leads them to explore their surroundings, both to quench their curiosity and to entertain themselves. This, in turn, makes them relatively easy to train in various aspects, from basic commands to more complex tricks. While their curiosity and intelligence can sometimes lead to mischief, they also add an element of surprise and delight to everyday life with these charismatic felines.

Selkirk Rex Playfulness

The Selkirk Rex cat’s playfulness is a defining trait, thanks to their strong hunting instincts. These felines are not content with mere lounging but actively seek out opportunities for play. Their playfulness makes them exceptional companions for interactive play sessions, whether it involves toys, laser pointers, or feather wands. Engaging in play with a Selkirk Rex cat is not only entertaining but also a great way to strengthen the bond between human and feline, as they eagerly participate in these shared activities with zest and zeal.


Selkirk Rex cats, with their higher scores in the area of independence, possess the remarkable ability to spend hours alone without becoming distressed or anxious. They are content with their own company and can entertain themselves, making them suitable for individuals or families with busy schedules. This independence is complemented by their low-maintenance demeanor, which ensures that they remain self-sufficient and undemanding, even when left to their own devices.

Selkirk Rex Sociability

Selkirk Rex cats, characterized by their higher sociability rating, exhibit a strong desire to spend quality time with their human companions. Their day is not complete without the warmth of human interaction. They are, without a doubt, among the most social of feline breeds. They tend to seek out opportunities to engage with their human counterparts, making them the perfect choice for those who seek an interactive and engaging feline companion.

Care for Selkirk Rex Cats

To provide optimal care for your Selkirk Rex cat, it’s essential to pay particular attention to their luxurious coat. These enchanting felines require regular grooming to maintain the splendor of their distinctive curls. Gentle brushing with a soft, fine-toothed comb helps prevent matting and keeps their fur in impeccable condition. Beyond the aesthetics, this grooming ritual also fosters a strong bond between pet and owner, as it’s a delightful sensory experience for both parties.

In addition to their coat, Selkirk Rex cats have a sweet, affectionate nature. They thrive on human companionship and appreciate spending quality time with their owners. Their social disposition means they can be prone to separation anxiety if left alone for extended periods. To cater to their emotional needs, engage in interactive play and cuddle sessions, creating an environment that nurtures their affectionate and sociable demeanor.

Regular visits to the veterinarian are fundamental to maintaining the health of your Selkirk Rex. These charming felines can be prone to certain genetic predispositions and sensitivities, making health check-ups and vaccinations crucial for their well-being. Consult your veterinarian to create a personalized healthcare plan tailored to the specific needs of your Selkirk Rex.

Nutrition for Selkirk Rex Cats

Proper nutrition is the cornerstone of your Selkirk Rex’s well-being. Their dietary requirements are largely influenced by their age, activity level, and overall health. High-quality commercial cat food or a carefully balanced home-cooked diet can provide the essential nutrients to support their vibrant curls and overall vitality. It’s imperative to consult your veterinarian or a feline nutrition expert to determine the most suitable diet for your unique pet.

Keep an eye on their water intake as well. Adequate hydration is essential to maintain healthy skin and coat and to support their urinary system. Ensure a constant supply of fresh, clean water to quench their thirst.

Selkirk Rex cats tend to have a slower metabolism, which may predispose them to obesity if their caloric intake is not closely monitored. To maintain a healthy weight, carefully portion their food, and consider using puzzle feeders or interactive toys to make mealtime a stimulating and engaging experience.

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Exercise for Selkirk Rex Cats

Though Selkirk Rex cats have a laid-back disposition, they still require regular exercise to maintain their health and prevent obesity. Engage them in play sessions that cater to their unique preferences, which may include games like feather wands, laser pointers, or interactive puzzle toys. These activities stimulate their minds and keep them physically active, promoting a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

Introduce vertical spaces within your home, such as cat trees and shelves, to encourage climbing and exploration. These graceful cats enjoy perching on high vantage points, which not only satisfies their natural curiosity but also serves as a form of physical exercise.

In conclusion, caring for a Selkirk Rex cat demands meticulous attention to their coat, a well-rounded nutritional plan, and engaging exercise routines. These enchanting felines reward their owners with unwavering affection and devotion when provided with the care, nutrition, and exercise they require.

Selkirk Rex Vocality

The Selkirk Rex cat’s vocal tendencies are worth noting. While they do communicate with their human companions, they tend to be on the quieter side. They may meow occasionally to express their needs or desires, but their vocalizations are generally more reserved compared to some other breeds. If you appreciate a quieter and less vocal feline companion, the Selkirk Rex cat offers just that – a cat that’s content to express itself through actions and body language, with words being a more occasional form of communication.

Selkirk Rex Grooming

Grooming plays a significant role in the care of a Selkirk Rex cat, and their grooming score can be on the higher side. This is primarily due to their distinctive curly coat, which requires regular maintenance to keep it in the best possible condition. Brushing is often necessary to prevent matting and tangling of their luxurious fur. Additionally, periodic baths may be recommended to ensure their coat remains clean and healthy. However, despite their grooming needs, their affectionate nature makes grooming sessions a bonding experience rather than a chore, strengthening the connection between you and your charming Selkirk Rex cat.

The Breed Standard: Selkirk Rex Cat

The Selkirk Rex cat, a captivating feline breed, is defined by a comprehensive set of characteristics outlined in the breed standard. These standards are the blueprint by which breeders and cat enthusiasts assess and appreciate the distinct features of this unique cat.

About the Selkirk Rex Cat: A Distinctive Feline

When examining the Selkirk Rex, one of the most conspicuous features is its eyes. These mesmerizing orbs are striking in their size, with a distinct roundness that seems to capture the very essence of curiosity and intelligence. They are set wide apart on the cat’s face, a characteristic that accentuates its wide-eyed, almost perpetual look of wonder. What sets them apart even more is the subtle yet crucial detail that the outer corner of the eye is set slightly higher than the inner corner, an exquisite touch to this breed’s captivating gaze.

Legs & Paws: Graceful Limbs and Dainty Feet

The legs of the Selkirk Rex cats are a testament to the breed’s grace and elegance. They boast a medium to long length, exhibiting a graceful proportion in relation to the cat’s overall physique. What’s particularly striking about their limbs is the substantial boning that runs through them. This feature imparts a sense of strength and sturdiness to these cats, contrasting beautifully with their otherwise graceful appearance. The feet, on the other hand, are a study in daintiness, despite their robust size, appearing round and utterly charming.

Tail: A Tale of Balance and Elegance

The Selkirk Rex’s tail is a masterpiece of feline anatomy. Of medium length, it gracefully extends from the base, which is robust and heavy, gradually tapering to a perfectly balanced point. It is neither pointed nor blunt, which adds a touch of finesse to the cat’s overall form. The tail’s visual symmetry complements the breed’s well-proportioned body, underscoring the elegance of this remarkable feline.

Body: A Picture of Poise and Strength

The Selkirk Rex cat’s body is a well-balanced canvas of exquisite proportions. It presents a rectangular profile with ample musculature, showcasing the breed’s overall strength and vitality. Males, as a rule, are notably larger than their female counterparts, adding to the visual diversity within the breed. This distinctive body shape reflects the Selkirk Rex’s unique combination of power and grace.

Head: A Portrait of Elegance and Charm

The head of the Selkirk Rex cat is nothing short of captivating. Its broad and round contours are enhanced by full cheeks and prominent whisker pads. Unlike many other feline breeds, this cat is devoid of flat planes on its face, creating a charming, almost doll-like appearance. The muzzle, of medium width, accentuates the overall balance of the head, while the chin exhibits firmness and well-developed structure. A special note must be made of the curly whiskers, adding an extra layer of character and charm to this breed’s delightful visage.

Ears: Elegance in Proportion

The Selkirk Rex’s ears, like other features, exude elegance and balance. They are of medium size with broad bases, harmonizing seamlessly with the cat’s overall appearance. One remarkable feature that distinguishes the Selkirk Rex is the presence of curly furnishings on its ears, a distinctive touch that adds to the breed’s unique appeal.

Coat: Luxurious Textures

In Longhair Selkirk Rex cats, the coat is a thing of wonder. It is full and dense, enveloping the cat in a velvety softness. The ruff, tail, and belly may exhibit even more pronounced curling than the rest of the coat, creating a striking contrast of textures. Shorthair Selkirk Rex cats, while shorter in coat, still maintain a dense and plush feel that beckons to be touched. Similarly, the neck, tail, and belly may exhibit delightful curling, offering a sensuous contrast to the rest of the coat.

Color: A Palette of Possibilities

Selkirk Rex cats, in their stunning diversity, can present an array of coat colors and patterns. The palette of possibilities knows almost no bounds, reflecting the creative artistry of nature in its finest form. A unique detail is the correlation between the coat color and the nose leather and paw pad color, adding an exquisite layer of coherence and aesthetic appeal.

Do Selkirk Rex Cats Shed?

When it comes to shedding, Selkirk Rex cats, despite their long and lustrous coat, surprisingly prove to be a pleasant exception within the feline world. Unlike some of their counterparts, they are not prolific shedders, which makes them an appealing choice for cat lovers who desire elegance without the added burden of extensive grooming. While a certain amount of shedding is inevitable, it remains notably less in comparison, making Selkirk Rex cats a favorable option for those seeking low-maintenance yet gorgeous feline companions.

The Cost of Owning a Selkirk Rex Cat

The allure of owning a Selkirk Rex cat comes with a price tag that reflects their rarity and distinctive characteristics. These feline marvels are not your run-of-the-mill companions; they are a breed apart, both in terms of their appearance and demeanor. To bring one of these captivating creatures into your home, you should be prepared to invest between $500 and $800, a cost that mirrors their uniqueness in the world of domestic cats. This price not only covers their aesthetic appeal but also speaks to their endearing personality and charm, making them a worthy investment for any feline enthusiast.

Size Matters: How Big Do Selkirk Rex Cats Get?

Selkirk Rex cats are not just enchanting in their appearance; they also stand out for their size. These magnificent felines tend to be on the larger end of the spectrum, exuding a regal and imposing presence in any household. When fully grown, a Selkirk Rex cat can tip the scales at a substantial 7 to 12 pounds, or even more in some cases. Their height, an additional factor contributing to their majestic presence, typically ranges from approximately 9 to 11 inches. This larger-than-life stature adds to the grandeur of Selkirk Rex cats and makes them an eye-catching addition to any cat lover’s home.

A Long and Happy Life: How Long Do Selkirk Rex Cats Live?

Selkirk Rex cats are not only captivating and sizable but also remarkably durable in terms of their longevity. On average, these feline wonders can enjoy a remarkable lifespan of 14 to 15 years, a testament to their robust health and vitality. This impressive duration of companionship offers cat enthusiasts an extended period to revel in the company of their beloved Selkirk Rex, forming deep bonds and creating cherished memories over the years. Their resilience and vitality make them an excellent choice for individuals seeking a long-lasting connection with their feline companions.

Health and Care of Selkirk Rex Cats

Nutritional Considerations:

Selkirk Rex cats, despite their unique appearance, do not possess any exceptionally demanding dietary requirements. Nevertheless, when selecting cat food, it is advisable to opt for products that boast higher levels of Omega fatty acids. These nutrients play a crucial role in maintaining the health of their skin and ensuring their distinctive, curly coat remains in optimal condition.

Obesity Prevention:

It is essential to remain vigilant when it comes to the Selkirk Rex’s weight management, as these cats can be somewhat prone to obesity. In this regard, prioritize cat food brands that provide high protein content and low carbohydrate levels. A balanced diet is not only integral to their overall well-being but also aids in avoiding weight-related issues.

Grooming Ritual:

One of the defining characteristics of Selkirk Rex cats is their extraordinary coat, adorned with an abundance of curls and a luxuriously soft, thick texture. Maintaining this special coat may appear more demanding than it truly is. While tangles can develop, leading to uncomfortable mats, overzealous brushing and combing can actually diminish the distinctive curl pattern. Striking a balance is key – regular checks for tangles are crucial, as is gentle, occasional combing to prevent matting.

Oral and Nail Care:

Extend your grooming regimen to include dental care. Brushing your cat’s teeth at home can stave off periodontal disease, a common issue in cats. Additionally, keeping their toenails trimmed is a practical measure to prevent your furniture, skin, and clothing from suffering inadvertent damage.

Bathing Considerations:

Not all Selkirk Rex cats require bathing, but some may produce excess body oil, necessitating an occasional bath. If this is the case for your feline friend, make sure to use gentle cat shampoo to preserve their skin’s delicate nature. Always allow them to air dry slowly, as using a hair dryer can cause discomfort and alter their coat’s appearance. Cat accessories on Amazon

Play and Exercise:

Selkirk Rex cats have an innate love for play, particularly when they can engage with their human companions or fellow feline friends. These delightful kitties possess an appreciation for jumping and climbing, so providing them with a tall cat tower and a window seat to observe the world outside can greatly enrich their lives. Alongside these amenities, scratching posts, stimulating puzzle toys, empty boxes, and crinkly paper bags can keep them entertained. While youthful Selkirk Rex cats are naturally exuberant, their exercise and playtime may require encouragement as they age and face potential weight gain.

Health Maintenance:

In terms of health, Selkirk Rex cats are generally robust. The breed has not exhibited any known genetic issues to date. Some responsible breeders take proactive measures, such as screening for potential problems like polycystic kidney disease and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. However, these cases are relatively rare, and this breed typically enjoys a long and healthy life.

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