Cornish Rex Cat

The Cornish Rex Cat is best known for its velvety wavy coat. This is a graceful yet athletic breed that likes to play and run around. These affection seeking cats know how to make their owners laugh. This is a loving breed that can charm its way into any home.
Cornish Rex Cat

Cornish Rex Cat Characteristics (Quick Facts)

Size: Medium. Skinny body.

Intelligence: High.

Exercise Needs: Needs no exercise.

Ability to Adapt: High. Adjusts quickly.

Shedding: Low shedding.

Average Lifespan: From 11-15 years.

Price: From $900 to $1300.

Weight: From 6-10 lbs.

Playfulness: Through the roof!

Social Skills: Great with children & other pets.

Need for Grooming: Once a week.

Health: Very good. Minor health issues.

Hypoallergenic?: No.

The Cornish Rex Cat is a social and playful breed that loves being close to people. They love being involved in their owners lives and will follow them around. Being such a people-oriented cat, the Cornish Rex needs an owner who will play and interact with him every day.

While not particularly vocal, they will find ways to get their point across and get you to do their bidding. Highly intelligent, these cats will master any trick in no time and enjoy learning more.

Best known for its short wavy coat, this is a medium-sized breed with a small head and distinctively large ears. Due to its sleek appearance and galloping gait, this breed is sometimes referred to as a Greyhound of the cats.

Where Did Cornish Rex Cat Breed Originate?

The Cornish Rex Cat originated in the 1950s on a farm in Cornwall, UK. As it is often the case, this unique breed appeared in a litter of an ordinary barn cat.

A pet cat belonging to Nina Ennismore gave birth to a litter of four kittens. One of those kittens had a uniquely soft wavy coat that made him stand out among his siblings. Nina recognized the rarity and value of this kitten and named him Kallibunker.

The father of the litter was unknown, but it was suspected to be a ginger shorthaired tabby. The owner Nina wanted to produce more kittens like Killibunker.

So, she backcrossed him to his mother. The two of them had a litter which contained two other curly coated kittens. The male from that litter, named Poldhu, latter sired a female cat named Lamorna Cove.

Both cats contributed to the development of the breed we now know as Cornish Rex.

Lamorna Cove was brought to America in the late 1950s and was mated with a Siamese cat. That cross gave this breed the exotic oriental look, including a whippy tail, wedge-shaped head, large ears, and eyes.

Because of close inbreeding, these kittens started to have numerous health problems. To improve the health of the breed, breeders crossed them to British Shorthair, Burmese, Oriental lilac and Havana. This practice resulted in cats with chunkier bodies.

Nowadays, the stocky appearance isn’t preferred and is considered a serious fault. In the 1960s in Great Britain, the son of Poldhu, named Sham Pain Chas fathered a litter keeping the breed alive in the homeland.

At that time, it was discovered that the Rex type is caused by the recessive gene. Thus, both parents must carry the gene to produce Rex-ed kittens.

The American Cat Association and Canadian Cat Association recognized the breed in 1963. The Cat Fanciers Association followed suit and recognized the Cornish Rex in 1964. The Cornish Rex breed is now recognized by all cat registries.

What Does the Cornish Rex Cat Look Like?

The Cornish Rex has arched back, barrel chest, small waist, and very long finely boned legs. Regardless of its gentle appearance, it’s a sturdy and muscular cat.

This breed is distinguished by a small egg-shaped head, rounded cheekbones, Roman nose, and oval eyes that slant slightly upward. The large ears are wide at the base and set high on the head.

Its distinctive appearance is further reinforced with a short wavy coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns.

According to the size standards, the Cornish Rex should be small-medium sized cat with the delicate looking body. Despite their dainty appearance, these cats should be extremely hard bodied and muscular.

Cornish Rex Cat Colors

The soft and curly coat of the Cornish Rex lies close to the body and comes in a variety of colors and patterns. The Cornish Rex can be found in solid White, Black, Chocolate, Orange, Blue, Lilac, and Cream.

Most common patterns include Tabby, Tortoiseshell, Bi-color, Smoke and Points.

Cornish Rex Cat Personality Traits

Despite its gentle appearance, this breed is a real charmer with a sense of humor. This is a highly intelligent and people loving cat that likes to play.

They like to be surrounded by people and basks in the attention it receives. They are fully involved in the lives of their owners and will follow your every move with great interest.

While not overly vocal, these cats know how to communicate their wishes through gestures and meaningful looks. They like to be cuddled and petted, which makes living and interacting with them a lot easier.

The extremely active and playful Cornish Rex loves to jump on higher surfaces. So, a cat tree is a must if you want to live with this energetic cat.

Their long toes enable them to manipulate objects and open cabinets and drawers easily. Therefore, everything that is of any value to you, needs to be hidden from this very smart cat.

They even know how to retrieve toy balls so, a game of fetch can be a nice way to spend time playing with your cat. Thanks to its long and lean legs, the Cornish Rex has the abilities of a race car, including fast start, great cornering skills and the ability to avoid any hurdle.

This breed remains playful well into its adulthood and needs a lot of toys to stay entertained. If not provided with environment enrichment, this breed can become mischievous and aloof.


This breed has a confidence and a sense of humor of a professional entertainer. They enjoy being in the spotlight and will do anything for attention.

Due to their outgoing nature, these cats aren’t afraid of guests and will do their best to entertain them. They are always on the go. So don’t think that you are getting a sweet and docile cat when you bring the Rex home.

The attention-seeking Rex isn’t afraid to speak his mind and will make his likes and dislikes plainly known. This breed maintains its kitten-like attitude well into old age and needs an owner who will appreciate its sense of humor.

Cornish Rex Cat Behavior

This outgoing and clown-like breed likes to interact with people and be in the center of attention.

They are best suited for people who have a lot of time to play with their cat daily and appreciate all its antics.

Basically, if you don’t have enough time to fully devote yourself to your cat, don’t get this breed. If left alone, they can develop separation anxiety or become depressed.

However, none of these problems will occur if you spend quality time with your Rex daily.

Are Cornish Rex Cats Adaptable to New Surroundings?

The Cornish Rex is highly adaptable breed that adjusts to its owner’s wishes but expects to be showered with affection and attention. They adjust well to change in family dynamics and environment.

This is a highly energetic and active breed as well. It will run, jump, and play all around your home. It is agile and athletic and will use its love of play to keep itself in shape.

Does It Get Along with Children and Other Pets?

This fun and playful cat makes a perfect addition to homes with children and pets. They love the attention they receive from children and make excellent playmates. Teach your child how to use a feather teaser and let him play with your cat.

It will get along well with other cats and cat-friendly dogs as well. This breed loves all sorts of games and fun activities, and your cat will enjoy playing with a cat play mat.

They remain kitten-like during their whole lives. So, it is best to invest in a lot of toys. Play and interact with your cat every day, to keep her spirits and health functioning properly.

General Health and Potential Risks

The Cornish Rex is considered a healthy breed. However, like all pedigreed cats, they have predispositions to certain health problems.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that your cat is going to get sick. However, it’s always better to learn about potential problems from the start. The following conditions can affect the Cornish Rex.

  • Congenital hypotrichosis: It’s also known as hereditary baldness which is probably the result of a recessive gene. These cats have fine coats but those that have less hair than normal are considered to have this condition.
  • Umbilical Hernia: It occurs when a defect in the abdominal wall allows intestines and other organs to protrude through the it. This defect is found near the umbilicus. Hence the name of this condition.

Cornish Rex Cat Lifespan

The Cornish Rex Cats have an average lifespan of 11-15 years. This breed is considered to have good health and doesn’t require frequent vet visits.

Because of their fine coats, these cats can benefit from extra warmth. So, consider getting them a sweater for warmth during cold days.

Grooming Needs

The Cornish Rex Cat is best-known for its silky and soft wavy coat. Unlike the other breeds that have three different layers of hair in their coats, this breed has only one. It is known as down hair or undercoat, which is very fine and 1 cm long.

Because of the specific texture of the coat, this breed doesn’t need to be groomed often. Once a week or even less is preferable so the hair won’t get damaged.

Use a soft bristle brush to groom your cat.

Cornish Rex Cat Shedding

Compared to other breeds, the Cornish Rex sheds minimally, but they do shed a little.

However, chances are, none of the hair will be visible on your clothing or furniture.

A double-sided pin and bristle brush will help you get rid of loose hair and remove dirt from hair. The soft bristles and rounded tip pins on these brushes will gently groom the cat without scratching their skin.

In this section, we answer frequently asked questions about the Cornish Rex. Read on if you want to learn more about this unusual breed!

How Much is Cornish Rex Cat Price?

The exact price of a Cornish Rex depends on the breeder and several other factors. You can expect to pay from $900 to $1300 for a Cornish Rex kitten.

Pet quality kittens cost less but show-quality cats will cost significantly more.

How Big Do Cornish Rex Cats Get?

As with all other cat breeds, male cats are bigger and typically weigh from 8-10 pounds. Females are slightly smaller and weigh from 6-8 pounds.

This is a gracefully built cat that needs to maintain its weight to look good and stay healthy. Feed your cat with indoor cat food to keep her healthy and at an ideal weight. Additionally, keep your cat active by providing toys and jumping surfaces.

Are Cornish Rex Cats Hypoallergenic?

You might have heard that the Cornish Rex is hypoallergenic because of its coat, but that isn’t completely true.

While some people with allergies react less severely to this breed, no reputable breeder will tell you that his cats are hypoallergenic.

Why Do Cornish Rex Cats Need Baths?

All cats produce skin oils, but Cornish Rex doesn’t have as much coat to absorb them, as ordinary cats do. Thus, their skin tends to develop a greasy feel quickly. So Cornish Rex cats need baths more often.

Are Cornish Rex Cats Affectionate?

Yes, they are extremely affectionate cats. In fact, they like being close to people so much that they might demand attention and companionship.

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