Selkirk Rex Cat

The Selkirk Rex Cat is best known for its dense loose curls that come in a variety of different colors. This is an outgoing and affectionate cat that likes meeting people and needs daily interaction with its owners. They are tolerant cats that won’t be afraid to demand more love and affection.
Selkirk Rex Cat

Selkirk Rex Cat Characteristics (Quick Facts)

Size: Medium. Chubby body.

Intelligence: Medium.

Exercise Needs: Needs decent exercise.

Ability to Adapt: High. Adjusts quickly.

Shedding: Moderate shedding.

Average Lifespan: From 10-15 years.

Price: From $800 to $1500.

Weight: From 9-16 lbs.

Playfulness: Ideal playmate.

Social Skills: Good with children & other pets.

Need for Grooming: Thrice a week.

Health: Excellent. No health issues.

Hypoallergenic?: No.

The Selkirk Rex Cat is easily recognizable for its woolly curly coat. The sheep-like coat is caused by a natural mutation and comes in all imaginable colors.

This is a medium-sized breed with a heavily boned and muscular body. The head is round, with large round eyes, medium-sized ears, and full cheeks. Their coat can be short or long.

Long-haired cats have a distinctively longer ruff and fully plumed curls on the tail.

This is a social, placid, and affectionate cat with a silly side. These cats love being close to their owners and won’t hesitate to demand undivided attention. They are tolerant and relaxed cats who like to play and interact with people.

So, they won’t take kindly at being ignored or left alone for long periods of time.

Where Did Selkirk Rex Cat Breed Originate?

The Selkirk Rex is a naturally occurring breed that is different than other Rex breeds.

Unlike Devon Rex and Cornish Rex, this breed has a normal length coat that isn’t partly missing. This breed originated in Montana where the first known cat of this type was born in 1987.

The curly-coated kitten was one of six kittens born in a litter at an animal shelter. The frizzy female stood out among her short-haired littermates, that she was mentioned to the local Persian Cat breeder.

After hearing about this unusual kitten, the breeder Jeri Newman adopted her and named her Miss DePesto. Out of curiosity, Newman bred Miss DePesto to a black Persian. Out of six kittens in that litter, three possessed their mother’s curly coat.

Hence, Newman had proof that the curly coat is the result of a dominant gene. This was not the case with Devon and Cornish Rex Cats whose wavy coats are caused by a recessive gene.

Newman decided to name the new breed Selkirk after her stepfather. This is quite unique among cat breeds, and Selkirk is the first and the only breed ever to be named after an actual person.

To establish a new breed and give these cats a more pleasing appearance Newman and other breeders started to out-cross them.

Besides Persians, they used American Shorthairs, Exotic Shorthairs and British Shorthairs to develop a new breed.

The International Cat Association recognized the Selkirk Cat in 1992, followed by The American Fanciers Association in 1998, and the Cat Fanciers Association in 2000.

What Does the Selkirk Rex Cat Look Like?

The Selkirk Rex is a medium to large-sized cat with a heavy-boned and muscular body. They have round heads, full cheeks, broad-based medium-sized ears, and large round eyes.

The muzzle is quite distinctive, and its length is equal to the half of its width. The thick loose curls come in two lengths and are the most distinctive trait of this breed.

The biggest difference between short-haired and long-haired Selkirk Cats is the coat length on the ruff and tail.

As per size standards, the Selkirk Rex should be a medium-large cat with heavy boning that gives the cat surprising weight and impression of power. Their bodies should be well-balanced and proportionate.

Selkirk Rex Cat Colors

The Selkirk’s dense and loose curls come is any possible color or combination of colors.

You can find Selkirks in white, black, blue, red, cream, grey, brown, chocolate, silver, lilac, etc.

Patterns can range from bicolor, marbled, color point, spotted, ticked, and tricolor.

Selkirk Rex Cat Personality Traits

This relaxed, placid, and cuddly breed forms strong bonds with its owners. They are patient and tolerant cats that seek attention.

However, they aren’t overly needy and will let you go through daily chores without pestering you for attention.

Being a people-oriented and outgoing cat, the Selkirk Rex likes meeting people and will enjoy being in the spotlight.

The Selkirk likes to play and will enjoy having a cat tree condo to climb on and take a well-deserved nap. They are intelligent cats that will learn how to open doors and cabinets in pursuit of fun items to play with. So, it advisable to get a cat activity center, to distract your cat from rifling through your belongings.

The affectionate and loving Selkirk Rex likes to interact with its owners. However, they may or may not be lap cats.

Some Selkirk Cats love to jump in their owner’s lap and seek to be cuddled and petted. On the other hand, some don’t like laps and will choose to curl next to their people on the sofa.

With their social and outgoing natures, these cats don’t like being left alone at home. Hence, get another pet as a companion.

Generally, the fun and fun-loving Selkirk doesn’t need much except a steady amount of daily affection. This friendly cat likes meeting new people and will enjoy being petted by everyone she meets.

The playful Selkirk likes to have fun so get catnip toys and play fetch with your cat to keep her happy and exercised.


The Selkirk Rex is a relaxed and even-tempered cat with a cuddly nature. Although they are sweet and endearing, these cats have a playful and silly spirit.

Despite being tolerant, the Selkirk Rex doesn’t like to be left alone. Thus, they won’t hesitate to demand attention in a small and quiet voice if they feel ignored or left out.

Selkirk Rex Cat Behavior

The social and affectionate Selkirk Rex thrives when surrounded by people and rarely develops behavioral problems in a loving home. However, these cats don’t like to be alone, and it doesn’t take a lot for them to become depressed or develop separation anxiety.

If you aren’t at home a lot, you should get another pet that will keep your Selkirk entertained and serve as a companion. This way you will prevent any behavioral issues and ensure that your cat is happy and healthy.

Are Selkirk Rex Cats Adaptable to New Surroundings?

The Selkirk Rex adapts well according to its owner’s needs. They are friendly cats that like meeting new people and will enjoy being the center of everyone’s attention.

They react well to changes in the environment as long as they are provided with the same amount of attention as before.

This moderately active breed likes to play with its owner. So, keep your cat entertained and active by letting her chase after the laser beam.

You should play with your cat for 20 minutes every day to keep her in great shape. However, if you have a hectic schedule get a robotic cat toy that will get your cat moving when you aren’t around.

Does It Get Along with Children and Other Pets?

The easy-going and friendly Selkirk Rex will make a great addition to homes with children. These cats love to play with kids who know how to handle a cat and can properly throw foam balls.

Plus, these cats also get along with other pets and will enjoy having company.

Being a moderately active breed, the Selkirk likes to interact with its owners and will ecstatically bat at feather wands. They are fun-loving cats that will appreciate playing games that involve human interaction.

So, try to play with your cat for 20 minutes a day and consider getting her a play mat to keep her busy when you aren’t around.

General Health and Potential Risks

The Selkirk Rex doesn’t have any known genetic health problems. So, if you are planning on becoming a future owner of this breed, you don’t have to worry about long-term medical costs.

However, due to out-crossing, Selkirk’s can inherit conditions found in their parent breeds. Some of those conditions are:

  • Polycystic Kidney Disease: Is a hereditary condition that causes cats to be born with small cysts on their kidneys. These cysts later grow and at some point, start to disrupt the normal kidney function. The first symptoms start to appear once a cat is 7-10 years old. However, some show symptoms much earlier. You should check if your kitten has a Persian, Himalayan or Exotic Shorthair as a parent. If so, ask the breeder for proof that the cat has been scanned for this condition.
  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: Is the most common form of heart disease in cats. It causes a thickening of the heart’s wall and can lead to congestive heart failure. Cats that suffer from this condition should be removed from breeding programs.

Selkirk Rex Cat Lifespan

The Selkirk Rex has an average lifespan of 10-15 years and is considered to have excellent health.

To avoid any hereditary health problems, get your cat from a reputable breeder who will give you a written health guarantee.

Furthermore, you should check if the breeder tested the kitten for HCM and PKP to avoid these issues arising in the future.

Grooming Needs

The dense, soft, and woolly curls of the Selkirk Rex are the breed’s most distinctive feature.

Don’t be intimidated by your cat’s coat since it is easy to maintain. Simply run your hands through loose curls to remove dead hairs and to stylize the coat.

Besides that, you should also brush your cat with a stainless-steel comb three times a week. This way, you will prevent or remove tangles.

Selkirk Rex Cat Shedding

Due to its dense coat, this breed tends to shed all year round and will lose even more hair during the shedding season. To keep the shedding under control, groom your cat two or three times a week.

In this section, we answer frequently asked questions about the Selkirk Rex. Continue reading to learn more about this curly-coated and affectionate cat!

How Much is Selkirk Rex Cat Price?

The exact price of a Selkirk Rex kitten depends on a breeder and several other factors. On average, you can expect to pay from $800 to $1500 for a purebred Selkirk Rex.

Keep in mind that pet quality kittens cost less and that you may end up spending significantly more for a show quality kitten.

How Big Do Selkirk Rex Cats Get?

Male Selkirk’s are slightly larger and weigh from 12-16 pounds. Females are smaller and weigh from 9-11 pounds. Due to its loose curls, this breed may appear bigger than it really is.

This heavy boned cat needs to be fed with grain free food to maintain the right weight. Feed your cat according to her age and activity level to prevent obesity.

Do Selkirk Rex Cats Shed a Lot?

Compared to other Rex cats, the Selkirk Rex sheds more. However, if you compare this cat to other cat breeds, the Selkirk is a moderate shedder. Keep in mind that this breed sheds all year round, so you will have to groom your kitty regularly to keep loose hairs under control.

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