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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 rounded 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 and left alone for longer periods of time.
The Selkirk Rex Cat is a naturally occurring breed that is distinct from other Rex breeds.
The curly coated kitten was one of six kittens born in a litter in an animal shelter. The frizzy female so stood out among her short-haired litter-mates, 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.
This way, Newman had a proof that the curly coat was the result of a dominant gene. This was not the case with Devon and Cornish Rex 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 only breed ever to be named after an actual person.
To establish a new breed and give the cats a more pleasing appearance Newman and other breeders started to outcross them.
The International Cat Association recognized the Selkirk Cat in 1992, followed by The American Fanciers Association followed in 1998, and the Cat Fanciers Association in 2000.
The Selkirk Rex Cat 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.
Male cats 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 is a heavy boned cat that needs to be fed with grain free food in order to maintain the right weight. Feed your cat according to her age and activity level to prevent weight gain.
This is a relaxed, placid and cuddly breed that 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.
This is a people-oriented and outgoing cat that 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 to 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.
This is an affectionate and loving breed that enjoys interacting with its owners. However, they may or may not be lap cats.
Hence, some Selkirk Cats will enjoy jumping in their owner laps and seek to be cuddled and petted. While others may never grace their owners laps and will choose to curl next to them on the sofa.
With their social and outgoing natures, these cats don’t like being left alone at home. Hence, think about getting another pet as a companion. They won’t hesitate to demand attention if they feel ignored or left out.
Using feather teasers to interact with your cat and show her how much you really care will surely help.
Generally, the fun and fun-loving Selkirk doesn’t need much except a steady amount of daily affection. This is a friendly cat that likes meeting new people and will enjoy being petted by everyone she meets.
Get catnip toys and play fetch with her in order to keep her happy.
The Selkirk Rex Cat adapts well according to her owner’s needs. They are friendly cats that like meeting new people and will enjoy being the center of everyone’s attention.
These cats react well to changes in their environments as long as they are provided with the same amount of attention as before.
This is a moderately active breed that enjoys playing with its owner. So, keep your cat entertained and active by letting her chase after the laser beam from a laser toy.
It is best to play with your cat for at least 20 minutes every day to keep her in great shape. However, if you have a hectic schedule get a robotic cat toy that will keep your cat moving when you aren’t around.
The Selkirk Rex Cat 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 outcrossing, these cats can inherit conditions found in it’s parent breeds. Some of those conditions are:
- Polycystic Kidney Disease: This is a hereditary disease due to which cats are born with small cysts in her 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 one parent. If so, ask the breeder for proof that the cat has been scanned for this condition.
- Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: It’s 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.
The Selkirk Rex Cat has an average lifespan of 10-15 years and is considered to have an 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 in order to avoid these issues arising in the future.
The dense, soft and woolly curls of the Selkirk Rex Cat are the breed’s most distinctive feature.
Don’t be intimidated by your cat’s coat since it is fairly easy to maintain. Simply running your hands through loose curls will remove dead hairs and stylize the coat.
Besides that, you should also brush your cat with a stainless-steel comb three times a week. This way, you will keep the shedding under control.
The dense loose curls of the Selkirk Rex Cat 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 bi-color, marbled, colorpoint, spotted, ticked and tri-color.
The easy-going and friendly Selkirk Rex Cat will make a great addition to homes with children. These cats love playing with kids who know how to handle a cat and are able to properly throw foam balls.
Plus, these cats also get along with other pets and will enjoy having company.
Being a moderately active breed, it 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 occupy her when you aren’t around.