The Cornish Rex is a slender and active breed, which was created in England in 50s of the XX century. The most recognisable features are its unusual wavy coat and enormous erect ears. This smart and out-going cat is also distinguishable for its expressive character, which means that it’s ill-suited for the role of a gentle and quite household pet.
Photo: © cattery Changes (personal.inet.fi/koti/changes)
The development of the Cornish Rex was initiated by English breeders in the second half of XX century. Its first specimen was produced by a barn cat of ambiguous origin in Cornwall in 1950. One of her kittens possesses peculiarly curly coat, which induced admiration and interest of cat breeders. Actually the breed received its present-day name for its coat’s similarity to that of a Rex rabbit. This distinctive trait appeared as the result of natural mutation. To preserve it once this kitten grew up it was bred with his mother that lately gave birth to a litter, which contained two more of the wavy coated kittens.
Genetic research of 60s of XX century showed that a recessive gene was responsible for appearance such type of the coat. This implies that both parents must have this particular gene. The very first member of the Cornish Rex, who was nicknamed Kallibunker, was mated with Burmese, Siamese, and British Shorthair cats. Resulting kittens possessed standard coats, but they were carriers of the recessive gene. When they subsequently were crossed with other Cornish Rexes, or to each other, their litters usually included several curly kittens. In order to broaden its diminutive gene pool and introduce more diversity to its coloration the breed members were also mated with the Russian Blue, American Shorthair, and Havana Browns.
The first Cornish Rex was brought to the United States in 1957. The Cat Fanciers Association granted its full recognition to the breed in 1964. It’s also officially accepted by other cat registries, including the International Cat Association and the American Cat Fanciers Association. Currently the Cornish Rex enjoys popularity not only as a family pet but also as a highly successful show cat.
The Cornish Rex is an elegant and sociable cat, which combines charming appearance with contagious zest for life. This quick-witted cat loves to steal your attention with its incredible acrobatic tricks and ingenious pranks. Its long and crafty paws allow it to handle small objects with amazing ease so it usually effortlessly opens doors and drawers. This cat wants nothing more than to always stay close to its master whether escorting him all over the house or comfortably snuggling on his laps.
In many ways the Cornish Rex behaves itself like a dog. For example, it will gladly retrieve small toys, which are thrown or it can be walked on a leash. Due to its slender physique and liveliness it deserved well-earned comparison to a race car. A child will appreciate playfulness of this breed so it usually makes an ideal four-legged friend for both adults and kids.
The Cornish Rex is also polite with other types of family pets as long as they respect its right for private space. However this breed isn’t recommended for a cat fancier who wants to have a classical calm and sweet-tempered lap cat. This cat commonly clearly defines its point of view with meows and chirms although it’s not as vocal as its forefather the Siamese.
Be prepared that the Cornish Rex will be characterised with kitten-like attitude towards life well into its adulthood. It will never stop seeking for the company of its favourite humans and it should be provided with enough love and caress which it craves.
The most common problems for the breed include:
· congenital hypotrichosis;
· umbilical hernia;
· hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
The grooming of the Cornish Rex will need minimal efforts from its master. Its delicate and soft fur doesn’t require brushing at all since this procedure can damage its fine texture.
Regular cleaning of the cat’s ears will prevent wax and dirt from building up in its ear’s canals. Its nails should be trimmed on a weekly basis. It’s also crucial to systematically brush the cat’s teeth so they will stay healthy well into an old age.