The Devon Rex is an impish and smart feline variety with enchanting appearance. With its peculiar hairstyle, large inquisitive eyes and graceful physique it acquired sizeable following in its native England as well in other countries. This sociable and buoyant cat can make an excellent pet for everyone who is ready to be indulgent to its occasional mischiefs.
Photo: © cattery EDEMLEN (edemlen.jimdo.com)
The Devon Rex owes its unique and quite exotic appearance to a homeless tom cat that inhabited a deserted tin mine in Buckfastleigh, Devon, England. In 1960 this half-feral tom cat had romance with a tortoiseshell & white female owned by Miss Beryl Cox. It produced several kittens and one of them possessed a curly coat just like its father. Miss Cox decided to keep this kitten and nicknamed it Kirlee. She followed the latest news in cat’s breeding and knew of Kallibunker (the first Cornish Rex). So she contacted Brian Sterling-Webb implying her Kirlee could become the part of its breeding program.
Nonetheless genetic tests showed that the gene, which was responsible for Kirlee’s wavy coat, was different to the one creating Kallibunker's curly hair. On the whole several obvious discrepancies were found in the texture of the coats and physiques of these two cats. While Kalli possessed crooked and curled whiskers, the gene in Kirlee manifests itself in stumpy and short whiskers. The coat of the cat from Devon curled in more random way than the hair of Kallibunker. And Kirlee had enormous, low-set ears, which gave it truly elf-like look. This impression deepened manifold by its huge, inquiring eyes and tiny nose.
Breeders initiated a program to preserve the gene found in Devon as well. It became known as Devon Gene 2. Actually the pedigree of all specimens of the Devon Rex goes back to this original cat, Kirlee. It made its way to America in 1968. It was granted with full recognition of the Cat Fancier Association in 1979 and today it’s recognised by other cat registries too.
The vigilant and resourceful Devon Rex strives for always being at the hub of activity so prepare that it will faithfully follow you all over the house. This inquisitive cat will explore every tiny corner of your house and will choose the highest point in the dwelling for its observation post. It prefers to always keep you in view and will immediately curl in your lap as you relax in your favourite easy-chair or nestle under the blanket to sleep beside you at night.
Being generally a quite cat the Devon Rex seldom uses its voice to attract your attention to its needs and wishes. It’s worth to know that it can become highly destructive if left alone for long periods. In this case it’s recommended to provide this cat with a permanent company of one or several of other felines. Children like its exuberant nature and the cat reciprocates their feelings. It can co-exist peacefully even with a good-natured dog.
The Devon Rex is a not only a cute but also a highly intelligent cat. It will welcome an opportunity to exercise its brain by learning some tricks. It’s important to reward the efforts of the cat with its favourite food and kind words. This breed adapts fairly well to all types of a lifestyle but it does best in the households where its active temperament will be encouraged and not suppressed.
The most common problems for the breed include:
· congenital hypotrichosis;
· hypertrophic cardiomyopathy;
· malassezia dermatitis;
· hip dysplasia;
· urticarial pigmentosa;
· Devon Rex myopathy.
The Devon Rex requires minimal care. Its soft and gentle fur has extremely fragile structure so vigorous brushing can easily damage it. That’s why the brushing procedure should be approached as carefully as possible.
The skin of some individual cats tends to become somewhat greasy, particularly in wrinkles and on the paws. Bathe your cat with a vet-approved shampoo every couple of weeks to avoid this problem.
The rest consists of standard grooming routines. The cat’s nails need weekly trimming and its ears should be regularly examined and cleaned if they look dirty. Regular tooth brushing is also essential if you want to avoid health issues in this area. All above-mentioned procedures should be introduced in a young age so an adult cat won’t perceive your manipulation as a torture.