Selkirk Rex Long-Haired
The Selkirk Rex is a medium-sized cat with an out-going and pacific temperament. Its dense curly coat makes it strikingly similar to a soft plush toy that was designed specifically for hugging. Despite its grooming requirements this breed can become an excellent choice for everyone who is dreaming of a gentle and quite family pet.
Photo: © Nelya Kostyurina (facebook.com)
The story of the development of the Selkirk Rex began in 1987 when a feral cat in Montana produced the litter of five kittens. One of them possessed unusual curly coat so it induced the interest of a local Persian breeder, Jeri Newman, who sheltered it. She nicknamed this female cat Miss DePesto because it continually pestered her for care and attention. When it matured Newman bred it to a pitch-black Persian male.
Miss DePesto gave birth to six kittens and three of them inherited curls of their mother. This fact served as a proof that this particular characteristic was caused by dominant gene. The foremother of the breed also carried genes, which are responsible for long hair and a spotted coat, so it passed these traits to her offspring.
Newman granted the newly-developed breed with the name of her stepfather and the word «Rex» was added to point to the curly structure of its coat. In order to diversify the cats’ gene pool and improve its appearance she and other cat breeders outcrosses its members to such breeds as the American Shorthair, the British Shorthair and the Exotic Shorthair. The Selkirk Rex was formally recognised by the International Cat Association and the American Cat Fanciers Association in the 90s of the XX century.
Unlike other feline breeds of the rex type the Selkirk Rex has laid-back and calm attitude towards everything. Its Persian and British Shorthair forebears endowed it with a mild and gentle disposition although it tends to be more energetic than those felines. The Exotic Shorthair gave this breed its mischievous playfulness. This cat patiently puts up with constant impulses of strange people to take it in their arms and squeeze. It’s fine with children who handle it with due respect and usually gets on well with non-aggressive dogs.
The Selkirk Rex possesses excellent sense of humour and will often entertain you with its clever pranks. It enjoys playing the role of a lap cat and will interact with you in a soft pleasant voice if it wishes to draw your attention to something. Although this cat won’t put in a claim for all of your time it definitely will be greatly stressed if left alone for long period of time. This breed might have placid and balanced nature but it’s far from stupid. It commonly welcomes every chance to challenge its bright mind so it can be taught even advanced tricks with reward-based motivational techniques.
This even-tempered but frisky cat can accommodate to any style of life and makes a very agreeable housemate if it’s surrounded with sufficient amount of love and care.
The most common problems for the breed include:
· polycystic kidney disease;
· hypertrophic cardiomyopathy;
· hip dysplasia.
The grooming of the Selkirk Rex usually requires significant amount of efforts. Its fluffy thick coat should be combed at least twice a week in order to keep it mats and tangles free. This breed sheds averagely and systematic combing will help to get rid of loose hair, which would otherwise appear on your carpets, furniture or clothing.
Bathe your Selkirk Rex only when it’s absolutely necessary. It’s recommended to perform this procedure with a vet-approved moisturising shampoo and then let it dry naturally in a warm, draught-free room. The cat’s ears should be cheeked on a weekly basis and cleaned if needed. Its nails need regular trimming, usually every other week. It’s also essential to pay enough attention to its dental hygiene.