10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Cornish Rex

Cornish rex

Families all over the world seek a cat to make their home complete. Domesticated cats are great companions, and can teach children how the responsibility and respect needed to care for an animal. However, finding the right cat can be difficult. Not only do individual cats vary in their personality and temperament, but there are many different cat breeds to choose from.

One unique and interesting type of cat is the Cornish Rex. It is a small to medium sized cat, although its lanky build may make it appear larger. This cat has a unique appearance and a playful personality, making it a favorite for families with young children. Cornish Rex cats have a great deal of variety in their particular color and pattern.

Despite the popularity of these cats, there are many misconceptions about them. Most people are unaware of just how special and unique the Cornish Rex truly is. Understanding its intriguing history, personality, and physiology can help potential owners make an informed decision on whether or not to buy a Cornish Rex. Here are ten of the most interesting facts that are less known about this cat.

It first emerged in the 1950s

The Cornish Rex is not a breed that has a long, storied history. In fact, it was only discovered in the late 1950s in England. On a farm in Cornwall, a cream-colored kitten was born that had a distinct coat and build. The owner named this cat Kallibunker, and this kitten turned out to be the first known Cornish Rex.

Kallibunker was mated with his mother to produce two other kittens with its distinct appearance. These kittens were bred with several other breeds.

It was brought to the US in the same decade

Despite only being discovered in the 1950s, it was quickly introduced to the US in 1957. Two breeding cats that were of direct relation to Kallibunker were brought to the US from England. It was not long before the cats were officially recognized in the country. In 1964, the Cat Fanciers’ Association recognized the Cornish Rex. Today, it is reportedly even more popular in the US than in its native England.

The Cornish Rex has only one type of hair

While most cats have three types of hair (guard hair, awn hair, and down hair), the Cornish Rex has only one. It has the undercoat, or down hair, but lacks the middle and outer hair. For this reason, its most conspicuous feature is its soft, short, and curly coat. Its hair has been likened to a lamb or rabbit. This coat separates the breed from most others, and gives it a highly sought after look and feel.

Its coat comes in many colors

Although it has only one type of hair in its coat, Cornish Rex cats come in a wide variety of colors and patterns. These include standard solid colors like white, black, chocolate, cream, and blue. However, they are also commonly found with bicolor patterns, tabby coloring, and even tortoiseshell coloring. The limited coat of the Cornish Rex does not restrict the variety and uniqueness of its appearance, as its single layer of hair comes in many different colors.

It is suited for indoor living

Not only does this cat lack guard hair and awn hair, the down hair that it possesses tends to be short and fall close to its body. This means that the Cornish Rex will quickly become cool or warm if outside. One of the benefits of this trait is that these cats love to settle in warm areas like on top of televisions, vents, and even shoulders. The need to keep warm makes these cats naturally affectionate, if only to use their owner’s body heat.

It is completely curly

While the main distinguishing feature of a Cornish Rex is its soft and curly coat, it is interesting to note that the cat has curly whiskers and eyebrows as well. In fact, it was often given the nickname “Marcel Cat” because of its curly hair. This name comes from the popular curling technique that was prominent for women in the 1920s.

It is not hypoallergenic

Although its short coat may lead some to believe that the Cornish Rex is a hypoallergenic cat, this is untrue. It may shed less than other cats, but it will still cause reactions in allergy sufferers. This is because it will still produce dander and a glyco-protein in its skin, saliva, and urine that causes allergies.

Some individuals have stated that the Cornish Rex causes less allergic reactions than long-haired cats. However, it grooms as much as other cats, and is not perfectly non-allergenic. There are many reasons to adopt or purchase a Cornish Rex, but being hypoallergenic is not one of them.

It has a playful personality

This breed is known for its intelligence, playfulness, and tirelessness. In fact, many people have held that its personality is more like a dog than a cat, although this may offend some cat enthusiasts!

The Cornish Rex maintains its exuberance throughout its life. It enjoys racing and playing with other pets, and is even known to enjoy playing fetch. Its energetic and youthful personality makes it an ideal pet for homes with children.

It has a distinct build

The Cornish Rex has been likened to dogs not only because of its personality, but also because of its appearance. It has been called the “greyhound of cats” because it shares some physical characteristics with this dog breed.

Its thin waist, barrel chest, and arched back make this cat stand out just as much as its coat does. As well, it has a unique head, which is one-third longer than it is wide and has high cheekbones. Despite its slender build, the Cornish Rex is a surprisingly strong and durable cat.

It is not related to the Devon Rex

Although they share a similar appearance, the Cornish Rex and the Devon Rex are completely separate breeds. While the Devon Rex only lacks long guard hairs, the Cornish Rex lacks both guard and awn hairs. As well, they have slight differences in appearance, with the Cornish Rex’s ears being located more on top of their heads.

The independence of the two breeds has been confirmed through mating, where the two cats, when mated, produce kittens with straight hair. A natural mutation caused both breeds to appear independently, despite their similar appearance.


Cats are wonderful pets that can provide love and energy to any home. The Cornish Rex in particular is a playful and intelligent breed that children adore. It has a unique appearance and a gorgeous silky coat. The Cornish Rex may be a fairly new breed, but it has quickly earned a place in the hearts of people all around the world.

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