Cats are beloved pets in thousands of households around the world. There are many breeds, temperaments, and individual personalities when it comes to domesticated cats. In general, however, they are favored for their intelligence, independence, and appearance.
The Devon Rex, so named for its birthplace, is a young breed that is quite distinct from typical cats. They are medium sized and have peculiar short hair. This breed is unique not only in its appearance, but also in its behavior and temperament. They are known as extremely intelligent and energetic cats.
As the breed has only existed for several decades, there is still much to learn about the Devon Rex. There are many assumptions made about these cats that are untrue, and many people are unaware of just how unique they are. Here is a list of ten very interesting aspects of the Devon Rex that may not be widely known.
10. They have unique whiskers
While one of the most striking features of the typical cat is long whiskers, the Devon Rex breaks from this trend. It has very short and tightly curled whiskers. In fact, some of these cats lack the whiskers altogether, which is not a sign of poor health in this breed.
This is one way that the breed can be distinguished from the Cornish Rex, a similar looking cat to the Devon Rex.
9. They have unique hair
Even more striking than its peculiar whiskers, the Devon Rex has very distinct hair. In fact, it is probably one of the first things a person notices when seeing one of the cats. The hair of the Devon Rex is very short, curly, and soft. In fact, healthy Devon Rex cats are known to have bald patches. The density of their hair also fluctuates depending on both the body part in question and the season.
Further, while most cats have guard hair, awn hair, and down hair, the Devon Rex has very little guard hair. For this reason, they are better kept inside, away from the sun’s rays.
8. They were introduced to America in 1968
This breed is not only new in general, it was only brought to the United States in the late 1960s. Despite its reputation and popularity, the Devon Rex was not recognized by the Cat Fanciers’ Association until 1972. It took until 1983 for the cat to be recognized for championship status.
A national Cat Fanciers’ Association championship was won by a Devon Rex named Rassy Sassoul in 1998.
7. They were discovered in 1960
The breed was first discovered in Buckfastleigh, Devon, UK. A woman named Beryl Cox noticed a peculiar cat that was part of a litter sired by a stray cat. Due to its hair, she named him Kirlee.
Kirlee is the first known Devon Rex. The breed may have survived because people mistook it for the popular Cornish Rex breed, which also has curly hair. Therefore, some of the early breeding of the Devon Rex may have been a happy accident.
6. They have many names
The Devon Rex is a unique and interesting cat. Its distinct appearance and personality has provoked the use of several nicknames for the breed.
They are often called Alien Cats because of their looks. Their angular faces, large eyes, and protruding ears make them look somewhat extraterrestrial. As well, their curly hair has earned them the name Poodle Cats. They are also called Pixie Cats because of their appearance.
5. They are very playful and affectionate
Despite their striking appearance, these cats are actually incredibly playful. As well, they love attention and affection. Their high intelligence means they much prefer busy households to being left alone.
One of the most interesting habits of the Devon Rex is its unique way of cuddling with its owner. These cats become strongly attached to their owners, and prefer to stay close to their head or neck. This often results in the cats perching atop the owner’s shoulder.
4. They are not related to the Cornish Rex
One assumption that is made about the Devon Rex is that the breed is a relative of the Cornish Rex. This is because the two breeds share a similarly curly coat. However, this is not the case.
When mated, the two curly-haired breeds produce kittens with straight hair. As well, there are slight variations in their appearance: the Devon Rex’s ears are located more to the sides of the head than the top, and their noses face slightly upward. It appears that the Devon Rex emerged as a result of natural mutation.
3. They are good for people with allergies
These cats are not only loyal and affectionate companions, great for busy families, and unique in appearance; they are also great pets for people with allergies. While not technically hypoallergenic, the short hair of the Devon Rex means less shedding. As well, they require significantly less daily maintenance like brushing and washing.
2. They are built for jumping
One surprising aspect of these playful cats is their ability to jump. With very light bodies, relatively long legs, and unusually large toes, the Devon Rex is a natural jumper. It is unsurprising, then, that these cats love to be up high. They will go to great lengths to locate and occupy the highest point in a given room. This can result in the cats perching atop the fridge or even inside high cupboards.
1. They have extremely sharp minds
While known mostly for their distinct appearance, the Devon Rex perhaps stands out the most for its playful and capable mind. They have been known to remember and respond to not only their own name, but their owner’s name as well. In addition, the cats can perform tricks commonly associated with dogs like fetching, heeling, and jumping.
It is because of this intelligence that the cats are often referred to as “monkeys in cat suits,” as they display much higher cognitive abilities than the average cat.
The Devon Rex is a new, interesting, and unique breed. Most people are unaware of the range of features that separate this breed from others. Its high intelligence, playful temperament, and intense affection for its owner make this a lovely cat for homes that will provide it with enough contact and stimulation.