Selkirk Rex | Cat Breed Information & Facts – Pictures

Selkirk Rex

Imagine a cat with an angelic appearance and personality. This is the Selkirk Rex – a young, original and very interesting breed with curly hair.

The Selkirk Rex cat is mainly distinguished by its coat, which precisely gives it the nickname “sheep cat”. We are also talking about one of the most “recent” cat breeds, as developed in the last century.

This breed of cat has won the love and adoration of millions of cat lovers around the world, because in addition to having a soft and tender appearance, it is also distinguished by being one of the most affectionate and playful.


Selkirk Rex photos

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Physical characteristics

The Selkirk Rex is a medium-sized cat, but due to its heavy skeleton, it weighs a lot. Representatives of this breed are both long-haired and short-haired. The coat of the Selkirk Rex breed consists of three types of hair – guard, intermediate and down. All are wavy and provide softness to the animal’s coat. The degree of a cat’s waviness depends on age, sex, climate and season.

Females can weigh from 3 to 6 kg, and males – from 5 to 8 kg.


Distinctive features

  • Head – round, full cheeks, broad, round forehead, powerful chin, short, square muzzle protruding from the cheeks in profile, mustache and curly eyebrows;
  • The ears are medium sized, rounded with pointed tips, set well apart;
  • The eyes are large and round, set well apart;
  • Body – semi-cobby type, muscular, rectangular with a slight rise towards the pelvis, full chest, short and thick neck;
  • Legs – medium length, strong bone, wide, round pads;
  • The tail is thick, tapering towards the tip, of medium length;
  • Coat – can be short or long, chaotically curly, curling most on the neck and tail, with a dense undercoat. The curly back can vary with seasonal and hormonal changes, especially in cats. The coat continues to grow until the age of 2 years. In this case, kittens may be born curled, then usually lose their curls and start curling again around 8 to 10 months.

Character and behavior

The Selkirk Rex cat has an attentive and active personality with a soft and engaging character. This gentle breed likes to sit on their knees and likes to be kissed. He also likes to play and is a fantastic companion for the whole family. He is a very calm and peaceful cat, characterized by a calm and balanced temperament.

He is also very affectionate, showing great affection for his loved ones. All this makes it an ideal breed to live with families with young children, because it is a very affectionate and patient cat with the little ones of the house, it also likes to play with them.

Also because of the great tranquility and serenity that it transmits, the Selkirk Rex is very suitable for the elderly, because it will provide them with fantastic company, but without causing problems because it is nervous like the other breeds.

It also adapts very easily to environments of almost any type, so we don’t have to worry if we live in a small apartment or if on the contrary our house is a large house with garden.

Relationships with other animals

Selkirk Rex cats are disposed to compromise and can find common language with almost any pets. They will not be jealous and compete for the master’s love – they will simply organically fit into the pack, no matter who it consists of. Selkirk Rex feel good in a large company of cats of all breeds.


Due to the fact that stray cats were the ancestors of Selkirk Rex cats not so long ago, this elite breed can boast of excellent health. But other breeds, whose blood the breeders poured into the “curls”, shared with them not only beauty, but also bad heredity – genetic diseases that are transmitted along some breeding lines, namely:

  • Renal polycystic disease – from the Persians;
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – from the British;
  • Dental problems (gingivitis, periodontal disease, tartar) – from exotics;
  • Predisposition to dysplasia and other joint diseases.

Life expectancy

The life expectancy of Selkirk Rex cats ranges from 12 to 15 years


The specificity of the structure of wool is such that it can quickly fall into lumps if the animal does not receive proper care. Therefore, you should regularly, at least once a week, carefully comb the coat of your four-legged friend.

Also, be sure to trim his nails at least twice a month, keep his ears clean and don’t forget to brush his teeth at least 3 times a week. If the cat lives at home, you can bathe it once every two months.

Fun facts

  • The curliness of the coat on the back of Selkirk Rex can vary. This is influenced by climate, hormones and other factors.
  • The coat grows and is finally formed before the onset of 2 years of the cat. During this period of time, the curls disappear and reappear by about 9 months.
  • Until 2015, representatives of the Selkirk Rex cat breed were allowed to interbreed with cats of other varieties.
  • Selkirk Rex females can step over the age range at 17. They are in good enough health.
  • The price for a Selkirk Rex cat is approximately $ 200.
  • The curly gene is dominant, which is why the breed has become so widespread, and most of the cubs were born with curly hair in different dad and mom cats.
  • The International Cat Association (TICA) recognized the breed in 1992.
  • Albert Einstein is a Selkirk rex who has become famous on the Internet for being a very “bad-faced” cat. Thanks to him the breed has been recognized worldwide in almost all existing feline associations and has gained more and more popularity among people.

History of the breed

The Selkirk Rex is one of four cat breeds that have received the prefix “Rex” for the similarity of their fur to the Cornish Rex. The adorable curls appeared on cat fur due to a spontaneous mutation that breeders managed to fix. But only Selkirk Rex cats have a curl gene in the dominant allele. In the other three breeds, it is recessive.

The history of the breed began in 1987. A nondescript-looking street cat, which was deeply pregnant, came to a shelter for homeless animals in the state of Montana (USA). She soon gave birth to kittens. One of the babies was curly and so impressed the shelter worker that she showed her to her friend – the breeder of Persian cats. The blue-cream and white curly hair, named CurlyKew, which became the ancestor of the breed, as well as all her relatives, the breeder took from the shelter and settled at home.

Felinologist Jeri Newman, who devoted a lot of time and effort to creating a new breed, gave her the name … of her stepfather – Selkirk. She renamed the orphanage beauty noble Miss De Pesto and knitted her with her Persians, added the blood of British and Himalayan cats, did inbreeding, achieving a unique coat structure. In record time, the breed status was obtained, and then official recognition (in 1994 – TICA, and in 2000 – CFA).

Until the end of 2010, the inflow of the blood of Persians and Exotics was allowed, and until 2015 – British cats. Now the livestock and gene pool of Selkirk Rex cats are large enough, and the breed is closed, and interbreed mating is prohibited.


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