Cornish Rex (UK) – Cat Breeds

Cornish Rex (UK)



Origin: Cornwall (UK)

Weight: 2.5-4.5 kg (6-10lb)

Build: Slender yet muscular

Temperament: Energetic and affectionate

Eye Colour: Gold, Blue-Green

Coat Colour: All colours and coat patterns

Child/Pet Friendly: Yes, very!



What immediately stands out the most about this breed of cat is the look of its curly fur coat. This coat is usually very short and soft. The reasn for this extra softness is down to this breed of cat being void of guard hairs. The coat of a regular straight coated cat contains guard, awn and down hairs. The fur can be compared to silk or rabbit fur.

This cat has an egg-shaped head with high set cheek bones and large ears resembling muscle-shells. The captivating look of this breed could be described and elegant yet flamboyant.

The body of a Cornish Rex is muscular but at the same time slender. Their legs are long, athletic and their back can look arched in appearance similar to that of a Whippet. Their coats can be found in all patterns and colours. As much as these cats look delicate in appearance, they are actually very strong and agile.

Their eyes look like large gleaming jewels set into their seemingly small looking heads and their attentive stare will no doubt bring anybody to their knees. A Cornish Rex can be found with eyes ranging from green to blue, and gold in colour.

This cat’s tail is long and narrow like a bendy magic wand casting spells over you.


Origins of the Cornish Rex

The Cornish Rex is today a very popular breed of cat in America. Its origins, as you may have gathered, come from Cornwall in the UK from around the 1950s.

The first documented appearance of a kitten with this particular mutation was born in Bodmin, Cornwall. The kitten that was observed with this soft, light coloured and mysteriously curly-haired appearance was named Kallibunker. Kallibunker was observed with a foreign-like body with long legs and big bat-like ears.

The mother of Kallibunker was known to be a British Shorthair but unfortunately nobody was able to confirm the origin of the father.

Eventually Kallibunker was bred back to his mother and the resulting litter of three kittens included two that were carrying this gene that caused the curly-haired appearance.

Test breeding was done from the kitten with lots of other breeds of cat, including Burmese and Siamese cats. The gene was found to be recessive and when two cats of a curly coat reproduced, the litter would be made up entirely of curly-haired kittens.

Originally this particular breed of cat wasn’t a success and Nina Ennismore eventually stopped breeding the cats. When breed Brian Sterling-Webb took over breeding them, only two male Cornish Rexes were remaining and Kallibunker had since been euthanised.

One of the remaining Cornish Rexes named Poldhu had produced fertile kittens, of which two were sent over to the United States. These two cats formed the beginning of the Cornish Rex (US) breed.


Cornish Rex Cat Breed
Image by duodenum82 from Pixabay


Caring for a Cornish Rex

Due to the short-haired coat, this cat won’t take as much fur maintenance as a lot of other cats. Generally these cats will be best cared for in a place that isn’t too cold or hot, again their lack of fur length means they don’t do as well at keeping warm as other cats may. Ensure your cat always has a place of moderate temperature to retreat to.

If you live in a climate that regularly sees hot and clear weather, ensure that you keep an eye on how long your Rex is left unsheltered in the sunlight for. These cats can be notorious for burning due to their skin having less protection from their hair than other cats.

Be careful if you decide to groom your Cornish Rex as it is fairly easy to damage their fine hairs when doing so. You may want to regularly check their ears and paws for cleaning due to regular grease build-up.

Cornish Rexes are very much known to be cats of high-energy. Keep this in mind if you want to purchase one as you will find them to be very active and on-the-go much of the time. This makes this breed of a cat a good choice of cat for those who are wanting a playful friend for the family. They have even been known to play games of fetch!

If you are looking for a cat that would be fun to teach tricks to, then the Cornish Rex is definitely one of those! They have a high intelligence level and with the help of using treats, you can have your Rex giving you a high five in no time! It is possible though, that your pet Rex may end up training you as much as you have trained her!

The playful personalities that these cats possess is matched by their loyalty. They are known to also want to follow their owners around wherever they go. The Oriental influence may have something to do with this type of behaviour found in the Cornish Rex.

All of this energy usage will also mean that this cat loves to eat a lot of food! It may surprise you how much they consume considering their size.

It is recommended that you establish a set routine for your cat’s eating habits to stop them getting out-of-hand with their consumption. It is common for people to notice that their Cornish Rex demands food very often! Giving in to their demands too often can result in an overweight cat.

These cats are known to be very affectionate towards their owners and are also pet and child friendly. Keep in mind that these types of cat will require a lot more attention than others, as they have a high level of social needs as part of their nature.

If you want a cat that likes to be left alone and occasionally cuddle up to you, this probably shouldn’t be your first choice of breed. It would be a good idea to consider getting your Cornish Rex a companion if you find you are spending a lot of time away from the home she is kept in.

Ensure that you have prepared your house for the introduction of this breed of cat! Cat-proofing is a must, especially if you are planning to mainly keep this cat indoors. This cat will show a tendency to want to jump to high places so you may want to consider building or purchasing some type of climbing frame for your cat to use up a lot of their energy on! This can also take their focus away from parts of the house you want to keep safe from them!


Are Cornish Rexes hypoallergenic?

It’s is never fully possible to say that you cat will be hypoallergenic. The protein Fel D1 is the culprit for allergies towards cats. As this protein is found in a cat’s saliva, as well as its skin and fur, then your cat can never be completely hypoallergenic due to the fact that they groom themselves with their saliva so often.

However, due to them generally having less and finer fur than most cats, they may provoke less allergic responses overall.

Health issues?

Unlike many pure-bred cats, the Cornish Rex is not known for being a breed that is overly prone to many problems regarding their health. They will usually have no problem living a long, healthy and happy life. However just like any other cat, it is possible that health problems can arise, so ensure that you do make regular check-ups on your cat with your vet.

I want to reinforce the earlier mentioned point that this breed of cat can easily become overweight if you don’t maintain a healthy, set routine for their feeding times. Obesity is one of the main problems that owners of cats will see occurring.


Final notes

It is recommended that put a lot of time and consideration into thinking through your decision to purchase a new cat for your home. Ensure that you can offer your new cat a suitable home environment for them to live in. Looking after cats requires patience and time, so ensure that you have enough to give before making your decision.



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