Also known as the “cat in sheep’s clothing,” the Selkirk Rex is a cat with curly hair like a toy poodle.
It has recently gained attention from people who want a cat that doesn’t look like everyone else’s.
While there are other cats with curly hair, such as the Cornish Rex and Devon Rex, the Selkirk Rex is the most voluminous of all curly-haired cats.
Let’s take a look at the secrets of this somewhat mysterious Selkirk Rex!
～ Basic information. ～
Country of origin America.
Weight male: 3-6.5kg female: 3-5kg.
It is said that the Selkirk Rex was born from a curly-haired cat that was born in a cat shelter in Montana, USA.
This curly-haired cat was found to have been born due to a mutation. It was later adopted by a Persian breeder named Jerry Newman, who would turn out to be an important figure in the breed’s history.
Jerry Newman immediately began breeding the curly-haired cat with his own black Persian. The curly-haired cat gave birth to six kittens, three of which were curly-haired cats.
As a result, Jerry Newman became convinced that the curly hair trait was hereditary. To further improve the breed, he also used British Shorthairs and Exotic Shorthairs for breeding. This resulted in the Selkirk Rex we know today.
It was officially registered as a breed by TICA in 1992 and by CFA in 1998. If it hadn’t been a Persian breeder who took in the curly-haired kitten due to mutation, it is believed that the Selkirk Rex breed would not have been born. Thus, it can be said that the Selkirk Rex is one of those cats that was born from coincidence calling upon coincidence.
Selkirk Rex’s Q&A.
Where does Selkirk Rex get its name?
“Selkirk” was named after the Selkirk Mountains in Montana, where the curly-haired cat was born, and combined with “Rex,” which means curly hair .
What are the color variations of the Selkirk Rex?
■Types of body colors.
Selkirk Rex cats come in a variety of colors, including blue, black, white, red, cream, lavender, chocolate, and cinnamon.
■Types of patterns and color schemes.
The entire body is a single color.
There are stripes or spots all over the body.
・Silver & Golden.
Only the tips of the hair are colored, while the base is white or a light color.
・Smoke & Shaded.
The tips of the overcoat are colored, while the rest is white.
Two colors are randomly mixed together.
・Calico & Bicolor.
Half or one-third of the body is white, while the rest is composed of two or more colors.
・Tabbies & White.
Half or one-third of the body is white, while the rest has stripes or spots.
Only parts of the body such as the head, ears, legs, and tail are colored.
・Pointed & White.
Parts of the body are colored and mixed with white.
■Types of eye color.
Selkirk Rex cats also come in a variety of eye colors such as sapphire blue, blue, yellow, gold, aqua, green, hazel, orange, copper and odd-eyed.
■Types of hairs.
They can be either long-haired or short-haired.
What does the Selkirk Rex look like?
Selkirk Rex cats have a wide, round head, large and perfectly round eyes, and well-balanced ears in proportion to the size of their face. They have a muscular and sturdy body type known as “semicobby,” but their most distinctive feature is their curly hair.
The texture of their hair is like velvet. However, not all Selkirk Rex kittens are born with curly hair; some are born with straight hair.
Cats with curly hair like the Selkirk Rex have a higher amount of sebum secretion, which requires more frequent grooming than other breeds. Furthermore, there are both short-haired and long-haired types of curly hair, and brushing once a day is necessary for short-haired cats, while brushing twice a day is necessary for long-haired cats. It is recommended to get kittens used to shampooing and brushing if possible.
Is it true that all of Selkirk Rex’s curly hair falls out once?
To put it simply, it’s true. Selkirk Rex cats are cats whose fur can be identified as curly or straight from birth. The curly hair is like a curl, but after about six months, it will reset once and may fall out completely.
However, new curls will grow back in 1-2 months, and this is a necessary process for growth. The curls that grow at this time are almost the finished product and can be considered as evidence of approaching adulthood.
How much does it cost to buy a Selkirk Rex?
If you want to keep an animal, you need to follow the laws established by each country. This time, I will introduce whether it is possible to keep a Selkirk Rex at home in Japan.
If you buy from a breeder or cattery, it will cost about 100,000 to 300,000 yen. The advantage is that you can check points such as what kind of environment the cat grew up in and what kind of parents it has. Also, the reliability varies depending on the personality of the breeder, so it is recommended to make a reservation and visit.
At pet shops, it costs about 200,000 to 350,000 yen. Since there are often labor costs and other maintenance costs, it is generally more expensive than buying from a breeder. However, even with the same breeder, if it is a “cattery,” it requires certification from “CAF” and “TICA,” which are pedigree issuing organizations.
Cats raised in such catteries tend to be relatively expensive, so they may be more expensive than buying from a pet shop.
By the way, here are some conditions that cause price differences:
・Having curly hair.
・Being a kitten.
・Having excellent pedigree.
・Having rare colors or patterns.
There are other conditions as well, but especially if they meet the above conditions, they tend to be expensive.
I want to know more about the personality of the Selkirk Rex!
①Mild-mannered and calm character.
Selkirk Rex cats are soft and relaxed, much like stuffed animals in both appearance and personality. Therefore, they can coexist with other animals or children. They are also friendly and affectionate, so with proper grooming, they can be an easy-to-keep cat even for beginners.
②There are also spoiled and lonely places.
Basically, they like to be with their owners, so they may not be good at being alone. If you have to leave them alone, it’s a good idea to prepare toys that they can play with alone to alleviate their loneliness.
③Because of their calmness, they need to be careful about lack of exercise.
Selkirk Rex cats are laid-back, but as they grow older, their personality becomes more stable. They tend to gain weight easily, so if they don’t have many opportunities to move around actively, they may become overweight and cause health problems. Since they like to play, it is necessary to prepare a stable and large cat tower that can be used even when they become adults.
※If you want to keep an animal, you need to follow the laws established by each country.
What are the diseases that Selkirk Rex is susceptible to?
Selkirk Rex cats are prone to “hypertrophic cardiomyopathy,” “polycystic kidney disease,” and “skin diseases.”
This is a disease in which the heart muscle becomes thick, making it difficult for the heart to contract properly. Since it is often caused by genetics, there are no specific preventive measures yet.
Even if there are no noticeable symptoms after the onset of the disease, it may be complicated with thrombosis when noticed, and in the worst case, it may lead to death.
So how can we detect the disease early? In conclusion, it is important to have regular health checkups. Although there is no groundbreaking treatment for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy yet, slowing down the progression of the disease with symptomatic treatment is possible if detected early.
②Polycystic kidney disease.
Polycystic kidney disease is a disease in which many cysts are formed and can lead to “renal failure” in the worst case.
No specific preventive measures have been found for polycystic kidney disease either. Since it is more common in older cats, early detection can be achieved by receiving regular health checkups. The earlier it is detected, the more likely it is that the progression of the disease can be slowed down with symptomatic treatment.
As I mentioned in the Q&A about appearance, Selkirk Rex cats secrete more sebum than other cats, so if left untreated, they may develop skin diseases such as “fungal infections” and “seborrheic dermatitis.” It is a preventable disease by frequent brushing and shampooing, so please take good care of them.
What is the lifespan of a Selkirk Rex?
It is said that the lifespan of a Selkirk Rex is 13-15 years. The average lifespan of a cat is 12-16 years, so it can be said that it is slightly shorter. However, if you take care of them to avoid illness and injury, they may live longer.
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