Are you looking for a cat that doesn’t only look unique — but acts like no other pet out there? The Devon Rex cat is right for you! This is a breed that’s known for being totally out there. They’re goofy, smart, and kitten-like in their curiosity and energy level. They aren’t afraid of acting a fool, and they always want to be in on the action.
Devon Rex cats are often compared to an alien — and not just because of their appearance. There’s more to this cat than curly fur and round eyes. Let’s take a look at what they’re all about!
Devon Rex Cat Breed Origin & History
This curious breed originated in 1960 when a feral cat with curly fur was discovered by a woman named Beryl Cox who lived near Buckfastleigh in southwest England. Interestingly enough, this town borders Cornwall, the birthplace of the Cornish Rex — another curly-coated kitty.
Although she could never catch the feral feline it ended up breeding with a calico female and producing a litter of kittens near Beryl Cox’s garden. One of the kittens had the same short, curly fur as his feral father.
Cox raised the brown and black kitten which she ended up naming Kirlee. At first, Cox figured the kitten might be a Cornish Rex from the next town over. But when Kirlee later mated with a Cornish Rex, they only produced straight-haired offspring.
It was concluded that the two breeds were not related since the Devon Rex gene is recessive. That means both parents must have the gene for their kittens to have the same coat. Cox called the new breed Devon Rex after the country she was born in, Devon.
The Devon Rex was imported to the United States in 1968. The American Cat Fanciers’ Association accepted the Devon Rex for championship status in 1972. The International Cat Association accepted the Devon Rex in 1979 — the same year the organization formed.
In 1983, the Cat Fanciers’ Association accepted the Devon Rex for championship status. Since then, Devon Rex cats have also been accepted by The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy in Europe and the Fédération Internationale Féline.
Devon Rex Cat Breed Personality
The Devon Rex is a family-oriented cat that loves to spend time with people. You can find this kitty snuggled with you all night. In the morning, the Devon Rex will wake you up with head bonks and hugs!
When you watch television, the Devon Rex will curl up on your lap. They might even sit on your shoulder as you go about your day. There’s no denying that this kitty will always want to be by your side.
Of course, this social attitude means that the Devon Rex can become quite upset when left alone. Paired with their curiosity and intelligence, this can sometimes spell trouble. The Devon Rex has often been compared to a monkey since they like to get into mischief when you’re not around. This means finding out how to open doors or drawers around the house.
Their monkey-like qualities carry over in other ways as well. The Devon Rex is often very silly. They aren’t afraid of looking goofy and getting a laugh out of you.
This breed also learns tricks quite easily! They will often play fetch, hide-and-seek, or tag. You’ll have to find various ways to entertain your Devon Rex, whether it be finding new ways to play or teaching them fun new activities. You’ll notice your kitty never seems to grow tired!
Devon Rex Breed Characteristics (Physical)
The Devon Rex cat is known as the Pixie of the Cat Fancy (not to be confused with the Pixie-Bob cat) because of its large impish eyes and oversized ears. They have an elfin face that matches their playful and mischievous personality. Here’s what gives the Devon Rex their defining look.
Devon Rex Size
Devon Rex cats often weigh around six to nine pounds, with males weighing a bit more. Their medium-sized bodies are hard and muscular, described as “lithe” by the Cat Fanciers’ Association. They have a broad chest and a long, fine tail.
What makes the Devon Rex cat even more unique is its head. Their face is full-cheeked, with pronounced cheekbones and a short, well-developed muzzle. The Devon Rex has a strong chin, rounding out its striking appearance. Their ears are extremely large, wide at the base, and round at the tips. Some will have tufts on the top of their ears.
The Devon Rex’s eyes are large, oval, and far apart. Any eye color is acceptable, and they don’t correspond with their coat color. Devon Rex with colorpoint coat patterns often have blue eyes, however, and minks will have aqua eyes.
Legs & Paws
This breed is carried high on sturdy legs. Their hind legs are slightly longer than the front. Their paws are small and oval, with five toes in the front and only four in the back.
The Devon Rex is covered in a soft, wavy coat with a distinct texture and appearance. It’s found in no other breed, making it quite an exotic-looking kitty.
When it comes to density, the Devon Rex has the thickest fur on their back, sides, tail, legs, face, and ears. The top of the head, neck, chest, and abdomen are slightly less dense. They shouldn’t have any bare patches. The coat should be soft and fine, with a “rippled wave effect” apparent when you smooth their fur over.
The Devon Rex can come in every color and coat pattern combination. The CFA outlines all acceptable colors on the breed standard sheet.
Devon Rex Cat Breed Care
Devon Rex cats shed much less than other breeds, thanks to their unique coat. Their wavy fur needs minimum care. Owners will often use rubber brushes to remove dead hair, but it’s imperative not to over-groom this breed. This can lead to permanent hair damage.
Because of their thin coat, lighter-colored Devon Rex will need sunblock on certain parts of their body, like their ears, during the summer months.
This is a generally healthy breed that can live up to 15 years if given proper care and regular vet visits. However, no cat is entirely immune to health issues.
Owners should keep an eye out for these issues in their Devon Rex:
- Yeast infections: Their special fur can sometimes cause yeast infections if they’re not cleaned and dried properly.
- Congenital hypotrichosis: This breed can also develop congenital hypotrichosis, also known as hereditary baldness.
- Malassezia Dermatitis: This condition can cause ear infections, greasy skin, and itchiness.
- Urticaria Pigmentosa: This dermatological condition causes some Devon Rexes to develop crusty sores on their body
- Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: A heart disease found in cats. This is something breeders should be screening for, removing HCM from the breeding program. Always check that the kitten’s parents are healthy and don’t carry this disease.
Devon Rex owners should be warned that this breed is a “food hound.” No matter what you’re eating, the Devon Rex will want to try it. Make sure you keep people’s food out of their reach and don’t give in to their meowing and sad looks!
When it comes to their own food, this cat will never turn down a meal. For this reason, it’s crucial to feed them the recommended amount — and not more. Spread out your cat’s servings throughout the day to ensure they have food to snack on.
Provide your cat with a healthy diet that won’t make them chunky — or obese. Purchase higher quality cat food with the following qualities:
- Protein as the first ingredient. Look for meat like chicken, salmon, or turkey. Avoid food that has “chicken meal” and anything similar as the first ingredient.
- Taurine is present on the ingredients list. This is an amino acid that cats must have to remain healthy and active.
- A lack of carbohydrates. These are known as “fillers” because cats don’t need grains and corn. In fact, this is the leading cause of cats becoming obese or allergic to their food.
A good alternative is canned food. This is a great diet for cats that are more likely to be overweight since they lack carbohydrates and other fillers. They also provide a lot of water, which is a great benefit for most felines.
You can also provide your Devon Rex with healthy treats with CBD! It’s a great alternative for your cat. HolistaPet offers vegan and non-GMO options that your kitty is sure to love!
Children & Other Pets
This breed needs company. You’ll often find them playing with younger children since they are hyper kitties that never grow tired of chasing ribbons and fetching jingly balls. This cat is the perfect playmate for younger family members.
This feline is also known to create “Devon piles” with other pets, bonding closely (literally) with other cats, dogs, ferrets, and birds. They love spending time with other pets in the house, especially when you aren’t around.
More About This Breed
Because of their fur, the Devon Rex is an indoor-only cat. They can be sensitive to the heat and sun, making them perfect companions for families that need some liveliness within their homes.
This breed has been compared to many things: dogs, monkeys, aliens, elves. But the fact of the matter is that they are truly unique in every way. They are not like any other pet you’ve ever had.
Usually costing around $600 to $1,000, this breed is a bit pricey, but more than worth it. Devon Rexes are nonstop fun, whether it’s playing fetch and tag with your kids, sitting on your shoulder as you work, or performing tricks for your friends. This is a cat that always wants to be by your side — and they will definitely make it known!