What is a Devon Rex Cat?

Sheri Cyprus

The Devon Rex is a very striking and dramatic looking breed of curly haired domestic cat. It has an angular face with large eyes and ears and is sometimes called an alien cat. The cat's build is slender but sturdy. The breed was originated by Beryl Cox of Devonshire, England, in 1959. Cox owned the world's first Devon Rex, Kirlee, a brownish-black curly-coated male.

Those who experience an allergic reaction to most cats may be able to tolerate a devon rex.
Those who experience an allergic reaction to most cats may be able to tolerate a devon rex.

The texture of coat on this breed of cat varies widely. Some cats have very curly fur, while others have fur that is just wavy, and the texture may change as a kitten grows. The thickness of coat also varies, and bald patches in this breed are common. It is an indoor cat and may need extra warmth in the winter months.

The Devon Rex is not hypo-allergenic, but many cats of this breed don't shed heavily. People with very mild allergies to cats may be able to tolerate it, but it isn't a sure thing. The hair often breaks easily and short whiskers may be a result. Coat colors and patterns range from solid white or smoke to bi-colored, calico, tortoiseshell, and striped tabby markings.

Known to be intelligent and friendly, the Devon Rex is considered to be an active and agile breed. Many have a high energy level and some literally climb the walls — or the curtains. These cats also tend to have big appetites, so owners should take care to feed them properly to avoid obesity.

The Devon Rex may become very attached to its human companion, and some are quite vocal in their communication with their owners. This breed may be extremely playful and some like to clown around. As a breed, they are said to be generally healthy, although older cats may be susceptible to kidney disease.

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