Cornish Rex

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cornish rex portrait
Welcome to the whimsical world of Cornish Rex Cats, a breed that's stealing hearts with its playful energy and unique curly coat! These feline friends are so much more than their 'poodle-like' fur; they are adventurous partners in crime, bringing fun and laughter into every cat-loving household they grace.

Join us in this comprehensive guide as we explore everything you need to know about this breed, including their appearance, temperament, care, health concerns, history, and more!


HEIGHT9-10 inches
WEIGHT6-10 lbs
LIFESPAN11-15 years
cornish rex sitting outdoor
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Cornish Rex cats are a delightful sight, full of charm and character. Their physique, typically small to medium in size, is distinct and elegant. A fully grown Cornish Rex cat usually stands about 9-10 inches in height and weighs between 6 to 10 pounds.

The body of a Cornish Rex is a study in graceful curves. It’s like they’ve been sculpted by an artist! Their bodies are muscular yet slender, exuding strength and agility. A surprising trait is their barrel-like chest, giving a robust look to their otherwise lithe bodies. Swinging from this sleek frame is their tail, long and slender, tapering to a fine point, almost like a whip.

The head of the Cornish Rex is equally fascinating, with an egg-shaped skull, high cheekbones and prominent, flared ears. The ears, one of my favorite features, are large and tall, making them look all the more alert and inquisitive. They are set high on the head, perfectly framing their expressive, almond-shaped eyes. The eyes of a Cornish Rex can be any color, often correlating with their coat color, and they always seem to twinkle with a hint of mischief.

Speaking of their coat, it’s indeed their crowning glory! The Cornish Rex’s coat is extremely unique – short, fine, and curly. It feels incredibly soft and silky to touch, like warm, plush velvet. Their curls, often compared to a washboard or a Marcel wave, are tight and uniform, covering their bodies from head to tail.

And the colors! Oh, the colors are a feast for the eyes! They can come in any hue, from pure snowy white to ebony black, and every shade in between. Some have coats of a single color, while others sport patterns like tortoiseshell, tabby, or colorpoint. You might even find a Cornish rex with a coat that’s a delightful mix of colors, lending to their unique, playful appearance.

Finally, the expression of a Cornish Rex cat is something truly special. It’s a blend of curiosity, warmth, and a tad bit of devilish charm. It’s an expression that says, “I’m ready for adventure, are you?”

So there you have it, the stunning appearance of our Cornish Rex friends. They are a sight to behold, and their unique features, combined with an infectious energy, make them a truly captivating breed.

cornish rex sitting outdoor on a sunny day
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The temperament of the Cornish Rex is as captivating as its distinctive appearance. They are not your typical “look-but-don’t-touch” sort of beauty. On the contrary, these felines are very much into forming deep connections with their humans.

Packed with an abundance of affection, the Cornish Rex can often be found snuggled up on a warm lap, purring away in utter contentment. They are the epitome of a love bug, constantly seeking out cuddles and craving the warmth and companionship of their human companions.

However, don’t let their love for snuggles deceive you. These cats are also the embodiment of playful energy.

They are the acrobats of the feline world, constantly leaping, climbing and darting around the house. Toys, laser pointers, feathers, strings – you name it, and they will chase it with a kittenish enthusiasm that lasts well into their adult years. They’re always up for a game, ready to pounce, prance and play.

Cornish Rex cats are also known for their impressive intelligence. They are highly observant and curious, always keen to explore their surroundings and get involved in whatever you’re doing.

Whether you’re working on the laptop, cooking dinner, or simply folding laundry, expect the Cornish Rex to be right there, watching every move you make with those wide, inquisitive eyes. They are quick learners, excelling at puzzle games and even responding well to basic training commands.

Interestingly, the Cornish Rex is also a breed that thrives on routine. They enjoy the predictability of knowing when it’s mealtime, playtime, or cuddle time. For those of you who like a bit of order and routine in your life, the Cornish Rex will slot right in and become the perfect roommate.

More than anything, the Cornish Rex is a sociable cat that basks in attention and company. They will welcome guests with a friendly rub, entertain them with their playful antics, and charm them with their warm, affectionate nature. They are also great with children and other pets, making them an ideal choice for families.

cornish rex kitten resting on a cat bed
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Caring for a Cornish Rex is an experience that lets you bond deeper with this delightful creature. Let’s delve into the specifics of grooming, exercise, diet, and nutrition for your furred friend.


A Cornish Rex’s coat is an artistic marvel – soft, curly, and utterly touchable. But don’t let the glamour fool you, it’s low-maintenance! A simple brush every week is enough to keep it clean and shiny. Be gentle, their skin can be sensitive. And yes, a bath every few months won’t hurt. Remember, their thin coat makes them prone to chill, so make sure they’re thoroughly dry post-bath.

Exercise and Play

Gorgeous looks aside, the Cornish Rex is a bundle of energy. They love to jump, dash, and chase – a perfect partner for your morning yoga or evening play. Invest in toys and games that stimulate their bright minds. Puzzle feeders, laser pointers, even a piece of string can keep them entertained for hours. Remember, a well-exercised Cornish Rex is a well-behaved Cornish Rex.

Diet and Nutrition

Every cat is special, and the Cornish Rex is no exception. They have a speedy metabolism, which means, yes, they love to eat! Feed them high-quality cat food, rich in protein. The quantity? Enough to maintain that sleek body shape. Keep an eye on their weight, obesity is as much a risk for cats as it is for humans. And of course, fresh water is a must at all times.

Overall, a Cornish Rex asks for little but gives a lot. Their care needs are simple – regular grooming, plenty of play, and a balanced diet. In return, they offer you a galaxy of love, warmth, and entertainment. Remember, by taking care of them, you’re nurturing a relationship that will brighten your life in unimaginable ways. Enjoy every moment of this wonderful journey!

cornish rex on the grass
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The Cornish Rex, with its playful spirit and heart-melting affection, typically enjoys a long lifespan – often living into their mid-teens and beyond. However, like all breeds, they may experience certain health issues.

Patellar Luxation: This is a common condition where the cat’s kneecap dislocates or moves out of its normal location. Regular vet check-ups can help detect this early.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM): This is a heart disease often found in cats, where the heart muscle thickens.

Hereditary Myopathy: This is a muscle disorder that can affect mobility, but it’s rare and mostly managed with care.

Skin Allergies: Their short, thin coat can make them more susceptible to skin allergies. Keep an eye out for excessive itching or discomfort.

Obesity: Their love for food can lead to weight issues if their diet isn’t carefully monitored.

Just as humans need balanced meals and regular health check-ups, so do our furry friends! To keep your Cornish Rex purring and healthy, provide a diet rich in lean proteins and low in fillers. Regular veterinary checks are a must, as early detection of health issues can lead to more effective treatment. As well, keeping vaccinations up to date is crucial for preventing serious diseases.

Remember, a healthy cat isn’t just about the absence of disease. It’s about a vibrant, playful spirit, bright eyes, and a glossy coat. It’s about seeing them leap with joy and curl up contentedly in your lap. So here’s to a long, happy, and healthy life with your Cornish Rex!

cornish rex in the backyard
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The journey of the Cornish Rex breed is as intriguing as it is unique! This breed owes its existence to a delightful genetic mutation that occurred in a litter of barn cats in Cornwall, England, in 1950.

A cream-colored male kitten with an unusual curly coat, later named Kallibunker, was the very first of this breed. Enchanted by Kallibunker’s distinct appearance, his owner, Nina Ennismore, sought to preserve and replicate this unique trait. Thus began the journey of the Cornish Rex breed.

The breeding program started in earnest with Kallibunker’s female offspring. After several generations of careful breeding, the Cornish Rex, named after its birthplace and its rex (curly) coat, started attracting the attention of feline enthusiasts around the world. What sets them apart is their curly coat, a feature not common in felines, making them a breed like no other.

The journey across the pond to the United States happened in 1957 when a Cornish Rex named Lamorna Cove traveled to California. This marked the beginning of the breed’s recognition in America and beyond.

In 1964, the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA), one of the largest global cat organizations, officially recognized the Cornish Rex breed. This was a significant milestone that marked the breed’s acceptance in the world of purebred cats. Not too long after, in 1979, The International Cat Association (TICA) also recognized the breed. These recognitions cemented the Cornish Rex’s place in the cat world.

Today, the Cornish Rex cat continues to charm cat lovers with its playful nature, unique appearance, and winning personality. Its journey from a humble barn in Cornwall to drawing rooms across the globe is a testament to the breed’s undeniable appeal. So, the next time you stroke your Cornish Rex’s curly coat, remember the extraordinary journey of this fascinating breed!

Breed Standard

A breed standard is a set of guidelines that describes the ideal characteristics, temperament, and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function with soundness essential. Breed standards are devised by breed clubs and recognized by various cat registries worldwide.

These standards provide detailed descriptions of the breed’s physical characteristics such as body shape, size, coat type and color, eye color and shape, ear placement, and tail length.

cornish rex walking in the park
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How expensive is a Cornish Rex cat?

The price of a Cornish Rex cat depends on several factors including the pedigree, age, and the breeder’s reputation. On average, you could expect to pay between $800 and $1300 for a Cornish Rex kitten from a reputable breeder. Remember, owning a cat comes with additional costs like food, vet bills, grooming, and entertainment.

What is the difference between the Cornish Rex and the Devon Rex?

While both breeds are known for their curly coats, there are distinctive differences. The Cornish Rex has a more elongated body and a narrower head with high cheekbones, while the Devon Rex is stockier with a wider face. Moreover, the curls in a Cornish Rex’s coat are tighter compared to the looser, wavier curls of the Devon Rex.

Are Cornish Rex cats cuddly?

Absolutely! Cornish Rex cats are known for their affectionate and playful nature. They enjoy human companionship and love to curl up on their owner’s lap. However, like all cats, they also appreciate their independence and can sometimes seek quiet, solitary spaces.

Are Cornish Rex cats hypoallergenic?

No cat breed is truly hypoallergenic. However, Cornish Rex cats are often recommended for people with mild cat allergies because they have a very short, fine coat that sheds less than that of other breeds. It’s always a good idea to spend time with a Cornish Rex before adopting if you have allergies.

What is the lifespan of a Cornish Rex cat?

The Cornish Rex is generally a healthy breed with an average lifespan of 11 to 15 years. Providing them with a balanced diet, regular vet check-ups, and plenty of exercise can contribute to a long, healthy life.

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