A special curly cat, the Cornish Rex

Cats Human Classroom

Its origin comes from a natural genetic mutation in 1950 in Cornwall, England. Its curly coat and big ears make it special, so much that it caught people’s attention, increasing its popularity in the country, later on in the United States and in the rest of the world. Everything you need to know about this cat breed you can find here, its history, characteristics, personality, care, and health.


The Cornish Rex is a cat that attracts attention for its physical characteristics, for having a loving personality and with an uncertain origin. Its big ears, the capacity to give a lot of love, and its different coat is something that makes this cat unique, once you start knowing more about this feline, it makes you want to know more. I invite you to keep reading.


Many cats known today have a history of the ancient origin or already have many years of being known, in this case, the Cornish Rex was born in recent times. In 1950 in the county of Cornwall, England in a cattery farm, a curly-coated kitten is born with different characteristics to his brothers of the same litter, his mother was a domestic shorthair cat and his father is unknown. Its owner Nina Ennismore was the one who noticed this kitten due to its different features. Mainly in the size of its ears and for having a different coat with a resemblance to a rex rabbit, something that is not normal to see in the cats of the area. This kitten was called Kallibunker and from this cat born the new Cornish Rex breed, from a genetic mutation of recessive nature, and later to continue with the new breed he was crossed with his mother and from there they were crossed with other cats such as the British Shorthair, Burmese, Russian Blue and Siamese to define the definitive features of this breed until getting the desired ones. Gradually it began to gain fame in England due to its peculiar characteristics, calling the attention of many cat breeders until in 1967 they were officially recognized as a cat breed.

In the ’60s two cats direct descendants of KalliBunker were taken to the United States, so that over the years this breed was gaining more fame in the country, even more than in their native country, so it began to be recognized by the main cat associations as The Cat Fanciers Association (CFA), Federation Internationale Feline (FIFE), The international cat association (TICA), among others worldwide


Since it was discovered at birth, its features have attracted much attention from people which is what has allowed this breed to become recognized all over the world. The Cornish rex is normally compared to the Oriental Shorthair because it shares many similar features, particularly in its ears. They have a life expectancy of 9 to 13 years, although many live longer. This cat breed is small to medium-sized, despite the slender appearance that makes it look large thanks to its long paws. It doesn’t go beyond medium size and reaches its adult size at 12 months, the female is about 11 inches in length and the male is between 12 and 13 inches. Their weight is between 8 lbs to 11 lbs, despite being thin they have a well-formed musculature. The face is small and has egg shaped head. The eyes are large oval-shaped and can be of different colors such as amber, green, blue, among others; the nose is slimly protruding with a strong chin. It has large ears and more for having a small head makes them stand out more, are wide at the base, ending in rounded tips, is a size that is not seen when compared to most cats, is one of the features that calls more attention to the Cornish rex cat breed. It has thin and long legs, which give it the appearance of high, and have the habit of maintaining a paw raised constantly. Its tail is long, thin, and covered with hair.

 This cat breed has a single layer short coat and is curly in shape, very rarely seen in cats, so its wavy fur makes it special, and because it has only one layer of coat, it’s very soft so it’s recommended to be an indoor cat which cannot tolerate cold well and prefer to rest in warm areas. The coat color is varied, can be different colors, and all are accepted in their standard recognitions, can be; White, Blue, Black, Frost, Platinum, Fawn, Chocolate, Chestnut, Cinnamon, Lavender, Champagne, SealCream, Red, Brown. Cornish rex’s coat patterns are also very diverse and can be; Solid color, Tortoiseshell, Bicolor, Tricolor/Calico, Points, Shaded, Tabby, Ticking, and Smoke. The coat of the kittens will develop its definitive curly characteristics from the age of 5 or 6 months. 


The Cornish Rex cat is perfect as a pet, and more if you are a person who likes to be active, they are known for being active and be an athletic cat, they love to play and move around a lot, run, jump, climb, they have practically kept the original essence of being a barn cat. They like to keep a kitten’s attitude even when they are adults, so they will keep an energetic life all their life. They are very intelligent, so they like to learn tricks, be curious, and be aware of everything, so a good education is not out of place, and more since they are kittens. They are very familiar so they love to enjoy moments with their owners, they like to express love and a lot of affection. But, they also love to receive a lot of cuddles, so they will have a good time lying on your lap or looking for your attentiveness in any way. They are cats that don’t like loneliness so a feline companion wouldn’t be out of mind or avoid leaving him alone for many hours as they can develop stress, and it wouldn’t be a good thing for your feline. Due to their fur, they get cold very quickly so they will look for the warmest place in the house to sleep, so buy him a cat blanket to make him more conformable.


  The best food you can give to the Cornish Rex cat is a diet that consists of a lot of healthy protein and few carbohydrates. This way they get everything they need to stay healthy, without the risk of getting sick, you should make sure the food you feed your cat contains plenty of healthy meat and is made of good quality and the best way that you can make sure it’s verifying if it’s the first of all ingredients, which are sorted by quantity. Further, vegetable products should be in very small quantities and ideally free of sugar. Also depends on the age and lifestyle that your cat has because if it is a kitten it will require more nutrients to grow better, or if its a senior cat may require fewer portions and specific nutrients.

   As we know cats are carnivorous, so any kind of meat it’s always the best option. Raw food and home-cooked meals are good alternatives, although more work. The advantage is that you will know exactly what is in the food and what is not. To make sure your Cornish rex cat gets everything it needs, you need to be well informed about how to feed cats and ask always to your vet everything that is best for them.

Care and Health

Thanks to the type of coat that Cornish Rex has, it’s not very hairy, so the care is very simple. You can brush it every little time to remove the dead hair, but you must avoid doing it too often as it’s very soft, and sensitive and it can be very excessive for him and can hurt him. I recommend you to use a rubber brush or one that is for delicate coats. You can bathe him only when you consider him very dirty or you see it necessary, you can also use some special wipes and clean his body with that. Always keep his ears clean and use special cat ear cleaner and learn how to use it to avoid hurting him.

Brush the teeth frequently with a vet-recommended pet toothpaste for good overall health and fresh breath. Plus, I recommend that you start these practices from kittens, so that they get used to them, and so when they are adults you don’t have problems with their hygiene care and prevent dental disease.

For being mostly indoors cats and although they don’t tend to be overweight it can happen if you give him a bad diet and don’t have stimulation to play and live in an unsuitable environment. So, the best medicine against overweight pets is regular play with the human. Offer your cat toy canes, balls, and mice and try to encourage it to move. If you have room for a large scratching post, or different levels your kitten can exercise on it. Smart games are also popular with these curious cats.

Cornish Rex is in very good health but like all cats, they can suffer from any kind of disease. Due to the unusual coat of this feline, they tend to develop hypotrichosis, which predisposes them to hair loss producing alopecia in different areas of their body. Further, they can develop certain skin conditions, causing fungus and developing infections as a result of all this, just as dermatosis and other skin problems can manifest themselves through red spots.

However, they are also susceptible to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a disease that causes the enlargement of the heart. It’s an Inherited disease of many cat breeds so you should never miss appointments with your vet, and make sure they always check their heart. If your cat has this heart disease, your veterinarian will be able to advise you on how to make its life easier by following a suitable diet and the right medication. Also, they can develop diseases such as luxating patella or patellar luxation,  this occurs when the kneecap is not well aligned, producing pain and at the same time limping or difficulty walking, and this can later develop arthritis, the moment you see your Cornish Rex cat showing some pain when moving or is limping you have to go directly to the vet.

 Do not forget to visit your vet every 6 months for a check-up and rule out any diseases. Be up to date with all their vaccinations, perform the de-worming and care recommended by the vet.


If you want to have a Cornish rex cat breed, you must be well informed about how to take care of it and make sure you are responsible to give it a good life. Although it’s not very requested worldwide, you can get breeders dedicated to this breed. I suggest that if you want to get this cat breed you should do it by a reputable breeder even if it costs you a little. Buying it from a store or a particular person is not going to give you the security that your cat is in good health, and that it is most likely from a cattery dedicated to exploiting animals for sale, and not living in good conditions. 

An honest breeder must show you all the legal documentation to dedicate himself to the breeding of this breed, be registered in a recognized cat association, shows you the pedigree of your domestic cat. Also, shows you that it has been taken care of and fed in the best conditions and the mother has been taken care of in the proper way. Make sure it has been checked and vaccinated by the veterinarian, and that it has been dewormed. Also, a reputable breeder shouldn’t give you a Cornish rex kitten before the age of 12 weeks, making sure has done the weaning well with the mother and can live with her so that it can learn everything necessary to be a cat. So you can be sure that it’s a healthy, happy, and socialized cat.

I hope all this information has been helpful to choose the Cornish Rex as your pet and as a new family member, is an active cat that will give you many fun times and share a great bond of love with you, get along with other pets such as dogs and get along with children. So, it is recommended for families. Give him his well deserved warm space and the love he needs and you will not regret it. If you have any questions, or if you think I’ve missed anything please let me know in the comment section down below.

Professor Whiskers
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