Cornish Rex Cat Breed – Characteristics, Traits, Breed Info

a tabby and white cornish rex cat with wavy fur standing looking at camera

We all need an energetic pet to lift up our spirits, and that’s exactly what Cornish Rex Cats excel at. Their extroverted and playful disposition means they’re never short of energy and will give you a run for your money if you’re aiming to tire them out. Read on to learn more about this amazing breed…

Things we love most about this breed are their long and lean bodies, which often leaves spectators comparing them to fashion models. 

So, if you’re looking to add to your lines of felines or just start the journey with an adorable and fun-loving cat, then the Cornish Rex cat breed is certainly the cat for you. So, if you’re planning on getting a Cornish Rex, we have jotted down everything you need to know about them.

History

The first Cornish Rex could be traced back to the year 1950 in Cornwall, England. Their uncanny resemblance to Rex rabbits, later on, earned them the title of Cornish Rex Cats. The cat was first seen as a unique individual in a farmhouse full of regular kittens. Thus, the Cornish Rex was born owing to a specific genetic mutation. 

Soon the farm began to breed this new breed of cat. The cat was bred with other kittens who contained the recessive gene of the Rex cat. Most of the kittens had curly coats like the original Rex cat. Following that, these cats were then crossed with different breeds like Russian Blues, Havana Browns, and American Shorthairs

Afterward, the cat got its recognition in the United States around 1967. And coincidentally, the cat is more popular in the US than in its origin country.

a brown and chocolate colored cornish rex exploring in a garden

Characteristics of Cornish Rex Cat 

One of the exclusive characteristics of this species is that they do not have an outer protective layer of fur – only a curly down coat. Their curly fur is already one of a kind but not having that additional protection means they’re soft to touch and easy to groom. But it also makes them vulnerable to the sun and cold.

Anyone familiar with this breed knows they’re an intelligent and enthusiastic bunch. But the special traits don’t stop there. Cornish Rex Cats have one of the softest furs among felines, and their curly coat doesn’t fall short of Designers’ style. 

The model-like long legs seem to make them very agile, which is in a perfect sink with their high energy. Perhaps, what truly makes them special is their naturally curved spine, making them the envy of other cats. The curve, along with the soft fur, is extremely pleasing to pet on. 

Lastly, one of the things pet owners love about them is their low shedding coats and their low-maintenance grooming needs. The advantage of the curly coat is that they don’t shed or grow as fast – and some people think they are hypoallergenic cats because of the fine coat that does not shed and spread dander.

So, those who are looking for a sleek, energetic cat to bring some life back into the house will immediately fall in love with all the interesting features of these feline breeds.

Color & Size of Cornish Rex Cat 

You can find them in various looks, including seal, brown tabby, fawn, chestnut, and many more. Cornish Cats can also have a variety of patterns on their coat. The most popular ones include tortoiseshell, tabby, and points. 

Going back to their features, their oval-shaped eyes accompanied by longer ears make them quite perceptive to all sounds and motions around them (as well as making them look slightly weird). So, this is not a cat you can sneak up on. 

Further, their eyes really stand out owing to the colorful shades the cat features. You can find them with amber, hazel, aqua, and many more amazing eye tones. 

Cornish Rex cats are small only weighing around 6-10 pounds. If they are weighing more than that, then there’s a chance they are overweight. They are longer than regular felines in terms of height due to their long legs. Usually, their height ranges around 8-12 inches. 

Personality And Temperament of Cornish Rex Cats 

Let’s discuss the personality traits of these wonderful cats.

Love Being Around Others

One of the things we always recommend is not separating a Cornish Rex kitten from its parents. These adorable felines are happiest when they spend time with their parent, and that is not something you want to deprive them of. But once it has grown up, this cat learns to enjoy anywhere and everywhere. 

We especially love to see their interactions with babies and kids in the house. Their playful nature is just the right type of energy you want to fill your house with. 

Many doctors encourage Cornish Rexes as therapy cats. These feline love to be held and petted. Their need for affection and constant demand for it is next to impossible to ignore. They are known to be one of the more vocal cat breeds so will interact on many levels.

Love to Play Around

If you’re planning on getting the Rex cat, make sure you have enough space to let them play around. Their sleek body maintains their ideal weight when you let them jump around to their heart’s content. 

That means letting them jump on high places, letting them run circles around the house, and of course, playing tricks and games with their owner.

Are Very Friendly

Cornish Rex Cats are known to be the Greyhound of cats, and rightly so because they are just as fun-loving and happy-going. You don’t have to entertain them as they do a good job of it themselves. 

a brown and fawn colored cornish rex kitten with blue eyes sitting with a paw raised against a red background

And much like dogs, you can also teach them tricks. This intelligent breed loves to play along with its trainer and is a quick learner. And they have a never-ending supply of energy to always be up for the test. Also, they love to be challenged when learning new tricks. 

But if you want a quiet evening, then they are just as docile in being quiet and lovable. However, as it is with all cats, they are ‘the royalty’. So, you do have to be wary of the mood they are in. Trying to pet them when they’re eating or doing something will not end well. 

These cats are also great for being around other pets. So, if you have other cats or dogs in the house, then it won’t take them long to befriend the Cornish Rex. They are just that friendly. 

Nonetheless, unlike some cats who love to be left alone entirely, Cornish Rex cats love being around people. Even if you have other pets around, as long as you give enough attention to your cat, he will remain friendly. 

So, if you’re going to leave them alone for long periods, it won’t sit well with them. These are cats that don’t need a lot of tending, but you do need to be aware of their socializing needs.

General Care for Cornish Rex Cats

When people look at the curly coat, they assume it needs a lot of attention. On the contrary, thanks to the unique coat of this cat, it needs very little grooming and maintenance. Cats inherently love to stay clean and are very hygienic. So, their self-grooming tendencies always make them easy to keep around as pets. 

That being said, Cornish Rex cats do not have the protective coat or their guard hairs like other breeds. This can make their coat get oily. As cats like being clean, when they get too oily, they don’t like it. And the best thing you can do for them is bath them regularly. Sometimes depending on how oily their coat is you can even bathe them on a weekly basis.

Another thing that the pet owners need to be mindful of is brushing the furs. They have extremely soft coats. So, you do not want to carelessly brush and damage their soft curls. 

Apart from this, these Rex cats are also very sensitive to the cold and the heat. It’s best to leave them indoors if the weather outside poses a threat. They do not need to be walked on a leash, provided they can play around inside the house. 

Health Issues

The Cornish Rex cat’s health emergencies are no different from a regular healthy cat. If they do not exhibit any abnormalities from their earlier days, you can rest assured you have a healthy cat. 

It is quite common for kittens of any breed to develop gum diseases. You need to brush their teeth from the time they start teething. Finally, as the cat gets into their senior days, you need to get the vet to check up on them at least twice a year. Also, change to a more befitting diet.

However, some can develop a condition known as congenital hypotrichosis. It isn’t life-threatening nor contagious, but it does make them shed hair fast to the point where certain parts of the skin can go bald. 

That is also why you need to keep them warm. They’re not used to extremely cold weather, and they need to be showered every week or two. If you don’t want them to catch a cold, keep them indoors and in warm areas. 

Apart from that, the cats can develop common health conditions like other breeds of cats. The most common ones are kidney and heart diseases. That is why we insist on the vets checking them every now and then. 

Moreover, when you’re out with your pet, you should be aware of excess sun exposure. Their coats don’t exactly provide the best protection.

White and grey cornish rex cat with curly hair sitting

Hereditary Diseases

If you’re wondering about genetic health problems, then rest assured. These cats do not have any genetic health as they are the result of crossbreeding between various breeds of cats. 

Hence, they do not have a genetic health issue that runs in the family. On top of that, although they look lean, these cats are strong. With proper care and support, they live 10-12 years easily — often exceeding the number if proper care is given. 

How to Keep Them Happy?

They are an energetic bunch. As a result, you can always find them dashing off, climbing on shelves, and basically, doing anything and everything they can to keep themselves entertained. So, it might be a smart thing to cat-proof your house before your feline friends hurt themselves.

Next comes their appetite. Cornish Rex cats can eat a lot. You might think they belong to the class of cats that are fastidious about what they eat. Looking at their sleek figures, it is hard to imagine them overeating. 

Nonetheless, these cats, when given food in abundance, will graciously accept it. So, as the owner, it is up to be you to maintain their diet and keep them healthy.

Some Cornish Rex can eat as many times as you feed them. So, it is often best to create a routine eating schedule and ensure your cat is abiding by it rather than allow them to “free” feed. 

Despite their sleek structure, cornish rex cats can get overweight. You will know your pet is overweight when they are not as agile as usual, and you can often see weight gain under the thin coat as well. 

Other things you can do for them is get them a soft and warm bed. Cornish Rexes get cold easily. Their coats often aren’t thick enough to keep them warm. A soft and warm bed is essential if you live in a colder climate.

Also, to appease their playful nature, you can get them cat trees to climb on or toys to play with. That’s pretty much all. As we said before, these cats keep themselves entertained and don’t need you to constantly give them attention. 

They might be a little shy around strangers but will get over that soon enough. If you’re planning on taking a trip, the Rexes are a great companion. They enjoy being out as long as the weather isn’t too harsh.

Price of Cornish Rex Cat 

So what does a Cornish Rex cost? If you’re planning on adopting it, it costs around $75 to $150 depending on the color, pattern, etc. However, buying a cat or kitten from a breeder can change the costs substantially. These cats can cost anywhere from $800 to $1300. The prices vary from location to location. 

Final Words

Planning on adopting a Cornish Rex Cat breed? You need to check your nearby adoption agencies. Currently, these cats are more popular in the US than in the UK, so your chances of finding one in the US are higher. 

There are very few cats with the intelligence and sense of humor of the Cornish Rex Cat. Having them around is not only therapeutic for the owner but also for those around them. Their high energy and playfulness uplift the spirits of everyone in the room.