The Selkirk Rex breed has only been around in catteries for about a dozen years, so it is relatively young – and new. Both kittens and adult cats are often mistaken for British Shorthairs. So below we have compiled some of the most important information about the Selkirk Rex breed, along with answers to questions we have been asked at shows. If you’re looking for additional information, please contact us by email, phone, or Instagram.
what breed is it?
The history of the Selkirk Rex breed began in 1987 with Miss DePesto of NoFace. The cat, a descendant of domestic cats, was spotted in a shelter in Montana (USA) by Jeri Newman, an American Persian breeder.
Compared to the rest of the litter, Miss DePesto stood out not only because her beautifully curly fur, but also because of several features that underlie the Selkirk Rex breed standard. Curly moustache, characteristically set ears, slim face, distinctive nose and prominent cheeks. The curled fur made Miss DePesto’s body look like waves.
Ms. Newman took the cat into her home and crossed her with a black Persian she owned. The result of this union was 6 kittens, 3 of which carried the genes of future Selkirks, while 3 were characterized by straight fur. This “experiment” allowed to conclude that curly hair genes are dominant in Selkirk Rexes, which is unusual for breeds with curly hair (among which the curly gene is recessive).
są rasą bardzo młodą.
After several years of crossbreeding with Persians, exotic cats and British cats, the Selkirk Rex comes in 2 varieties – long and short haired. Adding to this the possibility of having curly or straight hair, it gives us 4 phenotypes. Sometimes they are mistaken for British Shorthairs or even Persian cats because of their appearance – but after a longer look they differ a lot.
The most obvious difference is the fur – thick, soft and “woolly” when touched, with unstructured curls. It is from the distinctive hair that Selkirk Rexes have earned their circulating name “cats in sheep’s coat”. As of 2015, Selkirks are only allowed to breed with their breed partners – however, they are still quite rare at shows.
Selkirk Rexes are playful and affectionate towards people – they are very sociable, so you need to remember to spend time with them. If you don’t – they will remind you. They are very stable mentally and if it is possible to create a “pack” for them, they cope well even with a longer absence of a human.
As with anything, it depends on the family and the kids. Selkirks are very calm an non-confrontational cats. However, that doesn’t mean they are playthings and that’s definitely something to point out to your little ones. In our house, the cats are raised by children with different temperaments and ages (from teenagers to several years old) and from experience we can say that there has never been a disagreement between a child and a cat.
We encourage you to try to talk to your child about the new household member and their needs before deciding to get a cat (or any other creature). During the first few weeks, it’s a good idea to pay attention to the cat’s acclimatization, as changing families always puts some stress on a pet. With proper treatment and space, however, the cat and children will get along great.
Kittens are placed in new homes not earlier than 4 months of age. It is worth remembering that they need time to acclimatize.
Before deciding to buy a cat, first of all, you should do a little “account of conscience” when it comes to the style of work, presence of household members, division of responsibilities towards the animal and read about the breed. If you find time for your new friend, you love animals and you are not allergic to fur – then it is a good choice.
Selkirks can find things to do on their own when the household is at work and will crave contact when people come home. They don’t require supervision, and their high mental stability and very poised nature also mean that household furniture will survive in good condition. Of course, if we remember about scratching posts and regular play with cats.
An adult, healthily fed Selkirk Rex, will be in the 4-5 kg range, with females being lighter than males. Keep in mind that neutered cats tend to gain weight, so you need to feed them very rationally – as recommended and without constant snacking. We also encourage you to talk to a breeder or vet about nutrition.
Selkirk Rex is a very strong and healthy breed – because of their elongated muzzle they breathe easily, which reduces probability of lung diseases. Additionally, organizations such as the Polish Feline Association have introduced mandatory genetic testing of cats, which is also a guarantee of the breed’s health. As a standard, however, one must remember about prevention of infectious diseases, just like in case of every other animal.
Selkirks live about 15-18 years and enjoy good health during this time. They are usually brought to their owners from catteries at the age of 4 months, but they reach their full development at the age of 2.
Care is very simple – if we’re talking about pets, it’s basically limited to brushing once a week. Sometimes the cat needs a bath, but certainly not more often than once a month or more. Here you should remember about gentle handling and using shampoos dedicated for animals.
After a bath, the Selkirk Rex should be gently wiped down and “left” to dry in a warm room – if it’s cold, it’s essential to make sure they are wrapped in a dry towel (otherwise they lose heat quickly and get cold).
After bathing, don’t brush your cat and don’t worry about the hair getting straightened out – once the Selkirk dries, the hair will regain its curl (this can take up to a few days). If you don’t have experience with such treatments, it’s a good idea to go to a groomer first.
If you have more questions, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or through our page on Instagram.
Selkirk Rex’s fur can take several days to curl after bathing. Kittens are placed in new homes not earlier than 4 months of age. It is worth remembering that they need time to acclimatize.