The Selkirk Rex takes its name from the Selkirk Mountains in Wyoming, where the breed was first observed in 1987. In a litter at an animal shelter, a female was discovered that was born with a peculiarity: she had a curly coat.
This aroused the curiosity of a Persian breeder, who eventually named the kitten Miss DePesto Noface. When the kitten grew up, the breeder mated her with a Persian. From this new litter both smooth and curly cats were born.
Types of Selkirk Rex
There are two types of Selkirk Rex: the Longhair Selkirk Rex, also known as the Longhair Selkirk Rex, and the Shorthair Selkirk Rex.
There are other curly-haired cats, such as the German Rex, which, because they share the name Rex, might lead us to believe that they are somehow related, but the truth is that they only share a curly coat.
The main characteristic of this breed is undoubtedly its curly coat, which has earned it its popularity and the nickname ‘Sheep Cat’. Other notable features include large round eyes, a medium round head, a broad straight muzzle and a tail that ends in a rounded tip.
Selkirk Rex cats are considered to be the largest of the curly haired cats.
The coat of the Selkirk Rex cat can be any colour and shade, from black to white, cinnamon, grey, brown, blue, red and many others.
The wavy shape of their coat is the most distinctive feature of Selkirk Rex cats. Depending on whether it is a Shorthair Selkirk Rex or a Longhair Selkirk Rex, the coat can be short or long.
As a curiosity, their whiskers are also wavy, and their hair has three layers, all equally wavy, a deep layer, an intermediate layer and a protective layer.
Selkirk Rex kittens
Selkirk Rex kittens are not born with their characteristic curly coat, and it is not until they are around 2 years old that their hair takes on this unique shape. They also do not reach adult size until their first year of life.
Character and Behaviour of the Selkirk Rex
The Selkirk Rex is a friendly cat that loves company and enjoys playing, making it ideal for living with people, especially children.
It is also considered to be a very inquisitive cat, so it is necessary to provide it with places in the house where it can investigate what is going on around it, such as hiding places or high places. To prevent boredom when left alone, it is best to keep toys around.
How Should You Feed a Selkirk Rex As He Gets Older?
As with other breeds and types of cats, Selkirk Rex cats should be fed in a specific way at each stage of their life, taking into account their nutritional needs at all times.
Feeding by Age
Newborn kittens are fed on their mother’s milk until weaning begins, when this milk should be combined with a mixture of water and puppy food. After a few weeks, the baby Selkirk Rex will be fed only puppy food.
As an adult, he will need to be switched to an adult cat food, or if he is neutered, has a medical condition, or suffers from allergies or intolerances, he will need to be fed a special diet.
Finally, in his senior phase, his food will be replaced by a special senior cat food with a lower fat content to prevent him from gaining weight in this last, more sedentary phase. Again, if he has a medical condition, his diet should be specific to the treatment of that condition.
Health of the Selkirk Rex Cat
In general Selkirk Rex cats are healthy cats with no known hereditary diseases. However, as the Selkirk Rex is a crossbreed with the Persian breed, it is advisable to test for PKD, which is one of the most common causes of kidney disease in Persians and related breeds.
This disease consists of cysts in the kidneys that increase in size, resulting in less and less functional kidney tissue. If this test is not done, they may be more susceptible to polycystic kidney disease.