I have had both Cornish and Devon Rex cats since I was a child. They are like a cross between a cat, a dog and a monkey.
Eric, our Devon, is 11 years old and still thinks he is a kitten.
He is continuously annoying his moggy sister, who is a REAL cat, and mostly likes to sleep.
These cats completely blow the aloof feline stereotype out of the water.
They are often called pixies, possibly because of their big silly ears, or because they are mischievous little buggers.
Eric, forcing me to slow down for a cuddle.
The most striking fact about them is they have curly fur, it looks almost crimped.
Both the Devon and Cornish breeds came from one off mutations, and are not related, despite popping up in neighbouring counties.
The first Devon Rex was a little male kitten called Kirlee.
His father was a mysterious black cat with ringlets, that lived in the local tin mine in 1959. (Honestly it’s like something out of Wuthering Heights)
Kirlee the first mutant
The Devon Rex gene is a spontaneous mutation. If this cat had not been recognised and bred from, we wouldn't have these amazing cats now.
They are NOT hypoallergenic.
In fact, I am slightly allergic to Eric whereas Griffin, with her normal cat fur, is no problem for me.
If you have allergies you are just as likely to react to a Devon Rex as a moggy. You could always go to a breeders and ask if you can rub one on your face to test this theory.
Rex's are CUDDLY cats.
I’ve never known any cats as loving as this breed. They will snuggle right into you, as if they want to get inside your skin.
They want to sleep by your face and have a loud and lovely purr. I honestly think this is the most relaxing experience of my life!
Eric trying to get inside Sofia's face
I find it hard to slow down, but when Eric plonks himself on my shoulder and rests his funny little head on me, I don’t want to move.
Despite being impertinent little things, they have an unbelievably sweet temperament. Not once have I been bitten or scratched by any of my rex’s. (Except in play fights, which is of course, entirely my own fault)
They come in all colours. Eric has the red point colouring with blue eyes, which is really beautiful. In the past I have had ginger, smoke and chocolate point cats.
As with any cat I recommend finding an responsible breeder. They should be happy for you to come and visit the cat at their home and see the mother. They should also be asking you questions to make sure they are confident with the homes their kittens are going to.
It goes without saying that all the cats should be in good health and should be at least 12 weeks old and vaccinated.
Breeders that care about the health of their animals will cross genes with other breeds of cats periodically to increase the gene pool.
This means they will sometimes get variant kittens that may carry the curly gene but will have straight hair.
Of course this means less profit for them, so unscrupulous breeders will skip this step and happily inbreed for generations.
Devon and Cornish Rex’s are more like dogs with how much interaction they like from you. They are vocal, playful, cuddly and naughty.
They like to tap things off the side ALL THE TIME, they like to jump out and surprise you and leap from the ground to your shoulder with NO warning.
They often like to wander off, yowling, as if they’ve been lost in the desert for days. Then when you call them pop up going prrrrowp and chirping at you.
My Cornish Rex’s both enjoyed playing fetch which is always fun.
My Cornish Rex Phoenix with his friends.
Of course I also believe it’s important to be responsible and get animals from rescues whenever possible.
We have had both rescue cats and dogs including Banjo Bear, a cat with no tail, and Dexter, a dog with 3 legs.
However, I always want a Devon or a Cornish in my life, so I will always have one of these too.
My families first Cornish, Otis, was an older cat who’d been held back due to some health problems.
Once he had recovered he was a bit less desirable to those looking for young kittens due to his age and his health record.
My mum took me to see him and I fell in love immediately. He was my best friend growing up, and I can see the same relationship with Eric and my daughter Sofia.
My first Cornish Rex back in the 90s, Otis with my brother Lewis.
We did once find Eric’s cat double in a sanctuary in Rome!
His name was Alderbaron and I went back again and again to see him. The sanctuary was free to visit but we paid as if it was an attraction because it was our favourite thing in Rome.
We really wanted to adopt him, but decided the trip overseas was an unnecessary one for him. He was so delightful that we knew someone local would snap him up, without him having to go through a traumatic journey.
I believe in having 2 cats (unless it’s a rescue that needs to be in a one cat household) so if you want a Cornish or a Devon, why not get a rescue cat too, so they have feline companionship.
Just be aware you might want to get a rescue that appreciates having a playful monkey in the house…