Are Devon Rex Cats Rare? Exploring the Unique Characteristics of this Feline Breed

The story of the Devon Rex breed dates back to the 1960s in Devon, England. It was during this time that a stray cat with a curly coat was discovered in an abandoned tin mine. This cat, named Kirlee, became the foundation of the breed. Kirlee’s unique coat and distinct appearance caught the attention of cat enthusiasts and breeders.

The Role of Genetic Mutations

Genetic mutations play a significant role in the development of the Devon Rex breed. It is believed that a spontaneous mutation occurred in Kirlee, resulting in the formation of curly hair. This mutation is known as the rex gene, which affects the structure of the hair shafts, causing them to be curly. This gene is also responsible for other rex breeds, such as the Cornish Rex and the Selkirk Rex.

Physical Description of Devon Rex Cats

Curly Coats and Whiskers

One of the most distinctive features of the Devon Rex cat is its curly coat. The soft and wavy hair covers their body, giving them a unique and adorable appearance. Unlike other cat breeds, the Devon Rex lacks the typical guard hairs, resulting in a coat that feels velvety to the touch. Additionally, they have curly whiskers, adding to their overall charm.

Distinctive Facial Features

In addition to their curly coats, Devon Rex cats possess distinctive facial features. They have large, expressive eyes that are often described as luminous. Their wide set ears are set low on their heads and are slightly tilted forward, giving them an alert and inquisitive expression. Combined with their curly whiskers, these features contribute to their unique and adorable appearance.

Body Structure and Size

Devon Rex cats have a slender and athletic build. They are medium-sized cats with well-developed muscles. Despite their appearance, they are surprisingly heavy for their size. Their body structure allows them to be agile and playful, making them excellent climbers and jumpers.

Personality Traits and Temperament

Playful and Energetic Nature

If you’re looking for a cat that will keep you entertained, the Devon Rex is an excellent choice. These cats are known for their playful and energetic nature. They enjoy interactive playtime and are always up for a game of chase or fetch. Their high energy levels make them excellent companions for families with children or other pets.

Devon Rexes as Social and Affectionate Companions

Devon Rex cats are highly sociable and thrive on human companionship. They enjoy being in the company of their owners and are often found following them from room to room. These cats are known to be affectionate and enjoy cuddling up with their loved ones. Their friendly and outgoing nature makes them a great choice for households seeking a loving and interactive feline companion.

Their Intelligence and Curiosity

Devon Rex cats are intelligent and inquisitive beings. They love to explore their surroundings and are often found investigating every nook and cranny of their homes. Their curiosity and intelligence make them quick learners and can easily be trained to perform tricks or even walk on a leash. Keeping their minds stimulated through interactive toys and puzzles is essential to prevent boredom.

Health Considerations for Devon Rex Cats

Potential Genetic Health Issues

While the Devon Rex breed is generally healthy, there are a few genetic health issues that potential owners should be aware of. One common concern is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a heart disease that can affect cats of any breed. Regular veterinary check-ups and screenings can help monitor and manage any potential health issues.

Allergies and Sensitivities in Devon Rexes

Due to their unique coat, Devon Rex cats are often considered hypoallergenic. However, it’s important to note that no cat breed is entirely hypoallergenic. Individuals with allergies should spend time with a Devon Rex before bringing one into their home to ensure they do not have a reaction.

Grooming and Maintenance Needs

Devon Rex cats have specific grooming needs due to their curly coats. Regular brushing is necessary to prevent matting and keep their coat in good condition. Additionally, their ears should be checked and cleaned regularly to prevent wax buildup. Despite their unique coat, Devon Rex cats do not require frequent baths unless they get exceptionally dirty.

Availability and Rarity of Devon Rex Cats

Their Status in Cat Breeding and Show Circuits

While Devon Rex cats may not be as common as other breeds, they are not considered extremely rare either. The breed has gained popularity over the years and can be found in many cat breeding and show circuits. However, due to their unique appearance and desirable traits, they may have a higher price tag compared to more common cat breeds.

Obtaining a Devon Rex: Challenges and Considerations

If you’re considering adding a Devon Rex to your family, it’s essential to do thorough research and find a reputable breeder. Due to their unique genetics, it is crucial to ensure that breeders follow ethical practices and prioritize the health and well-being of their cats. Reputable breeders will provide you with documentation of health screenings and certifications.

Rescue and Adoption Options for Devon Rex Cats

For those who are passionate about adopting rather than purchasing a cat, rescue and adoption options for Devon Rex cats do exist. There are breed-specific rescues and shelters that focus on finding loving homes for Devon Rex cats in need. By adopting a rescue Devon Rex, you not only provide a loving home but also help reduce the demand for breeding.


Devon Rex cats are undoubtedly unique and captivating creatures. From their curly coats to their playful personalities, they bring joy and laughter to the lives of their owners. While they may not be considered extremely rare, their distinctive features and desirable traits make them a sought-after breed. Whether you choose to purchase a Devon Rex from a reputable breeder or adopt one from a rescue, these cats will undoubtedly bring love, companionship, and endless entertainment into your life.

ThePetFaq Team