Are Selkirk Rex Cats Rare? Unveiling the Mystery of These Unique Feline Beauties

When it comes to unique feline beauties, Selkirk Rex cats certainly stand out. These adorable creatures are known for their distinctive curly coats, which are the result of a genetic mutation. Unlike other curly-coated cat breeds, such as the Cornish Rex or Devon Rex, the curly fur of Selkirk Rex cats is thicker and more plush, giving them a distinct and luxurious appearance.

The curly coat mutation in Selkirk Rex cats is caused by a gene called “Selkirk.” This gene is autosomal dominant, meaning that if a cat inherits the gene from just one parent, it will express the curly coat trait. This unique genetic mutation sets Selkirk Rex cats apart from other breeds and adds to their allure.

The First Known Selkirk Rex

The story of the first known Selkirk Rex cat is an interesting one. In 1987, a rescue cat named Miss DePesto gave birth to a litter of kittens in Montana, USA. One of these kittens, named Miss DePesto’s original owner, Jeri Newman, was struck by the kitten’s unusual curly coat and decided to keep her. This kitten, named Miss DePesto’s original owner, was the foundation of the Selkirk Rex breed.

Miss DePesto’s original owner was bred with a Persian cat, and the resulting kittens inherited the unique curly coat trait. This led to the establishment of the Selkirk Rex breed, which was officially recognized by cat registries in the early 1990s. Since then, Selkirk Rex cats have gained popularity for their charming looks and affectionate personalities.

Characteristics and Appearance of Selkirk Rex Cats

Affectionate and Gentle Personalities

Beyond their eye-catching looks, Selkirk Rex cats are beloved for their affectionate and gentle personalities. They are known for being friendly, social, and great companions. These cats thrive on human interaction and enjoy being part of the family. Their loving nature makes them a perfect addition to households with children or other pets.

Curly Coats and Remarkable Variations

One of the most striking features of Selkirk Rex cats is their curly coat. The curls can vary in tightness and length, giving each cat a unique and individual look. Some Selkirk Rex cats have tighter curls, while others have looser waves. The texture of their coats can range from soft and plush to coarse and dense.

In addition to their curly coats, Selkirk Rex cats come in a wide variety of colors and patterns. From solid colors like black, white, and gray to tabby, tortoiseshell, and calico patterns, there is a Selkirk Rex cat to suit every taste. Their unique appearance, coupled with their affectionate personalities, makes them a favorite among cat enthusiasts.

The Rarity of Selkirk Rex Cats

An Uncommon Breed

While Selkirk Rex cats have gained popularity in recent years, they are still considered a relatively rare breed. The combination of their unique genetic mutation and the challenges in breeding curly-coated cats contributes to their rarity. Breeders must carefully select cats with the Selkirk gene to ensure healthy litters with curly coats, which can limit the number of available kittens.

Challenges in Breeding Selkirk Rex Cats

Breeding Selkirk Rex cats can be more complex compared to other breeds. The Selkirk gene is dominant, but breeding two Selkirk Rex cats together can produce kittens with excessively curly coats, known as “rexing.” Rexing can lead to health issues, such as fragile bones and dental problems, so responsible breeders carefully manage their breeding programs to avoid these complications.

Statistics on Selkirk Rex Population

Exact statistics on the population of Selkirk Rex cats are difficult to determine due to the breed’s rarity. However, according to various cat registries and breed associations, the population of Selkirk Rex cats is still relatively small compared to more common breeds. This rarity adds to the allure of owning a Selkirk Rex cat and makes them a prized possession among cat enthusiasts.

Exploring the Demand for Selkirk Rex Cats

Popularity Among Cat Lovers

Despite their rarity, Selkirk Rex cats have gained a dedicated following of cat lovers who appreciate their unique looks and affectionate personalities. Many people are drawn to their curly coats and find them irresistibly charming. Selkirk Rex cats have become sought-after pets for those looking for something out of the ordinary.

Is the Demand Growing?

The demand for Selkirk Rex cats has been steadily growing over the years. As more people discover this unique breed, their popularity continues to rise. However, it’s important to note that responsible breeders prioritize the welfare of their cats and only breed when they can ensure the health and well-being of the kittens. This ensures that the breed remains rare and special.

Price Considerations

Due to their rarity and unique characteristics, Selkirk Rex cats often come with a higher price tag compared to more common breeds. The cost of a Selkirk Rex kitten can vary depending on factors such as lineage, coat quality, and breeder reputation. It’s important to do thorough research and choose a reputable breeder who prioritizes the health and welfare of their cats.

Where to Find Selkirk Rex Cats

Reputable Breeders

When looking for a Selkirk Rex cat, it’s crucial to find a reputable breeder who follows ethical breeding practices. Reputable breeders prioritize the health and well-being of their cats and are knowledgeable about the breed. They can provide guidance and support throughout the adoption process.

Adopting a Selkirk Rex from a Shelter

In addition to purchasing from a breeder, it’s worth considering adopting a Selkirk Rex cat from a shelter or rescue organization. While these cats may be less common to find in shelters, it’s always worthwhile to check local shelters and rescue groups. Adopting a cat provides a loving home to a deserving feline and can be a rewarding experience.

Rescue Organizations

There are also rescue organizations specifically dedicated to rescuing and rehoming Selkirk Rex cats. These organizations work tirelessly to ensure that abandoned or surrendered Selkirk Rex cats find loving homes. If you’re committed to adopting a Selkirk Rex cat, reaching out to rescue organizations can be a great option.

Caring for Selkirk Rex Cats

Grooming Needs for Curly Coats

Selkirk Rex cats require regular grooming to maintain their curly coats. While their fur doesn’t mat as easily as some other long-haired breeds, it’s still important to brush their coats regularly to remove loose hair and prevent tangles. The texture of their fur may vary, so it’s important to use appropriate grooming tools suitable for their specific coat type.

Diet and Nutrition Considerations

Proper nutrition is essential for the overall health and well-being of Selkirk Rex cats. Providing them with a balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs is crucial. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the best diet for your Selkirk Rex cat based on their age, activity level, and any specific dietary requirements they may have.

Health Concerns and Regular Vet Check-ups

While Selkirk Rex cats are generally healthy, it’s important to schedule regular vet check-ups to ensure their well-being. Like any other cat breed, they may be prone to certain health conditions, such as dental issues or joint problems. Regular veterinary care and preventive measures, such as vaccinations and parasite control, are essential for keeping your Selkirk Rex cat in optimal health.


In conclusion, Selkirk Rex cats are truly unique feline beauties. Their curly coats, affectionate personalities, and rarity make them a captivating breed for cat lovers. While they may be considered rare, the demand for Selkirk Rex cats continues to grow as more people discover their charm. Whether you choose to purchase from a reputable breeder or adopt from a shelter or rescue organization, caring for a Selkirk Rex cat is a rewarding experience that brings joy and companionship for years to come.

ThePetFaq Team