What are Devon Rex Cats? A Comprehensive Guide to this Unique Breed

The story of the Devon Rex begins in England during the 1960s. It all started with a curly-haired kitten named Kirlee, who was found in a litter of farm cats in Devonshire. With his unique curly coat, Kirlee caught the attention of a cat lover named Beryl Cox, who decided to take him home and start a breeding program to further develop the breed.

1.2 Development of the Breed

Beryl Cox carefully bred Kirlee with other cats, including a Cornish Rex and a British Shorthair. This crossbreeding helped to solidify the distinctive features of the Devon Rex, such as their curly coat, large ears, and slender bodies. The breed quickly gained popularity among cat enthusiasts for its unusual appearance and friendly nature.

1.3 Recognition as a Breed

In 1967, the Devon Rex was officially recognized as a breed by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF) in the United Kingdom. Since then, the breed has gained recognition from various cat associations worldwide, including The International Cat Association (TICA) and the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) in the United States.

2. Physical Characteristics

2.1 Unique Appearance

One look at a Devon Rex and you’ll immediately notice their distinctive features. Their most prominent characteristic is their curly coat, which feels soft and velvety to the touch. Unlike other cat breeds, the Devon Rex lacks the typical guard hairs that give cats a smooth and glossy coat. Instead, their curly hair gives them a unique and adorable appearance.

2.2 Coat and Colors

Devon Rex cats come in a variety of colors and patterns. Their coat can be solid, tabby, tortoiseshell, or pointed, among others. The absence of guard hairs means that Devon Rex cats shed very little, making them a great choice for individuals with allergies.

2.3 Body Structure and Size

In addition to their curly coat, Devon Rex cats have a slender and athletic body structure. They are medium-sized cats, typically weighing between 6 to 10 pounds. Despite their delicate appearance, they are surprisingly muscular and agile, capable of jumping and climbing with ease.

3. Temperament and Personality

3.1 Playful and Energetic

Devon Rex cats are known for their playful and energetic nature. They love interactive toys and games that challenge their intelligence and agility. Their curiosity knows no bounds, and they will often explore every nook and cranny of your home. Be prepared for their playful antics and provide plenty of mental and physical stimulation to keep them entertained.

3.2 Affectionate and Social

Despite their mischievous nature, Devon Rex cats are incredibly affectionate and crave human companionship. They form strong bonds with their owners and enjoy being in the center of attention. Don’t be surprised if your Devon Rex insists on curling up in your lap or following you around the house.

3.3 Intelligence and Trainability

Devon Rex cats are highly intelligent and trainable. They can quickly learn tricks and commands, making them an ideal candidate for clicker training and interactive play. Their intelligence also means they may try to outsmart you from time to time, so be prepared for their clever and mischievous behavior.

4. Health and Care

4.1 Common Health Issues

Like all cat breeds, Devon Rex cats may be prone to certain health issues. One of the most common health concerns for this breed is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a condition that affects the heart. Regular veterinary check-ups and a balanced diet can help monitor and manage any potential health issues.

4.2 Grooming Needs

Despite their curly coat, grooming a Devon Rex is relatively easy. Their hair does not mat easily, but regular brushing will help remove any loose hair and keep their coat looking its best. Additionally, their large ears may require occasional cleaning to prevent wax buildup and infection.

4.3 Nutrition and Diet

Providing a balanced and nutritious diet is essential for the overall health and well-being of your Devon Rex. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate portion sizes and types of food that best meet their dietary needs. Remember to provide fresh water at all times and avoid overfeeding to prevent obesity.

5. Living with a Devon Rex Cat

5.1 Creating a Cat-Friendly Environment

To ensure your Devon Rex is happy and content, create a cat-friendly environment in your home. Provide scratching posts, climbing trees, and plenty of toys to keep them mentally and physically stimulated. Consider setting up cozy sleeping areas and perches near windows, as Devon Rex cats love observing the world outside.

5.2 Introducing a Devon Rex to Your Home

When introducing a Devon Rex to your home, give them time to adjust and acclimate to their new surroundings. Provide a quiet and comfortable space where they can retreat to when they need some alone time. Gradually introduce them to other family members and pets, allowing for a gradual and supervised introduction.

5.3 Providing Mental Stimulation

Devon Rex cats thrive on mental stimulation. Engage them in interactive play sessions, puzzle toys, and clicker training to keep their minds sharp and active. Consider rotating their toys regularly to prevent boredom and provide them with new challenges.

6. Frequently Asked Questions

6.1 Are Devon Rex Cats Hypoallergenic?

While no cat breed is truly hypoallergenic, many individuals with allergies find that they have fewer reactions to Devon Rex cats. Their minimal shedding and curly coat may reduce the amount of allergens present in the environment, making them a potential option for allergy sufferers.

6.2 Do Devon Rex Cats Shed?

Devon Rex cats shed very little due to their curly coat. However, it’s important to note that all cats shed to some extent. Regular grooming and brushing will help remove any loose hair and minimize shedding.

6.3 Can Devon Rex Cats Live with Other Pets?

Devon Rex cats are generally sociable and can get along well with other pets, including dogs and other cats. However, it’s essential to introduce them slowly and provide proper supervision during the initial stages of introduction. Each individual cat’s temperament and personality should be taken into consideration when introducing them to other animals.


Devon Rex cats are truly one-of-a-kind. From their unique appearance to their playful and affectionate nature, they bring joy and excitement to any household. Whether you’re captivated by their curly coat or intrigued by their intelligence, a Devon Rex can make a wonderful addition to your family. Remember to provide them with love, care, and plenty of mental and physical stimulation, and you’ll be rewarded with a loyal and entertaining companion for years to come.

ThePetFaq Team