The Devon Rex is a breed of intelligent, short-haired cat that emerged in England during the 1970s. They are known for their slender bodies, wavy coat, and large ears. This breed of cat is capable of learning difficult tricks but can be difficult to motivate.
The Devon Rex is a breed of cat with a curly, very soft short coat similar to that of the Cornish Rex. They are often associated with being one of the most hypoallergenic cats available because of their type of coat. However, they are technically not hypoallergenic.
The first Devon was discovered by Beryl Cox in Buckfastleigh, Devon, UK, in 1960. The breed was initially thought to be linked with the Cornish Rex; however, test mating proved otherwise. Cats have three types of hair: guard hair, awn hair, and down hair. The Devon Rex’s coat is unusual because there is little guard hair.
ARE THESE HAIRLESS CATS? WHAT DO THEY FEEL LIKE? ARE THEY BORN HAIRLESS?
No. The “hairless” cat is the Sphynx, but even the Sphynx breed is not completely hairless. Normal cats have three layers of hair: guard hair, awn hair, and down hair. The Devon Rex lacks the two longer layers (guard and awn) and only has the down hair. This hair is short, wavy and extremely soft. It is often described as having a crushed velvet or silky feel. The kittens are born with fur, and the waves are evident at birth. The waves disappear in about a week, but begin to return anywhere from 2-9 months of age. There are several variations to the length, thickness, and wave of each individual cat.
HOW MANY KITTENS ARE IN A LITTER? HOW LONG IS THE PREGNANCY?
The average Devon Rex litter is four kittens, with both males and females being equal. Queens are pregnant on average for 63 days.
ARE THESE CATS FRAGILE/DELICATE?
Absolutely not! Although they are tall and lean, they are very muscular and agile. They have often been compared to the body style of a Greyhound dog.
DO THESE CATS GET COLD EASILY?
Because they have a short coat, they should be strictly indoor cats. However, they are good at finding a warm place in your home if they are chilly, and do not require sweaters or an adjusted temperature in your home.
HOW BIG DO THEY GET?
Approximately 5-10 pounds. Males are slightly bigger.
ARE THESE CATS HYPOALLERGENIC/GOOD FOR PEOPLE WITH ALLERGIES?
This is a tricky question. Although the Devon Rex has a very short coat and shedding is extremely minimal, many people are allergic to the protein in their saliva as well as their dander. Several people report being able to tolerate a Devon Rex better than a normal cat, but this is not true for everyone. Severity of allergies can vary greatly from person to person. Some owners also report that they built a “tolerance” to the cat after several weeks, others say that allergy medication does the trick. It is best to consult with your doctor about managing pet allergies before adopting any pet.
WHAT IS THEIR PERSONALITY LIKE/WHY DO PEOPLE LIKE THIS BREED?
The Devon Rex is an extremely social, intelligent, playful, and affectionate breed. Many people say they are “as close to a dog” as you can get with a cat. They are outgoing and enjoy being an active part of the family. They are confident and just as loving as they are fun. They typically get along extremely well with kids, dogs, cats, and even strangers. These cats are not ones to run away and hide! With that being said, they will want to “help” with everything such as typing emails, cooking dinner, laundry, cleaning, etc. They love toys, and have been called ‘con-artists in fur’! Physically, people like their short hair, big ears, triangular head, long legs, and long tail.
WHAT HEALTH ISSUES DO THEY HAVE?
There are no breed-related health problems according to the CFA. All of our cats are seen regularly by a veterinarian, current on vaccines, feline leukemia (FeLV) and FIV negative.
DO THESE CATS SHED?
They shed extremely minimally. It’s rare to find hair around the house, even with several Devon Rex! Their fine hairs are sometimes evident on certain types of fabric, but in general their low shedding is a huge perk for people who can’t stand pet hair!
ARE THESE KITTENS "LITTER-BOX TRAINED"?
Yes, but this doesn’t require any “training”. All cats have a natural instinct to use the litter box and no training is needed. They learn to cover their waste by watching their mom. Litter-box issues later in life are often due to either a medical issue (such as a urinary tract infection), behavioral issue, or most commonly: poor litter-box care on the part of the owner.
ARE MALES OR FEMALES BETTER AS PETS?
I can honestly say that in my opinion they are equally good pets. One sex is not typically more affectionate or playful than the other.
WHAT KIND OF GROOMING DO THEY REQUIRE?
Virtually none. Cats are clean and groom themselves. They do not need baths. Poor/oily/dry hair coats are usually related to diet. Occasionally, because of their large ears, I take a cotton ball and wipe out any visible ear wax.
DO THEY MEOW A LOT?
Their vocalization is pretty average for a cat, some being more vocal than others. They do not have the well-recognized Siamese sound when they meow. Noises they make can range from a variety of meows (low to high), to squeaks and purrts.