Meet the poodle of the cat world – the Selkirk Rex. The Selkirk Rex is a breed of cat with exceptionally curly hair. The origins of the Selkirk Rex can be traced back to Miss DePesto, a curly house cat from a cat shelter. Jeri Newman bred Miss DePesto to a black Persian named PhotoFinish of Deekay and their offspring produced more curly haired kittens (3 out of 6 of the kittens had curly hair). This meant that the curly gene is dominant in the Selkirk Rex.
The Selkirk Rex can be found in the long and shorthair variety. The most common (and accepted for cat shows) outcrosses for Selkirk Rex are British Shorthair, Persians and Exotic Shorthair cats. By birth it is possible to tell which kittens will have a curled coat by their curly whiskers. Only one of the parents needs to have a curly coat for curly Selkirk Rex kittens. The tightest curls usually occur under the stomach and around the neck and head with looser curls along the back. Curly whiskers on kittens can be brittle. The body type of the Selkirk Rex is big boned and heavy with broader shoulders and a rounded head.
The Selkirk Rex has a serene character, very composed and calm towards all people. Care should be taken to use a special soft shampoo to retain its coat’s curliness when washing its coat.