Selkirk Rex


The Selkirk Rex is a cat breed that originated in 1987 in the United States. The Selkirk Rex carries the curly coat gene. These cats can be both long-haired and short-haired.


The first cat of this breed was Miss de Pesto, born from a common tricolor smooth-haired cat, which lived in the American cattery in Sheridan. In 1987 she had six kittens, five of which were very common, but the sixth coat was unique - curly, white with cream and blue color. This kitten was taken by a breeder of Persian cats Jerry Newman of Montana, and named her Miss de Pesto.

After realizing how unique is the curly hair of her cat, the breeder decided to test whether the curl would pass on to her offspring. After crossing Miss de Pesto with a black Persian cat, she got six kittens in July 1988, three of which had curly fur.

The breeder named the new breed after the mountains upstate, Selkirk, which was also the last name of her stepfather. She added the word “rex” to the name to show that the breed was one of the curly cat breeds.

In 1992, the breed was officially registered. There are two varieties: short-haired and long-haired.

Selkirk Rex curl gene is dominant, respectively, straight-haired kittens born from curly parents do not carry the gene of curl. From such cats, curly offspring can be born only if the second partner is curly.

Today the breed is in formation stage and therefore four other breeds - British, Exotic, Persian and American Shorthair - are allowed to mix in to enlarge its gene pool. Because of this, some members of the Selkirk Rex breed are similar to the breed whose blood has been more heavily infused into this line.

Breed description

Cats of this breed have a rounded skull shape, well-developed vibrisserie pads, and full cheeks. The shape of the ears - conical, they are wide at the base, the size - medium, widely spaced. The round and wide-set eyes of large size give the muzzle an expression of wariness and curiosity.

The body size of the Selkirk Rex can be medium to large, the back is straight, slightly raised at the back, the torso is muscular. The limbs are also muscular and of medium length and thickness. The pads of the legs are rounded, compact. The tail at the base is thick, tapering toward the rounded tip, not very long.

The main distinguishing feature of the breed is a soft and curly coat. The Selkirk Rex has all three types of hair - covering wool, fleece and undercoat, and all of them are curly. Even the whiskers are curly.

The difference between the short-haired and long-haired variants of the breed is very noticeable. Short-haired cats have medium-length, velvety coats with curls all over the body. Long-haired Selkirks have fur that hangs in wavy strands. Waves are most noticeable on the tail and neck. It is also worth noting that the babies of long-haired cats of this breed are born very curly, but with time the curl is lost and is restored only by the tenth month of life.


Selkirk Rex are pets with a very affectionate and gentle disposition. These animals are very intelligent, calm, malleable and reserved. They tend to patiently adapt to their environment, accepting life as it is. Very capable imitators. Cowardice is not peculiar to this breed - Selkirks are not shy of guests and are not afraid of loud noises.

Owners assure that the Selkirk Rex breed cats are sweet and playful. They don’t impose on their owners and don’t demand attention, but they love to receive it.

This breed is people-oriented, the Selkirk is very friendly to all members of the family in which they live, and they get along well with other animals.

Selkirks are ubiquitous companions, and they like to be cuddled and held in their arms. Some representatives of the breed also do not mind to roll on the shoulders of the owner, looking around.

Selkirk Rex loves to play, especially when the owner takes part in active games.

Housing and care

The Selkirk Rex is a little more difficult to care for than other breeds, because brushing their fur involves straightening it.

Short-haired members of the breed only need to be brushed once a week and bathed from time to time.

Long-haired Selkirk Rex cats should be combed twice a week with a quality steel brush to prevent tangling and to remove dead hair. Washing these cats once a month is sufficient. After bathing, long-haired cats regain their natural curl.

When buying a Selkirk Rex cat, you should ask the breeder to show you how to brush these cats properly.