Devon Rex :: Cat Breeds
In 1960 a feral cat living near a deserted tin mine in Devon, England mated with an adopted stray living nearby. The offspring named Kirlee, displayed a unique, tightly-curled coat. Kirlee eventually mated with Kallibunker, the original curly-coated Cornish Rex, but produced straight haired kittens. This litter confirmed that the Devon Rex mutation constituted a new genetic pattern.
The ultimate British feline pixie, low set with oversize ears jutting out and away from the side of an elfin cheeky face with a turned up nose. Large impish eyes suggest a madcap personality and a nimble mind. A deceptively muscular body is covered by a short coat of downy fur that curls and ripples.
These pixie like cats will sit on your shoulder or lie across the back of your neck and investigate your ear. They will also lie in stacks in front of heat vents or pile one upon another until they lie six deep in a cat bed designed for one or two. They might sit on a windowsill but only to chatter at squirrels or other passersby.
Devons never meander, they favour a purposeful trot. They know where they are going and what they are going to do when they get there. They are skilled food bandits with asparagus high on their list and grapes, cantaloupe and artichoke leaves only just a whisker behind.
Devons, like puppy dogs, follow you from room to room and just like puppies, they wag their tails when happy or praised. They chat happily in subdued chirps, chortles and trills but purring can drown out polite conversation.
Devons bring another meaning to wash-and-wear. A quick shampoo, rinse, towel rub and hang over the shoulder to dry or place in a sunny window. Most Devons do not object to the occasional bath and some will join their human companions in their tub uninvited. This behaviour reflects the Devon’s deep concern for their person’s safety and comfort although many suspect it is also a measure of their refusal to be left out of anything!
Devons shed their coats at a rate that is only barely perceptible to the human eye and nose. And as they are easily bathed, many people with allergies to cats discover they can live comfortably with a Devon Rex. The absence of cat hair in the air, on pillows and on furniture is a definite plus to the allergy sufferer and to the one who cleans the home. The ideal Devon coat is soft to the touch, for while the Devon has guard hair, it is mutated into a weakened form and vastly reduced in density relative to the soft down and awn hairs that make up the Devon coat.
The mature Devon female averages six to seven pounds and the slightly larger male averages eight to nine pounds. You will be surprised by the pleasant warmth of the Devon body. The Devon has the same body temperature as other breeds but has less fur to insulate your hands from its natural body heat. They make superb bed warmers. Devons are patient and nurturing parents. The average litter size is three to four kittens with an average weight of about three ounces. Kittens are strong and highly mobile at birth, frequently nursing before the umbilical cord is severed. They open their eyes early, at about five to seven days and not just a few breeders report eyes open at or on the first day after birth. Devons do not like missing anything!
Devons love to play but their natural preference is to sit cozily in your lap. Devons are, above all else, people oriented. Their human companions are the focus of their boundless interest and love.
The breed's very curly coat can display any colour or pattern. A white coat with gold eyes remains the most popular show pattern, many solids, shaded, tabby and spotted patterns also exist.
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