The Devon Rex is a truly unique cat in his appearance, with large almond shaped eyes set in a small, sculpted face, with a slightly snubbed, upturned nose and huge bat-like ears that sit low on the head.
The Devon Rex’s fur is short and wavy, the body muscular, trim and compact. The coat color can vary dramatically, with solid, bicolor, tricolor, tabby and other coat variations seen within the breed standard. Some have described the Devon Rex as “elfish” in appearance, while others insist the Devon Rex looks more like a bat or other creature of the night with its large eyes, tremendous ears on a small, delicate face.
The Origin of the Devon Rex
Unlike many cat and dog breeds, the precise origin of the Devon Rex is well known. The Devon Rex breed arose in Devonshire, England in 1959, about one decade after the related Cornish Rex breed arose. According to the Cat Fanciers’ Association, a Briton named Miss Cox took in a stray cat who birthed an unusual litter of curly-haired kittens, believed to be the offspring of a curly-coated Tom Cat that roamed the neighborhood. And so the first litter of Devon Rex kittens was born.
Since the Devon Rex breed first arose in 1959, cat breeders have been carefully fine-tuning this relatively new type of cat through selective breeding with British Shorthairs and American Shorthairs.
The Personality of the Devon Rex Cat
Devon Rex owners can testify to the fact that it’s not just this cat’s physical appearance that’s earned them the description of “elfish.” The Devon Rex is notoriously mischievous.
Sasha Allen is a relatively new Devon Rex owner from the Boston area: “I thought my house was cat-proofed. I’ve owned cats for the past 18 years, so over time, my other cats have exposed every weak link in the house in terms of cat-proofing. Then I adopted Devon Rex pair – Albert and Herman – three years ago and I found that a whole new standard of cat proofing applies to these boys. They’re not destructive – never destructive, but they have a way of jumping and climbing like no other cat I’ve ever seen. I’ve found them on top of the cabinets, the refrigerator. They’ll even jump from the refrigerator to the top of the open kitchen door, where they’ll both sit for hours on end. They physically climb the bookshelf. They’re acrobats – ‘acrocats’ as we call them.”
Unlike many cats who are aloof and solitary, the Devon Rex breed is very social and playful. Many Devon Rex owners report that this breed will follow them as they move throughout the house.
Other Benefits of Owning a Devon Rex
Considering a Devon Rex? The Devon Rex is easy to groom, requiring just the basics in terms of brushing, ear cleaning, nail trimming and routine care.
Some websites and publications incorrectly state that the Devon Rex and other curly-coated cat breeds do not shed; this is false. The Devon Rex does shed, but shedding tends to be less pronounced because the Devon Rex’s coat is thinner than that seen in many other cat breeds. Another myth is that the Devon Rex is “hypoallergenic” – another falsehood, as there is no such thing as a “hypoallergenic” cat or dog. But it does seem that some cat breeds and dog breeds – including the Devon Rex – are generally well tolerated by people with allergies.
When adopted from a reputable breeder, a pet-quality Devon Rex kitten will cost, on average, between $750 USD and $1,000 USD. Show quality Devon Rex kittens can cost several thousand dollars.