In 1950, a kitten with a curly coat was born on a farm in Cornwall, England. From this one little kitten, the Cornish Rex breed was developed.
Cornish Rex are noted for their marcel (wavy) coats, long legs, and large ears. They are intelligent, affectionate companions. These cats are high-energy athletes, capable of fast speeds and high jumps. They remain kitten-like and playful throughout their lives.
Cornish Rex are not hypo-allergenic cats. Some people who are allergic to cats are able to live with a Cornish Rex with fewer allergic reactions than they would experience with another breed. All cats produce dander and saliva, the agents which cause allergic reactions - Cornish Rex simply have less of these allergens than most other cats.
Kallibunker, the first Cornish Rex, was born on a farm in Cornwall, England, in 1950. He was the only curly coated kitten born in a litter of five to a barn cat named Serena. Outcrossing to other breeds, including Siamese, enlarged and strengthened the Cornish Rex gene pool and resulted in a variety of color and pattern possibilities including tabby, bicolor, smoke, solid, pointed and particolor. In the United States, CFA, the world's largest cat registry, no longer allows outcrossing to other breeds. Cornish Rex in the United States tend to be smaller and finer boned than Cornish Rex in Europe.
Cornish Rex have been called the greyhound of the feline world. The body is slender with an arched back and a "tuck-up" at the waist. The Cornish Rex has large ears set high on an egg shaped head. The eyes are oval in shape; the chin is strong. The Cornish Rex has a distinct Roman nose with a high, prominent bridge. Long slender legs, fine boning , dainty oval paws and a long whippy tail complete the style of this racy, active cat. The Cornish Rex coat is the most striking feature of the breed; it ripples with marcel waves and feels as soft as powder.
Cornish Rex are affectionate and intelligent. Because they love interacting with people, they make wonderful companions. They are high-energy athletes, capable of fast speeds and high jumps, remaining playful and kitten-like throughout their lives. Cornish Rex should be indoors only cats. Given proper care and diet they are healthy and hearty, with a life span that can be well past 15 years.
People who are allergic to cats will most likely be allergic to a Cornish Rex. Dander and the protein in the cat's saliva cause allergic reactions. Cornish Rex have less hair than most other cats and they produce less dander. Since they don't need to groom themselves as much as other cats, their coats have less of the protein found in the saliva. A few people with allergies to cats can tolerate a Cornish Rex, experiencing minor discomfort.
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