The Selkirk Rex Origins
The Selkirk story begins in an animal shelter in Montana, United states, in 1987. Some of the keepers of the shelter had stumbled upon a litter of kittens, and were astounded to find one of them to naturally have curly fur, wavy whiskers and distinctly round green eyes. The cat was taken to Jeri Newman, a cat breeder who named her Miss DePesto of Noface. He later went on to breed the cat with a black Persian, which lead to the creation of the big-eyed, curly haired fluff balls we call Selkirk Rex, today.
Looks: A Squiggly Tale
Although a smooth-haired progeny can be produced by crossing two Selkirk Rex, the curly fur, which may result in both long and short haired variants, is the most remarkable characteristic of these kitties. They do, however, have a few attributes in common with their brothers and sisters that are pretty standard no matter what color or shape they are. For example, they are usually medium to big in stature, quite tall and can weigh up to 7 kilograms with a solid bone structure. Their eyes are big and far apart, their faces are round and looking at the side profile, a defined nose can be spotted. Do not take these curls for granted, over-brushing them will reduce and possibly diminish the natural waviness.
All in all, these fuzzy little love balls tell an old tale that is captured in their squiggly fur, reflected in their big shining eyes and echoed in their gentle meows.
A Strong Character
It is safe to say that Selkirk’s are often dogs at heart as they like to follow their owners around, be petted and played with. If coming from a good breeder family, the Selkirk Rex cat can be loving, people-oriented and sociable. This can be contributed to the cats involved in the breeding of the Selkirk proteges. The British shorthair has contributed to their chill attitude towards life, they have the playfulness of the Exotic, and they cuddle like a Persian. They get along with cats, dogs and children alike. As a matter of fact, it is not recommended to keep them in small spaces such as apartment units without the company of other cats. Other than their need for socializing, they are pretty good at adapting to your routine if you have to leave the house frequently for work, and they are not known to throw a fit when you take them for a drive in your car or use the vacuum cleaner around them.
The Rex Legacy
There are other members of this family, carrying different genetic mutations, with curly consequences nonetheless. Devon Rex, German Rex and Cornish Rex are the ones sharing the last name. However, there are other breeds with curly features outside the Rex family, such as the new LaPerm.
Let’s talk about food
These little house tigers are natural hunters and need a lot of protein. Whatever the feeding method, the diet must be well balanced. It should have a high meat content while also addressing all other nutritional requirements in a cat's diet, such as vitamins and minerals.
As for beverages, make sure you keep fresh water within a paw’s reach, or even better, get a drinking fountain.
When it comes to snacks, bear in mind that these cats are hunters and wouldn’t naturally come across a lot of sugar or grains. It is ideal to keep those out of their diet, whenever possible. What's equally important is keeping the food intake relative to the amount of energy the cat needs throughout the day. They can be weighed regularly to ensure they maintain a healthy size.
Are You a Good Fit for One Another?
If you can provide your feline friend some company and a nice atmosphere, you have yourself the excellent candidate regardless of how many hours you’re gone each day. This doesn’t mean they don’t need a minimum amount of quality time with you every day. Also, always make sure that your cat can be taken care of when you are not able to do it. A neighbor or a friend should pay them a visit regularly if you’re away for days at a time. An apartment can be the perfect spot for these little monsters to explore and have fun, especially if you have a cat-proof garden or a cat safe balcony. With the power of positive training they can be litter trained, leash trained and clicker trained for feeding or play-time.
They are on the safe side of the spectrum when it comes to allergies but it’s good to remember, no cat is truly hypoallergenic. The cat dander they produce is similar to that of other cats, and has the same effect on allergic people. The Selkirk Rex shed moderately so they may not be the best choice if you can't stand the sight of hair on your couch.
If you are not a stickler for breed or age, it’s always best to pay your local shelter a visit, you might be surprised by who can steal your heart. If you want to contact a breeder, be weary of shady ones claiming to have extraordinary offers for suspiciously low prices. Put in the effort to find a trustworthy breeder, it will save you time and money down the road.
A breeder should not give up a kitten before the 12th week, or ideally the 16th week, as kittens learn a lot from their mother. Make sure to have them vaccinated, dewormed and chipped. Good breeders care about their cats. They carefully pick the future owners of their kittens and focus on the well-being of the animals, not on making a quick buck. Also, don't buy a cat out of sympathy because supply and demand are inextricably linked.
You won’t need any special equipment to keep your cat happy and entertained. Basic items like multiple feeding and drinking bowls, blankets and baskets for rest, a litter box and a transport box, and a scratching post and as many toys as your heart allows! A must-have staple is a grooming brush since you will need to untangle hair quite often. Just make sure you can cover the costs of having a four-legged roommate as they usually don't pay for their food or rent!