Selkirk Rex

If you love fuzzy, curly cats, you will absolutely love the adorable Selkirk Rex. This breed is often called a cat in sheep’s clothing because its curls look like wool. These might not be your average lap cat, but that doesn’t mean the Selkirk Rex is not a great companion. These cats are tolerable and affectionate; you just need to understand how to coexist with this adorable breed. Plus, this breed comes in two varieties - longhair and shorthair. Here’s what all cat lovers should know about this awesome cat breed.

Selkirk Rex



Selkirk Rex


10-16 lb

Selkirk Rex



Selkirk Rex

Life Expectancy:

10-15 years

Breed History

The Selkirk Rex breed is a result of a natural mutation. The first cat of the Selkirk Rex-type was born in 1987 in Montana. This is a significant difference between “younger” breeds and old, naturally occurring breeds - their history is well-known. The Selkirk Rex breed can be traced back to a single female born in a shelter. She was so unusual that she caught the attention of a cat breeder Jeri Newman, who immediately adopted her and named her Miss DePesto. As soon as she developed, she bred her to a male black Persian. Miss DePesto produced 3 curly-coated kittens and 3 flat-coated kittens, indicating that the curly gene is dominant. Newman introduced Exotic, British, and American Shorthairs to the mix to widen the gene pool and named the new breed Selkirk. The breed was accepted in 2000.

selkirk rex

Cat Breed Characteristics

Energy Level
Amount of Shedding
Social Needs
Affection Level
Kid Friendly
Pet Friendly
General Health

The Selkirk Rex is a beautiful cat breed that comes in two coat varieties - shorthair and longhair. However, different characteristics make them a unique breed. The Selkirk Rex has a rounded face and is a lot stockier than similar curly breeds. Here are the main characteristics we will focus on.


The first thing most cat lovers notice about this breed is its amazing curly coat. The Selkirk Rex has a soft, wooly coat with loose curls. The most interesting thing about their coats is that the kittens are born curly, and their curls straighten out during adolescence. As they mature, the firm curls form once again.

selkirk rex kitten

Coat color

Another interesting thing about the Selkirk Rex is that they come in all possible colors and patterns. If there is a color or pattern in the feline kingdom, you can be pretty sure the Selkirk Rex can have it. Plus, their eyes can come in all available colors as well.


An important thing all future Selkirk Rex owners should know is the cat’s size. This breed is considered medium-to-large cats, and most adults weigh 10 - 16 pounds.


Even more important than a cat’s physical appearance is its personality. We wouldn’t want to get a cat that looks amazing but is a bad companion. Luckily, the Selkirk Rex is not like that. These cats are a mix of their ancestor’s temperaments, so you can expect a peaceful, calm cat. However, the Selkirk Rex is more active and playful. Most existing Selkirk Rex owners describe these cats as incredibly sweet, but they have a silly streak. These cats are sociable, so they shouldn’t be left alone for long periods.

selkirk rex on table


No matter which cat breed you have at home, chances are, there are breed-specific issues the cat is prone to. That doesn’t necessarily mean your cat will develop any of them; it only means you and your vet should keep an eye on early signs of disease. The Selkirk Rex is generally considered a healthy breed. However, here are some of the issues these cats are prone to;

  • Tear duct problems - If the cat has tear duct problems, it can have tear stains and potential infections.
  • Polycystic kidney disease - This is a disease that causes a large number of cysts to develop within the kidneys.
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy - This disease causes the thickening of the heart. The reason is still unknown.

World Cat Finder Team

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Updated at21.12.2021.