Selkirk Rex

About breed » Selkirk Rex

In 1987 Jeri Newman, a breeder of Persian cats in Montana, USA, noticed a short-haired cat with unusual curly fur in his local animal shelter. Jeri took the cat home and introduced him to a black Persian member of the family, Miss DePesto, shortly thereafter Miss DePesto became the happy mother of six kittens. Three of them inherited the curly fur of their father, and in subsequent generations this gene was found to be dominant. The new, curly haired breed was called ‘Selkirk Rex’ by Jeri, after the name of their forefather, leading in time to a whole new breed of cats. They were later crossed with other exotics, the Persians and the British. With litters of kittens being born with both curly and straight hair.
Selkirk Rex cats were first presented at an exhibition in Salt Lake City, USA, where the new breed was recognized by TICA and ACFA. The first cat of this breed came to Europe, via Switzerland, in 1992. Currently, the cats of this breed are becoming very popular and can be encountered worldwide.
A characteristic feature of the breed is curly fur which occur in two varieties: the short and the long-haired types. They have a soft, extremely fluffy and silky coat. The long-haired cats being the most impressive. In English literature the breed is defined as "cats in sheep's coats". The breed is present in all color varieties. Their body is stocky, strong, of medium build, with round heads, and a clearly marked nose. Ears are of a medium size, wide apart, being wider at the base. Eyes are round and large. The body is strongly built, muscular and of medium length. Feet are of strong build and medium in length. The tail is proportional to the body and of medium length.
Kittens are born with curly fur and a curly moustache (often breaking at the base). The cats being fully grown at about two years of age.
The Selkirk Rex cat is endowed with a very balanced character, and they are quiet and friendly in nature, and love people.
This breed is devoid of aggression, extremely tolerant, and is perfectly adaptable to the presence of other pets. 
The curly hair gene is dominant, but they can give birth to kittens in four phenotypes: straight or curly fur, and may both be either short or long-haired.
Until the end of 2015 it was possible to breed Selkirk Rex cats with Persian cats, exotic (to 2010) and the British cats. From 2016 Selkirk Rex must have parents only from their breed.
Care of the Selkirk Rex cats is not complicated. They should be combed every few days with a brush. They can take a bath using an approved cat shampoo and conditioner every few weeks; it is good idea to comb the cat beforehand. After a bath wipe them gently with a towel and then leave them to dry themselves. Combing wet hair will stretch their curls, but they will become curly again after a few days.
I first saw a Selkirk Rex in a cat show in 2015, and I confess that I was speechless with delight, being enchanted by its beautiful, fabulous and unconventional appearance, but most of all I liked its character. The cat on the exhibition did not know me, but at once began to purr loudly. Her fur was incredibly soft and silky... I fell in love ... and soon at our house appeared our first Selkirk cat ‘Blanca Shillana’. This beautiful black and white Selkirk proved to be a wonderful cat. She is a very balanced lady, without a hint of aggression, and is very dignified. She loves to be caressed, have fun, and be in contact with humans. She is sweet and purrs loudly as soon as you look at her. She fitted in with our cat pack in a peaceful manner, she is like a buffer for the negative emotions of other cats, relieving any conflict situations, everybody loves her.
A few months later our next fluffy ball, Balbina of Santa Callista, arrived from distant Kazakhstan (over six thousands kilometers away). A beautiful, initially inconspicuous tortie which also quickly gained a lovely Selkirk appearance. She is a delightful cat, with huge amber eyes and perfect curly fur. She is also balanced, very nice, and tactile in nature. She is always ready to play, being smart and agile.