Kitten History: Devon Rex

The Devon Rex share a similar look with the Cornish Rex.

Devon Rex © Helmi FlickA sweet pixie expression coupled with a soft coat of loose waves helped your Devon Rex kitten capture your heart. She bears a resemblance to a similar breed the Cornish Rex and her history is surprisingly similar.

In 1959, a decade after the Cornish Rex mutation popped up in Cornwall, an unusual curly-haired kitten was born in Devonshire, England. This curly-coated cutie, however, had a look all his own a rounder head, more compact body, and a coat with looser waves. His appearance soon won over cat lovers, who dubbed him and his offspring Devon Rex.

Breeding programs initially tried to cross this Devon Rex with Cornish Rex cats, to no avail. Devon Rex breeding programs began in England in the early 1960s, with the first North American breeding programs established in 1968. In 1972, the American Cat Fanciers Association recognized the Devon Rex as a separate breed, being the first association to not lump the Devon and Cornish Rex together. Dedicated Devon enthusiasts continued the cause for their favorite cats, finally convincing the Cat Fanciers Association to accept the Devon Rex as a separate breed in 1979. The breed gained CFA championship status in 1983.


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