DEVON REX CAT BREED
The Devon didn’t settle into the unsuspecting laps of us humans until 1960. The father of the Devon breed, a feral, curly-coated tom, lived around an abandoned tin mine near Devonshire, England. He mated with a straight-coated calico female that produced a litter of kittens in the garden of cat fancier Beryl Cox. One of the kittens, a brownish-black male that Cox named Kirlee, had the same short, curly coat as his father. Breeders think that the calico female and the curly-coated male must have been related, since the Devon Rex gene that governs the curly coat is recessive and must be present in both parents to manifest in the offspring.
At first, Kirlee was thought to be related to the Cornish Rex. Subsequent matings between Kirlee and the cats of Cornish breeder Brian Stirling-Webb resulted in only straight-coated offspring, from which Cox and Webb concluded that the two breeds were unrelated. The name Devon Rex was adopted for the new breed, and a breeding program established.
The first Devon was imported to the United States in 1968. In 1972 ACFA became the first United States association to accept the Devon for Championship. The Devon was accepted by TICA in 1979 (the year TICA formed). The CFA recognized the Devon for Championship in 1983.
Through careful outcrossing, breeders have expanded the Devon Rex gene pool while retaining the integrity of the breed. While it has never quite caught up to the Cornish Rex in popularity, the Devon has made great strides and is seen more and more frequently in the show halls and judging rings.
Devons have been compared to pixies, elves, and, of course, space aliens for their jumbo-sized satellite-dish ears, large, mischievous “window-to-the-soul” eyes, and ethereal appearance. Fanciers laud the “poodle cat” (as the breed is affectionately called), as people-oriented snugglers that love nothing better than to cuddle up with you at night and wake you in the morning with hugs, kisses and purrs of affection. And since the Devon sheds less than other breeds, you can snuggle back without fear of covering yourself in cat hair.
But there are lots of other reasons to acquire a Devon besides their coats: their loyalty, devotion, playfulness, courage, and intelligence, just to name a few of the qualities that make them a good choice for the cat-obsessed. Devons are shoulder perchers, lap sitters, tail waggers, and retrievers of tossed cat toys. They have a well-developed sense of curiosity and want to be involved in whatever you’re doing, whether it’s peeling potatoes for dinner or showering for a Saturday night date.
While the Cornish’s coat lacks guard hairs, the Devon’s coat contains all three hair types (guard, awn, and down), but the guard hairs are typically fragile and stunted, and the whisker hairs are often missing altogether. The hairs break easily and therefore this breed can develop bald patches that remain until the next hair growth cycle (typically fall and spring). Devons need very little grooming; their favorite grooming tool is your hand, applied on their heads and down their backs.
- ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ Activity
- ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ Playfulness
- ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ Need for Attention
- ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ Affection
- ☆☆☆ Need to Vocalize
- ☆☆☆☆☆ Docility
- ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ Intelligence
- ☆☆☆ Independence
- ☆☆☆☆☆ Healthiness and Hardiness
- ☆ Grooming needs
- ☆☆☆☆☆ Good with children
- ☆☆☆☆☆ Good with other pets
General: The Devon Rex is a breed of unique appearance. Its large eyes, short muzzle, prominent cheekbones, and huge ears create a characteristic elfin look.
Body: Hard and muscular; slender; medium length; broad chest; medium fine boning; body carried high on the legs.
Head: Modified wedge; head broad but slightly longer than broad; face full-cheeked with pronounced cheekbones and a whisker break; in profile, nose has strongly marked stop; muzzle short and well developed; prominent whisker break; chin strong and well developed.
Ears: Strikingly large and set very low; very wide at base; tapering to round tops; well covered with fine fur.
Eyes: Large and wide set; oval; sloping toward outer edges of ears. Color depends upon coat color.
Tail: Long, fine, and tapering; well covered with short fur.
Coat: Cat is well covered with fur with the greatest density occurring on the back, sides, tail, legs, face, and ears; bare patches a serious fault; however, down on the underparts should not be misinterpreted as bareness; texture soft, fine, full-bodied; length short to very short. A rippled wave effect should be apparent when coat is smoothed with the hand.
Color: All colors and patterns including the Himalayan pattern.
Disqualify: Extensive baldness; kinked or abnormal tail; crossed eyes; weak hindquarters.
Allowable outcrosses: American Shorthair and British Shorthair for litters born before May 1, 1998.