Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Cornish Rex

a black and white Cornish Rex looking at the camera

If you are looking for a new pet, the Cornish Rex cat might be just what you’re looking for. The Cornish Rex is one of the few breeds that does not require regular grooming and has an unusual coat texture and hypoallergenic if this sounds like a cat, your family will enjoy; read on to learn more about the Cornish Rex breed!

The History Of The Cornish Rex

In 1950, the first Cornish Rex appeared in Cornwall. It is named Rex because of his coat’s similarity to that of a Rex rabbit. A nondescript field cat gave birth to a litter with a comprised kitten that was slightly different from the others, familiar with unusual breeds. 

He was born with a curly coat as a result of a natural mutation. On the geneticist’s advice, he was mated with his mother when he reached maturity, resulting in a litter of two more curly-coated kittens.

The Rex type was discovered in 1960 to be caused by a recessive gene, which means both parents must have the gene. When Kallibunker, the first kitten, was bred with Siamese, Burmese, and British Shorthair cats, the kittens’ coats were regular, but they carried the recessive gene. 

They usually produced curly-coated kittens when they were bred to what became known as the Cornish Rex or to each other. Russian Blues, American Shorthairs, and Havana Browns were among the breeds in which the Rex was crossed.

Outcrosses expanded and strengthened the breed’s small gene pool and introduced new colours and patterns.

In 1957, a Cornish Rex was shipped for the first time to the United States. The Cat Fanciers Association first recognized the Cornish Rex in 1964. Other cat registries, such as the International Cat Association and the American Cat Fanciers Association, identify the Cornish Rex, and the attention-seeking breed is now an ordinary show cat.

What Is The Temperament and Personality of the Cornish Rex

The Cornish Rex Is Energetic:

The Cornish Rex is a brilliant and enthusiastic cat who enjoys being interested in anything you do, climbing to the highest point in the house to survey her territory, stealing food to fuel her antics, and playing fetches — in fact, everything that will get her attention and applause.

The Cornish Rex appears sophisticated and elegant at first. Still, her charming and brilliant cat’s sense of humour and appetite for attention take over, and she strolls onto centre stage, ready to play the piano, perform tricks, or astound onlookers with her ability to leap to the highest point in the building. She can handle items deftly and open doors and cabinets with ease, thanks to her long toes.

The Cornish Rex Is A Fast Learner:

The Cornish Rex is a clever creature. Encourage her to use her brain by teaching her tricks and supplying her with puzzle toys that will repay her with kibble or treats when she manipulates them.

She’s a fast study, but you might find that she trains you better than you teach her. Don’t expect a sweet, quiet lap sitter when you carry the Rex home because she’s still on the move. This is a cat who expresses herself. She may not be able to communicate in English, but she certainly knows how to make a point with a glance, a gesture, or a vocal retort.

The Cornish Rex Is Confident:

This is a confident cat that adores people and will follow them around the house, hoping for the chance to sit in their laps or kiss them. She loves being treated, so taking her to the veterinarian or training her for therapy work is easy.

The Cornish Rex Is Good With Children:

The Cornish Rex is a good selection for families with children, other pets, or frequent visitors because of her playful, outgoing nature. She’s a refined traveller and will make an excellent therapy cat because she enjoys being touched and hugged.

Often buy a kitten from a breeder who raises her litters in her home and cares for them from the start. Meet at least one, preferably both, of the parents to see if they have pleasant personalities.

The Cornish Rex Is Playful:

If it weren’t offensive, the Cornish Rex might be described as “doglike,” which includes her ability to retrieve thrown toys. She has the speed of a sighthound but not the laid-back quality of a sighthound. The Cornish Rex is a very busy creature that is always on the move. She is affectionate and gentle, but she is not the cat for someone looking for a quiet, ornamental companion. Her voice varies from sweet to strident, and although she is not as talkative as her Siamese ancestor, she can engage in conversation if she feels compelled to do so.

Even into old age, the Cornish Rex retains her kitten-like demeanour. She is ideally suited to a home that will provide her with the affection and unconditional companionship she craves. Cornish Rex is also best for families with children and other pets, including dogs, due to their affectionate behaviour.

What Are The Physical Characteristics Of The Cornish Rex

A grey and white Cornish rex cat standing sideways


The size varies from small to medium. The torso is long and thin, not tubular, and the chest is deep but not exhaustive. The outline is made up of graceful arches and curves that don’t seem to be smooth. When the cat is standing, usually, the back is naturally arched. The waistline is formed by the underline gently curving upward from the ribcage (tucked up in appearance). The hips and thighs are muscular and feel bulky in comparison to the rest of the body.


The head is egg-shaped and relatively slim. The length is about a third of the width—a distinct whisker break, oval in front and profile with a gently curving outline. The muzzle narrows slightly before coming to a rounded end. Roman nose and a straight line from the nose’s tip to the chin in profile, with considerable depth and a squarish impact, are found. The cheekbones are prominent and well-chiselled—big, well-developed chin.


It is placed high on the head, large and complete from the base, erect and alert.


The scale ranges from medium to large, with an oval shape and a slight upward slant. The space between the cat’s eyes should be equal to the width of the eyes. The Colour should be vivid, intense, and suitable for coating.


Legs are slim and long. Thighs are well-muscled and disproportionately wide in contrast to the rest of the body. Cornish Rex stands tall on its hind legs. Paws are tiny and slightly oval—five toes in front, four behind.


The tail is slim, long and slender, with a tapered end and a high degree of flexibility.


Guard hairs are absent, and the hair is short, incredibly smooth, silky, and free of guard hairs. A tight, uniform Marcel wave runs from the top of the head to the tip of the tail, lying close to the body and extending across the back, sides, and hips. The base of the chin and the chest and abdomen have short, wavy hair.


Colours and patterns abound. Cats with no more white than a locket or button shall be judged in the colour class of their primary Colour with no penalty for such locket or button.

Cornish Rex Health Problems

All cats, like humans, are vulnerable to genetic health issues. Any breeder who says that their breed has no health or genetic problems is lying or ignorant about the breed. Any breeder who does not provide a welfare guarantee on kittens, who claims that the species is 100 percent protected and has no documented issues, or the breeder should avoid claims that her kittens are kept separately from the rest of the household for health purposes at all costs.

While the Cornish Rex is usually safe, her coat provides little protection from the sun’s rays, keeping her out of the sun. She may also be at risk for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and patellar luxation, a disorder in which one or both kneecaps fall out of place and make walking difficult.

Both pedigreed and mixed-breed cats have different levels of health issues that may be genetic.

Cornish Rex is usually healthy, but the following diseases have been seen in the breed:

  • Hereditary baldness, also known as congenital hypotrichosis, is a disorder that is caused by an inherited recessive gene. The Cornish Rex has a rather fine coat by nature, but hypotricotic cats have less hair than the breed average.
  • An umbilical hernia is a state in which a defect in the abdominal wall near the umbilicus causes part of the intestine or other abdominal organs to protrude into it. The breed’s last reported case of umbilical hernia was in 1997. Non-genetic causes of umbilical hernias also exist.
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a heart disease passed down through generations in certain cat breeds, including the Maine Coon. In the Cornish Rex, heritability has yet to be identified. The most widespread type of heart disease in cats is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). It causes the heart muscle to thicken (hypertrophy). An echocardiogram can be used to determine whether a cat has HCM. Breeders who claim to have HCM-free lines should be avoided. Nobody can tell with confidence that their cat will never grow HCM. HCM should be tested in all Cornish Rexes that will be bred, and cats with HCM should be removed from breeding programs. If the parents of a kitten haven’t been screened for this disorder, don’t buy it. Buying from a breeder who offers a written health guarantee is always a good idea.

Remember that if you’ve adopted a cat, you have the power to prevent her from one of the most popular health issues: obesity. One of the simplest ways to maintain a Cornish Rex’s overall health is to keep her at a healthy weight. Make the most of your prevention skills to help your cat live a longer, healthier life.

A multicoloured Cornish Rex sitting down side on looking up.

How To Care For A Cornish Rex

How To Brush A Cornish Rex:

Brushing your hand over the Cornish Rex’s coat is usually enough to groom her. On the other hand, some Cornish Rex cats have longer or woollier coats and can need the use of an elastic bristle brush or fine-tooth comb to keep them looking tidy. Groom gently to avoid breaking the fine hairs. The best part about wearing a Cornish Rex coat is that the hairs are so fine that they don’t show up on clothes or furniture.

Do You Need To Bathe A Cornish Rex:

Unless the cat is white or has lots of white on its body, baths are seldom required. If those cats are not bathed regularly, they can grow a dingy appearance.

Cornish Rex Dental Care:

The periodontal disorder can be avoided by brushing the teeth. Daily dental hygiene is ideal, but brushing once a week is preferable to none. To clear any discharge, wipe the corners of their eyes with a smooth, damp cloth regularly. Use a different area of the fabric for each look, so you don’t risk spreading any infection.

Cornish Rex Ear Care:

Check the ears at least formerly a week. If they appear dirty, use a cotton ball or soft damp cloth moistened with a 50-50 mixture of cider vinegar and warm water to wipe them clean. Cotton swabs should not be used because they can damage the ear’s interior.

Cornish Rex Litter Requirements:

Keep the litter box as sanitized as possible. Cornish Rex, like all cats, is very particular about bathroom hygiene.

Cornish Rex Temperature Requirements:

Although the Cornish Rex is warm to the touch, she is always looking for food. If you are cold, she probably is too. Buy her a good sweater or two to help him maintain heat.

Should The Cornish Rex Be An Indoor Only Cat?

A Cornish Rex should be kept indoors to prevent diseases transmitted by other cats, attacks by dogs or coyotes, and other risks that cats encounter when they go outside, such as being struck by a vehicle. Cornish Rex, who goes outside, often runs the risk of being robbed by someone who wants to get such an exotic pet without paying for it. If necessary, build a wide outdoor enclosure for your Cornish Rex where she can quickly leap and climb. If your Cornish Rex has access to an outdoor section where she can sunbathe, apply cat-safe sunscreen to her body to avoid sunburn.

Grooming and Color of the Cornish Rex Coat

The Cornish Rex is a nifty cat with her crushed velvet hair, racy, slender body, and curly whiskers. She is characterized by a thin, egg-shaped head that is about one-third longer than it is wide, in addition to her fluffy, wavy fur and curvy body. Rounded foreheads, supermodel-like cheekbones, a Roman nose with a high, prominent bridge, and oval eyes that slant slightly upward characterize her face. Wide ears perched high on the head tend to be capable of receiving satellite signals.

The body comprises delicate arches and curves, a gift from the Cornish Rex’s Siamese ancestors. A long, slender torso, a deep chest, a naturally arched back, and a belly that curves gently upward to form a narrow waistline characterize this figure. The Cornish Rex’s great strides are propelled by its muscular hips, legs, and back end. Broad, slender legs and dainty, slightly oval paws support her as she lands. A long, thin tail tapers to a point at the end. The medium-sized Cornish Rex’s curvy, lean body makes her seem small, but she is surprisingly strong when picked up. She usually weighs between 6 and 10 pounds.

The curls of the Cornish Rex are present from birth. The coat of particular kittens is smooth and suede-like at first, but the coat becomes wavy again as they grow older. The skin is short, soft, and silky in adulthood, generally between 18 months and three years, with no rough guard hairs. The fur is styled in tight waves close to the body, like a 1940s movie star’s marcelled hairdo. In some areas, it should not be sparse or bare.

The coat is available in a variety of colours and patterns. White, black, blue, red, cream, chocolate, and lavender are solid colours. Tortoiseshell, calico, bi-colour, and pointed prints are only a few of the tabby colours and designs available. The eyes can be gold, green, or hazel, depending on the coat colour.

A grey Cornish Rex kitten laying down looking at the camera

Choosing a Breeder of Cornish Rex

Do your homework before you carry your cat home if you want her to be comfortable and safe so you can enjoy your time with her. Visit the Cat Fanciers Association, Cats Center Stage, the Fanciers Breeder Referral List, and The International Cat Association websites for more detail on the Cornish Rex’s background, personality, and appearance to find breeders.

Spend at least an essential amount of time researching your kitten as you would into choosing a new vehicle or high-priced appliance.

A respectable breeder would follow a code of ethics that bans sales to pet stores and wholesalers and spells out the breeder’s obligations to their cats and customers. Choose a breeder who has completed the requisite health certifications to screen out genetic health issues as much as possible, as well as one who raises kittens in her home. Isolated kittens can become fearful and skittish, making it difficult for them to socialize later in life.

If you intend to buy your feline companion from a breeder, a pet shop, or somewhere else, note the adage “let the buyer beware.” It can be problematic to tell the difference between shady breeders and unhealthy catteries. There’s no way to guarantee you won’t buy a sick kitten, but doing your homework on the breed (so you recognize what to expect), touring the facility (to look for unhealthy conditions or sick animals), and asking fundamental questions will help you avoid a bad situation. Remember to ask your veterinarian, who will also refer you to a reputable breeder, breed rescue agency, or another trustworthy source for safe kittens.

Patience is required. You could have to wait six months or longer for the right kitten to become eligible, depending on what you’re looking for. Many breeders would not place kittens in new homes until they are between 12 and 16.

Consider if an adult Cornish Rex will be an excellent fit for your lifestyle before purchasing a cat. Kittens are tons of pleasurable, but they’re also a lot of work and can be destructive before entering much more sedate adulthood. You know more about what you’re getting with an adult in terms of personality and health. If you prefer an adult cat to a kitten, inquire with breeders about buying a retired show or breeding cat or if they are aware of an adult cat in need of a new home.

Adopting a Cat from a Cornish Rex Shelter or Rescue

Cornish Rex is a rare breed. It’s doubtful that you’ll find one in a shelter or through a rescue organization, but it’s worth a try. A pedigreed cat may end up in a shelter after losing her home due to death, divorce, or change in her owner’s economic circumstances.

Here are numerous pointers to help you find and adopt the perfect cat from a shelter or rescue organization.

1. Use the Internet

Petfinder.com and Adopt-a-Pet.com are two websites that will help you locate a Cornish Rex in your area quickly. The site allows you to be very precise in your requests (housetraining status, for example) or very general (all the Cornish Rex available on Petfinder across the country) (all the Cornish Rex available on Petfinder across the country). AnimalShelter.org will assist you in locating animal rescue organizations in your region. You will search at the “pets searching for homes” pages in certain newspapers.

Another great way to find a cat is to use social media. Post on your Facebook page that you’re searching for a particular breed so that your entire Facebook group can help you find it. Cornish Rex usually cost 800-1200 USD on average.

2. Speak with Local Experts

Start by discussing your desire for a Cornish Rex with local pet professionals. Veterinarians, cat sitters, and groomers all fall under this category. If anyone has to make the difficult decision to give up a cat, she will regularly seek support from her own trusted network.

3. Contact Breed Rescue

Networking will help you find a cat that might be the right companion for your family. The majority of Cornish Rexes fans adore all Cornish Rexes. Breed clubs have rescue agencies dedicated to caring for abandoned cats for this purpose. Begin by looking at the Fanciers Breeder Referral List. You can also look for other Cornish Rex rescues in your area by searching online.

Conclusion: Overview Of The Cornish Rex Breed

The Cornish Rex isn’t a victim of a hairstylist trying out a permanent wave solution. Her fluffy, short, wavy coat is the natural mutation product, which is not unusual in the feline world. In 1950, the first Cornish Rex, so-called because of her coat’s similarity to that of a Rex rabbit, appeared in Cornwall. The Cornish Rex is distinguished not only by her coat. Her head is shaped like an egg, with wide ears, large eyes, curly whiskers, and exceptionally long hind legs.

A cat-like Cornish Rex has a sense of humour, and you can bet she’ll use it against you. The Cornish Rex is a brilliant, highly energetic cat who enjoys being a part of anything you do: she’ll climb to the highest point in the house to survey her territory, steal food to fuel her antics, and play fetch — everything that will get her attention and applause. She can learn almost everything you can teach her, but you might discover that she is a better teacher of you than you are of her. Don’t expect a sweet, quiet lap sitter when you carry the Rex home because she’s still on the move. This is a cat who expresses herself. She may not be able to communicate in English, but she certainly knows how to make a point with a glance, a gesture, or a vocal retort.

The Cornish Rex is a superior choice for families with children, other pets, or frequent visitors because of its playful, outgoing nature. She’s a great traveller and a fantastic therapy cat.

The Cornish Rex coat’s texture may lead you to believe that it is hypoallergenic, but this is not the case. Allergies are caused by dander. Dander is the dead skin cells shed by all cats, not by a specific coat type (and people, for that matter). There is no actual evidence that any particular breed or crossbreed is more or less allergenic than others. Some allergic people have a milder reaction to these cats, but no respectable breeder can promise that her cats are hypoallergenic.

Any home with humans who will love her, play with her, and give her the affection she craves is perfect for the Cornish Rex. Keep her inside to avoid getting sunburned, being hit by cars, contracting diseases from other cats, and being attacked by other animals.

FAQ About Cornish Rex

Is The Cornish Rex Suitable To Be Left Alone For Long Hours?

No, they are very vocal and loving. They suffer from stress and separation anxiety if left alone for a long time.

Do Cornish Rex Cats Need Baths?

Some Cornish Rex cats require regular bathing because Cornish Rex don’t have as much hair to absorb them as ordinary cats do. It’s essential to train your Cornish to tolerate bathing early, starting at 16 weeks.

Do cornish Rex Cats Shed?

No, due to the lack of a majority of body hair, they do not shed like an average cat. Their shedding is almost negligible.

Are Cornish Rex Cats Affectionate?

Yes, they are very loving and affectionate, especially with young children and other dogs.

Is The Cornish Rex Hypoallergenic?

No, they are not hypoallergenic. 


Rochelle is a self-claimed crazy cat lady and proud cat mum to Owlie! She has owned, rescued, and fostered cats throughout her whole life. Rochelle created Cats On My Mind as a hub for likeminded cat parents to get all the information they will ever need to give their fur babies their best life!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recent Posts