In the 1960's, in Buckfastleigh, Devon, England, Beryl Cox found a kitten, in a field at the bottom of her garden. The father was a curly coated male, who lived near a tin mine, and the mum a normal coated feral cat.
This kitten was named 'Kirlee', and the founding father, of all Devons world wide. The genepool of the Devon Rex, is still quite small, and outcrossing to other breeds is still allowed.
The Devon Rex, has a short wedge shaped head, full cheeks, and strong chin. Large ears, which should be set wide apart, and low set. Their eyes should be oval in shape, and set wide apart. These features combined together, give the typical elfin face.
ADAMS WIRE HAIR:
In 1966,a pair of farm cats, living on a farm in Vernon, State of New York, USA, produced a red and white, male kitten (named Adam), with a dense harsh springy coat. Unusually, if the coat is stroked in one direction, it feels coarse, and smooth when stroked back.
Mrs O'Shea, a Rex breeder, purchased both him, and his straight coated sister, and a breeding programme was set up. Official recognition, was granted in 1977.
Adams wirehaired gene, proved to be dominant, so no outcrosses was neccessary.
In 1985, the Dutch Rex, was reported in Holland, but never developed. It had a coarse wavy coat.
In 1946, a black feral rexed cat was rescued from the grounds of a hospital in East Berlin, it was given the name 'Lammchen', meaning lamb.
In 1951, a group of German breeders, started a breeding programme, this was following the Cornish Rex discovery. At the age of 10 years old 'Lammchen', was mated by one of her sons, and produced a litter of rexed kittens. In 1960, two of her daughters were exported to the USA.
From hair samples, it was established that the Cornish and German Rex are compatible. The German Rex, in Europe is regarded as a separate breed.
In 1950, a wavy coated rexed cat was discovered, but unfortunately no breeding programme was set up, and it eventually disappeared.
In 1982, on a farm in Oregon, a normal farm cat produced a litter of kittens. One female was bald, and when 8 weeks old, a soft curly coat developed.
Over the next few years, Linda Koehl had many similar kittens born, and she decided to establish a breeding programme. The Laperm gene is a dominate one. Kittens are born with a straight coat, which usually start to curl when the kittens are 6 weeks old.
The coat is soft, with tight curls, and can be either short or long. The shorthair has an afro look, and the longhair has very tight ringlets. The name LaPerm means rippled. The body type is slightly foreign, with a long face and tall ears.
Laperms are very affectionate, and will shower plenty of love on their owners.
In 1944, in Oregon a rex coated kitten was born, and due to World War 2, no breeding programme was set up.
In Oregon in 1959, Mrs Stringham, found a wavy coated black and white female kitten, in a litter produced by her Tortishell Queen. This kitten was named Kinky Marcel, and was the foundation Queen of the Oregon rex breed.
Later outcrossing to Cornish and Devon Rex's produced only straight coated kittens.
POODLE CAT (Pudlekatze):
In 1987,in Starnberg, Germany, Dr Rosumarie Wolf, a German Scottish Fold breeder, decided to experiment to produce a new rex cat. A Devon Rex, was mated to a Scottish Folds. The outcome, was a rexed cat which had folded ears, a chunky body shape and a thick dense coat like lambswool. It was given the name poodle cat.
In 1987, at an animal shelter in Montana USA, a rex coated kitten was discovered. She was adopted by a Persian breeder, Jeri Newman and given the name Miss DePesto. Jeri Newman,then mated Miss DePesto to her black Persian male named Photo Finish. Three of the six kittens produced, were curly coated. This indicated the gene was dominant.
Further matings, produced both longhairs and shorthairs, and because the gene was dominant, the breed was easily established.
The breed, is now accepted in the US, both long and short haired varieties. Selkirk's have a chunky body and thick coat.
The skookum was created by mating a male Munchkin and a female LaPerm, in 1996, which produced a litter of 4 kittens. All 4 kittens, had the male Munchkin's short legs, and the female LaPerm's curly coat.
The natural mutation responsible for the Munchkin's short legs is a dominant genetic trait, as is the LaPerms curly hair. Only 1 parent has to carry each gene to pass it on to their offspring.
It has been reported, that this Rex breed has existed in the middle Urals region, since Word War II. The coat is wavy, dense and well curled; as is the whiskers. There are short and semi-long haired coated Urals.
It is a medium sized rex, with a strong muscular body. The gene is not compatable with the Cornish gene, but no testing as yet has been done with the Devon.
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March 2004 - Carole Gwyther
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