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Selkirk Rex Cat Breed… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

If you’re looking for a cat that will definitely stand out of the crowd, then you definitely want to take a look at the Selkirk Rex cat breed.  Because, these relative newcomers to the cat world are certainly unique.

And while…

The may not be as “peculiar” as some of the other “Rex” breeds out there, they definitely look “odd” enough to become one of our favorite cat breeds, but maybe that’s because we here at IndulgeYourPet are BIG fans of “odd” and “strange” things.

But just because…

We happen to be a BIG fan of these guys doesn’t mean that they’ll be right for you.  Which is why, in this article, we wanted to take a moment and describe exactly what it might be like to own one of these amazing little guys.  This way if you ever find yourself fortunate enough to actually have a chance to make one of them your own, you won’t be disappointed.

So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.

Selkirk Rex Cat Breed Fast Facts

Country of Origin:  United States

Size:  Small to medium

Weight:  9 to 11 pounds

Eyes: Large round eyes

Shape of Head:  Round

Lifespan:  10 to 15 years

Origin of the Selkirk Rex cat breed

A relative newcomer to the cat world, the Selkirk Rex is rather unique because unlike many “new” breeds of cats that are “designed” by cat enthusiasts, this breed of cat was actually just “discovered”.

And the ironic thing is…

That this little gem was actually “discovered” in plain site sitting in a Wyoming animal shelter back in 1987!  Fortunately, this unique little kitten that was just waiting to be adopted caught the eye of a local Persian cat breeder who just happened to stumble upon her and well… you can guess what happened next!

Now there is a bit of…

Controversy about where these guys get their name.  You see, it was Jeri Newman who discovered the first “Selkirk” and it was her that game them their name.  And while some believe that she named them after the Selkirk mountains located in Montana, other say that she actually named them after she step-father which would mean that the Selkirk are actually the only cat breed with the distinction of being named after a person.

Which is true?

We don’t know, but either way, these guys are pretty awesome so it really doesn’t matter all that much to us.  And if it were up to us, we kind of like to think of them being named after a “step-dad” rather than a mountain range.  It just seems like a nicer kind of story.

Selkirk Rex physical characteristics.

Even though the Selkirk can often look like a large cat, they are actually pretty small when you get right down to it.  But this is probably because with all that hair they just have a natural tendency to look larger than they actually are.

This plus…

The fact that they are going to have a large round head, and a rather “plump” muscular body, it’s no wonder why many folks are surprised at how light they are when they go to pick them up.

And as kittens…

Unlike many other “kinds” of curly coated cats, the Selkirk Rex kittens are curly from birth. They also have curly whiskers that are brittle at birth and could break until the grow into full maturity. A Selkirk kitten’s hair and whiskers will not change when they get older, so if they’re curly at birth they’ll be a curly adult.

The funny thing is…

They will go through a straight-haired stage as an adolescent, but their loose curls will be back somewhere around their second birthday. The good news is that the curls are a dominant gene (a big difference with other Rex breeds), so there are cuties born with curls along with straight-haired kittens in every litter.

The fur of the…

Adorable Selkirk Rex is soft, wooly, thick, comes in both short-haired and long-haired varieties and just about any color you can imagine. Some cat lovers have called them “Sheep in cat’s clothing”.


Despite having all this fur, the Selkirk Rex cat breed is actually a pretty low maintenance cat breed.  Which means that a good brushing a couple of times a week should help prevent and remove any tangles that may develop and is a must though if you want to keep your Selkirk happy.

Now we should warn you…

That the Selkirk Rex does shed a lot, so regular grooming will help remove dead hair and keep your home from being covered in fur. Go ahead and run your fingers through their coat to fluff their curls and style their luscious locks.

They’ll also need…

An occasional bath, but don’t bathe them too often. When you do wash them use moisturizing shampoo to keep their coast soft and healthy. Let them dry in a warm room to get a natural look. If you’re going for more of a poodlestyle, use the hair dryer and embrace the poof.

Selkirk Rex cat breed personality and temperament

If you’re looking for a cat that will be a great family pet, the Selkirk is an excellent choice. Thanks to their ancestors the Persian and British Shorthaired cat, the Selkirk is relaxed and cuddly.

They’re also very…

Playful and friendly, much like the American Wirehair, but hate to be left alone for long periods of time. And while the Selkirk Rex isn’t necessarily a lap cat, but they are great with kids and other cat friendly animals.

But beware…

Many Selkirk’s have a little bit of mischievous silly side, so their humans are going to have to have a sense of humor. Their humans also need to be able handle teasing about their kitty looking like they’re having a bad hair day.

And while…

Each cat has a unique personality. Breed personality standards are general guides to temperament and behavior. To really know if a cat or kitten is right for your family you’ll have to get to know them. Spend time with them and ask the person caring for them now about their personality. Remember, cats are living beings, they can’t be returned like a pair ofif you change your mind.

Cousins in Curls

The Selkirk Rex can sometimes be confused with the LaPerm cat, which also has curly fur. LaPerm’s are also a result of spontaneous mutation, but there a few of significant difference. The body of the Selkirk Rex is larger and heavy boned, more like British Short-Haired cats than the long muscular body of the LaPerm. The Selkirk’s coat is also plusher and thicker than LaPerm. They also tend to be the most easy-going and sociable of all the Rex breeds.

Selkirk Rex cat breed health concerns

Unlike many cat breeds, the Selkirk Rex doesn’t have many major health issues. The Rex doesn’t face issues with brachycephalic syndrome because of their strong head shape.

They’re also…

Susceptible to hip dysplasia like their Persian cat relatives, but it occurs less often. And like any cat, the Selkirk Rex is prone to hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver, so a healthy diet for your furry friend is a must. Make sure to schedule regular check-up with your vet to catch any problem early.

Your Selkirk Rex will stay healthier, and be happier, as an indoor cat. Keeping them inside will also prevent them from coming into contact with cats that could be carrying any number of illnesses from living outside. Even if your cat does stay in the house make sure they stay up-to-date on their immunizations.

Which bring us to…

The last topic we want to discuss with you today which is the importance of getting a pet insurance policy on your new loved one.  Because while it is true that the Selkirk Rex cat breed is a healthy one, this does not mean that he or she will be immune to any and all diseases that can affect any particular kind of cat.


With a cat this mischievous, you always run the risk of having your cat suffer from some type of injury as well!

This is why…

We here at IndulgeYourPet always advise any new pet owner to take a moment and see what it might cost to purchase a pet insurance policy on their new loved one.  This way if they ever do become sick or injured in the future, you won’t be on the “hook” for 100% of the cost of treatment.

For more information on who we “feel” currently offers some of the “best” pet insurance policies on the market right now, be sure to check out our Best Pet Insurance Companies article.

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