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Science Diet - Vet's #1 Choice for Their Own Pets

A silky soft cat, the Cornish Rex loves to remain right next to his owner and must have some together time every day.

     Cornish Rex At a glance

Weight range:

Male: small: <8 lbs.
Female: small: <8 lbs.

Eye color:

Amber, Aqua, Blue, Copper, Green, Gold, Hazel, Odd-eyed, Orange, Yellow


Longevity Range: 9-13 yrs.
Social/Attention Needs: Moderate
Tendency to Shed: Low


Length: Short
Characteristics: Crimped
Colors: White, Blue, Black, Cream, Red, Brown, Frost, Platinum, Fawn, Chocolate, Chestnut, Cinnamon, Lavender, Champagne, Seal
Pattern: Solid color, Tortoiseshell, Bicolor, Tricolor/Calico, Tabby, Ticking, Smoke, Points, Shaded
Less Allergenic: No
Overall Grooming Needs: Low

Club recognition:

Cat Association Recognition:
Prevalence: So-so

The Cornish Rex Cat Breed

The Cornish Rex is an athletic cat and can appear inexhaustible in his love of running, jumping and playing.

The Cornish Rex is a small to medium-sized cat. Because he stands high on his legs, he appears to be a large cat until you pick him up. Looked at from the side, the underside of his body follows the upward curve of backbone forming an upward curve.

Because of the slender boning on the Cornish Rex, he may feel almost dainty, but this cat is athletic and not at all fragile.

The Cornish Rex has a small, narrow head with large ears and eyes that look large for the size of the head. He has a Roman nose, a strong chin, and long, slender legs. The tail is also slender and long with a great degree of flexibility.

The coat of the Cornish Rex is unique among cats. It is silky and soft but forms itself into waves that look a bit like corn rows.


The Cornish Rex becomes involved with his owner. He loves to be right next to his owner and must have some time together every day. Many Cornish Rex will do anything to be with their owners and will even learn to walk on a lead in order to spend more time together. In general, they love being handled by their owners.

Living With:

The Cornish Rex is an athletic cat and will maintain his ideal weight if provided with enough space for exercise. Thanks to the close lying nature of the coat, you can easily tell if a Cornish is getting too heavy.

The Cornish Rex is agile and loves to jump, run, and play. When he is playing, he can appear to be inexhaustible. He should have interactive exercise as well.


In 1950 in Cornwall, England, the first Cornish rex kitten was born. He was the result of a spontaneous mutation, born of a barn cat and an unknown sire. Nina Ennismore, who made this discovery, had bred and exhibited rex rabbits, so she knew this cat was special cat. She took this curly-coated cat into her home, named him Kallibunker, and began what became the Cornish rex breed.

In 1957, a breeding pair of Cornish rex that was directly related to Kallibunker was imported into the United States. The Cornish rex was officially recognized in the United States in 1967 and has since become more popular in the United States than it is in England.

At first, breeders believed that the curly coat of both the Cornish rex and the Devon rex might be related and the two could be bred to each other. This breeding was attempted but the resulting kittens all had straight coats. This result happened every time the breeding was tried, so the curly-coated cats were determined to be two distinct breeds.