Devon Rex cat breed information and advice
Devon Rex cats originate from a feral tom that lived in an abandoned tin mine in Buckfastleigh, Devon. In 1959, the tom cat fathered a litter of kittens and one of the offspring had the same curly coat as the tom. A breeder took in the kitten and named her Kirlee. At first, the cat was thought to be related to the Cornish Rex, but this was not the case.
The curly coats of Cornish Rex and Devon Rex cats are caused by a different gene. The rex part of the name refers to the mutation that results in a curly or wavy coat. With their pixie-like features, the big eyes and even bigger ears, the Devon Rex is a cute bundle of fur.
Devon Rex cat facts
small to medium
less than 3 kg
lively, mischievous, friendly
Devon Rex insurance
The Devon Rex cat breed is generally healthy, but a few health problems have been seen in the breed. Taking out pet insurance for your cat will help with the cost of any treatment that your cat may require.
Sainsbury’s Bank Pet Insurance
With Sainsbury’s Bank, you can take out a Pet Insurance policy as long as your cat is over 8 weeks and under 10 years old. And if you take out the pet insurance policy before they’re 10, the cover will be continued so long as you renew your policy each year.
How to care for a Devon Rex cat
With a coat that requires little to no grooming, Devon Rex cats are easy to care for. But like all cats, they should have a balanced diet and lots of exercise. It’s also a good idea to check for any gum disease while cleaning their teeth.
Feeding and nutrition
Make sure you feed your Devon Rex cat a nutritious, balanced diet. If you buy your Devon Rex kitten from a breeder, ask if they can provide you with a feeding schedule. Follow this schedule by feeding them at the same time every day. If the schedule doesn’t quite fit in with you, it’s ok to change but it’s best to do so gradually. You don’t want a moody cat on your hands.
If you are concerned about how to groom your cat, don’t worry. Although the Bengal’s coat is luxurious, dense and very soft - and can sparkle like glitter – these cats don’t need much grooming. A weekly brush with a grooming glove to remove any loose hairs is all they need. They shouldn’t need a bath - they do love water though so might join you in the shower.
Bengals come in a variety of colours and patterns. Brown spotted or rosetted tabby are the most popular. Their distinctive markings and characteristics are always there - whatever the colour. There are Snow Bengals (with a pale white or cream background), Silver, White and Grey Bengals. Most have green, yellow or gold eyes, but Bengals with lynx points have blue eyes and minks have aqua eyes.
Devon Rex cats are slender and fairly long in the body. When it comes to cat exercises, they are lively breeds so make sure they have interactive or puzzle toys to keep them from becoming bored. They like to jump so give them a cat tree or perch and you’ll soon find them keeping an eye on everything from up high.
Bengal cats are smart and will quickly pick up litter training. They can also be trained to do tricks and can be taught to play fetch and walk on a lead.
Temperament and behaviour
Devon Rex cats are mischievous. Always alert, they’ll follow their owners around the house and will want to be involved in whatever you’re doing. Whether you’re working at the computer, reading a book or preparing a meal, the Devon Rex cat will be there. They’ll perch on your shoulder, curl up on your lap and may even want to snuggle under the duvet with you.
Common health problems
The Devon Rex can have a few breed-related problems in addition to the common health issues that cats can have. Taking out cat insurance for your Devon Rex will mean that these conditions will be covered.
Devon Rex cats can suffer from a decreased or lack of hair. Cats are either born hairless or lose their hair within a few weeks. Affected cats will need sun protection if allowed outside.
Devon Rex myopathy
Devon Rex myopathy is also known as Dystroglycanopathy or Spasticity. Cats affected by this hereditary condition have generalised muscle weakness, head bobbing, and ventroflexion of the neck (where the head is tucked downwards towards the chest). Other signs are high-stepping, fatigue, prominent shoulder blades, and megaoesophagus. This means that the oesophagus becomes floppy and weak. ‘Dog-begging', ‘chipmunk’ or ‘Meercat’ postures may be seen. As it is caused by a genetic mutation, there is no cure. Mildly affected cats can have a long life but for those more severely affected the quality of life may be poor. Some may sadly die after choking on food. There is no specific treatment but feeding on a low platform can help to prevent megaoesophagus. Small rather than large feeds can also help.
Vitamin K1 responsive coagulopathy
Some Devon Rex cats, especially those in Australia and the UK, have been reported to be affected by a reduction in the activity of vitamin K dependent clotting factors. This can cause bleeding in various parts of the cat’s body. Lifelong treatment with Vitamin K1 is needed to enable the cat to lead a good quality of life. Devon Rex cats should be screened with blood tests and cats identified with the condition should not be bred from.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, commonly known as HCM, is a serious heart condition that can affect many breeds of cats. Cardiomyopathy means disease of the heart muscle and in HCM, the heart muscle becomes abnormally thick. This prevents the heart from working properly, leading to heart failure. Long-term medication can slow the disease down but unfortunately, there’s no cure.
Is a Devon Rex cat right for you?
Devon Rex cats are active and energetic - always entertaining. They love attention and are affectionate with their owner. They’ll fit in with busy households, and families with children, other cats, and cat-friendly dogs. It’s best not to leave them alone for too long though - you don't know what they might get up to. We did say they’re mischievous.
How much does a Devon Rex kitten cost?
It’s difficult to put an accurate price on this. A well-bred Devon Rex kitten from a reputable breeder can cost £500-£700. Older Devon Rex cats will cost less.
Do Devon Rex cats shed hair?
Devon Rex cats will shed hair, but they do have a lower tendency to shed than other cats. The breed is often thought to be a more hypoallergenic cat than other breeds. This doesn’t mean that if you have a cat allergy, you won’t be allergic to Devon Rex cats. But you might be more able to tolerate these cats. Why don’t you arrange to spend some time with a Devon Rex cat to see if you can tolerate the breed?
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