The history of the Devon Rex can be traced back to 1960. The father of the breed, a feral, curly-coated cat, lived by an abandoned tin mine near Devonshire, England. He mated with a straight-coated calico female that roduced a litter of kittens in the garden of cat fancier Beryl Cox. One of the kittens, a brownish-black male whom Cox named Kirlee, had the same coat as his father.
Breeders presume that the calico female and the curly-coated male were related because the Devon Rex gene that governs the curly coat is recessive and therefore must be present in both parents to manifest in the offspring. At first, Kirlee was thought to be related to the Cornish Rex, a similar breed discovered in 1950 near Cornwall, England.
But when Kirlee was mated with Cornish Rex cats, only straight-coated offspring resulted, thus proving the two breeds were unrelated.
Body Structure:The ideal Devon is medium in size, and despite the slender body, is solid, muscular and surprisingly heavy. Devons have been compared to pixies, elves and even space aliens because of their jumbo-sized ears, large eyes and ethereal appearance. The head is a modified wedge, delineated by a narrowing series of three convex curves: the outer edge of the ears, cheekbones and whisker pads. The muzzle is short, the chin is strong, and the face is full-cheeked with pronounced cheekbones and a whisker reak.
The characteristic ears are set low on the head and are very wide at the base, causing the outside base of the ear to extend beyond the line of the wedge.
Eyes:The large, oval eyes slope toward the outer edges of the ears. Eye color varies, depending on the color of the coat.
Coat:The coat is soft, fine and full-bodied. The hair curls either in every direction or tightly in rows. The Rex sheds less than other cats, making it easier to keep dander under control. As a result, the Rex is sometimes the answer for cat fanciers who are allergic to felines, but not always.
Color:Because of their diverse bloodline, Devons come in an amazing variety of colors and pattern combinations.
Character:The Devon has plenty of other likeable features that make them a fine choice for the truly “cat-obsessed”. Loyalty, devotion, playfulness,courage and intelligence are just a few of these qualities.