Exotic Shorthair Breed Profile: All About the Beautiful Exotic Cat

Exotic shorthair

Exotic Shorthair at a glance

  • Origins: United States
  • Lifespan: 12-14 years
  • Eyes: Hazel, green, yellow, brown, blue
  • Energy: Low
  • Temperament: Easygoing, sweet, loyal, quiet
  • Weight: Males 11-6  kg (8.8 – 13.2 lbs), females 4.5 -5.5 kg (9.9 – 12.1 lbs)
  • Colours: All coat colours and patterns
  • Grooming: Requires weekly grooming

Read moreExotic Shorthair Breed Profile: All About the Beautiful Exotic Cat

Devon Rex Breed Profile

Devon Rex

At a glance

  • Lifespan: 12-14 years
  • Eyes: All eye colours
  • Energy: Medium to high
  • Temperament: Playful, outgoing, curious, loving
  • Weight: Males 4-5 kg (8.8 – 11 lbs), females 3.5-4 kg (7.8 – 8.8 lbs)
  • Colours: All coat colours and patterns accepted
  • Grooming: Easy
  • Cost: $800-$1,200

 

About

The Devon Rex is a small to medium breed which arose from a spontaneous mutation in 1959. Devons are known for their unusual curly coat and pixie-like appearance.

History

Devon Rex

In 1959 Miss Beryl Cox became aware of a stray tomcat to be living in a deserted tin mine near Buckfastleigh in Devon. This tom had an unusual short curly coat. At this time, Miss Cox happened to take in a straight coated
tortoiseshell and white female stray who was pregnant. In September 1959 she delivered four kittens at the bottom of Miss Cox’s garden, one of which had the same curly coat as she’d observed in the stray tom. She named the male kitten Kirlee and planned to keep him as a pet.
Devon Rex

Kirlee

Cornish Rex:

In 1960, Miss Cox read a newspaper article which included a photo of a curly-coated Cornish Rex (discovered ten years previously). The article was for an up and coming cat show and included was a photo of a curly-coated kitten by the name Du-Bu Lambtex. It went on to say that she was the only curly coated cat in Britain. Miss Cox wrote to the breeder of the kitten, Agnes Watts explaining that she too had a curly-coated cat. It was presumed that Kirlee carried the same gene as that of the Cornish Rex.

Mr Brian Sterling-Webb who had been working on a breeding programme with the “Rex” cat purchased Kirlee from Miss Cox, feeling that Kirlee could be used as an outcross. Much to their surprise when mated with several Rex females, all the offspring had straight coats. Repeated attempts to mate Kirlee to Cornish Rex queens continued to produce straight-haired offspring, and it was concluded that Kirlee’s genotype was different from that of the Cornish Rex. The two recessive genes were named: Gene 1 (Cornish Rex) and Gene 2 (Devon Rex).

Work began to establish both the Cornish Rex and the Devon Rex as unique breeds. Kirlee went to live with a member of the Cornish Rex group by the name of Mrs P. Hughes. She mated Kirlee to one of the straight coated females by the name of Broughton Purley Queen. The litter comprised of three kittens, two were straight coated, and one female (Broughton Golden Rain) was curly-coated like her father -and so the Devon Rex breed began. All Devon Rexes can trace their ancestry back to Kirlee.

Sadly Kirlee was killed in a road accident in 1970.

Appearance

Devon Rex

Pixie-like in appearance, the Devon Rex is a small to medium-sized cat. The body is muscular, with hind legs longer than the forelegs.

It has modified wedge-shaped head with large eyes, broad cheekbones, strong chin and a short muzzle. Ears are large and low-set.

The coat is short, soft and curly and contains all three types of hair guard, awn and down. Whiskers and eyebrows are short and crinkled.

Temperament

 

The Devon Rex is an intelligent, mischievous and active breed of cat. While they are a very busy breed, they also thrive on human companionship and love to be close to their owners. They enjoy sitting on your lap, snuggling up with you in bed and even riding on your head or shoulders.

Devons aren’t particularly talkative cats, but they do like to chirp. Although I have never had a Devon Rex personally, I have spent a lot of time with this breed; they are a happy, easygoing, energetic and funny breed of cat. They get along great with everybody.

The Devon Rex is often described as a “monkey in cat’s clothing“.

Colours

Devon Rex

The Devon Rex comes in all colours. A few examples include solid, bi-colour tortie, mink, pointed (known as Si-Rex), black, white, smoke.

Choosing a Devon Rex

Devon Rex

If you are looking to bring a Devon Rex into your home, we recommend choosing a registered cat breeder. They are registered with a local or national cat council and have to abide by strict rules.

If possible, look for a breeder who raises their kittens underfoot, that is, inside the house, so they are used to lots of human interaction and the hustle and bustle that goes with most households.

Most breeders won’t let kittens go to their new home until they are at least ten weeks, many Devon Rex breeders hold onto the kittens longer as they are quite a petite breed and many veterinarians won’t desex a kitten until it is at least 2 kg.

Most breeders desex kittens before they go to their new home, which is because responsible breeders will only sell entire kittens to other registered breeders. If you do want a kitten to breed with, you should state this when you make contact with the breeder.

Special requirements

Devon Rex kittens

Devon Rexes can produce more ear wax than other breeds which may require cleaning.

Due to their trusting nature and thin coat, Devon Rexes should be kept indoors, preferably with access to an outdoor enclosure.

Dental care is important for all cats.  This can be achieved with a cat toothbrush and toothpaste and/or by feeding your Devon raw chicken necks or chunks of beef.

Your Devon Rex should receive three core vaccines as a kitten followed by a booster shot at 12 months. Updated vaccination guidelines recommend tri-annual vaccinations for low-risk cats, but speak to your veterinarian as they may recommend a different vaccination schedule.

Lifespan

White Devon Rex

10 – 15 years.

Devon Rexes are suitable for

Bi-colour Devon Rex cat

Active households. Devons thrive on company and can become destructive if left for long periods on their own. They get along with other family pets, including dogs and are great with children.

Are Devon Rexes hypoallergenic?
Group of Devon Rex kittens

In truth, a rex cat is no different from any other cat and produces allergen like all other cats. They are not hypoallergenic by any means, as claimed by some.

Then why do some people seem to have no allergic reaction to rex cats? There is no simple answer to this question at this time, and more research is required to get the answers needed. One possible hypothesis is that as rex cats have less hair to shed, they simply deposit less allergen-laced hair around the home. But, whatever the reasons some allergic people seem to tolerate them.

From personal studies and observations by Margaret Lawrence in the UK, she found that around 10% of people allergic to cats tolerate rex cats. Please, before you race out and look for a rex cat, remember you should always test your allergies by visiting home or catteries that only own rex cats, and test continuously over several weeks or months. As you don’t want the poor little kitten to be re-homed if you find out you are allergic to him or her. Don’t let your new cat become another statistic at a shelter.

Cornish Rex Breed Profile – History, Appearance and Temperament

White Cornish Rex

About     History     Appearance     Personality     Care

 

Cornish Rex at a glance

  • Origin: Cornwall, England, 1950
  • Lifespan: 12-14 years
  • Eyes: Hazel, green, yellow, brown, blue
  • Energy: High
  • Temperament: Outgoing, active, friendly, curious
  • Weight: Males 4.5-6  kg (9.9 – 13.2 lbs), females 4 -5 kg (8.8 – 11 lbs)
  • Colours: All coat colours and patterns
  • Grooming: Easy
  • Cost: $900 – $1,400

About

The Cornish Rex is a curly-coated domestic breed of cat who came about as a spontaneous mutation in Cornwall, England.

They are a friendly, outgoing and active breed of cat who gets along with children and other pets and make a great family companion.

History

Cornish Rex

The story of the Cornish Rex begins in Bodmin Moor, Cornwall. On 21st July 1950, a tortoiseshell cat by the name of Serena and owned by Mrs Nina Ennismore gave birth to a litter of five kittens. One red and white coloured kitten in this litter had an unusual curly coat. The kitten was named Kallibunker (Kalli)and was to become the founder of the Cornish Rex breed

Nina Ennismore’s veterinarian suggested she contact geneticist A C Jude. He advised she mate Kallibunker back to his mother. This mating produced three kittens. A straight coated female and two curly-coated males. Sadly, one of the males died at seven months of age, but the second male named Poldhu (along with Kallibunker) went on to sire further litters. The early Cornish Rexes were outcrossed to domestic cats.

This is where the history of the breed temporarily splits.

Cornish Rex in the UK

White Cornish Rex

Sadly in 1956 due to financial costs and a large population of 40 cats, Nina Ennismore had a number of her cats put to sleep, including Kallibunker and his mother, Serena.

By the late 1950s, Nina Ennismore had stopped breeding Cornish Rexes. Brian Sterling-Webb continued to work with the breed. By this time, there were only two male Cornish Rexes left in Britain. One of whom was Poldhu. He was a tortoiseshell blue-cream-and-white male. This is rare in males, and when it does occur, they are almost always sterile. A veterinarian took a tissue sample from Poldhu for research. Unfortunately, he was accidentally castrated. Ironically, the tissue samples taken from Poldhu were lost. It is now believed that Poldhu was a chimera.

This left one remaining male Cornish Rex in Britain, Sham Pain Chas. Due to heavy outcrossing, the Cornish was losing its slender type. The great-great-great-grandson of Kallibunker, a blue boy by the name of Rio Vista Kismet and bred by Miss Jeanne Jeffrey of Calgary, was imported from Canada by Mrs Alison Ashford. Kismet managed to enable breeders to bring back the Cornish Rex to its original slender type.

In 1960 to celebrate ten years of the Cornish Rex The Daily Mirror ran an article on the breed, with a photo of a winking kitten. The article said that the kitten (Du-Bu Lambtex) was the only curly coated kitten in Britain. A lady by the name of Miss Beryl Cox contacted the paper to say that she too had a curly-coated cat named Kirlee. Believing that Kirlee also carried the Cornish Rex gene, Brian Sterling-Webb arranged for Kirlee to be sent to Cornwall to be a part of the breeding programme.

When mated to several Cornish Rex females the offspring came out straight coated. It was concluded that Kirlee’s mutation was different from that of the Cornish Rex and the two recessive genes were named: Gene 1 (Cornish Rex) and Gene 2 (Devon Rex).

Cornish Rex in the USA

In 1956, Life magazine published an article on Cornish Rexes which generated much worldwide attention and the following year Frances Blancheri of California imported Lamorna Cove who was pregnant by her father Poldhu at the time. She went on to have a litter of 4 kittens.

I will finish with a quick timeline of the Cornish Rex history.

  • 1948: Serene born
  • 1950: 21st July, Kallibunker born
  • Early 1952, Mrs Ennismore talks to her veterinarian about Kallibunker, who advises her to contact A C Jude
  • July 1952: A C Jude publishes an article on the Rex.
  • 1952: 27th August, Poldhu (Kallibunker’s son) is born.
  • 1954: 15th August, Lamorna Cove is born.
  • 1955: 5th June, Champagne Chas is born. He is the half-brother of Lamorna Cove and is Cream and White.
  • 1956: Kallibunker and Serene are euthanised.
  • 1956: Brian Sterling-Webb purchases Champagne Chas.
  • 1957: Lamorna Cove, who is pregnant at the time, and a sibling are sent to the USA.
  • 1957: February-Our Cats notes that A C Jude’s article which was published in Our Cats in 1952, has been published in the Journal of Genetics.
  • 1959: Brian Stirling-Webb founded the Rex Coated and Any Other Variety Club.
  • 1959: September. Kirlee (Devon Rex) is born but is unknown at this time.
  • 1965: Mrs Alison Ashford imports Rio Vista Kismet from Canada to the UK.
  • 1965: Brian Sterling-Webb dies.
  • 1967: Rex Cat Club is founded.

Appearance

Pointed Cornish Rex cat

Head:

Wedge-shaped and is longer than it is wide, it has high cheekbones and a roman nose. The ears are set high on the head, but should not be too close together. The eyes are oval and come in brown, green, yellow, gold and blue.

Body:

Medium in size with a short coat and slender build. The legs are long, and the body curves upward from the ribs, for the so-called tuck-up. The tail is long and tapering. Although it is a fine-boned cat, it is quite muscular.

Coat:

The coat is wavy (Marcel wave) in appearance with curly whiskers and eyebrows. The typical cat has three types of hair, guard hairs, awn hairs and down hairs (the undercoat). The Cornish Rex coat completely lacks the guard hairs, with the awn and down hairs giving the coat an incredibly soft feel.

Colours:

The Cornish Rex comes all recognised colours.

Temperament

The Cornish Rex is a quiet, outgoing and active cat. Their friendly disposition means they like to be a part of the family and don’t like to be left out of day to day life.

The Cornish Rex has a high energy level and love to play well into adulthood. They are an acrobatic breed who like to be up high.

Cornish Rexes are extremely intelligent cats and very affectionate, they get along with other pets and children.

Health

White Cornish Rex

All cats have health problems; although the Cornish Rex is generally a healthy breed, they can  have a higher incidence of the following:

Special requirements

Cornish Rex

The Cornish Rex has no special requirements; they don’t shed as much as other breeds due to their short coat.

Suitable for

Calico Cornish Rex

Active households. Cornish Rexes thrive on company, if you are out of the house for extended periods, consider adopting two cats. They get along with other family pets, including dogs and are great with children.

Are Cornish Rexes hypoallergenic?

Close up of Cornish Rex cat

In truth, a rex cat is no different from any other cat and produces allergen like all other cats. They are not hypoallergenic by any means, as claimed by some. Then why do some people seem to have no allergic reaction to rex cats?  One possible hypothesis is that as rex cats have less hair to shed, they simply deposit less allergen-laced hair around the home. But, whatever the reasons some allergic people seem to tolerate them. From personal studies and observations by Margaret Lawrence in the UK, she found that around 10% of people allergic to cats tolerate rex cats.

Please, before you race out and look for a rex cat, remember you should always test your allergies by visiting home or catteries that only own rex cats, and test continuously over several weeks or months.

Burmilla Cat Breed Profile: All About The Beautiful Burmilla

Burmilla cats

Burmilla cat at a glance

  • Origin: United Kingdom, 1981
  • Lifespan: 12-14 years
  • Energy: Low to medium
  • Temperament: Playful, laid back, intelligent, calm
  • Weight: Males 5-6 kg (11 – 13.2 lbs), females 4.5 – 5 kg (9.9 – 11 lbs)
  • Colours: Black, Blue, Brown, Chocolate and Lilac.
  • Eyes: Hazel, green
  • Coat: Short
  • Grooming: Brush once a week

About

Burmilla cat

The Burmilla is a domestic breed of cat which originated in the United Kingdom. It is a cross between a Chinchilla cat and a Burmese.

Burmillas are a great allrounder and can fit in well with families, seniors or singles.

History of the Burmilla cat

The Burmilla came about as the result of an accidental mating between a Lilac Burmese female (Bambino Lilac Faberge) and a Silver Chinchilla male (Jemari Sanquist). In 1981 Miranda Bickford-Smith of Astahazy Cattery had purchased a Silver Chinchilla (Sanquist) as a pet for her husband. Faberge came into season and was isolated but a cleaner accidentally left Faberge’s door open and she was able to escape and pay a visit to Sanquist.  The result of this mating produced 4 female kittens, all short-haired and Black Shaded Silver in colour.

These stunning kittens had a spectacular temperament and there was much interest in the cat world in them. It was decided to begin a controlled breeding programme.

In 1984 a Burmilla standard and they gained championship status in the United Kingdom in the 1990s. The Cat Fanciers Association recognised Burmillas in 2011.

Burmilla cat appearance

Burmilla kitten

Body:

A medium-sized cat with a physique similar to the Burmese. There is nothing extreme about the Burmilla.

Eyes: 

A stunning feature of the Burmilla is the dark pencilling around its beautiful green eyes which makes it look as though it’s wearing eyeliner.

Coat: 

The coat is short, dense and silky, the pale background contrasts starkly with dark tips.

Due to having Chinchilla in their lines, Burmillas can carry the longhaired gene. This means that it is possible for longhaired kittens to be born to short-haired parents. Longhaired Burmillas are their own breed.

Temperament

Burmilla kittens

The Burmilla has the best features of both the Burmese and the Chinchilla. Burmillas love to play and access to toys and scratching posts are important, as is daily attention from their owners as they are an affectionate cat and enjoy being a part of the family.

Words used to describe the Burmilla include intelligent, playful, affectionate, gentle, sweet-tempered.

Colours

Burmilla cats

The Burmilla occurs in five colours of either shaded or tipped:  Black, Blue, Brown, Chocolate, and Lilac.

Health

The Burmilla is a healthy breed, however, due to its Chinchilla (Persian) background, polycystic kidney disease can occur. Breeders should DNA test all breeding stock to ensure their cats aren’t carriers.

Special requirements

Golden Burmilla cat

Burmillas have no special requirements. A weekly groom will help remove loose hairs from the coat.

Dental care is important for all cats, brush the teeth with a pet-friendly toothbrush and toothpaste (never use human toothpaste), and feed raw chicken necks or cubes of beef two to three times a week.

Annual veterinary exams are a must and regular parasite control.

Suitable for

With their medium energy level and laid back nature Burmillas are ideal for singles, families and the elderly.

Related breeds

Abyssinian Cat Breed Information

At a glance

  • Lifespan: 12-14 years
  • Eyes: Gold, copper, green and hazel
  • Energy: Medium to high
  • Temperament: Playful, outgoing, curious, loving
  • Weight: Males 4.5-5.5 kg (9.9 – 12.1 lbs), females 4-4.5 kg (8.8 – 11 lbs)
  • Colours: Ruddy, cinnamon, fawn, and blue
  • Grooming: Easy
  • Also called: Aby

About

Affectionately nicknamed Aby, the Abyssinian is one of the oldest cat breeds. Its origin is somewhat unknown and there are several stories as to how the breed came about. They have a similar appearance to ancient Egyptian cats.

Abyssinians are playful, affectionate, energetic, friendly, loving and love to be up high. They make an exceptional family pet.

History

The first Abyssinian cat was brought to England in 1868. In the book Cats, Their Points and Characteristics (published in 1874), author Gordon Stables mentions the following…”Zula, the property of Mrs Captain Barrett-Lennard. This cat was brought from Abyssinia at the conclusion of the war…” In the Harpers Weekly supplement dated January 27, 1872, there is an illustration of several feline exhibits from the London Crystal Palace show, including an Abyssinian cat. In the following write up the journalist writes

“The third prize was taken by the Abyssinian cat, shown in the lower right-hand corner of the illustration. She was captured in the late Abyssinian war, and was most remarkable for her woe-begone appearance, seemingly discontented at her sudden elevation into notoriety, and longing for her barbaric freedom in the good old days of King Theodore.”

Abyssinian cat, Harrison Weir

Sadly there is no written record which traces the early Abyssinians in Britain. It is believed by some breeders that the Abyssinian cat was actually created by crossing silver and brown Tabbies with English ticked cats known as bunny cats.

The Abyssinian cat was officially recognised as a distinct breed in 1882. The first standard of points was published in Harrison Weir’s book in 1889 and the first Abyssinian registered in the National Cat Club Stud book was in 1896.

Appearance

Body:

The body is long, lithe, muscular and in proportion. The legs are long and slender, with small oval paws. The tail is thick at the base, long and tapering at the tip. Abyssinians weigh between 4.5 – 6 kg (9.9 – 13.2 oz).

Head:

Modified wedge, with a muzzle that is neither pointed or square. Large almond-shaped eyes which range in colour from green to hazel and are circled with a dark line surrounded by a lighter colour. Ears are large.

Coat:

Short, silky and close-lying coat with distinct ticking and a beautiful sheen.

Colours

Abyssinian cat

The Abyssinian comes in four colours, with photos at the end of the article.

  • Ruddy
  • Cinnamon
  • Fawn
  • Blue

Temperament

Abyssinians are highly intelligent, extroverted and active cats who thrive on companionship. They are very dog-like and don’t do well when left on their own for long. Abyssinians are a high energy breed levels and love to be up high, so if you want a cat who is on the go all the time, then the Abyssinian is perfect. They love people and like to be a part of everyday family life. Abyssinian cats often enjoy a game of fetch with their human companions. Abyssinians love everybody, as long as they are the centre of attention they don’t tend to play favourites with any one member of the family. Breeders and Aby lovers refer to them as the clowns of the cat kingdom.

If you are out of the house for long hours, consider adopting two cats. Abyssinians thrive on company, and it is important that if you are thinking of adopting an Aby, that you can give him the time and attention he needs. Words often used to describe Abyssinians include loyal, active, intelligent, playful and inquisitive. They are not an overly talkative cat and have a quiet voice.

Buying an Abyssinian cat

Always buy a purebred cat from a registered cat breeder. A cat from a backyard breeder will cost less, but you don’t know what you will get.  Try to see the kitten in his environment, and if possible meet his mother too. I really believe what you see as a kitten is what you will get.

I personally like to buy a kitten who grew up inside the home with the breeder and their family. Kittens should not leave their home until they are at least 12 weeks old, by which time they will have received two vaccinations. Many breeders also opt to desex (spay or neuter) the kitten before he goes to his new home.

Abyssinian care

Abyssinian cat

The short hair of the Abyssinian coat requires little more than a five-minute groom once a week to removed loose hairs. Indoor cats should have their nails trimmed every 4-6 weeks. Both grooming and nail trimming should start in kittenhood.

When you bring your new kitten home, feed him the same food he was fed at his old home, if you would like to change the type of food he eats, gradually introduce the new food while reducing the old type over a few days. This can help prevent tummy upsets.

Oral hygene is important with any cat, brush the teeth daily with a pet toothbrush and toothpaste (never use human toothpaste), or feed raw chicken necks/ chunks of raw steak two to three times a week.

Your Abyssinian should see a veterinarian once a year for health checks.

Provide your Abyssinian with plenty of toys to keep him occupied and help him burn off some energy. Wand toys are perfect, they can stalk, chase and catch them.

Health

As with all cats, purebred or domestic, some can be more prone to health problems. Bear in mind that most of these conditions are still rare, even in Abyssinian cats and most breeders work hard to eliminate these diseases by careful breeding as well as genetic testing, where possible.

  • Patellar luxation
  • Overgrooming
  • Feline renal amyloidosis
  • Retinal degeneration
  • Gingivitis which can proceed to periodontitis (gum disease)
  • Psychogenic alopecia
  • Pyruvate kinase deficiency
  • Myasthenia gravis

Lifespan

The average lifespan of an Abyssinian cat is between 12-15 years.