Selkirk Rex

The Selkirk Rex is a medium to a large-sized cat with long, curly hair. Occasionally they are also found with short hair. However, the Selkirk Rex longhair is typical. It goes back to Persian cats, into which cats with the Rex mutation were crossed. This genetic defect can, among other things, create curls in the hair. Mutations occur naturally in evolution, including those that cause changes in the fur structure. In the Rex cats, a gene segment has mutated which is responsible for the production of keratin and thus the structure of the hair. In the Rex variants, the effect is seen in particular as a wave or curl of the hair, which can have different characteristics, as well as a lack of thinning hair.

Origin and Breed History

In other variants, such as the Sphynx cat, the hair may be completely absent. Such genetic defects can be strengthened in a population through targeted breeding. This has been done with the Rex mutation in cats and rabbits. In the 1930s, the USA, Great Britain, and, in some cases, Germany began to systematically breed Rex cats and successfully market them. The Selkirk Rex is likely descended from Persian cats that such Rex cats crossed. That started in the USA around 1980. However, there is no documentation of these crossing attempts. Over time, breeders consolidated the Rex mutation in this longhair cat population. However, short-haired cats are still falling. The Selkirk Rex is only provisionally recognized by the Fédération Internationale Féline (FiFe) for the time being.


The Selkirk is a medium-sized, long-haired domestic cat. The gentle curls in her long hair are characteristic. These curls run through all of the hair, both the undercoat and the top hair. So it feels very plush despite the long hair. As with all Rex cats, a genetic defect is responsible for this peculiarity of the fur. This genetic defect, which changes the production of keratin and thus the hair structure, can affect the whisker hair in individual cases. The FiFe’s Selkirk Rex standard expressly requires that the whisker hair should be curled.

Temperament and Essence

The Selkirk Rex has a very people-oriented, friendly, and gentle nature. She is just lovely and seeks closeness to people with whom she can develop a close bond. She is a real family cat. She is attentive and very intelligent and knows her people very well. Selkirk Rex cats love the quiet life best with their humans. Of course, we also like to move around in nature, but they can also only be kept in the apartment. The Selkirk has a wonderful calming and relaxing aura. She is affectionate, but does not allow herself to be captured and remains her own proud personality.


A Selkirk Rex is the ideal breed of cat for the home. It is undemanding and frugal with regard to its keeping conditions – apart from grooming and healthy breeding, including with long, fully developed whiskers. However, she needs an intimate relationship with her two-legged friends. She loves to be with people as well as the animal partners in her family. However, both cats and dogs, for example, should have been used to each other with patience. She doesn’t have to be outdoors to feel good all around, but she doesn’t want to be left alone for a long time. In addition, she is extremely sociable and gets along with children, all friends of the family, and fellow animals without any problems.


The Selkirk Rex is very easy to train for a cat because the breed is intelligent and people-oriented. If she was born with a reputable breeder who looked after and socialized parent animals and kittens well, she will easily fit into the rules and habits of her family on her own.

Care and Health

The Selkirk Rex’s fur should be combed regularly and carefully with a soft brush.

Diseases Typical of the Breed

Some breeds of this breed suffer from severe inbreeding. Immune deficiencies, sickness, and shortened life expectancy can be the result. Due to the small population and the fixation on the special Rex mutation, a number of hereditary diseases can occur more frequently. The Rex mutation affects the fur and can sometimes cause the hair to break off. However, these handicaps do not have to affect every cat.

Nutrition / Feed

The Selkirk Rex should generally be a problem-free border for a cat. If allergies occur, dietary nutrition may be necessary.

Life Expectancy

A Selkirk Rex can live to be 12 to 15 years old. However, there is no really reliable information on this. As with all cats, inbreeding drastically shortens life expectancy.

Buy Selkirk Rex

If you want to get a Selkirk Rex you should first look at the family tree. No ancestor should appear twice here in order to rule out excessive inbreeding. Both parents should be tested for potential hereditary diseases. Both parents should definitely have fully developed whiskers. A Selkirk Rex kitten should cost around 800 euros.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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