Cute curly haired cat breeds are rare, intelligent, adorable, and full of personality.
Curly haired cat breeds have a rex mutation that results in soft curly fur, which is part of the cat’s genetic makeup causing changes in the structure of groups of hairs and individual hairs.
It is unusual to see a cat with a rexed coat. If you do, you can assume that at least one layer of its “natural” coat is missing.
Curly haired cat breeds are less likely to shed and may not shed at all. They are a great choice for people looking for a hypoallergenic low allergy cat breed.
Curly Haired Cat Breeds
Each breed’s coat is encoded by a different mutation, which is why they are also very different in their appearance.
Below are the most common curly haired cat breeds.
The Devon Rex is a beautiful and distinctive looking cat, known as the pixie cat or alien cat. This cat is characterized by wide ears and a slender body.
This breed comes from Devon, in the UK, as their name might suggest. They’re very intelligent in addition to their cute looks. Their hair tends to be short, bodies slender, and they have big beautiful eyes.
Their curly coat is quite fragile or sensitive, and they are prone to over-grooming. If you’re not careful you could end up with areas of fur that have been completely groomed away or licked away by an over grooming cat.
The breed is very affectionate, they’re playful and will often talk to you with plenty of meows. They have been known to perform tricks if it means that they will get the love of their owner.
The Cornish Rex breed originated from Cornwall in the UK, which borders Devon and is why the two can look similar.
Sharing a few physical traits with the Devon Rex such as short curly hair, a slender body, and large ears.
A Cornish Rex will have no guard hair or awn hair and should only have the soft undercoat.
Another similarity to the Devon Rex is that they will not just want your attention but they can be very demanding for it. They love affection but won’t hesitate to show off their athletic ability and endless ability to play.
The Selkirk Rex is a large cat with a rounded head and strong legs originating from The United States of America. They have curly fur and closely resemble a teddy bear in appearance.
Selkirk Rex cats have a lovely and beautiful personality and would be happy with sitting on your lap all day. They are quite alert cats and have active personalities.
They like to play games and they should get along with other family pets you may already have in your home.
The LaPerm cat’s coat is short and wavy. They are a hypoallergenic breed and easy to train.
Grooming is easy as their fur isn’t prone to overgrooming. They’re friendly toward other pets and love human attention.
Kids will love them because like a ragdoll they will love sitting on your lap and typically flop when picked up.
They love to follow you around seeking attention and pats. Each LaPerm has its own individual look as they come in a variety of colors and markings.
Even though they come in short- and long-haired varieties, if you get a curly haired kitten, you should know that their curly hair will disappear after birth and reappear in about ten months.
Pro Tip: The curly coat in all of these four breeds is encoded by different rexed mutations, r (Cornish Rex), re (Devon Rex), Se (Selkirk Rex) and, Lp (LaPerm).
Their average life span is 10-16 years old and makes a great family addition. They are a friendly breed with high intelligence.
Along with their stunning looks, they are a very energetic breed and love to show off their athletic abilities through play.
They can come in a large variety of colors such as blue, seal, calico, tabby, white and, tortoiseshell.
A German Rex would best suit someone who has the time to play with them regularly.
What Makes Their Coat Curly?
Cat’s have three layers of fur or coats, and when one of these layers is missing it can create an abnormality such as a curly coat.
It’s proven to be very difficult to replicate for breeders which is what makes the phenomenon so spectacular and quite rare.
A curly coat known by the term Rex is a genetic variation found in other mammals such as dogs, rabbits, horses, and rats.
The Rex will often cause structural changes in groups of hairs in cross-sections. In cats, there have been a few rexed mutations identified and the most common are Cornish Rex, Devon Rex, LaPerm, Selkirk Rex, and the German Rex.
Other genes are involved in curly hair production and rexed mutations sometimes occur spontaneously in cat breeds.
A cat’s coat is the result of genetics that are extremely complex and diverse. Each genetic mutation can result in a unique curly coat, which is why rexed cats look remarkably different from one another.
Conclusion On The Curly Haired Cat Breeds
Currently only the Cornish Rex, Devon Rex, LaPerm and Selkirk Rex are internationally recognized curly hair cat breeds.
That’s not to say there aren’t other curly haired breeds which is why the German Rex, gr (German Rex), made this list.
Curly haired cat breeds are said to be non-allergenic, but there isn’t a breed that is completely 100% hypoallergenic, but rather because one or two layers in their wavy coats are missing it keeps cat allergies to a minimum.
Curly-haired cats are truly unique and attractive breeds with awesome personalities making them an awesome addition to any family.