Devon Rex at a Glance
With their impish looks and mischievous personalities, the Devon Rex are the pixies of cats. Intelligent and highly active, they thrive in a busy household. Leaving them alone for long is unwise as they can become bored and look for things with which to amuse themselves. They are great with children and get along well with other family pets. They don’t require much grooming and in many cases, brushing your hand over the coat is all they needs. Find out more about this breed and if the Devon Rex is right for you and your family.
Temperament: Playful, Active, Sticks to you like Velcro
Size: Devons are medium-sized cats – with females 5-7 lbs. and males 7-9 lbs.
Colors: Devons come in all colors.
Life Expectancy: 14-17+ years
About the Devon Rex
Devons are very people oriented and welcome the attention of friends and family. If you are sitting, they will be in your lap, if you are in bed, they will join you under the covers. They are interested in everything and hate to be left out of any activity. Devons like to stay close to their families and love to be perched on the shoulder of their favorite person. They are very people-oriented and welcome the attentions of friends and family.
They are relatively non-shedding, and some allergy sufferers can often tolerate them with little reaction.
Devons are very intelligent and moderately active. They love their toys and are good at amusing themselves. Puzzle and interactive toys will keep them occupied when they are alone. They like to learn tricks and many will fetch a toy for you to throw.
The active and social Devon Rex is a perfect choice for families with children, other cats, and cat-friendly dogs.
TICA Regions, Clubs & Rescues
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Find a Kitten: TICA Breeders
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Devons have a short wavy coat with modified guard hairs and little undercoat. They shed very little. If they have a spot they like to sleep, you will eventually see a fine coating of “lint”. Kittens may molt at around 3 months, and the coat will develop and come in over the next six or so months.
Large ears tend to collect oily buildup and should be cleaned when they look “dirty”. Claws should be trimmed weekly. As with all cats, brush their teeth regularly with a vet-approved pet toothpaste and provide a nice tall scratching pole to help their natural scratching instinct.
Some Devons really love to eat and need to have strict feeding limits, while others are very good at self-regulating. Kittens need to be fed three times a day until they are six months, after that twice a day is optimal. Many Devons are “snackers” and like to have kibble available rather than limited wet food.
As with all cats, it is important to give your cat fresh, clean water daily. Fresh, clean water is best, so cats don’t hesitate to drink. If you worry about your cat drinking enough water each day, here's a tip from cat behaviorists - place the water bowl at least three feet away from any food. Cats’ noses are sensitive and an overwhelming smell of food may cause them to drink less. Filtered drinking fountains can also be used in place of a water bowl.
The Devon Rex is considered an overall healthy breed. However, it is recommended that all Devons be genetically tested for all available genetic markers, including Devon myopathy, and parents should be scanned for HCM.
Buckfastleigh, Devon, England is the ancestral home of the Devon Rex. A feral tom cat with a curly coat lived in an abandoned tin mine. In 1960, a tortie & white stray adopted by Miss Beryl Cox had a litter of kittens sired by the feral tom. One of the kittens was a brownish-black male with a coat just like his sire's. Miss Cox kept the kitten and named him Kirlee. Aware of Kallibunker (the first Cornish Rex) and the work to preserve that new gene, she wrote to Brian Sterling-Webb thinking her Kirlee could contribute to that program. However it turned out that the gene creating Kirlee's curly coat was different to the one producing Kallibunker's marcelled waves. There were a number of differences in the coat between Kirlee and the Cornish Rex. While Kalli had whiskers that were bent and curled, the gene from Devon resulted in missing or stubby whiskers. Kirlee had tight curls but not as uniform as those of Kallibunker giving them a windblown appearance. And Kirlee had huge, low-set ears giving his head a pixie-like look that was accentuated by the large, inquisitive eyes and short nose.
Breeders started developing a program to conserve the gene discovered in Devon too. The gene discovered in Cornwall was designated Gene 1 and that discovered in Devon Gene 2. Sterling-Webb (Briarry) now worked to conserve this gene as well along with Mrs. Agnes Watts (Du-Bu) and Mrs. Madge Shrouder (Hassan). All Devon Rex trace their ancestry back to Kirlee who was sadly killed in a car accident in 1970.
Similar Breeds: Sphynx and Cornish Rex
Opposite Breeds: Persian
Did You Know?
- They are often described as resembling the Gremlins from the film of the same name or as a relative of Yoda from Star Wars.
- Devons are warm to the touch - they feel like soft hot water bottles and are ideal to snuggle up to in winter. They have the same body temperature as other cats but their coat does not provide as much insulation and so they feel warmer.
- Known as kissing cousins to Sphynx, the mutation that causes each breed is very closely located on the same chromosome.
The Breed Standard
The Devon is a breed of unique appearance. Its large eyes, short muzzle, prominent cheek-bones and huge low-set ears create a characteristic elfin look. A cat of medium frame, the Devon is well covered with short, full-bodied, wavy fur; the fur is of a distinctive texture, as the mutation causing its wavy coat is found in no other breed. Devons may have down on underparts of the body; this is not bareness. Allowances may be made for lack of full coat development on kittens with very good type, over fully coated lesser type. Devon males may be up to 25 percent larger than females. This is not a fault so long as proper proportion is maintained. The Devon is alert and active and shows a lively interest in its surroundings.
Click here to read the full TICA Devon Rex Breed Standard.
Devon Rex Breed
Accepted For Championship in TICA in 1979