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Selkirk Rex at a Glancecornish rex Full Body copy

Sometimes called the cat in sheep’s clothing, the Selkirk Rex shorthair has a dense, plush curl that is similar to a teddy bear’s while the longhair has a tousled look similar to a woolly sheep. Easy-going and relaxed, they resemble a soft, stuffed toy. They make wonderful family pets and get along well with children. Brush their coat a couple of times a week to remove dead hair and prevent or remove mats or tangles. Find out more about this breed and if the Selkirk Rex is right for you and your family.

  • Temperament: Affectionate, Easygoing, Comedic

  • Size: Medium-sized cat

  • Colors: Both longhair and shorthair varieties appear in a rainbow of colors.

  • Life Expectancy: 10-15+ years

About the Selkirk Rex

The Selkirk Rex is a mellow breed that resembles a soft, stuffed toy. The shorthair variety have a dense, plush, curly coat that resembles a teddy-bear; while the longhair variety has an even more tousled look that gives the appearance of a woolly sheep. Often called dogs in disguise, the affectionate Selkirk Rex is devoted to its family and can be taught to walk on a leash to participate in family outings. These sturdy cats have the presence and stature of the bobcat with the personality of the domestic cat.

Activity Level: The Selkirk Rex are known for their placid, cuddly, nature, yet are still very active and love to play. They are very social and dislike being left alone for long periods. Keep this fun-loving cat entertained with a fishing-pole toy or laserlight beam, and they will be thrilled.

The loving and affectionate Selkirk Rex is a perfect choice for families with children and cat-friendly dogs.

TICA Regions, Clubs & Rescues

Want to connect with fellow cat lovers and those who love the same breed as you?
TICA is a large resource made up of smaller regions and clubs around the world.
Click here to find a club near you and contact information for your regional director and website.

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Find a Kitten: Selkirk Rex TICA Breeders

The TICA website is the only place where you can find TICA member breeders who have signed the TICA Code of Ethics.
Click here to find Selkirk Rex Kittens.

Selkirk Rex Breed Head ShotCare

The Selkirk Rex comes in both the longhair and shorthair varieties and has a dense coat that should be combed a couple of times a week to prevent or remove tangles. Selkirks do shed, so regular combing removes dead hair It is recommended to gently run your fingers through their coat to help fluff up their curls.

A bath is rarely necessary, but if your Selkirk gets dirty, use a moisturizing shampoo and let them air dry for a few hours in a warm, draft-free place. Using a blow dryer will give them the appearance of a Poodle.

As with all cats, keep their nails trimmed, ears cleaned and teeth brushed regularly with a vet-approved pet toothpaste and provide a nice tall scratching pole to help their natural scratching instinct.


Selkirk Rex breeds do not have any particular nutritional needs other than good, quality, wet or dry cat 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 Selkirk Rex breed is generally a healthy breed, it is recommended that their vaccinations and parasite treatments are kept to date and that regular veterinary appointments are scheduled.


In 1987 a feral blue tortie & white cat in Montana had a strange looking kitten in a litter of 5. At 9 weeks she came to the attention of Persian breeder Jeri Newman who took the kitten and named her Miss DePesto because she was always pestering for attention. Jeri was able to find out that her mother had hair that was not completely normal either-it had a slight kink right at the end. Miss DePesto had curly whiskers, brillo hair in her ears and the coat on her body looked like a body wave. She had a narrow muzzle with a strong whisker break, prominent cheekbones, slanted eyes and a wide flat spot between her large ears. Like a Cornish Rex, her body was heavy but her boning was fine and her legs were long.

Jeri established that Miss Depesto's littermates all had normal coats and that there were no other curly cats in the area leading her to believe that Miss DePesto might be the source of a new mutant rex gene. At 14 months of age, Jeri bred Miss DePesto to her black Persian male Ch. Photo Finish of Deekay and eagerly awaited the kittens. On July 14 Miss DePesto had a litter of 6 kittens of which 3 were definitely curly. These results proved that the gene was a dominant, unlike that of the CR and DR, and that Miss DePesto carried longhair.

TICA accepted the Selkirk Rex into the New Breed program in 1990 and recognized it for championship competition in February 1994.

Similar Breeds:

Persian and British Shorthair

The Breed Standard

The Selkirk Rex is produced by a dominant gene affecting the guard, down and awn hairs. The curl is most prominent around the neck and tail in both coat lengths. Guard hairs tend to have a coarse texture, but the coat is very dense and overall soft and plush. The whiskers are curly as are the eyebrows. The Selkirk Rex is a medium to large cat with good balance between legs and body. Heavy boning gives the cat surprising weight. Females are less massive than males, but both sexes have definite jowls. Coat continues to develop until about 2 years of age, so kittens should be judged mainly on head and body type. Kittens are curly at birth and may lose their coat and begin to develop an adult curly coat at 8-10 months of age.

Click here to read the full TICA Selkirk Rex Breed Standard.

Selkirk Rex Breed

Selkirk Rex Full BodyAccepted For Championship in TICA in 1994

Photos used courtesy of © Helmi Flick Cat Photography. 

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