Selkirk Rex is a relatively new breed of cats who originated in USA. In 1987 there was discovered a natural genmutation who led to curly coat in a shorthaired kitten of unknown mix of breeds. This kitten was adopted by Jeri Newman who ran a persian cattery under the name of NoFace. Jeri gave the kitten the name Miss DePesto Of NoFace, or Pest as pet name. In 1988 Pest was mated to the black persian Photo Finish of Dekay, and the result was a litter of 6 kittens. 3 of these kittens had curly coat, 3 was straight. From this it was concluded that the gene that gives curls in the Selkirk Rex is a dominant gene. One of the males in this very first litter, NoFace Oscar Kowalski is to be found far back in the pedigrees of most of todays Selkirks. To acchieve the rounder headshape, the open expression and the dense body that the Selkirks have today, there has been several other breeds introduced in the initial work of establishing the breed; persians, exotics, british shorthair and american shorthair. It is still allowed to outcross with some of these breeds. From 01.10.2017 Selkirk Rex is fully approved in FIFe.
Selkirk Rex comes in many varieties, both shorthair and longhair, and all colors, patterns and eyecolors are approved. As previously mentioned, the rex gene is dominant in the Selkirk, and a kitten can inherit one example of this gene from just one of their parents (heterozygous with curls), one example from each of it’s parents (homozygous with curls), or it can simply not inherit the gene at all (straighthaired). The straight Selkirks are not approved for showing, but still they are very valuable for breeders. The main charasteristic of the breed is the very soft and curly coat. Even the whiskars are curly! Like most longhaired cats, the Selkirk’s coat need some brushing and maintenance to avoid matting. The breed is generally not suitable for people suffering from allergy to cats. Selkirk Rex is a healthy breed, but some diseases might appear, for example the inheritable PKD, a kidney desease. All serious breeders now test their cats for this and other known health issues before the breeding.
The breed Selkirk rex is described to be a calm, tolerant, lively, balanced and intelligent cat. This is a loving and patient cat with features from the cats that helped develop the breed. British shorthair contributed with a relaxed attitude to life, the persian added the cuddly nature, while the exotic made sure the Selkirk got its playful personality. Selkirks are happy to share their lives with children, other cats and dogs.
For more information on this fantastic breed of cats, visit the homepage of Nordic Selkirk Rex