Let's talk Devon Rex

“Me and my shadow” is a good summary of life with a Devon Rex. This British breed is all ears and highly affectionate to its humans. Relatively new to the cat scene, having first made an appearance in the mid-twentieth century, the Devon Rex is more than making up for lost time with a playful temperament and lively manner. This feline is the perfect choice for tight-knit families looking to include a cat in their home life. 

Official name: Devon Rex 

Origins: U.K. (England)

Devon Rex walking towards camera in black and white

 

 Shedding level  Very low  Warm weather? High
 Energy Level*   Medium  Family pet?* Very high
 Compatibility with other pets  High    

* We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches. Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behavior. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

Every pet is different, even within a breed; this snapshot of this breed specifics should be taken as an indication.

For a happy healthy and well-behaved pet, we recommend educating and socializing your pet as well as covering their basic welfare needs (and their social and behavioral needs).

Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child.

Contact your breeder or veterinarian for further advice.

All domestic pets are sociable and prefer company. However, they can be taught to cope with solitude from an early age. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or trainer to help you do this.

 

Inline Image 15
Illustration of brown and white Devon Rex
Male
30 - 31 cm Height
3 - 5 kg Weight
Female
30 - 31 cm Height
3 - 5 kg Weight

 

 Baby age  Birth to 4 months  
 Kitten age  4 to 12 months
 Adult age 1 to 7 years
 Mature age  7 to 12 years
 Senior age  From 12 years

Orange Devon Rex lying on ground looking at camera

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Get to know the Devon Rex

All you need to know about the breed

Bat-like ears, wide eyes, and a diminutive stature all add up to make the Devon Rex a cutie pie in the looks department. However, this small-to-medium-sized feline should not be written off as just a pretty face. They’re highly intelligent and capable of learning new tricks, and more than content to keep themselves busy with an interactive toy or puzzle.

When not working the brain cells, the Devon Rex likes to stay close to its humans at all times, preferably perched on their shoulder (yes, you read that right) so they can witness the action as it unfolds. This feline is not so much a lap cat but a full-on body hugger, which some might find a tad clingy. But we just think it’s adorable. In short, the Devon Rex doesn't do well when left alone for long periods of time.

With plenty of energy to go around, but not so much as to completely wear you out, the Devon Rex makes for a great playmate to small children, as well as other household pets that have been responsibly trained. They have been known to chirp with pleasure and wag their tail when having a particularly swell time of it!

The breed does equally well in the countryside and the city. However, their fine fur makes the Devon Rex sensitive to the cold, so they’ll require a feline jumper (or two) if they’re playing outside during autumn and winter.

A laid-back, affectionate and well-adjusted breed with a sound constitution, the Devon Rex will shower you with all the devotion you need - and then some - during your long lives together.

Orange Devon Rex walking through long grass

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2 facts about Devon Rex

1. Curly Sue

One of the Devon Rex’s most noticeable features is their wavy fur. Take a closer look and you’ll see that their whiskers and eyebrows are also crinkly. This charming feature doesn’t require any special grooming and is the result of the same genetic mutation that makes their fur wavy. Just another (curly) string to add to this unique feline’s bow!

2. A bottomless stomach 

Despite their slender stature, the Devon Rex will always try to find more food to eat, wherever, whenever. They may even try to take a seat at the dinner table and expect a plate of human food - but nip this in the bud, and quickly. Keep a close eye on your Devon Rex to make sure they don’t become overweight, so as to stay trim and maintain their muscular form. Especially if they are neutered, which is recommended for all domestic cats.

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History of the breed

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the Devon Rex is a happy accident of cat breeding. Set against the bucolic backdrop of the Devonshire countryside, the breed unexpectedly made its first appearance in the 1960s when a curly-coated kitten stood out from the rest of the litter. Named Kirlee as a nod to her distinctive wavy coat, it was first believed that she was part of the Cornish Rex breed. However, as a result of several formal breeding attempts, it was confirmed that the Devon Rex was a unique feline breed.

By 1968, the breed had already been taken to the US and received official recognition from The Cat Fancier’s Association in 1979. From such humble beginnings - to Hollywood? It is heavily rumoured that Steven Spielberg was inspired by the Devon Rex cat when it came to creating well-known characters such as Yoda and E.T.

Today the Devon Rex remains a rare sighting, especially outside of the U.K., but they’re a real head-turner of a breed.

Curled up Devon Rex in black and white

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From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Devon Rex

1. Eyes

Large, open eyes often coordinate with fur colour.

2. Coat

Coat comes in every colour and pattern combination.

3. Body

Medium-sized body, muscular in build, with long legs.

4. Ears

Large ears that are wide at the base and slightly rounded.

5. Tail

Tail is long, covered in same wavy fur as the body.

Close-up of Devon Rex with blue eyes

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Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Devon Rex
White and black Devon Rex lying on carpet looking at camera

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Caring for your Devon Rex

Grooming, training and exercise tips

The Devon Rex is low-key when it comes to grooming. Avoid brushing, which will break their fragile fur, and instead give your Devon Rex a gentle stroke to evenly disperse the natural oils throughout their coat. Their teeth require a daily brush but if this proves tricky, seek regular veterinary dental care (descaling and polishing), as well as use of special dental kibble. Be sure to clean their ears on a weekly basis - the Rex breeds are more susceptible to regular build-up of waxy deposits. For exercise, just get their brain cells working and you’ll have a fulfilled Devon Rex cat. Especially if you play along with them, as the breed tends to form a tight bond with their humans! Apply the same logic to training your Devon Rex - turn it into a game and use lots of positive reinforcement, which will result in a well-behaved feline.

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All about Devon Rex

Yes, the Devon Rex is a sociable breed, so they tend to get on well with other cats and dogs. Early socialisation will help your Devon Rex to feel comfortable in the presence of other animals, and training will make sure that every pet of the household behaves respectfully. Rabbits and rodents however are not a good match, due to the prey drive of the Devon Rex - the temptation is just too strong, even for the most well behaved feline! 

This breed is generally a very healthy one breed, with an average lifespan of 10-15 years. With such a robust constitution, annual check-ups at the vet should keep everything ticking over nicely. So you can get on with making lots of happy memories with your Devon Rex.


Other breeds that might interest you.

Sources

1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Cat Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book