Let's talk German Rex

Their petite size and wavy hair may make an impression but it’s their mild demeanour that seals the deal for the German Rex. The breed is native to Germany but not hugely known outside those borders, having only been in existence since the mid-Twentieth Century. Highly devoted to everyone around them with a sound state of health and  very lively and playful temperament, the German Rex possesses all the best characteristics found in a feline.

Official name: German Rex

Origins: Germany

German Rex sitting looking at camera in black and white

 

 Shedding level  Very low  Warm weather? Medium
 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 beige German Rex
Male
25 - 31 cm Height
4 - 5 kg Weight
Female
25 - 30 cm Height
3 - 4 kg Weight

 

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

Two German Rex cats sitting on a brown blanket

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Get to know the German Rex

All you need to know about the breed

Cats come in all shapes and sizes, but the German Rex is especially appealing with their wide eyes and diminutive stature. The small- to medium-sized breed weighs an average of 5 to 8 pounds (2.25-4kg) so is every inch the cute feline. Make no mistake, they can hold their own when it comes to activity. Blessed with good health and a sound constitution, this is one breed that should live a long and vital life.

They share the characteristic short, fluffy, and curly coat with their sister breeds, the Devon Rex and the Cornish Rex, “Rex” meaning a wiry hair. It’s a pleasure to behold but will need consistent brushing to keep it looking good and to eliminate mats that can form. Expect a willing partner when it comes to brushing. An activity we can do together? Sounds great!

When it comes to locale, the German Rex is just as content in the city or country, as even an apartment seems like a giant playground to this frolicsome breed and too wide open of a space might give way to their hunting instincts. Anyone’s welcome to join in as the German Rex gets along with everyone, children and other pets alike. A low-maintenance, calm and well-balanced breed, look no further than the German Rex for all your feline fun.

Black and white German Rex lying in front of fall leaves

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2 facts about German Rex

1. Healthy as a... cat

Every cat has health issues that may come up but the German Rex is generally very free of concerns. During their short time in existence, they have presented little-to-no problems that owners should be aware of. Yearly vet checkups should still be conducted however, to keep your cat in check.

2. Curly-cue 

If you look closely, you’ll notice that the German Rex breed has crinkled whiskers and eyebrows - really! It’s a result of the genetic mutation that also gave rise to their crinkled coat, and only adds to the charm of this already captivating cat. Not to worry, they won’t need any special grooming to keep this charming trait intact.

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History of the breed

Their history dates to 1946 and has a fairly uneven storyline but unfolds like this:  A curly-haired kitten was found at a hospital in East Germany and soon became the property of one Dr. Scheuer-Karpin. Lammchen, as she was called, bore subsequent litters after being mated with other breeds; her curly hair, though, persisted. The dominant gene is also found in the German Rex’s sister breeds, the Devon Rex and Cornish Rex, who both hail from England.

The German Rex breed however produced a much denser and curlier hair. Lammchen was the maternal ancestor of the cat we know today, giving rise to a new breed that quickly became popular within Germany. Despite efforts by Dr. Scheuer-Karpin and breeders in the years since, this charming and affable feline still remains rare outside of their native country and at cat shows in general.

The breed was officially recognised by the Fédération Internationale Féline in 1982.

Black and white German Rex sitting looking up in black and white

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From head to tail

Physical characteristics of German Rex

1. Ears

Medium-sized ears, very wide at base, rounded ends.

2. Head

Slightly rounded head, longer than wide.

3. Body

Rectangular body, average height, large strong chest.

4. Tail

Tail thick at base, medium in length, ample in fur.

5. Coat

Wavy, short fluffy coat, silky soft to the touch.

Black and white German Rex looking up

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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 German Rex
White German Rex with blue eyes and brown ears

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Caring for your German Rex

Grooming, training and exercise tips

Good grooming is essential for all cats and the German Rex breed is no exception. Their fluffy fur will need to stay so with weekly brushing, which this cat will more than likely jump right into, paws first. The breed, however, lacks the naturally occurring oil in their fur that keeps it healthy. That oil is found along the hair shaft and with less hair, the oil that is there pools on the skin, making it greasier. Bathing then will need to be slightly more frequent than for other breeds.

Make sure to clean their ears regularly too as Rex breeds tend to produce a fair amount of secretions there. Exercise is a given for this very playful and smart feline who will have at it, anytime. Engaging them in games, especially those that test their wits, will be much appreciated on their part. They’re very active and almost seem to want you to play along. The German Rex cat becomes very bonded to their owner so being an active participant in their daily life will produce a lively and contented cat. Ditto for training:  Your German Rex will respond best to every command when it’s backed by enthusiasm and positive reinforcement. They adore solving problems so a course of training them to do things will seem like just one more game for this brainy breed.

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All about German Rex

Although Germany doesn’t produce one characteristic breed, the German Rex can be described as a small- to medium-sized with a curly coat and weighing typically five to eight pounds. Sizes may vary for this playful, intelligent breed.

A typically healthy breed, the German Rex cat can live an average of 12-14 years. They are known to be a robust animal. Due however to the scarcity of this breed, it is also at times challenging to collect the most precise data on their longevity.

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