American Cat Fanciers Association        

Devon Rex Breed Synopsis

 

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  Devon Rex Breed Standard

 

 

 

Origins:   The Devon Rex breed began in the UK, with a curly-coated feral tomcat, who in 1959 is believed to have made his home in an abandoned mine in Devon. His breeding with a barn cat produced Kirlee, a curly-coated black smoke and this was the foundation from whom all other Devon Rex descended.  Breeders of the curly-coated Cornish Rex tried adding Kirlee to their gene pool but this resulted in only non-curly kittens. It was thereby discovered that the two curly coat mutations were entirely separate.

 

Personality and Inter-action:   Devons are extremely intelligent; they invent clever games on their own, and anything that can be picked up or moved becomes a toy to a Devon. (One learns to put any jewelry that is removed from one's person into a jewelry box or drawer immediately!)

They bond very strongly with their people; for that reason, Devon ownership should be considered a lifelong commitment. They give, and expect to receive, a great deal of attention and affection. Devon Rex are not equipped to survive outdoors, and like all beloved cats, should live their lives indoors.

 

Appearance:   The Devon Rex is known fondly as "the pixie of the cat fancy." The first reason for that appellation becomes clear when one looks into the face of a Devon. This little creature appears to be all ears and cheeks. Visitors to shows sometimes refer to a Devon as "E.T." Actually, if an extraterrestrial name were to be pirated for the breed, "Yoda" would be more apropos.
The Devon's head is a modified wedge, but with very prominent cheeks and a short muzzle. The eyes are large and wide set, slightly oval and sloping toward the outer edge of the ears. The ears are strikingly large and set low, and may have tufts at the tips and "earmuffs," (a patch of fur at the lower outside edge of the ear). There are three distinct convex curves; they appear at the lower part of the ear, the outer edge of the cheeks and the prominent whisker pads.
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The coat is distinctive, but it the head that is the most striking characteristic of the Devon, and the points in the breed Standard bear that out. Not only is the head type of the Devon Rex strikingly different from that of its cousin, the Cornish Rex, the body and coat are also significantly different. The boning is less fine, there is no tuck-up, the body is less slender, and the chest is broader. Adult males are noticeably larger than females of the breed. The coat is very short, with a relaxed wave. There may be down on the underside of the body. They may be any color that is recognized in championship cats, although allowable outcrosses to other breeds is very limited.

 

Breeding Devon Rex:   Devon kittens are among the most charming creatures on earth, and Devon mothers are generally devoted care-givers and playmates. There is, however, a major caveat for anyone considering initiating a Devon breeding program. Devon Rex are among the breeds with a high percentage (as much as 50%) of incompatible blood types, which means that kittens from sires and dames with different blood types will die within a few days if they are allowed to ingest the colostrum that precedes the production of the mother's milk.

Conscientious breeders always have their breeding cats, male and female, blood typed in order to be prepared before any babies are produced. Cats of like blood type may breed without problems; the others must have help. Veterinarians know which laboratories do blood typing of cats, and will draw blood for the procedure. A pioneer in blood typing of cats was Dr. Urs Giger at the University of Pennsylvania Department of Clinical Studies. Dr. Giger amassed a large body of work, based on blood typing of cats of various breeds; other research is available. Cats of incompatible blood types may be bred together, but the breeder must plan ahead to be present for the birthing, and remove the kittens from the mother before they have an opportunity to nurse and hand-feed them for at least 24 hours before allowing them to nurse from their mother.  The mother may be allowed to bond with her kittens if her nipples are completely covered by two cut layers of nylon stockings to prevent them from nursing during the critical period.

 

The beauty, charm and intelligence of the breed justify the work and the expense. Devons do not come cheaply; buyers should expect to pay four figures for a cat to be bred or shown. Litters generally consist of three or four kittens. For the person who has been "completely Devonized," it is rewarding. It is, however, a responsibility that not everyone can--or should--take on.

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

Devon REX breed chair
Rebecca Ansari
PO Box 18342

Minneapolis MN 55418

612-991-4060 

tealandcobalt@netzero.net