Cornish Rex Cats

Cornish Rexes are very active and love to be in the center of attention. They show great affection and a playful spirit. Their special coat needs no grooming.

Cornish Rex

Cornish Rex Pictures

  • Cornish Rex cat named Zekkoo No
  • Cornish Rex cat named Hummer
  • Cornish Rex cat named Ruby Tuesday of Banzaibabies
  • Cornish Rex cat named Velvet
  • Cornish Rex cat named Ms. Aleister
  • Cornish Rex cat named Gra-V
see Cornish Rex pictures »

Quick Facts

  • 6 - 10 pounds

Ideal Human Companions

    • Households with children
    • Households wanting an active, ever-present cat
    • Families with other pets

Cornish Rexs on Catster

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Trademark Traits

    • Very short haircoat
    • Coat has curly, "washboard waves"
    • Very active and affectionate

Things You Should Know

Rexes are not true hypoallergenic cats. People allergic to cats generally react to the dander (dead skin cells) and the saliva, both of which are present in Cornish Rex. Rexes however do shed significantly less than other breeds of cats.

Because Cornish Rexes are very active and affectionate, they need lots of room and playtime.

There are no breed-associated health problems, and their lifespans can easily reach 15-plus years.

Cornish Rex History

In July 1950 in Cornwall, England, an unusual kitten was born among an average British Domestic Shortair cat's litter. This cream-colored male was covered with tight rows of tiny curls. As the kitten matured, his unusual look became more dramatic.

The owner of the cat consulted with a British geneticist and it was determined that the kitten was a result of a natural gene mutation. The geneticist suggested that the male kitten be bred back to his mother to perpetuate the look. The result was two curly kittens out of a litter of three.

The name Rex was taken from the similar coat type seen in Rex rabbits. The breed was accepted into the Cat Fanciers Association in 1962. The International Cat Association and the American Cat Fanciers Association also recognize the Cornish Rex.

The Look of a Cornish Rex

The Cornish Rex has distinctive large ears set high on a relatively small egg-shaped head. These cats have high, hallowed cheekbones, a high-bridged Roman nose and a strong chin.

The body of the average Cornish Rex is long, slender and muscular, with long thin legs. Their fur lacks guard hairs so the coat is very short and incredibly soft with a "washboard" appearance. Rexes come in up to 42 color variations.

Talk About Cornish Rexs 

A very social snuggler

If you're looking for a cat that's very social, loves to snuggle non-stop and is just plain fun, the Cornish Rex is the cat for you. Mine likes everyone at first sight and isn't a bit shy. No running and hiding for him when someone comes to the house. He's right there demanding attention. He can't get enough of being petted or sitting on someone. He's extremely vocal and he's also very loud. Also, like the rest of his breed, he's very active. He's 13 now and still acts like a kitten, minus the inappropriate chewing.

There is really no shedding or excessive grooming with the Cornish Rex. I don't believe I've ever seen any of his hair on anything, but because the Cornish coats aren't very thick, he does feel the cold. Little sleeveless dog sweaters or shirts work well in cold weather to give that little bit of extra warmth they crave. Mine actually likes wearing them. Sleeping under the covers in winter is something he loves and takes all his naps that way in addition to sleeping with me at night. He must be touching someone when he sleeps at night. In cold weather he's right up against me, and in warm weather he sleeps on my pillow right up against my head. He just loves being close to someone.

The Cornish can be a great cat for a lot of those of us allergic to cats. My experience has been that over the years he and my Devon Rex have acted like allergy shots and while I was once highly allergic to cats, I can now pet a long haired cat and even go to a cat show and not have any symptoms. I still take an allergy medicine every day though. This might not be everyone's experience, but it has been mine. I absolutely adore my Cornish Rex and would definitely want another one. I love everything about them.

~Donna D., owner of a Cornish Rex

Give me some of your mashed potatoes

Cornish Rexes are fun, lovable, and want to be with or near you most of the time. Seldom am I in one room and the two cats are elsewhere. They hate to be excluded. They are fun and smart and active.

They come in all color combinations and just fly through the air. I have one that can jump really, really high.

Both of mine talk a big blue streak. And they love a lot of human food -- just not the fruits and veggies. How about some mashed potatoes and gravy? How about a little chicken? You have to watch their eating, a lot, and regulate them or they will eat too much.

They are really fun to have around if you want cats with a lot of energy throughout their lives. They never seem to tire much and have huge appetites. Of course, they are big lovers and really love their owners.

~Shirlee S, owner of a Cornish Rex