The History and Origin of the Devon Rex Cat Breed

The History and Origin of the Devon Rex Cat Breed

27 October 2023

4 min read

The History and Origin of the Devon Rex Cat Breed


The History and Origin of the Devon Rex Cat Breed traces back to the 1950s when a peculiar curly-haired kitten named Kirlee was discovered in Devonshire, England. This chance encounter sparked the beginning of a remarkable breed known for its distinctive appearance and affectionate nature. In this comprehensive article, we delve into the intriguing journey of the Devon Rex, from its humble beginnings to its status as a beloved feline companion worldwide.

The Devon Rex: A Unique Ancestry

The Devon Rex boasts an ancestry as distinctive as its appearance. With roots in the South West of England, this breed's genetic makeup is a testament to the wonders of nature. The union of a curly-coated stray with a domestic cat led to the birth of the first Devon Rex, Kirlee, laying the foundation for a breed that would captivate cat enthusiasts for generations.

The Curious Case of Kirlee

The Devon Rex owes its name and existence to a cat named Kirlee. With a coat resembling that of a lamb's fleece, Kirlee stood out from the feline crowd. His unique genetic mutation, which led to his curly coat, proved to be the cornerstone of the breed's development. Kirlee's legacy lives on in the countless Devon Rex cats that exhibit this distinctive trait.

The Breeding Breakthroughs

Following Kirlee's discovery, dedicated breeders recognized the potential of this newfound genetic mutation. Through careful breeding programs, they worked tirelessly to preserve and refine the Devon Rex’s unique characteristics. The introduction of carefully selected outcrosses ensured the breed's genetic diversity, resulting in healthy and vibrant cats.

A Triumph of Tenacity: The Devon Rex's Journey to Recognition

The journey to official recognition was not without its challenges. Breed enthusiasts faced skepticism and uncertainty, but their unwavering dedication prevailed. In the 1960s, the Devon Rex finally earned recognition from major cat associations, solidifying its place in the feline world.

Characteristics of the Devon Rex

1. Unique Coat Texture

The hallmark of the Devon Rex is undoubtedly its soft, wavy coat. Unlike conventional cat fur, the Devon Rex’s coat is comprised of down hairs, creating a velvety texture that invites endless strokes of admiration.

2. Playful Personality

Devon Rex cats are known for their playful and mischievous nature. They thrive on interaction and are quick to engage in games, making them ideal companions for families and individuals alike.

3. Affectionate Companionship

Beyond their striking appearance, Devon Rex cats are cherished for their affectionate disposition. They form strong bonds with their human counterparts, seeking cuddles and companionship at every opportunity.


Are Devon Rex Cats Suitable for Allergy Sufferers?

Yes, they are! Due to their unique coat, which lacks a significant amount of the allergenic protein, Devon Rex cats are often well-tolerated by individuals with allergies.

How Should I Care for a Devon Rex’s Coat?

Grooming a Devon Rex is a breeze. Occasional gentle brushing to remove loose hairs and a warm bath when necessary are usually sufficient to keep their coat in top condition.

Do Devon Rex Cats Get Along with Other Pets?

Absolutely! Their friendly and social nature makes them adaptable to living harmoniously with other cats, dogs, and even smaller pets.

What is the Average Lifespan of a Devon Rex Cat?

On average, a healthy and well-cared-for Devon Rex can live between 10 to 15 years, making them long-term companions for their owners.

Do Devon Rex Cats Require Specialized Diet or Care?

While they don't have specific dietary requirements, providing a balanced and nutritious cat food is essential for their overall well-being.

Are Devon Rex Cats Prone to Specific Health Issues?

Overall, the Devon Rex is a healthy breed. However, like all cats, they can be susceptible to certain genetic conditions. Regular veterinary check-ups can help ensure their well-being.


The History and Origin of the Devon Rex Cat Breed is a testament to the dedication and passion of breed enthusiasts who recognized the potential of a unique genetic mutation. From Kirlee's humble beginnings to the beloved feline companions that grace households today, the Devon Rex has left an indelible mark on the world of cat enthusiasts. Their distinctive appearance, playful demeanor, and affectionate nature make them cherished members of countless families. Embracing a Devon Rex is not merely acquiring a pet, but welcoming a loyal and loving companion into your life. Explore comprehensive insights on Devon Rex’s cat history and characteristics in this informative article. For further guidance on grooming and maintenance, check out our blog post: Devon Rex Cat Grooming and Maintenance: A Guide for Pet Owners. Elevate your understanding of this unique feline breed today. If you are looking for Devon Rex kittens available for sale, Purebred Kitties offers a wide range of Devon Rex Cats kittens for sale.



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