The most recent Rex was discovered in a litter of housecats in Wyoming in 1987. A female kitten with an unusual curly coat was bred to a Black Persian and produced 6 kittens, 3 of which were curly.
The Selkirk is the result of a dominant, spontaneous gene which causes each hair (guard, down and awn) to have a gentle wave or curl giving the coat a soft feel. The Selkirk breeders are seeking acceptance of both longhair and shorthair varieties.
The Selkirk Rex was granted New Breed status by the Canadian Cat Association in 1996. This allows this breed to be shown in special non-championship classes until such time as the breed's ability to conform to a written standard can be guaranteed. In December of 1997, the CCA Board of Directors granted the Selkirk Rex full championship status.
Unlike the foreign type bodies of the Cornish and Devon Rexes, the Selkirk standard describes a medium to large cat with heavy boning. The head should be round, broad and full cheeked. The profile reveals a stop or moderate break in the nose and a short muzzle.
The soft, plushy, curly coat should feel like lambs wool, with loose, individual curls. The entire coat should show the effect of the rex gene although curliness may be evident more around the neck, tail and belly areas. The Shorthair variety should have hair no longer than one inch. The longhair has a long flowing coat, full ruff, and long fur on the tail.
While still in the developmental stages, this new breed will use British Shorthair (until 2015) Exotic Shorthair, Himalayan, and Persian (until 2005) and American Shorthair (until 2000) to set the breed conformation. all colours and patterns of these breeds will be accepted into the Selkirk Rex.
The Selkirk rex is an active cat with a sweet and endearing personality.
Breed Secretary: Gail Gagnon email