Selkirk Rex Cat Breed

Known for their tousled curls and laid-back personalities, the Selkirk is the newest cat to join the Rex breed.
By: PawCulture Editors
Selkirk Rex cat breed

About the Selkirk Rex Cat Breed

Known for their tousled curls and laid-back personalities, the Selkirk is the newest cat to join the Rex breed.

Selkirk Rex Physical Characteristics

Selkirk Rex is a medium-sized cat with a broad and round head. Its curly hair covers the cat’s entire body, but is usually more pronounced in the neck and tail.


The breed appears in a wide variety of colors and patterns.


The breed’s curly hair appears at birth, straightens naturally and then reappears when the cat is between eight and ten months old. This plush and silky coat will then mature when the cat turns two. Unlike the other Rex cats, the Selkirk can be long or short-haired.

Selkirk Rex Personality and Temperament

Activity Level



Selkirk is extremely generous with its love, and lavishes it on you. Playful and curious, it will follow you about the house wanting to be noticed. The Sekirk is also easygoing and does not cause trouble.

Things to Consider

The breed revels and shines when it is surrounded by people and hates to be left alone.

Selkirk Rex Care

Ideal Living Conditions

These Rexes are loving and patient with laid-back personalities and playful natures. They can adapt well to a variety of enviornments and generally get along well with children and other pets, including dogs, provided they’re introduced properly.

Special Requirements

Although their coats seem imposing, grooming for both the long and shorthair Selkirk is relatively easy. They require only occasional brushing (the less frequent the brushing, the curlier the coat) and bathing.

Selkirk Rex Health

A generally healthy breed, the Selkirk Rex may be prone to health conditions similar to those in the breeds it has been crossed with, the British Shorthair, the Persian and the Exotic Shorthair.

Selkirk Rex History and Background

The Selkirk is the latest cat to join the Rex breed. The woman behind this cat’s success is Jeri Newman, a Persian breeder from Livingston, Montana. Always interested in new cat types, she was given an unusually curly kitten from a client of hers in 1987.

Newman called the kitten Miss DePesto because of her constant pestering, and later mated it with a Persian male, producing a litter of six. Three of these kittens also had fascinating curls. Newman then introduced the qualities of the British Shorthair, American Shorthair and Exotic Shorthair into the Selkirk bloodline, and promoted the breed in various cat associations.

With the aid of a few like-minded breeders, Newman succeeded in gaining recognition for the Selkirk Rex. It was displayed to The International Cat Association (TICA) board of directors in 1990 and accepted into the “new breed” and “color” class. In 1992, The Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) accepted the breed for registration in the “miscellaneous” class. The breed now has Championship status with the American Cat Association, the United Feline Organization, and TICA.