Selkirk-Rex is an American breed of medium–sized or large curly-haired cats, whose "fur coats" resemble the wool of a sheep or poodle.
- Breed Name: Selkirk Rex
- Country of origin: USA
- Life expectancy: 15 – 17 years old
- Unlike representatives of other rex breeds, Selkirks inherit wavy hair in an autosomal dominant type. This means that for the birth of curly-haired offspring, it is enough that only one of the parents is the carrier of the mutating gene.
- The breed is bred in two types: short and long-haired.
- Selkirk Rexes have quite thick, profusely shedding hair, so it is undesirable for allergy sufferers to have such pets.
- When settling a cat of this breed into an apartment, be prepared for the fact that a small but powerful enough "motor" will settle on your living space – Selkirk rex purrs often, a lot and loudly enough.
- The structure and quality of the cats' fur are stabilized only by the age of 2. Prior to this, the density of the "fur coat" may vary, as well as the structure of the curls.
- Grooming of the Selkirk Rex is a prerequisite, so if you need a pet with whom you can afford to be lazy for months, look for another breed.
- With a rather complaisant nature, curly-haired cats are not devoid of curiosity, pushing them to explore all sorts of hidden places. So look for a more reliable storage for cat treats than a hinged cabinet in the kitchen.
Selkirk-rex - a chubby, big-eyed "bear cub", looking as if he could not dry out completely after a torrential rain. The inner world of this charming creature is no less beautiful than its external appearance: Selkirk Rex is good-natured, playful and extremely sociable. This fluffy big guy will not turn the apartment upside down and certainly will not release his claws if he is "got" by too hot hugs. After all, the main thing for Selkirk Rex is world peace and good relations with those whom he considers his master.
History of the Selkirk Rex breed
The Selkirk Rex genus is very young, since its representatives were formed into a closed breed only by 2015. The ancestor of this fluffy clan was a baby born from a mongrel shelter cat in 1987, in Montana. Breeder Geri Newman soon found out about the "wrong" kitten and took the animal to her. The pet received the nickname Miss De Pesto – in honor of the heroine of the popular TV series "Moonlight".
The breeder crossed her curly cat with a black Persian, becoming the owner of six kittens, of which half inherited the mother's rex "fur coat". Having established that the gene for wavy fur has an autosomal dominant type of inheritance, and the probability of having offspring with rex hair is 1:2, Newman resorted to outcrossing. As a result, until 2015, Selkirk Rexes were knitted with Brits , then with american shorthair cats , then with exotics , periodically pouring blood to them Persians and Himalayas .
Curious fact: Selkirk Rex is so far the only cat breed named after a specific person. Faced with the choice of how to baptize her wards for subsequent registration in the stud books, Geri Newman settled on the surname of her stepfather – Selkirk.
Selkirk-Rex breed Standard
Externally, the breed has little in common with representatives of other rex families, if you do not focus on its wool. In particular, Selkirks are much more corpulent corniche and devons and more like brits with their chubby cheeks and round, eternally surprised eyes. Constitutionally, representatives of this cat clan are close to the cobby type, due to which they look like teddy bears. Some long-haired Selkirk Rex look like Persians , – representatives of such lines are slightly less common, but they also have their fans among breeders.
It is also worth noting that since the breed was bred by outcrossing (crossing with unrelated varieties of cats), a fair number of straight-haired kittens, called Selkirk Straights, were born. These are animals that have a standard type of addition and are sometimes allowed to breed. Moreover, when knitting straight-haired and curly Selkirks, curly kittens are born an order of magnitude more than with classic outcrossing.
The Selkirk Rex has a developed round skull and prominent cheeks. The muzzle is moderately wide, tending to a rectangle shape, with voluminous pads of vibrissae. The upper lip, the most prominent part of the chin and the tip of the nose are located on the same line. When examining the head from the side, the foot is clearly visible. The nasal back lies below eye level. Vibrissae and eyebrow hairs have a curly structure.
Basic requirements for the animal's eyes: large, rounded, widely spaced. CFA allows colors of the iris from copper to yellow. Green and blue tones are acceptable for white and colorpoint cats. For snow-white individuals, heterochromia of the iris is also acceptable.
Medium-sized and very wide-set ears should fit into the rounded contours of the Selkirk Rex's head. The fur inside the auricles is curly.
Selkirk-rexes can have both an average build and grow to more impressive dimensions. The body of the animal is not too long, in shape close to the rectangular type.
The legs of the breed representatives are strong, strong, normal or large. Paws are massive, round.
The tail is in harmony with the body of the cat. It is thickened at the base, with a rounded tip.
"Fur coats" of short-haired Selkirk rex have a plush texture with a pronounced curl. The wool grows thick, there are practically no areas with sparse hair and bald patches. Mandatory characteristic: maximally lagging behind the body, chaotically twisted curls. As for the shape of the "curls", it is not wavy, but rather lumpy.
Representatives of the long-haired variety are distinguished by richer "fur coats", which, although soft, no longer look as plush as their relatives. The coat of the long-haired Selkirk Rex also lags behind the body, but has a thinner structure, both in appearance and touch. The whorls are arranged randomly and form clumping or ring-shaped clusters.
It is not difficult to distinguish a short-haired rex from a long-haired one. The first has the same length of hair on the tail, collar area and body. Wool lumps are compactly arranged along the tail. The long-haired cat has a more lush collar compared to the rest of the body. In addition, his tail is pubescent with a long feathery hair.
Important: the degree of undulation of the Selkirk Rex coat is a variable value, depending on the animal's health, climatic conditions and seasonality. All purebred kittens are born in "sheep clothes", but then they lose them in order to be covered with curls again by 8-10 months.
The breed standard allows for registration of all types of colors, including bicolor and point variants, as well as sepia and solid white.
When breeding and at exhibitions, individuals with an overly refined oriental or squat cobby type are rejected, making animals copies of their ancestors who participated in pedigree outcrossing.
Character of Selkirk Rex
Selkirk-rexes are kind–hearted, what to look for. They are sociable, easily fit into any cat collective, without trying to take the place of a big boss in it, do not start wars with other pets and are always sincerely glad to any person in the apartment. Breeders of the breed claim that two Selkirks with similar characters simply do not exist: each representative of the breed is an independent person with his own set of habits and "tools" that allow him to achieve the master's favor.
Unlike their British relatives, Selkirk-Rexes adore tactile contact. They are ready to lie on the owner's lap for hours, and on occasion they will certainly try to climb on his back, where they will pretend to be a fur collar hanging from his shoulders. Along the way, Kotofey will emit a contented rumbling purr, signaling that the mustachioed scoundrel is infinitely pleased with his own antics.
Selkirk-rexes are alien to outright stickiness, at the same time, cats also do not consider it necessary to bump into hypertrophied independence. From shorthair exotics the breed inherited a love of outdoor games and all kinds of teasers. Moreover, Selkirks are often ready to play even with those objects that frighten the rest of their relatives to the point of impossibility. For example, many breeders note the passion of the wards for working vacuum cleaners.
The descendants of Miss De Pesto are not timid cats: they do not get hysterical from sharp sounds and do not move under the sofa when strangers appear in the house. Moreover, kittens have a certain curiosity that pushes them to make new acquaintances and establish friendly contacts with any bipedal creatures that come into view. Selkirk-rexes are not cheeky and behave quite correctly in everyday life. The maximum that representatives of the breed are capable of is harmless pranks, like stealing food and unrestrained curiosity. Quiet sabotage in the form of scratching furniture, as well as gratuitous insults – all this is absolutely not about them.
Education and training
Selkirk-rexes are cats with a calm temperament, without big ambitions, so it's easier to deal with them than with other representatives of the mustachioed brethren. The main thing is to "catch" the mood of the pet – when the cat is set up for the game, he is more willing to learn new things. Various tricks Selkirk-Rex also on the shoulder. For example, it is easy to find videos on the Internet in which Selkirks perform small household "errands": they close the door with their paw, ring the bell to call the family for dinner. Like all cats, for the good work of the "curls" will have to be deliciously encouraged and praised a lot, but this is the usual set of incentives in such cases.
Always start from the innate talents of the pet. If you notice that Selkirk Rex likes to carry balls and candy wrappers in his teeth, try to teach him how to aportirovke objects. And vice versa – if the ward is not inclined to such entertainment, it is worth coming up with another trick for him. For example, Yu. Kuklachev recommends connecting so-called fishing rods to the process, which are a thin rod to which the cat's favorite toy is tied. Waving this tool in the presence of an animal, you stimulate it to various actions, since all Selkirk Rex love to chase a moving object. It is with the help of a fishing rod that it is easiest to work out such tricks as jumping on a chair, running in a circle and even somersault elements.
You can teach a Selkirk Rex to give a voice on command. Like all other exercises, this lesson should be carried out before eating, teasing the kitty with a treat, but not giving it away. As soon as the cat emits a distinct "Meow!", she is handed a delicacy. It is also necessary to wean from the habit of demanding a reward after each successfully completed exercise smoothly and when the number is worked out, as they say, to automatism. For example, treat your pet twice, and after the third trick, just caress him.
You need to practice with Selkirk Rex no more than once or twice a day. The best option is five–minute lessons that do not have time to exhaust the cat and bother her. If you notice that the class time has not yet come out, but the cat is clearly not eager to obey, it is better to leave the animal alone and let him restore psychological balance. Forced labor is not for the Selkirk Rexes, for all their natural good nature and complaisance.
Maintenance and care
Selkirk-rex spends most of his life in an apartment where he should have his own secluded corner with a soft couch, favorite toys, bowls for water and food, a tray and a supply of scratching posts.
Hygiene and grooming
Throughout life, the density of Selkirk Rex "fur coats" changes. For example, in the summer heat, the wool noticeably thinns, and in winter it becomes thicker and denser. Hormonal changes in the body also affect the quality of the cover. In particular, a sterilized cat will have a richer "manto" than an animal that regularly brings offspring. Mature males also have a more textured appearance due to the abundant wool.
Selkirk Rex hair is fluffy and thin, so it quickly falls into untidy lumps, especially in representatives of the long-haired variety. To prevent this from happening, Selkirks need to be combed at least 1-2 times a week. Usually, a classic rare comb is enough to work out the hair on the back and collar. The area of the armpits and the area behind the ears should be smoothed with more delicate accessories. The cats themselves do not get high from the procedure of untangling tangles, so observe a sense of proportion: the pet will not approve of daily executions and will try to hide.
With careful combing, the curls of Selkirk rex tend to straighten, so if it is important for you that the pet retains the wavy rex hair 24 hours a day, add the final touch - moisten your palms with water and walk them over the combed cat's "fur coat", passing the strands through your fist and forming large curls. It is possible and necessary to bathe Selkirk Rexes, the breed perceives water procedures calmly and relaxed. By the way, after washing, animal hair looks especially impressive. However, it is better not to dry it with a hair dryer if you do not want to change the structure of the hair and straighten the cat's curls.
Make sure that too much sulfur does not accumulate in the ear funnel of the ward, blocking the ear canal. The fact is that the inner part of the Selkirk Rex ears is also covered with wool curls, which make it difficult to ventilate the hearing organ and stimulate increased production of sulfur secretion. So if secretions and dirt have formed in the ear, buy any hygienic drops ("Bars", Beaphar, "Pchelodar") and use according to the attached instructions. American breeders also recommend paying increased attention to the hygiene of the pet's oral cavity, so it is better to buy toothpaste for cats and a suitable brush in advance.
Selkirk-rex is not a gourmet, and it's easy to feed him. Of course, the breed, like all cats, appreciates delicious delicacies, but it is not necessary to develop a separate food system for its representatives. The choice will have to be made only at the very beginning, having decided which is more suitable for your pet: industrial "drying" or natural food.
Dry food is recommended to be purchased at least super-premium class. Moreover, it is not necessary to look for a special variety marked "for Selkirk-rex". Take any "drying" focused on medium and large cats. The natural menu should be based on animal protein – beef, rabbit, turkey, offal. Be careful with chicken fillet – most individuals eat it willingly, but in some pets such food provokes allergic reactions. The intolerance of chicken meat is individual and is not a breed feature, so if your Selkirk absorbs a chicken leg without any health consequences, there is no reason to deny him this pleasure.
Meat is given to the cat raw, but either pre-frozen or slightly scalded with boiling water. Boiled sea fish (fillet), vegetables (carrots, pumpkin, beets, cucumbers), low–fat dairy products - all this should also be present in the cat's menu. Be sure to sow oats or wheat in the tray and germinate for Selkirk Rex, the sprouts of which will provide the animal with a complex of vitamins.
Selkirk Rex Health and Diseases
The lifespan of Selkirk Rex is 15-20 years. As for genetic ailments, their cats were provided with crossing with Persians , by the British and exotics . By inheritance from the ancestors to the breed can pass:
- polycystic kidney disease;
- hip dysplasia;
- hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Fortunately, in recent years, it is possible to purchase a pet with hereditary diseases less and less often: serious nurseries do not save on medical tests and do not allow defective kittens for sale.
Video: Selkirk Rex Kittens
How to choose a kitten
- When buying a kitten at the age of 2 months, prepare for the fact that its fur will look very mediocre. The fact is that a few days after birth, the baby loses its wool curls, which are restored as the animal matures.
- To understand how the development of the Selkirk Rex coat is going, you can ask the breeder for a photo report. Most sellers photograph kittens during the first months of their life. Such photos give a clear idea of what a charm the most ordinary baby turns into over time.
- Buy animals in kennels that have registration in the WCF and CFA felinological systems – this is a certain insurance against the risk of getting a half-breed for a tidy sum.
- Try to get the most complete information about the litter producers – age, pedigrees, exhibition grades and diplomas. Ask the breeder to show the cat from which you take the baby, but do not forget to make a discount on the appearance of the animal – weakened by childbirth and nursing Selkirk rexes do not have such glamorous "fur coats" as their sterilized relatives.
- Pay attention to the price. A pure-bred Selkirk rex cannot be cheap due to the fact that mating, veterinary services, litter collection (if the owner does not have a certificate of feline courses), as well as the costs of its maintenance result in tangible amounts for the seller.
Price of Selkirk Rex
Those wishing to purchase a Selkirk Rex in his homeland, in the USA, will have to save from 700 to 1500 USD, and this is not counting the costs of transporting the pet. In Russian nurseries, the price tag for representatives of the breed is somewhat more attractive – from $240. At the same time, it is important to understand that an animal with the exterior makings of a "collector of exhibition titles" will cost several times more expensive.