Kitties are some of the most adorable pets out there, and we all love them, no doubt. But wait until you see this particular one because it is about to steal your heart!
These little ‘poodle-cats’ are perhaps the cutest thing you will see all day, or maybe even all week. The curly-haired little fluff-balls are like a ‘cat in sheep’s clothing’. They are known as ‘Selkirk Rex’, named by the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna after the Selkirk Mountains of Wyoming, and they are now becoming more and more popular as pets. Who wouldn’t want one!?
Let’s take a look at these cutie pies right below and get your purrmometer ready!
The first Selkirk Rex was born to a feral cat in Montana in 1987 and while in a shelter was discovered by Jeri Newman, a Persian cat breeder. Falling in love with the very unique cat, named ‘Miss DePesto’ after the curly-haired secretary from the TV show ‘Moonlighting’, Newman then bred the cat with a Black Persian called ‘Photofinish’ and there emerged six kittens, 3 of which had the curly poodle hair. A new breed was born!
However, even today, due to the way the genetics of the cat work, you can never be sure that when breeding a Selkirk Rex whether the kittens will emerge curly or not, it depends on whether or not the gene is recessive or dominant. Once the kittens are born they don’t fluff up for a few weeks, but a little secret to whether they will be poodle-like even shortly after being born is to look for their little curly whiskers.
The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy reports that Selkirks make wonderful pets. Their breed is strong and healthy, and these cats are loving, patient, and tolerant. They go on to say that if you decide to get a Selkirk Rex you should speak to your local pet store about the correct shampoo and brush as sometimes they need a little extra-help cleaning. One note of caution is that these cats, which can be short or long-haired, do shed fur frequently and will therefore not be suitable for even those with mild allergies.
Interestingly, all Selkirk Rexes trace their lineage to Miss DePesto, the very first Selkirk Rex kitten who was named after her breeder, Jeri Newman’s, stepfather.
According to Pet Finder, Newman from the Noface Cattery in Livington, Montana was surprised to realize DePesto was carrying “the dominant curly-coat gene, but also the recessive gene for long hair.” It happened because both parents possessed at least one copy of the long hair gene to produce long-haired offspring.
Back in 1990, the breed was presented to TICA’s board of directors and was accepted into the New Breed and Color class. Meanwhile, the CFA registered the breed in the miscellaneous class two years later. In 2000, Selkirk Rex achieved the CFA championship status and is now one of the most unique and most-loved cat breeds to have emerged in recent decades.
These days, most Selkirk Rexes are born with curls and some with straight hair. As they reach adulthood, their waves tend to become more prominent. Both short-haired or long-haired plush coats are super soft to the touch, hence the title “teddy bear.”