Cornish Rex cats are known for being loving, playful and energetic. When choosing a breed, it’s important to consider whether their personality traits fit with you and your family, as well as any potential health issues. Let’s take a look at whether Cornish Rex cats make good pets.
The Cornish Rex originated in Cornwall in the 1950s. Apparently, the first ever Cornish Rex was the kitten of a farm cat. The kitten was born with unusually curly fur, thought to be a natural mutation from that particular mating. The fur resembled that of a Rex rabbit, hence the name.
The breed are small to medium cats, usually weighing around 3.5kg. They have a short coat and a distinctive appearance, boasting an elongated head with curly whiskers, alongside characteristically large ears and eyes.
Cornish Rex cats are a highly intelligent breed. This means that they are easy to train, and can often even be taught some tricks. However, they also tend to have big personalities, so this will be on their terms! Cornish Rex’s can be chatty, or vocal when they need (or want!) something.
A potential downside of this intelligence is that they need fairly constant mental stimulation, and don’t cope well with being left alone for long periods of time. When left alone, they can exhibit destructive behaviours.
Cornish Rex cats are also highly active and playful, with their kitten-like playful behaviours continuing into adulthood. This means they are often popular with families with children, and can be good with dogs. Unlike most cat breeds, many Cornish Rex’s will enjoy visitors to the home, since they love human company and attention.
A potential downside of their playful ways – they can be mischievous! They usually love to climb, and you may find them perching in all sorts of weird and wonderful (and possibly dangerous!) places around the house. They have also been known to enjoy stealing food!
Due to the nature of their fur (the lack of), Cornish Rex cats may have sensitive and / or itchy skin. Their coats are prone to becoming greasy and they may be prone to yeast infections.
There are also some inherited medical conditions that Cornish Rex are prone to, including:
- Polycystic kidney disease, which means cysts are present in the kidneys at birth. These cysts gradually grow, until they eventually result in kidney failure.
- Progressive retinal atrophy, which causes gradual onset blindness.
Luckily, there are tests for both of these conditions, so if you’re considering a Cornish Rex, look for breeders who test for these conditions.
Cornish Rex often cannot be left alone for long periods, so it’s sensible to consider asking a cat sitter to pop in for a visit if you’re going to be out all day, or to stay at your home if you are away for a period of time. When you go out, it’s a good idea to leave out enough toys and / or puzzle feeders to keep your feline friend entertained.
Cornish Rex need minimal grooming since they don’t shed much and have short coats. Often stroking them or gently using a grooming mitt will suffice. It’s important to note that this lack of shedding does not mean they are hypoallergenic, despite popular myth! They may, however, need regular bathing, for example if they have greasy coats or recurrent yeast infections.
This breed often struggles with extremes of temperature, meaning they should not be out in the sun too long, but that they are also susceptible to the cold. So you’ll need to be prepared with a pet-safe sunscreen for the summer and a cosy bed for the winter!
Other than this, care requirements are much the same as any other feline friend. And of course, they will need to be registered with a local vet.
To conclude, Cornish Rex cats can make great pets! However, each household is unique and different pets will suit different people or families. The take home message? Do your research first to be sure you can meet their needs, and always look for a reputable breeder.