Cornish Rex Cat Breed Info: Pictures, Traits & Facts

Last Updated on: October 6, 2020

Height: 8-12 inches
Weight: 6-10 pounds
Lifespan: 11-15 years
Colors: All colors and patterns
Suitable for: High-energy owners, large families, homes with multiple pets, people with mild cat allergies
Temperament: Active, energetic, extremely playful, strongly affectionate

With their short, uniquely curly coats and long, lithe bodies, the Cornish Rex is unmistakable in a lineup. Getting them to stay in one place for comparison is another matter entirely, though! As one of the most energetic and playful cat breeds around, the Corny requires constant attention and exercise to truly thrive in a household.

Originally hailing from Cornwall, England, this popular breed is available in every known coat color and pattern. If you’d like a cat with loads of personality and looks to match, the Cornish Rex may be the perfect pet for you.

Are you wondering whether this extremely active and intelligent breed of cat would make a great addition to your home? We’ll cover everything you need to know about this lively and dynamic breed. Read on to discover whether this curly cat is right for you!Cat ball divider 1

Cornish Rex Kittens – Before You Buy…

Energy
Trainability
Health
Lifespan
Sociability

The first cat that would become known as a Cornish Rex was born on a farm in Cornwall, England in 1950. Immediately noticed for his oddly textured hair, lithe body, and wedge-shaped head, he was a perfect example of all that this breed would come to be known for.

This includes the Cornish Rex’s tendency to be extremely energetic. Perhaps the most social of all cat breeds, they require constant stimulation and attention in the home. If they don’t get it from their owners or other pets, you can be certain that the Corny will scratch, tear, and bite at everything he can to get your attention.

If you’re considering buying a Cornish Rex kitten, you should be absolutely sure that you can keep it entertained at all times! Even short trips out of the house can be an invitation for your Cornish Rex to wreak havoc on the furniture.

What you’ll receive in return for your significant investment of time and energy is a constant companion and excellent source of entertainment. For this reason, the vibrant and lively Cornish Rex makes an excellent pet for larger families or people with multiple pets — all the better to keep them occupied!

What’s the Price of Cornish Rex Kittens?

Adopting a Cornish Rex kitten or adult will cost between $75 and $150, if you can find one at a shelter or hospice. When sourced from breeders, this popular cat can easily cost $800 or more, with pedigreed kittens costing as much as $1300. Consider checking Adopt A Pet to search for Cornish Rex cats available for adoption in your area.3 cat face divider

3 Little-Known Facts About Cornish Rex

1. Their Name Comes from a Breed of Rabbit

The Astrex rabbit, shortened to “Rex”, was the first animal noticed to display the uniquely textured coat shared by the Cornish Rex cat. In fact, the first breeder of Cornish Rexes, Nina Ennismore, had previously raised rabbits. Thanks to the assistance of a British geneticist named A.C. Jude, Ennismore was able to cross the single curly-haired kitten successfully with a member of its own family to produce the original stock from which all Cornish Rexes descend.

2. The Cornish Rex Might Be the Perfect Winter Lap Cat

With an extremely plush, dense coat of fur, the Cornish Rex’s coat feels almost as luxurious as a top-quality suede jacket. Their densely muscled bodies give off a lot of heat, too, making them ideal as a lap warmer during the coldest months of the year — if you can convince them to stay in one place, that is.

3. These Sneaky Cats Love Stealing Food Off Peoples’ Plates

Nowhere is a Cornish Rex seen to be more sociable and energetic than at the dinner table. Take your eyes off your food for even a moment, and this mischievous breed will gladly snatch your dinner right off your plate. Some Rexes have even been known to make a commotion in another room, then run in to snatch food off plates while their owners investigate the noise!

Cornish Rex Cat Breed
Photo credit: Cornish Rex 01 by Korona Lacasse licensed by CC 2.0.

Temperament & Intelligence of the Cornish Rex

Incredibly quick-witted and unstoppably energetic, the Cornish Rex may be the most sociable breed of cat available today. They always love a good joke — as long as it’s not on them. Often described as “determinedly outgoing”, these cats will constantly be at the side of any human that they’ve claimed as their own.

Adept at climbing, jumping, sprinting, and chasing, Cornish Rexes are quite skilled at getting into every nook and cranny of a home. If you choose to adopt one, be sure to put all of your breakables inside of cupboards, preferably with locks; anything that’s left on a shelf or in plain view is in danger of being swatted to the ground by a curious Corny.

Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪

Oftentimes, having the attention of an entire family is the only way that you’re likely to keep a Cornish Rex entertained. These constantly active cats do especially well in homes with children or other pets, particularly if those kids or pets have equally high energy levels. For all their energy and enthusiasm, Cornish Rexes are also very kind; you’re not likely to find them starting fights with children or other pets, even nosy dogs.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

The Cornish Rex most certainly does get along with other pets, both cats and dogs alike! They’re at their happiest when constantly engaged in fun and mischief, so pairing them with other high-energy cats or dogs can be a great way to keep them occupied without giving yourself a full-time job as their entertainer.

Because of their fierce hunter instincts and devilish ingenuity, you should never keep a Rex in the same house as a prey animal such as a gerbil, rabbit, or hamster. Even the most secure of cages is likely to be toppled, upset, and otherwise bothered by a Cornish, leaving any small pet in imminent danger.3 cat divider

Things to Know When Owning a Cornish Rex:

Are you still wondering whether a Cornish Rex is the right pet for your home? Consider the following essentials for cat ownership:

Food & Diet Requirements 

The Cornish Rex requires no special dietary treatment to enjoy good health. This means that providing them with a standard feline diet of high-quality dry food, fed regularly and in moderation, will give them all the nutrients they need to live a long and happy life.

Because of their exceptionally active lifestyles, Rexes can even get away with the occasional treat stolen from a dinner plate. Of the many cat breeds available today, the Cornish is perhaps least prone to feline obesity.

Cornish Rex Cat Breed
Photo credit: duodenum82, Pixabay

Exercise🐈

One of the great benefits of owning a Cornish Rex is that you’ll almost never have to concern yourself with giving them more exercise — they make plenty of activity for themselves! On the flip side of this issue, you absolutely must be prepared to give your Rex all the stimulation that they need, or else risk the integrity and intactness of your home and furniture under their always-active claws.

Training 🎾

If you can convince a Cornish Rex to pay attention long enough — usually by bribing them with food — then they take readily to training. Most can be taught to fetch and return items in a few short weeks, with some even going so far as to come to their name when called.

Grooming ✂️

The plush coat of a Cornish Rex requires less grooming than most cat breeds, with once-weekly combings being adequate to their needs. Because of their short, tightly wound hairs, many people with mild allergies to cat dander can comfortably care for a Rex in their home.

Cornish Rex Cat Breed
Photo credit: Cornish Rex – Gatos by Alexandre Gonçalves licensed by CC 4.0.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Though the Cornish Rex is a generally healthy breed, there is one potential problem that can occur if you intend to breed your Cornish. Both Type A and Type B blood exist in different Cornish lineages, and if one cat of each blood type is used as a breeding pair, their kittens can be born with serious blood problems due to mismatched antibodies. Always have your Cornish Rexes’ blood tested before breeding, to select compatible mates.

Minor Conditions
  • None
Serious Conditions
  • Mismatched blood types during breeding produce “fading kitten syndrome”; some kittens will die within 48-72 hours after birth because of hostile antibodies in their blood

Male vs Female

Both male and female Rexes display the same high-energy, mischievous nature that is characteristic of the breed. When not neutered or spayed, cats of either sex can quickly become territorial and aggressive; desexing is always recommended for any cat that isn’t going to be used for breeding.

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Final Thoughts

Few other breeds of cat can match the Cornish Rex’s abundant energy, outgoing personality, and luxurious coat. If you’re looking for a cat that can entertain the whole family — but might need a whole family to keep it busy — the Cornish Rex may be the perfect pet to add to your home.

 

Still looking for the puuuur-fect cat? Check out these posts on cat breeds:

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Featured image credit: duodenum82, Pixabay / Fish Icon