The Cornish Rex is a playful, curious, and affectionate cat with a uniquely wavy coat. This curly coat (and whiskers) is caused by a naturally occurring genetic mutation, a recessive gene that both parents must carry in order to produce Cornish Rex kittens. The Cornish Rex was first recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) in 1964, and they have been steadily increasing in popularity ever since.
Cornish Rexes are medium-sized cats with egg-shaped heads and rounded foreheads and slightly upward-slanting oval eyes. Apart from the uniquely curly and velvety coat that defines the breed, the Cornish Rex comes in a wide variety of coat colors and markings. In this article, we’ll take a look at common colors and patterns in the breed.
The Cornish Rex has a variety of colors accepted by the CFA, and they can be seen in solid colors and patterned variations of those colors.
- Pure white without any other colors and markings, pink nose and paw pads, and blue or gold eyes.
- A dense black that covers their entire body, free from any other colors, even a tinge of color on the tips; black noses, black or brown paw pads, and gold eyes.
- A lighter shade of blue preferred, as long as the color is consistent throughout the coat; blue/grey nose and paw pads, gold eyes.
- A deep and rich red without any ticking or markings, red paw pads and nose, and golden eyes.
- Preferably light cream, free from markings or inconsistent shading, pink paw pads and noses, and golden eyes.
- Rich chocolate brown with a brown nose, pink paw pads, and gold eyes.
- Two variations of silver, one darker than the other due to black tipping; red noses, black paw pads, and green/blue eyes.
- A few different varieties, but typically with tipped hairs of varying colors, gold eyes and black, brown, or pink noses and paw pads, depending on the base color, which includes all the colors listed above.
A Cornish Rex with a solid coat is a beautiful cat indeed, but patterned coats are arguably just as striking. All these different patterns can be infused with different colors and ticking, but the following are the pattern varieties accepted by the CFA.
The Tabby pattern is one of the most commonly found among the Cornish Rex and indeed, all cat breeds, and appears in several different variations. Both the body and legs have clearly defined bands or rings of darker colors against the base coat, with the tail, neck, and chest evenly banded too. The pattern is most characterized by these bands and the unique “M” marking on the face.
There is also the Spotted Tabby variation, which consists of spots that vary in size and density but must not be connected, according to the breed standard. The dorsal stripe characteristic of Tabby patterning is still present and runs the length of the body down to the tip of the tail. The legs and tail are usually banded with stripes and isolated spotting.
These two variations are often seen combined, referred to as Patched Tabby. All three of these combinations can be seen in any color variation, with or without ticked hairs, and usually with golden eyes.
Tortoiseshell Cornish Rexes are a far rarer variation but beautiful, nonetheless. They are similar to Patched or Spotted Tabbies, but the patches are larger, more defined, and often touching and are far more widely dispersed across the coat, with no banding at all. They typically combine two colors other than white, either mixed closely or in larger patches, and usually have golden eyes.
In Cornish Rexes and all other breeds with tortoiseshell patterning, these cats are almost exclusively female. Males with tortoiseshell patterning are extremely rare and almost always sterile.
Calico Cornish Rexes are characterized by two patches of different colors, usually black and red, on a white background. They usually have white legs, underbelly, chest, and muzzle as per the breed standard, with clear and defined patches of color. Calico cats should be 25%-75% white. They may also present as smokey, chocolate, and lavender in the colored patches.
Like Tortoiseshell Rexes, Calicos are predominantly female and rarely male. Males are almost always sterile.
Bi-Color Rexes, as the name suggests, are characterized by coats with only two colors. These colors can be almost any solid color, with a white background and smokey patterns of color. They should have white legs, chest, and undersides.
Van Bi-Color Cornish Rexes have patches of color only at the extremities of their tails, legs, and ears, and sometimes on their face. This coloring is extremely rare within any breed of cat and only around 100 are born every year across all breeds.
Pointed coloration originated with Siamese and other Asian breeds and is defined by a coat with a pale body and darker extremities. Pointed Rexes are commonly found in Seal Point, a beige or fawn base with dark brown extremities; Blue Point, slate-blue extremities on a blue/white body; and Chocolate Point, an ivory base with chocolate brown extremities.
More rarely, Lynx Point is also found among Cornish Rexes. It is similar to the typical pointed coloration, but with Tabby markings or banding mixed into the extremities.
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