In the 1930s, Cornish Rex cats lived in Moravia. Local residents believed that they were sick and subjected them to destruction.
The Cornish Rex breed was bred in 1950. The history of its origin is very interesting. In Cornwall, farmer Nina Ennismore’s cat Serena brought kittens, among which was an unusual-looking baby. Nature rewarded him with curly hair, a thin and flexible body and a wedge-shaped head.
The cat had very large ears, which made him look like an unearthly creature, and they called him strangely – Callibunker. Since at that time country cats, the inhabitants of English farms, basically differed from each other only in color, Miss Ennismore, after looking at the cat, decided to castrate the grown-up pet, almost depriving us of the breed of these amazing cats.
The veterinarian, to whom Nina brought the grown-up cat, had a good knowledge of genetics and saw in Callybunker the beginning of a new breed. Taking into account the advice of a doctor on breeding cats, Miss Ennismore went to the breeders A. K. Jude and B. Stirling-Webb – they were famous at that time and had great authority and a good reputation in the field of selection. The words of the veterinarian that Callybunker will be the first in the cat family, which will be different from those recorded in nature, were confirmed by Dr. Jude.
Now it was Nina Ennismore’s responsibility to breed a new breed, the name of which she came up with – the Cornish Rex. The beginning of the name of the breed indicated the area where the kitten appeared, and the second part of the name of the breed determined the occupation of Miss Ennismore (she was the owner of a rabbit breeding farm with curly hair of the Astrex breed). Scientists-breeders were asked to control the Callibunker mutation for stability, and when the cat reached puberty, he was connected to his mother – the cat Serena, who did not stand out for her natural beauty and breed.
After some time, three little kittens were born, two of them had the same curly coat and unusual appearance as Callibunker. Of the two “karakul” the only cat remained alive, later it was named Poldu.
From year to year, Miss Ennismore continued her experiments on crossing, in this case, fixing the correspondence of “karakul” to smooth-haired kittens. Compliance was 55% towards “curly”. The properties typical for this breed were preserved, provided that the female and the male were carriers of “karakul” wool. But after 6 years of breeding work, Nina Ennismore began to have financial problems.
Raising and keeping animals became difficult. The very first cats, Serena and Callibacker, suffered a terrible fate – previously beloved cats were euthanized at the request of the owner, Miss Nina Ennismore. A similar fate awaited the Cornish Polda, but the silicone worker B. Stirling-Webb decided to continue working without the help of other employees and bought the cat (however, when taking the biomaterial on the experiments of the cat, Polda had a fatal accident – he was castrated).
In 1957, the officially registered Cornish Rex cat breed appeared in England, and in the same year, Francis Blanchery acquired two cats of this breed and transported them from England to the United States of America. Thus, the “resettlement” of these peculiar animals took place. One of the first animals transported, having a bright red color and called Tabby, did not give offspring.
After some time, a blue-colored cat (her nickname is Lamorna Cove), already pregnant, was transported to the USA, where she brought offspring of white kittens with a blue tint – two charming Cornish Rex babies. It is worth noting that the father of the kittens was Poldu, who at that moment had not yet been castrated.
With this amazing story, the Cornish Rex breed began in the United States. Cat lover and breeder Ellen Weiss could not resist the charm of Lomorna Cove babies, she bought the cat and named him Marmaduke (later other lines of Cornish Rex breeds came from him).
In an effort to engage in breeding work more actively, Miss Weiss decided to get acquainted with Nina Ennismore, famous at that time, with whom she wanted to conclude an agreement on a profitable deal for breeding the breed, but Miss Ennismore managed to get rid of her “household” by that time, which she later regretted very much , since the money offered by Ellen Weiss could more than fully compensate for all the costs of animals.
Once again, cats of this breed are at risk of extinction. In order to somehow prevent the disappearance of the breed, they were crossed with each other. Subsequently, North American shorthair cats, as well as Siamese and Burmese cats, became the genetic material for this.
During the selection, there were slight changes in the breed, but at the same time a wide variety of their colors and colors appeared.
You should know that it is now strictly forbidden to cross relatives of the Cornish Rex.
To date, cats have gained immense popularity due to their aristocratic appearance and boundless love and affection for their owner.
The generally accepted standards for a Cornish Rex cat are:
- a distinctive feature of the breed is pronounced aristocracy;
- cats have a short “astrakhan” coat, which has no outer hair;
- head of the correct oval shape;
- the muzzle is similar to a small wedge, the forehead smoothly passes into a Roman type nose, which is vertically in line with the chin;
- the ears are rather high, wide and large at the base of the head;
- the incision of the eyes is oval, the eyes are located with a slope upwards, the pigmentation of the iris of the eye corresponds to the color of the cat’s coat;
- jaws strong, bite straight;
- cheekbones are high, the chin is quite pronounced;
- the neck conquers with its grace, but rather long and muscular;
- the body is muscular, long, taut;
- the limbs are graceful, muscular;
- the tail is long, tapering towards the end, flexible, whip-like.
Brief description of an adult cat:
- growth on average 23-27 cm;
- weight – from 3 to 5 kg;
- adult cats are much larger than females.
Popular colors of kittens:
- white: golden or blue eyes, pink paw pads and nose;
- black: this color is always saturated, the eyes are golden, the nose and pads on the paws are black;
- chocolate: dark eyes, dark paw pads and nose;
- ginger: golden eyes, pink paw pads and nose;
- grey: golden eyes, nose and paw pads also grey.
Cornish Rex are very active, inquisitive, cheerful. They are sophisticated intellectuals, their character is docile and gentle. These cats are neither vindictive nor dirty, but very attached to the owner. A tail wagging like a dog’s shows heightened receptivity. Feeling the mood of the owner, they know how to behave in any situation. Very obedient, learn simple commands. They can walk on a harness, and, like dogs, bring small toys during training.
Cornish are considered very active. They will never bask in the sun or “fall” on the couch, as other cats do. Animals love to explore the area (albeit known since cat childhood) and will never leave a rustling newspaper forgotten in an armchair or a sparrow sitting at an open window.
Try to remove the more valuable and necessary things in appearance, because the object, whatever it may be, will be regarded by the “rex” as a new game. In any case, you need to be able to divert your pet’s attention to a cat toy or a thrown ball.
Create mobile game situations in which the Cornish are “on top”, because these cats are very active and just go crazy from creating a chase.
This breed of cats is slightly annoying and, trying to spin underfoot, makes itself felt with its meow, but it feels the mood of its beloved owner very well and can give loneliness if a person needs it. In other cases, you will never be bored. Cornish Rex cats are wary of strangers. Keeping a distance is very important for these animals, but they always start to reduce it first. If the cat feels that the person is not dangerous, he will be the first to allow himself to be stroked, and maybe even jump into your lap himself.
When purchasing a Cornish Rex for a long friendship, you need to remember that this breed of cat does not tolerate loneliness. Do not leave the animal for a long time. Prolonged absence of the owner can lead to not entirely pleasant consequences. You should not start birds and rodents with them, because this can awaken the instincts of a wild hunter in them.
How many live?
Given the good genetics of this breed, the lifespan of these amazing cats is quite long. A lot depends on the proper care and nutrition and the attitude of the owners towards them. A Cornish Rex cat with good care and maintenance can live 15-20 years.
What to feed?
When keeping Cornish, the appearance of fat folds in them should not be allowed, cats should look slender and fit, with well-defined muscles. It should be borne in mind that the caloric content of the daily diet of cats must correspond to energy needs, since animals lead an active lifestyle, in addition to all cats with short hair, a lot of energy is required to heat the body. Portions of food are determined empirically. If the animal does not eat enough and looks very thin, you should not limit it in food, you may even need to increase the diet.
When choosing a ready-made balanced diet, wet and dry foods are suitable. It is important to know that this breed is distinguished by sensitive digestion. The amount of dry food should not exceed 1/6 of the entire cat’s diet. The water in the bowl should be renewed twice a day. When feeding with natural food, the diet should include 20% vegetables, cereals and dairy products and 80% meat.
- vegetables are supposed to be fed both raw and boiled (carrots, zucchini, pumpkin, cauliflower), they are mixed with meat and given several times a week, sometimes vegetables are changed to cereals;
- dairy (sour-milk) products – kefir, cream are given daily + cheese instead of delicacies;
- raw yolk with sour cream and cottage cheese is given 2 times a week;
- boiled offal (chicken hearts, liver, kidneys) – once a week;
- boiled chicken (required without bones) – daily;
- frozen raw beef – daily;
It is imperative to introduce sprouted wheat sprouts into the diet, animals are happy to eat them, in addition, this supplement contains a lot of trace elements and vitamins.
For kittens there is a separate diet:
- cereals with the addition of milk give up to 3 months;
- cottage cheese – three times a week;
- Whole milk is allowed only up to 5 months;
- they are fed with chicken breasts for up to 3.5 months (after which you can feed them with chicken legs);
- frozen raw beef is poured with milk, then cut into pieces (it helps with constipation);
- boiled meat can be mixed with vegetables;
- you can not feed kittens with one meat or just vegetables;
- 30 grams of beef can be given per day (at about 8 months we increase to 120 grams);
- Feeding kittens with fish is strictly prohibited.
Due to possible indigestion, as well as food poisoning, do not allow kittens to eat directly from the floor.
How often to feed kittens:
- 1.5-2 months – up to 5 times a day;
- 3-5 months – 4 times;
- 6-7 months – 3 times;
- from 8 months – 2 times.
A kitten should always have only clean water in the dishes. It should be remembered that stale water can cause an upset in the gastrointestinal tract.
How to care?
To maintain the beauty of the Cornish should be washed 2 times a month. You should start accustoming a kitten to water procedures at about 16 weeks. You need to wash the cat with massaging movements according to the growth of wool. The water temperature should be around 38 degrees. After bathing, the coat should be soaked with a towel, but not wiped. If the animal is not afraid of a hair dryer, then you can dry it in a warm mode. Natural citrus oils are used to create “scrawl” on wool.
Brushing the Cornish is often not recommended as this breed does not shed. When combing, use a mitten or a brush with natural bristles, so as not to harm the fine coat of the animal.
It is recommended to choose structure-forming shampoos before going to the exhibition, the rest of the time you need to use special zoo shampoos.
Without fail, the Cornish cut their claws. In cats, they are quite sharp, in this case you have to constantly make sure that the cat does not ruin the furniture or accidentally leaves “scratches” on family members. You need to trim the nails very carefully, only 1-2 millimeters of the transparent part of the claw.
It is necessary to cut with a special nail cutter (its size should be medium). Before the procedure, it is important to treat the instrument with a cotton swab with alcohol or an alcohol wipe, then, having cut the claw, file it, giving it a rounded shape. Some breeders use natural cosmetic nail oil, it protects the cat’s claws from delamination and moisturizes them.
Check your cat’s teeth weekly and visit the veterinarian if necessary. Cat dental care should be daily. Teeth can be wiped with plantain infusion by wrapping gauze around your finger, or cleaned with a rubber thimble. You can also buy toothpaste or a special toy for cleaning teeth in specialized pet stores. Remember to include solid foods that are good for your teeth in your diet.
For eye care, it is recommended to use plain boiled water and chamomile infusion once a week (the eyes are treated to prevent infectious diseases). Rex ears need constant care. In order to clean them, you must use petroleum jelly or special caring drops (clean them with a cotton swab). It is necessary to monitor the ears of the pet in order to prevent ear diseases in time.
The list of necessary items for the care of the Cornish Rex:
- cat shampoo;
- nail cutter;
- cotton pads and sticks;
- special toothpaste and brush for cleaning the animal’s teeth;
- powder for cleaning wool;
- dry shampoo for cleaning wool.
Being in the “childhood” age, Cornish Rex cats are easy to train. If you have acquired a kitten, try to immediately draw the line and show what is allowed and what is not allowed for the animal throughout its feline life. You should not punish the animal for a small offense and raise your voice, because in the eyes of a cat you will look big and formidable, but not a source of affection and love.
“Rex” love a pleasant company, they like to be given a lot of attention and they love to sit in the arms of family members. Cornish Rex can be easily taught to give a paw, bring small toys, as well as the “sit” and “down” commands.
Cats of this breed calmly walk on a harness along the street and in general their behavior sometimes resembles dogs. Animals are well aware of the purpose of the tray and what a scratching post is for, and in this sense, with them you will have no difficulty in maintaining comfort and cleanliness in the house. To the owner of this unique animal Be sure to buy a cozy and warm cat house. Active Cornish will suit a large play complex of a house and various game elements (scratching posts, ropes).
In the absence of the opportunity to install a cat town, you can get by with a beautiful stylish house or a couch.
To keep a cat, in addition to a bed, you will need:
- cat toilet;
- litter for the toilet (with granules of medium fraction, intended for short-haired cats of medium size);
- care products (see list above);
- feeding bowls – 3 pieces (1 for water and 2 for food);
- carrying bag (in case of walking, moving or going to the vet);
- toys for cats purchased at a pet store;
- medium sized scratching post;
- quality food;
- first aid kit (contents individually);
- clothes for cats in the form of a sweater or jacket with a hood (in case of walks.
By the way, on a walk, instead of a harness or carrying bag, these cats like to be placed on the hands or shoulder of the owner (sometimes they climb on the head).
This unique breed can perfectly get along in any family:
- with a small child (cats get along easily with children);
- an elderly couple (cats can cheer them up with their cheerful disposition);
- in a family where there are people suffering from allergies (cats do not lose their hair even during the molting season).
If you do not intend to breed Cornish Rex, then it is better to spay or castrate. It is possible to sterilize and castrate animals after puberty within 1.5 years of a cat’s life (this is due to the correct formation of the genitourinary system). The operation takes place in a veterinary clinic and usually lasts 15-20 minutes under local or general anesthesia. As a rule, after anesthesia, it takes 24 hours for the animal to recover. Try to pay more attention to your beloved pet on this day. If during the day the cat’s anesthesia has not passed, be sure to contact the veterinarian where the operation took place.
A female who has not given birth to kittens and has not undergone sterilization develops health problems over time, and an uncastrated cat is able to mark corners in the apartment all its cat’s life, excreting specific smelling substances in the urine.
The Cornish Rex breed is inherently healthy, but you should still be aware that some diseases happen to them.
- Alopecia. At the birth of a kitten, a gentle fluff appears on it, which disappears after two weeks and the animal becomes bald. It happens that the disease affects not only the coat, but even the claws and whiskers.
- Retinal atrophy – it is a genetic disease. Unfortunately, the Cornish are among the leaders in this disease. The disease can be established only in a specialized clinic.
- Disturbed metabolism. Similar troubles with well-being in the Cornish Rex can occur due to improper metabolism. Whether metabolism is disturbed can only be determined by a veterinarian.
- Hypokalemia – complex disease, consisting in a lack of potassium. The disease is recognized as hereditary and can manifest itself in a baby if the male and female suffered from this disease.
- “Greasy tail” – occurs due to the strong secretion of fat from the sebaceous glands that are under the tail. A waxy mass with an unpleasant odor accumulates on the coat near the tail, inflammatory processes occur, the skin turns red and becomes wet. In the case of the chronic form of the disease, the tail becomes bald.
It is worth recalling about vaccination: vaccinations made on time will save the cat from various diseases. And, of course, we must not forget to carry out prophylaxis against helminths.
When the female is one year old, she can be bred with the male, but the first estrus must be skipped. It is better to start looking for a partner in advance, because it may happen that there is no suitable “groom” nearby. The necessary contacts can be found in the breeding cattery, but be prepared for the fact that you have to travel to the territory of the cat. It is desirable that this was a short trip, as the road negatively affects the mental and physical condition of the pregnant cat.
If you have decided to breed kittens, you must:
- draw up documents for a cat confirming the pedigree;
- get a description of the animal from the club felinologist;
- find a partner;
- draw up an agreement with the owners of the “groom”;
- in the club, take a document for registration of knitting;
- take the cat to the veterinarian, check for vaccinations and treat for parasites;
- be sure to trim the nails to avoid scratching the partner.
An important point: the cat must not be the first mating (the more experienced the male, the greater the guarantee that everything will be successful).
Provided that the cat suits you, the female is usually brought to him on the second day after the onset of estrus and left on the territory of the cat for 3-8 days. The most ideal time for fertilization will be the second and fourth days. Animals do not need to interfere with mating, everything should happen naturally. If in the morning you notice the calm behavior of the female, who lets the cat close to her and “rolls” on her back on the floor, consider that everything went well.
Pregnancy usually goes smoothly and lasts about 65 days. Childbirth is acceptable both a little earlier and a little later (+/- two days). Childbirth ends with the appearance of “karakul” kittens from 4 to 5 babies. Babies are weaned from the cat at 2.5 months. As a rule, the owners of the “groom” at the birth of kittens take one baby for themselves, but it may happen that a certain amount of money will have to be paid for mating.
The Cornish Rex cat is able to bring litter 3-4 times a year, but too frequent births are undesirable, because they require a lot of strength from her. In order for a cat to bring a healthy litter, she herself must be healthy and have the strength to recover. In order for the body of the female to recover, it will be ideal if 1-2 years pass after childbirth.
Given the feedback from the owners of cats and cats of the Cornish Rex breed, certain conclusions can be drawn:
- Cornish are responsive and do not like to upset their owners;
- they are smart, affectionate, sociable, playful;
- do not shed, their coat is pleasant to the touch;
- love children, complaisant, devoted;
- kind to others;
- amenable to training;
Disadvantages of Cornish Rex cats according to owners.
- In the first year of a pet’s life in the house, he can get bored with frequent meowing, especially if the animal is often left alone (the devotion of these cats “rolls over”).
- Does not tolerate competition in the house.
- Some cats are prone to overeating. Be sure to make sure that the pet does not overeat.
- A specific smell is characteristic (in some individuals, secretion is secreted between the paw pads, not everyone may like it).
- Constant craving for warmth (this is due to the fact that the animal is short-haired, and therefore its body temperature is elevated, so the seals have to look for warm places). Such cats are not suitable for a private house and a cold apartment.
With all this, one must understand that it is possible to meet Cornish Rex that will not have such negative qualities. All cats are very individual in character, but there are common features inherent in the breed. For this reason, before acquiring such an animal, it is recommended to consider whether you can put up with its imperfections. But here it is necessary to be aware that flaws are present in any breed. You should also be aware that The Cornish Rex is more prone to disease if taken from the hands, and not from the kennel.
It is very important to decide what specific intention you are pursuing when choosing a cat, what you expect from it in the future (for example, suppose you want to get a reliable assistant in the fight against rodents, but this does not apply in any way to the Cornish Rex breed). For most potential owners, an important point in the process of choosing a cat is its origin.
It is especially important to take into account not only your own desires and preferences, but also the availability of financial opportunities, since our smaller brothers with an excellent pedigree are often simply too expensive for a buyer with an average income.
Of particular importance can be the age of your pet. Some cat lovers believe that the best decision is to buy an adult cat, not a baby. In some cases, it is quite difficult for people who live calmly and measuredly to deal with a kitten, since they need to be fed very often, pay more attention when caring for him, because with the restless nature of the baby, he will “rush around”, turning everything upside down, and demolish everything that comes in its path.
Mature Cornish Rexes are also often characterized by a very cheerful disposition and agility, but they are still much more balanced than baby kittens. Of course, if you still decide to get an adult animal, then in the future you will not need to conflict with the difficulties of teaching him to use the toilet. An animal with a pedigree should be purchased if you intend to actually take part in various exhibitions, so that after that you can be proud of your pet.
If you are devoid of vanity and you need an animal as a close friend, then there is no difference, with the pedigree “your younger brother” or not. The main thing is those important feelings that your beloved pet will give you.
About the features of Cornish Rex cats, see the following video.