Personality and Temperament
Petite size, pixie-like facial features, and an incredibly sociable personality make the Devon Rex cat a favorite breed among cat lovers. The Devon Rex has a unique coat that makes it stand out from the rest: soft, ultra-fine fur with a wavy texture—there’s nothing else quite like it.
If you've been looking for a non-shedding cat, the Devon Rex comes close. Although there's no such thing as a fully hypoallergenic cat breed, Devon Rex cats have such fine, short hair and shed so little that they leave barely a trace of themselves behind on furniture and clothing.
Elvin facial features, including massive wide-set eyes and huge bat-like ears, also contribute to the Devon Rex cat’s signature appearance. Their personalities might be described as elvish too. These fun-loving cats are incredibly inquisitive, often following their family members around in an attempt to be involved in whatever is happening.
Sometimes described as part dog, part cat, and part monkey, Devon Rex cats are accomplished climbers, and they’ll do whatever it takes to perch in the highest spot they can find, preferably one with a great view. They have an appreciation for tiny hiding places, too. Their owners might find them tucked behind the refrigerator, hiding under the sofa, or peering out from the insides of bookshelves.
Easily trained, Devon Rex find a great deal of enjoyment in outdoor walks (leashed, of course!) and rousing games of fetch. When playtime comes to an end, the Devon Rex loves to settle down and enjoy affectionate cuddles. These cats seek attention from their human family members, and they also have a reputation for getting along well with other pets.
While Devon Rex cats are friendly toward everyone, it’s worth noting that they tend to choose a favorite person with whom to share most of their affection. As talkative as they are cuddly, they tend to converse in a series of chirps and trills rather than traditional meows.
Devon Rex cats don’t have any special nutritional requirements, but they do need a high-quality food with ample protein. Since these cats are small-statured, obesity can cause serious joint pain and other issues. It’s very important to keep Devon Rex cats at the correct weight by offering the right amount of food and avoiding excess carbohydrates. Feed measured meals rather than leaving food out all the time, which can lead to overeating.
As low-maintenance cats go, the Devon Rex is a champion! These cats have barely any hair to brush, although they might enjoy a warm bath if poor distribution of body oils causes a greasy feel.
Keep your cat’s ears clean and teaching them to accept daily teeth brushing. Trim the nails every few weeks.
The Devon Rex is an athletic breed and you shouldn’t have to make much of an effort to keep them entertained. At the same time, your cat will appreciate a well-stocked basket of toys, as well as a cat tree and at least one scratching post. They'll be happy to play fetch with you and learn other tricks whenever you have time.
While the Devon Rex generally enjoys good health, there are some known issues with the breed, including hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which is a form of heart disease. Some have hereditary myopathy called Devon Rex myopathy, which is an inherited condition that affects muscle function. Some Devon Rex have a musculoskeletal disorder called patellar luxation.
Because their coats are thin, Devon Rex cats are prone to sunburn and chills. They must be kept in a warm, indoor environment.
In 1959, a short-haired domestic cat owned by Beryl Cox of Buckfastleigh, Devon, England, gave birth to a litter of kittens. One of these had a short, curly coat. The litter’s father was believed to be a tomcat with a curly coat, that frequented an old abandoned tin mill in the area.
Beryl Cox knew about the Cornish Rex cat breed and she thought that the curly coated kitten might be related. She named the kitten Kirlee and when he matured, she brought him to a Cornish Rex cat breeder, who paired him with one of their females.
The resulting litter contained kittens with normal, straight coats, signifying that Kirlee had a different genetic mutation than the Cornish Rex. The gene that gives the Devon Rex’s coat its unique texture is Devon gene. Eventually, a breeding program was established and the Devon Rex was developed as as separate breed. Even today, all Devon Rex cats can be traced directly back to Kirlee, the original curly coated kitten.
With a successful breeding program in place, the Devon Rex quickly gained popularity. Devons first made their way to the United States in 1968, and in 1979, the breed was officially recognized by the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA). Today, the Devon Rex is accepted by The International Cat Association (TICA) and all other major cat registries.
Even though the Devon Rex cat shares some similarities in appearance with Cornish Rex and German Rex cats, the three breeds are distinct as their coats are produced by different gene mutations.
If you think the Devon Rex cat looks a bit like the character Yoda from the Star Wars series, you might be right! Steven Spielberg had a Devon Rex cat as his personal pet and urban legend states that his cat influenced Yoda's appearance.
Devon Rex cats are heat-seeking cuddlers. If you let your cat sleep with you, don't be surprised if they try to join you under the covers.
Legs & Paws
The Breed Standard
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a Devon Rex cat cost?
A pet-quality Devon Rex kitten usually costs anywhere from $1,000 to $3,500.
How big do Devon Rex cats get?
Devon Rex cats are small to medium-sized with a medium frame. A full-grown Devon Rex cat usually weighs between 6 and 9 pounds, with males weighing as much as 25% more than females.
Are Devon Rex cats cuddly?
All cats are individuals, but Devon Rex are known for enjoying snuggles, especially cuddling up for warmth on cold nights. Some might enjoy cuddling more than others, but in general, most Devon Rex love a cuddle in between bouts of play and exploration.
How long do Devon Rex cats live?
The average life span for Devon Rex cat is 9 to 15 years.