Selkirk Rex Cat

Selkirk Rex
Compare Breed
Selkirk Rex
Calm, affectionate, loyal, charming
United States
Other Names
Poodle cat, The cat in sheep's clothing, Selkirk
7-12 pounds
Life Expectancy
14-15 years
Affection Level
? Breeds with a high affection level want to give and receive a lot of attention, while less-affectionate breeds are not as interested in petting and snuggles.
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Activity Level
? Breeds with high activity levels will engage more in active play and demand more space and attention.
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? How well the breed tends to get along with cats, dogs, and other pets.
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? Breeds with a higher rating in this area tend to be gentle and patient, while lower-rated breeds may feel uncomfortable with children.
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? Breeds with a higher sociability rating will want to spend time with you all day, while less-sociable breeds seldom seek out human interaction.
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? Breeds with higher intelligence ratings are more curious, investigative, and easy to train. Less-intelligent breeds are less trainable but often laid-back and easygoing.
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? Breeds that score higher in this area have strong hunting instincts that make them great playtime companions.
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? Breeds that score higher in this area are able to spend hours alone, while less-independent breeds require plenty of attention.
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? A higher rating in this area indicates a breed prone to plenty of meowing and other vocalizations, while less-vocal breeds are happy to stay quiet.
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? Breeds with higher grooming scores require more maintenance like brushing and bathing, while lower-scored breeds are virtually maintenance-free.
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Selkirk Rex Personality and Temperament

Nicknamed “The cat in sheep's clothing,” the Selkirk Rex is an adorable, woolly-haired feline with a unique personality. With a bit of an independent streak, this might not the best breed for someone who's looking for a traditional lap cat; even so, the Selkirk Rex generally has a calm demeanor and does enjoy human companionship.

Friendly and inquisitive, these cats enjoy napping and once they've completed their kitten years, they have a good reputation for keeping out of trouble. At the same time, they exhibit a wonderfully playful side, and will happily entertain you with their silly antics.

Despite their disdain for long cuddling sessions, Selkirk Rex cats don't like to be left alone for long periods of time. They prefer to spend their time in the company of others, whether snuggling up to watch TV with their human companions or napping alongside another cat.

Also read: The 7 Most Adorable Flat-Faced Cat Breeds

It’s well worth mentioning that not all members of the Selkirk Rex breed have the same personality traits. Some breeders have outcrossed with Persians, Exotics, British Shorthairs, and American Shorthairs, resulting in cats with adorable curly coats and extremely docile personalities.

Also read: Meet 8 Of The Fluffiest Cat Breeds On Earth

About the Selkirk Rex Cat


Selkirk Rex Cat Care









Selkirk Rex cats do not have any special nutritional needs, however you might want to look for a food that includes higher levels of Omega fatty acids to support healthy skin and keep their coat looking its best.

Also read: Best Omega 3 Fish Oil For Cats

Since these cats can be prone to obesity, it's important to look for a brand that offers high protein and low carbohydrates.

Also read: The 7 Best High Protein Low Carb Canned Cat Foods

The Selkirk Rex cat has a completely unique coat with lots of curls and a soft, thick texture. This extra-special coat calls for a bit of care, but less than you might imagine. You’ll want to check for tangles and comb them to prevent painful mats from forming; at the same time, too much brushing and combing can give the cat’s fur a wavy appearance rather than allowing the curls to stand out.

Consider brushing your cat's teeth and think about keeping their toenails trimmed. Regular at-home dental care can help prevent periodontal disease and frequent nail trimming can help prevent damage to your furniture, skin, and clothing.

Some – but not all – Selkirk Rex cats produce excess body oil and need occasional bathing. If your cat is among those that requires a bath now and then, be sure to use gentle cat shampoo and allow them to slowly air dry. Using any type of hair dryer might burn the cat's delicate skin. In addition, it can cause the hair to puff up and give your cat the appearance of a poodle.

Selkirk Rex cats love to play, particularly when they have the opportunity to interact with their humans or feline friends. These kitties have a strong appreciation for jumping and climbing as well; you'll want to offer a tall cat tower and perhaps a window seat that provides a view of the great outdoors. In addition, your cat will appreciate a few scratching posts, puzzle toys that stimulate curiosity, and other playthings including empty boxes and crinkly paper bags.

You won't have to encourage the Selkirk Rex to play during the cat's younger years; however, they might need some encouragement as they get older and more prone to obesity.

Selkirk Rex cats are generally healthy. To date, there are no known genetic issues that affect the breed. Some breeders do screen for potential problems including polycystic kidney disease and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.


The Selkirk Rex cat breed got its start with a kitten that was born in Montana in 1987. This curly haired kitten had a rescued mother of unknown origin, and ultimately found a home with a cat breeder named Jeri Newman. Newman named the cat Miss DePesto after a character played by actress Allyce Beasley.

When Miss DePesto reached adulthood, she was bred with a black Persian male named PhotoFinish of Deekay. The resulting litter contained three straight haired kittens and three curly haired kittens, showing that an autosomally dominant gene was responsible for the curly coat.

Once established, the breed was named after Newman's stepfather, Selkirk. Over time, breeders out crossed with American Shorthairs, Himalayans, Persians, British Shorthairs, and exotic Shorthairs. At present, only The International Cat Association (TICA) accepts the American Shorthair as an acceptable outcross.

TICA was first to recognize the Selkirk Rex cat breed, granting acceptance in 1992. The American Cat Fanciers Association granted its recognition in 1998, and the Cat Fanciers Association followed suit in 2000. Today, the Selkirk Rex is accepted by cat registries worldwide.

Selkirk Rex Cat History

Did You Know?

The Selkirk Rex has a full coat and a large body, two features that distinguish it from other Rex breeds including the Devon Rex and Cornish Rex.

The Selkirk Rex is the only cat breed to be named after a person.

Some Selkirk Rex cats are so curly, the breed has been given the nickname "Poodle cat."

The Breed Standard

About the Selkirk Rex Cat


The Selkirk Rex should have large, rounded eyes that are set wide apart. The outer corner of the eye should be set slightly higher than the inner corner.

Legs & Paws

The legs should be of medium to long length, and should exhibit substantial boning. The feet should be large and round.


The Selkirk Rex should have a well-proportioned tail of medium length, with a heavy base and a tapered shape. The tip of the tail should be neither pointed nor blunt.


The body is well-balanced, with a rectangular profile and substantial musculature. Males are typically larger than females.


The Selkirk Rex cat has a round, broad head with full cheeks and prominent whisker pads, and without flat planes. The muzzle should be of medium width, and the chin should be firm and well-developed. Whiskers should be curly.


The ears should be of medium size with broad bases. Furnishings should be curly.


In Longhair Selkirk Rex cats, the coat should be full and dense, with a soft feel. The ruff, tail, and belly may exhibit more curl than the rest of the coat. In Shorthair Selkirk Rex cats, the coat should be dense and full, with a soft, plush feel. The neck, tail, and belly may exhibit more curl than the rest of the coat.


Selkirk Rex cats may exhibit any genetically possible coat color and pattern. Nose leather and paw pad color should correspond with coat color.


How much does a Selkirk Rex cat cost?

Selkirk Rex cats cost between $500- $800.

How big do Selkirk Rex cats get?

Selkirk Rex cats tend to be large in size. A fully grown Selkirk Rex cat might weigh between 7-12 pounds or more and range in height anywhere from about 9"- 11" inches tall.

How long do Selkirk Rex cats live?

The Average lifespan for Selkirk Rex is 14-15 years.

Do Selkirk Rex cats shed?

Selkirk Rex are long-haired cats, so you do have to expect a certain amount of shedding from this breed, but they don't shed as much as other cat breeds.

6 thoughts on “Selkirk Rex

  1. Ellen Griffith

    I am interested in a female Selkirk in the near future. Our present cat is failing from old age. We plan to have 2 cats. We will get a 7 toed female also. We prefer an older one, not a kitten.

  2. Dramatails Selkirk Rex

    The Selkirk Rex is a short-haired breed. The Selkirk Rex Longhair, is the specific breed name for any Selkirk with a long coat. You can get both breeds in a litter. We breeders do not call it a “poodle cat.” That gives the impression that it’s hypoallergenic which it most definitely is not. We do, however, call it “a cat in sheep’s clothing” as often the texture of a homozygous Selkirk Rex feels like lambs wool.


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