Cats come in all shapes and sizes, but did you know they also come with different fur types?
If you’ve been on the Internet or social media lately, you’ve probably seen a number of photos of cats with beautiful curly hair. What many people don’t know is that there are actually four different breeds that have the distinct curly hair.
In 1982, the first kitten that showed the original mutation that would eventually become the basis of the LaPerm breed was born on a farm in Oregon. This kitten was born completely hairless, with a pattern on her skin that looked similar to that of a tabby cat. By the time the kitten was eight weeks of age, it had developed a coat of curly fur.
10 years later the farm owner looked for an expert opinion on these strange offspring. As she learned about just how rare these kittens were, she started to control the breeding on her farm to increase the number of these curly-coated kittens.
Today, LaPerms can have coats with curls that range from soft waves to tight ringlets to long corkscrew curls. The tightest curls grow on the cat’s underside, throat, and at the base of the ears, where the longer hair is on the tail and back, away from the body parting down the middle.
As far as coloring, the LaPerm come in almost every recognizable color and pattern. Many kittens go almost totally bald after birth and the curly hair grows in within the first four months.
Personality-wise, LaPerms are extremely people-oriented. Gentle and loving, they are more than happy to sit and nap on your lap. They are also extremely inquisitive and enjoy exploring their environment.
2. Cornish Rex
This breed originated in Cornwall, England in the 1950s, with a cream-colored cat who was covered with curls so tiny he resembled a miniature lamb. As he grew, he developed the long legs, narrow head, and bat ears that would become hallmarks of the Cornish Rex breed. His offspring were eventually bread with Burmese, Siamese, and British Shorthair cats to create a broader genetic base.
Today, the Cornish Rex have curly coats, a curved profile, large bat eats, and arched bodies similar to that of a Whippet dog. The feeling of their wavy fur has been compared to velvet, lamb, rabbit fur, or silk, but it truly is something that is impossible to describe – you just have to feel it for yourself!
Similar to the LaPerm, they are extremely people-oriented and love spending time with their humans.
3. Selkirk Rex
One of the newest natural breeds of cats, the Selkirk Rex breed, comes from a rescue cat found in a shelter in Montana. When bred with a Persian, a litter of six kittens were born, three of which had the trademark curly fur and whiskers.
Selkirk Rex cats are large, heavy-boned felines similar in shape to the British Shorthair with a round head and loose curls. Their coats come in both long and shorthair, with the curls being more prominent in longhair cats.
Personality-wise, they are known for being incredibly patient, loving and tolerant cats – in other words, the perfect family cats and great companions.
4. Devon Rex
The Devon Rex originates from Devonshire, England from the late 1950s. A stray cat was found to have given birth to a litter that included a curly-haired kitten with pixie-like features. It was this kitten that went on to be the father of the breed that is now known as the Devon Rex.
Devon Rex have very unique features, with long skinny necks, strangely-shaped heads, proportionally large ears, and a soft, wavy coat. The coat itself comes in a wide range of colors and patterns, from solid to bi-color or even tabby. They also make great cats for those with allergies as their coats result in less shedding than other breeds.
Devon Rex cats are known for their human-loving, dog-like qualities. This means owners have to be prepared to have a cat that wants to be with them 24/7, 365. They also have a tendency to remain a kitten at heart, so are known for getting into kitten-like antics throughout their life.
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So there you have it! These four curly-haired cat breeds stray away from the norm with their wavy coats. Most happened as an accident but now are more common than you think!
Have you seen these breeds? Tell us in the comments below.
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