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Devon Rex

Lifespan12 - 16 years
WeightMale:2 - 4kgFemale: 2 - 4kg
Excercise Needs
Amount of Shedding
Grooming Needs
Good With Children
Health of Breed
Cost To Keep
Tolerates Being Alone
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Introduction of the Devon Rex

The Devon Rex is small to medium in size with a very distinctive look. They have large eyes and high cheek bones that add to their overall endearing pixie-like looks. They also boast lovely soft wrinkly coats that are extremely velvety to the touch. On top of their unique looks the Devon Rex boasts having a kind playful nature which when paired to their intelligence has made them a popular family pet and companion albeit it a rather mischievous

History of the Devon Rex

The Devon Rex is native to the UK and as their name suggests they were first bred in the county of Devon. The breed is a relative newcomer to the cat world and boasts an interesting history. It was a tortie and white cat that produced a litter of kittens after having mated with a feral tom cat. Among the kittens was a male cat that boasted a brown/black coat much like the sire's. The breeder named the kitten Kirlee having decided to keep him. They knew about Kallibunker the first Cornish Rex and how other breeders were working to develop this new gene and asked whether Kirlee could be used in the Cornish Rex’s breeding programme.

Unfortunately the gene that created Kirlee's wavy coat was not the same as that of the Cornish Rex which saw cats with well-defined even waves in their coats. As such breeders began to develop the Devon Rex as a breed in its own right. Kirlee the first Devon Rex is therefore the ancestor of all Devons seen today. However from 1967 right up to 1984 both the Devon and the Cornish Rex were classed as the same breed. Then in 1984 the Devon was recognised as a breed in its own right and today has become a popular companion and family pet thanks to their adorable pixie-like looks and charming loving intelligent natures.

Appearance of the Devon Rex

The Devon Rex is small to medium in size and boasts having a well-muscled body and rather slim neck. They have short broad wedge-shaped heads with very pronounced cheekbones strong muzzles and nice firm chins. They have short noses with a very definite stop when seen in profile. Devons have distinct whiskers and eyebrows which are often referred to as being their "designer stubble". This stubble is quite delicate and has a tendency to snap and break off. They have large ears that are set wide apart and low on a cat's head which all adds to their pixie-like looks. Devons have oval-shaped eyes that can be of any colour.

As previously mentioned they have slender necks and well-muscled bodies. Chest are broad and legs are long slender with their back legs being slightly longer than their front ones. Paws are oval-shaped and small. The Devon has a long tapering tail that well covered in short hair.

When it comes to their coat the Devon Rex boasts having a short dense soft coat that consists of loose curls ripples and waves that is extremely velvety to the touch. The ripples tend to be more pronounced on a cat's back their flanks and tails although their wrinkles can also go down their legs too. Their eyebrows and whiskers are moderately long and crinkled although because they often break off these tend to be stubbly. Their coats can be just about any colour with or without any white markings and just about any sort of pattern.

Temperament of the Devon Rex

The Devon Rex is an intelligent cat and one that boasts having a lot of energy. They are not only pixie-like in looks but they can be rather mischievous too loving nothing more than to play whenever they can. They are very capable of jumping up to great heights which often finds a Devon perched on top of sideboards door frames and anywhere else that's nice and high so they can look down on the world below and pounce on whoever happens to pass them by.

Devons are extremely people-oriented and form strong ties with their families. They like to be involved in everything that goes on in their environment and will perch on an owner's shoulder to watch what they are doing whether they are working on a computer or doing the cooking. However Devons are super affectionate by nature and love to curl up on a nice warm lap when they've finished playing that is. Although Devons are not particularly talkative they do make a lovely little sound which is more of a "chirp" than it is a meow.

They are best suited to households where at least one person stays at home when everyone else is out because Devons thrive on human contact and don't like to be left on their own for any length of time. If they are left to their own devices they can be a little destructive around the home but only because they get bored quickly and need to be kept occupied.

Although they have good coats Devons do feel the cold. They are very quick at finding the cosiest spot to lie in which includes on top of laptops and any other devices that give off any sort of warmth. They have often been referred to as being quite dog-like in their ways which sees a Devon following an owner from room to room so they can keep an eye on what they are up to which is yet another of their endearing traits.

Intelligence / Trainability of the Devon Rex

The Devon Rex is an intelligent cat and one that learns things quickly. As previously mentioned many owners think their pets are very dog-like in some of their behaviours. They like playing and can be quite mischievous at times especially as they are known to have a limitless amount of energy. They like to retrieve toys and will spend hours playing with the kids before snuggling up on someone's warm lap for a snooze which is another reason why they have fast become such a popular family pet.

Children and other

Devons with their outgoing affectionate personalities are the perfect choice for families with children and this includes toddlers. They are quick on their feet and therefore know when to get out of the reach of smaller children when they get too boisterous or loud. However younger children need to be taught how to behave around cats to prevent any mishaps. As such any interaction between children and cats should always be well supervised.

They also get on well with dogs as long as they are good around cats that is. However care has to be taken when introducing a Devon to dogs they don't already know just in case the dog does not get on with their feline counterparts. When it comes to smaller animals and pets it's always wiser to keep a close eye on any cat when they are around smaller pets just in case.

Health of the Devon Rex

The average life expectancy of a Devon Rex is between 12 and 16 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate good quality diet to suit their ages.

The Devon is known to suffer from few hereditary health issues but the one worth knowing about if you are planning share your home with one of these extraordinary cats is as follows:

  • Congenital Myasthenic Syndrome (CMS) - Breeders should stud cats tested before they use them in any breeding programmes

Caring for the Devon Rex

As with any other breed the Devon Rex needs to be groomed on a regular basis to make sure their coats and skin are kept in top condition. On top of this cats need to be fed good quality food that meets all their nutritional needs throughout their lives which is especially true of kittens and older cats.

Grooming of the Devon Rex

Devons boast having short close lying coats and as such they are low maintenance on the grooming front. A weekly brush and wipe over with a chamois leather is all it takes to keep their coats in good condition. They do shed just like other breeds only less profusely. With this said much like other breeds Devons shed the most in the Spring and then again in the Autumn when more frequent brushing is usually necessary to keep on top of things.

It's also important to check a cat's ears on a regular basis and to clean them when necessary. If too much wax is allowed to build up it can lead to a painful infection which can be hard to clear up. In short prevention is often easier than cure with ear infections. Cats often suffer from ear mites which can be a real problem which is why it's so important to check their ears on a regular basis.

Exercise of the Devon Rex

The Devon Rex boasts having a ton of energy and loves nothing more than to play interactive games with their owners whenever they can. They can be rather mischievous which is part of their charm and why many people choose to share their homes with one of these pixie-like cats.

Cats that are kept as indoor pets need to be given lots of things to do and places to hide when they want to bearing in mind that the Devon loves to climb up high so they can look down on the world below them. They also need to have lots of places they can snuggle up for a snooze when the mood takes them because if there is one thing Devons are really good at it's napping during the day.

Feeding of the Devon Rex

If you get a Devon Rex kitten from a breeder they would give you a feeding schedule and it's important to stick to the same routine feeding the same kitten food to avoid any tummy upsets. You can change a kitten's diet but this needs to be done very gradually always making sure they don't develop any digestive upsets and if they do it's best to put them back on their original diet and to discuss things with the vet before attempting to change it again.

Older cats are not known to be fussy eaters but this does not mean they can be given a lower quality diet. It's best to feed a mature cat several times a day making sure it's good quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements which is especially important as cats get older. It's also essential to keep an eye on a cat's weight because if they start to put on too much it can have a serious impact on their overall health and wellbeing. Like all other breeds Devons need free access to fresh clean water at all times.

Average cost to keep the Devon Rex

If you are looking to buy a Devon Rex you would need to pay anything from £200 to over £500 for a well-bred pedigree kitten. The cost of insuring a male 3-year-old Devon Rex in northern England would be £15.64 a month for basic cover but for a lifetime policy this would set you back £25. 32 a month (quote as of Sept 2016). When insurance companies calculate a pet's premium they factor in several things which includes where you live in the UK a cat's age and whether or not they have been neutered or spayed among other things.

When it comes to food costs you need to buy the best quality food whether wet or dry making sure it suits the different stages of a cat’s life. This would set you back between £15 - £20 a month. On top of all of this you need to factor in veterinary costs if you want to share your home with a Devon and this includes their initial vaccinations their annual boosters the cost of neutering or spaying a cat when the time is right and their yearly health checks all of which quickly adds up to over £400 a year.

As a rough guide the average cost to keep and care for a Devon Rex would be between £30 to £45 a month depending on the level of insurance cover you opt to buy for your cat but this does not include the initial cost of buying a well-bred kitten.

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