So you have acquired a Rex cat – a Devon Rex, Cornish Rex, LaPerm, Selkirk Rex, or even some rarer kind – and you'd like to start taking it to cat shows. Is this any different from showing any other cat breeds?
Well, basically, no it isn't. But when it comes to showing successfully, there are a few things specific to Rex cats that it might be helpful for you to know. Let's take a look at them here.
Entering your cat for the show should be easy. All you have to do is find the breed in the show schedule, then find the relevant class, and enter that class for your cat on the entry form. But here is where you might encounter a slight problem, if you've never entered a Rex cat in a show before. Where are these breeds in the schedule? You can't find them at all. Where do you need to look? Devon and Cornish Rex cats originated in the UK, so you might expect to find them with British cats. Selkirk Rexes have long hair, at least, some of them do, so are they with the Long Hairs ofrSemi Long Hairs?
Well, it's not quite that simple. You will find Devon Rex, Cornish Rex, and LaPerm cats in the Foreign Shorthair section. And the Selkirk Rex, despite having originated in the USA, is in with the British Short Hairs. Why is this the case? No-one seems quite sure, but anyway, now you know where to find your Rex cat and so can enter it in the show.
As with all show cats, Rex cats need to be bathed, groomed, and have their eyes and ears cleaned and claws clipped. But there are some differences in how this should be done, depending on the breed.
If a Devon Rex is a good show specimen, and its coat is in good condition, this really is a very easy cat to prepare for showing. A bath may be needed to remove grease from the coat. Grooming is easy – just a quick stroke with a grooming glove or a hand should be enough. However, if the coat is thin, or patchy, no amount of effort the night before the show will remedy the situation! So do make sure that your Devon Rex is in good condition.
A Cornish Rex needs the grease removed from the coat before showing, but wet bathing can leave the hair looking limp and tired. A bran bath avoids this problem, and tends to produce a better result. To do this, warm a bowl of dry bran in the microwave or oven until it is at body temperature, then massage it into the cat’s fur, and remove using a brush. Finally stroke the cat to bring out the waves and shine, and then polish with piece of silk or chamois leather.
The coat of the LaPerm is easy to care for and usually doesn’t mat or tangle if it is combed or brushed regularly, a couple of times a week. Longer coats should be groomed more frequently, using a comb with revolving teeth for best results, as this will go through the coat easily without straightening the curls. To keep the cat looking his curly best, mist the coat with a little water or fluff it with damp hands to set the curls. If you give your LaPerm a bath, press a towel against the coat to soak up moisture and then let him air dry in a warm, draft-free spot. Do not use a blow dryer, as this will give him a bad case of the frizzies!
The Selkirk Rex has a dense coat that should be combed a couple of times a week to prevent or remove tangles. Selkirks do shed, so regular combing also removes dead hair. Running your fingers through his coat will help fluff up the curls. To bath your Selkirk Rex, use a moisturizing shampoo and let him air dry for a few hours in a warm, draft-free place. Some people say you should blow dry your Selkirk Rex, but others say that using a blow dryer will give the an appearance more like that of a poodle, which is definitely not what you want! Experiment in advance, and see what works for your cat.
If you have done your preparation well, there should be little to do on the day of the show other than getting yourself and your cat there in good time. However, you need to make sure that your cat is happy at the show, and how you do this will depend very much on the temperament of the breed.
Cornish and Devon Rexes are both very active, playful, and adventurous breeds. Because of this, you will need to make sure they do not become bored and possibly destructive at shows. So, particularly if you are showing a kitten, be prepared to play with your cat and give him toys to play with, although of course you will have to remove these before the judges come around. I have seen Devon Rex kittens at shows having a wonderful time with toy mice, and particularly in the afternoon after a long show day, this can make all the difference between happy kitten and a bored and fretful one.
LaPerm cats are very people oriented, so be prepared to spend time with your cat at the show. But it is likely to enjoy the attention and judging, so you should not have any problem.
Selkirk Rexes are generally very relaxed and laid back cats which take the show environment in their stride. Of course there are exceptions, but your Selkirk Rex is likely to be quite happy on Show Day.
Hopefully all will go well, and your Rex cat will go home with a rosette or two, and both of you will have enjoyed your day. And if not, well, there's always the next time...