Often known by the nicknames ‘poodle cat’ and ‘cat in sheep clothing,’ the Selkirk Rex is literally a teddy bear alive. Thanks to their glorious coat, they stand out among other Rex cat breeds due to their unusual plushy and stockier appearance.

Calm like their Persian ancestor, they have a laidback demeanor. With adorable looks and almost no downsides, the Selkirk Rex cats make great pets.

Read below to know all about this curly-haired cat breed!

Did You Know?

The Selkirk Rex is among the four true curly-haired cat breeds. The rest of them are the Devon Rex, the Cornish Rex, and the LaPerm.

Selkirk Rex

Selkirk Rex Breed Overview

Size: 9 to 11 inches

Weight: 6 to 16 pounds

Lifespan: 15 to 20 years

Origin: United States

Coat Colors: A variety of colors, including chocolate, brown, orange, tan, silver, gray, and black

Patterns: Solid, tabby, bi-color, calico, or tri-color

Temperament: Lively, energetic, friendly, and affectionate

Suitable For: Families with children and other pets

Selkirk Rex Scorecard




Lap cat:

Good with children:

Good with other dogs:


Selkirk Rex cats are like stuffed toys – very fleecy with a bulge of flesh filled underneath! Nevertheless, they look more like the British Shorthair kitties with a curly-haired coat.

To be specific, they are medium-sized cat breed with a rectangular profile. Top to bottom, their ears have a broad base with curly furnishings. Their eyes are large and round, with the outer corner higher than the inner one. On the hind end is a tapered tail with a heavy base. At the bottom, the legs are medium to long, and the feet are round.

Their charming coat is the center of attention. It is luxurious, fuzzy, and wavy and comes in both short and long hair types that exhibit various colors and patterns. It gives a soft feel and has curls all over it, especially on the tail, neck, and belly, making them one of the fluffy cat breeds.

The cute and charming looks also play a part in determining the Selkirk Rex’s price, which is above the USD 500.

Personality and Temperament

Selkirk Rex’s personality may vary from cat to cat due to crossbreeding. However, three main traits have remained dominant in these kitties throughout time: affection, gentleness, and playfulness. By and large, Selkirk Rexes have a laidback personality. They love to lay in their owners’ lap or snuggle in bed with them.

That said, they are comparatively more active than their ancestor breeds. When not sitting in your lap or lying on top of your chest, your cat will be following your around in the house to get your attention. And when you are not home, they will try to keep themselves busy with their toys. And if you are gone for a long period, they will develop separation anxiety.

You should provide your cat scratching posts, cat trees, and interactive cat toys to keep her busy when you are not around.

To be very frank, due to their cute looks and friendly demeanor, these kitties deserve attention – nobody can restrain their hand from stroking their fuzzy coat.


Selkirk Rex cats get bored very easily. That is why it is important to keep your cat busy and provide her with energy outlets.

How Selkirk Rex Cats Get Their Curls?

Normally cats have three layers of hair: guard hair, awn hair, and down hair. But Selkirk Rex, like other true curly-haired cat breeds – Devon Rex, Cornish Rex, and LaPerm – is missing at least one of three layers of hair. It’s in lacking a layer of hair; these cats get their curly-haired coats.

History and Origin

The Selkirk Rex is a relatively new cat breed and has a humble background tracing back to a curly-haired kitten found in an animal shelter in Montana. When Jeri Newman, a breeder, noticed this anomaly, she adopted her, believing that the cat was a source of a mutated Rex gene.

Newman named her new furry friend Miss DePesto and crossed her with a Persian cat – thus laying the foundation of the adorable Selkirk Rex cat breed. Today, all Selkirk Rex cats trace their ancestry back to Miss DePesto.

Due to the unique characteristics of the Selkirk Rex cats, they immediately gained popularity, and all of the cat associations – the International Cat Association (TICA), Cat Fancier’s Association (CFA), American Cat Fancier Association (ACFA) – had recognized it as a separate breed by the end of the previous century.

Did You Know?

The Selkirk Rex is the only cat breed named after a person. Selkirk was the name of Jeri Newman’s grandfather.

Selkirk Rex Care


Thankfully, the Selkirk Rex breed has no special food requirements. However, it is advisable to offer your cat food that is rich in omega fatty acids to keep her beautiful coat shiny and healthy. In addition, due to the vulnerability of these cats to obesity, do not let your pet have many carbohydrates.

Dry Cat Food

It is high in protein yet low in carbs, ideal for felines like Selkirk Rex.  

Given that Selkirk Rex cats are missing a layer of hair, their coat does not insulate them against cold. Thus, when the environment is colder, Selkirk Rex cats need some extra food as they are doing extra work to keep their bodies warm.


As discussed earlier, Selkirk Rex kitties are quite playful. However, their playfulness is more specific to jumping and climbing. Hence, the best option when it comes to exercising your pet is getting her a cat tree, preferably with a scratching post, and perhaps a cat window perch set up high against the window form where your cat can stalk birds. This way, in addition to maintaining the safety of your furniture, she can take leaps until she is content.

Cat Tree Tower

It is a multi-level fun item for kitties. It also contains sisal post, plush ball toys, prey toys, and a cat IQ busy box.  


By looking at the Selkirk Rex coat, one might say that keeping it up to the mark is a tough task; however, it is not the case—neither do they require much maintenance nor do they shed heavily. Hence, combing it only once a week is enough to preserve the silky waves and prevent mats formation. During summers, however, you might have to increase the frequency of brushing as their shedding is at its peak. Furthermore, using a long-lined comb for the body and the short-lined one for the face and legs is recommended.

These felines also need occasional baths. Consider bathing your fluff ball when it does not smell good.

Grooming Tip!

Avoid using a brush on the Selkirk Rex coat, as it can damage the brittle curls. Besides, brushing too often can make the fur curlier.


The Selkirk Rex cats are not known for having any serious health problems, mainly because of the genetic diversity as they were crossed with the Persian and the British Shorthair cats over time.

However, you should be wary of the following conditions in your pet:

  1. Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)
  2. Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)
  3. Urinary tract problems
  4. Hip Dysplasia
  5. Skin and ear problems

If you suspect the prevalence of any of the above conditions in your Selkirk Rex, do not hesitate to consult a vet. In addition, you should also be wary of the general signs of sickness in your cat.

Finding Selkirk Rex

Due to rarity, it is somewhat hard to find Selkirk Rex cats for sale. Nevertheless, the internet can help. You might be able to find Selkirk Rex kitten through the breeders listed by the TICA and CFA on their websites. If you are lucky, you may be able to find a Selkirk Rex kitten in your local cat shelter like Newman found Miss DePesto, the mother of all Selkirk Rex cats.

Why You Should or Should Not Get a Selkirk Rex?


    Fluffy Companion: They are plushy besides being clownish, making them a cute partner.

    Calm: They have a laidback and calm personalities.

    Rare: True curly-haired cat breeds, including Selkirk Rex, are quite rare. And thus, only lucky ones get to run their fingers through a Selkirk Rex cat napping in their laps.  


    Difficult to Find: Somewhat rare, it is not easy to find a Selkirk Rex kitten for sale.

    Separation anxiety: when left alone for long times, they develop separation anxiety.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *