When one thinks of a cat, the typical image that comes to mind is a feline with straight, smooth fur. But, as with any rule, there are notable exceptions, and in the case of cats, it’s the curly-haired breeds.
They are as unique as they are adorable, with their curled locks adding to their charm and appeal. In this article, we delve into the intriguing world of curly-haired cat breeds, their distinctive traits, care needs, and much more.
Have you recently adopted a kitten with curly hair and are curious about what that means for your new pet? Whether you’re pondering over your kitten’s unique fur texture or wondering about their overall health, this article is your one-stop guide.
We’ll explore why some kittens have curly hair, the health of curly-haired cats, their rarity, and more. Additionally, we’ll delve into the world of luxury felines to find out which curly-haired cat takes the title of the most expensive. Lastly, let’s address a common question—do curly-haired cats shed?
Curly-Haired Cat Breeds
Here is a list of some curly-haired cat breeds:
1. Selkirk Rex
The Selkirk Rex is one of the newest and most distinct curly-haired breeds. Originating in the United States in 1987, they are unique among Rex breeds, having a dominant gene for their curls. This means even if only one parent is a Selkirk Rex, the kittens can inherit the curly coat.
Their plush and unusually thick fur can be long or short but is always curly, even their whiskers! They come in all colors and patterns. These cats are medium to large-sized, muscular and have a round head with full cheeks.
Known for being patient, loving, and tolerant, they make excellent companions for families with children and other pets. They are also known for their playful nature and robust health.
2. Devon Rex
The Devon Rex is native to the UK and is known for its slender body, large ears, and notably, its wavy coat. Its curls are less structured and more pixie-like, giving it an elfin appearance. These cats are known for being high-energy and love to engage in playful activities.
They are fond of perching on high places, riding on shoulders, and generally being close to their human companions. They’re good with other pets and kids, and their sociable nature means they don’t like being left alone.
Despite their delicate appearance, they are strong and hardy cats. However, they may have breed-specific issues like Devon Rex Myopathy, a muscular disorder that can manifest within the first few weeks to 2 years of age.
Originating in the United States in the 1980s, the LaPerm gets its name from its curly coat that looks like it’s had a permanent wave treatment. The coat can vary in length from short to long and come in any color or pattern.
LaPerms are known for their friendly, outgoing, and affectionate nature. They are intelligent, curious cats with a strong hunting instinct. Despite their sophisticated appearance, they are quite active and love to play.
These cats are generally healthy, although they can sometimes suffer from mild cases of kinked or ‘hooked’ tail, a deformity that is thought to be linked to the same gene that causes their curly coat.
4. Cornish Rex
The Cornish Rex, hailing from the UK, is characterized by its soft, wavy, and silky coat. Unlike other cats, their coat is made only of down hairs, which are typically undercoat. This gives them a unique texture but also means they lack the protection of a typical cat’s fur, making them sensitive to temperature extremes.
Cornish Rex cats are incredibly agile and playful, with a high energy level. They love interactive play and can even learn to fetch toys. They are sociable cats that enjoy the company of their human family as well as other pets.
These cats are generally healthy but are prone to some hereditary health conditions like patellar luxation and hip dysplasia.
5. American Wirehair
The American Wirehair breed is native to upstate New York, USA. It is characterized by its springy, wiry coat that feels like steel wool to the touch. Each hair is crimped, bent, or hooked, including the whiskers. The coat can be any color or pattern.
American Wirehairs are known for their easy-going and relaxed nature. They are not as active as some other breeds but do enjoy interactive play with toys and their human companions. The breed is known to be robust and healthy, with no breed-specific health issues.
Their unique coat is low maintenance and does not require much grooming. In conclusion, these curly-haired cat breeds are unique and charming in their own ways. Each has a distinctive character and appearance, making them a fascinating addition to the feline world.
Caring for a Curly Haired Cat
Caring for a curly-haired cat isn’t drastically different from other cats, but their unique coat does call for special attention.
Regular grooming is necessary to maintain their curls, and in some breeds like the Devon Rex, protection from harsh weather due to their thin coat is essential. Always consult with a veterinarian or a professional groomer to understand your breed’s specific needs.
Generally, curly-haired cats are healthy, but certain breed-specific genetic disorders may exist. For instance, Devon Rex cats may suffer from a disease called Devon Rex Myopathy, a genetic muscle weakness condition.
Regular vet check-ups are crucial for early detection and treatment of any potential health issues.
Why Is My Kitten’s Hair Curly?
If you notice that your kitten’s hair is curly or wavy, it’s likely due to a genetic mutation. The most well-known breed with this characteristic is the Devon Rex. These cats have a gene that affects the protein in their hair, resulting in a curly or wavy texture.
Another breed that features curly hair is the Selkirk Rex. It’s essential to note that each breed with curly hair has its unique genetic basis for the trait.
Are Curly-Haired Cats Healthy?
The curly hair itself is not an indicator of poor health. In fact, most curly-haired cats like the Devon Rex or Cornish Rex are generally healthy animals. However, like all breeds, they can be prone to specific health conditions.
Devon Rex cats, for instance, may be susceptible to hereditary myopathy, a muscle disorder. Always consult with your veterinarian for a health assessment and appropriate care.
How Rare Are Curly Cats?
Curly-haired cats are relatively rare compared to their straight-haired counterparts. Breeds like the Devon Rex and Selkirk Rex are not as commonly found as other more prevalent breeds like the American Shorthair or Siamese. Their unique fur and somewhat limited availability make them quite special and often sought-after.
What Is the Most Expensive Curly-Haired Cat in the World?
The title for the most expensive curly-haired cat typically goes to the Devon Rex, mainly due to its rarity and unique appearance. These cats can range from $1,000 to $3,000. Their price depends on factors such as lineage, breeder reputation, and even the specific coat color and pattern.
Always ensure that you’re buying from a reputable breeder who can provide health guarantees and proper documentation.
Do Curly Cats Shed?
One of the common myths about curly-haired cats is that they don’t shed. While it’s true that some curly-haired breeds like the Devon Rex shed less than other cats, they do still shed to some extent.
Their unique fur texture can make it less noticeable around your home. Nevertheless, regular grooming is essential to keep their coat in top condition and reduce shedding.
Curly-haired cats are fascinating and offer a unique pet-owning experience. Their unusual looks, paired with their friendly and engaging personalities, make them the perfect companion for those willing to provide a bit of extra care to their unique coats.
When you adopt a curly-haired cat, you’re truly bringing home a piece of feline royalty. After all, there’s something magical about a cat with curls. Curly-haired kittens are a fascinating topic in the feline world.
They are usually healthy, albeit prone to specific conditions, and are relatively rare. The most expensive among them is typically the Devon Rex. While they do shed, it is often less noticeable than with other breeds. Ensure you consult with a veterinarian for proper health assessments and enjoy the unique charm that comes with owning a curly-haired cat.