Cornish Rex

One of the "curly-coated" varieties of cat, the Cornish Rex is established worldwide, where it has long enjoyed full championship status. It is an elegant breed that looks as if it has been taken to a hairdresser and given a perm!


A local farmer first spotted a curly-coated kitten in Cornwall, England, in the 1950s. This aroused the attention of the local vet, since the mother and siblings were all smooth coated. At the vet's suggestion, the curly-coated male was mated back to his mother, resulting in two more kittens with curly coats. The appearance of the curly coat was accepted as a natural mutation, and a breeding program was devised to guarantee the survival of the breed. The "rex" suffix was added as a description of the coat, after the curly coat already seen in Rex rabbits.


A medium-sized, well-muscled but slender cat, with a long, wedge-shaped head, large, high-set ears, and a long, tapering tail. The coat is short, soft in texture, with curly waves that give a rippled effect. Its undercoat is dense, curly and smooth and as it sheds little, they cause fewer allergies to its owners. You however find cats with various coat colors and patterns, giving great variety to the general appearance of the cat. They have a gap of an eye's width between them and the color is generally similar to the coat color. The Cornish Rex is available in all coat colors and patterns, including the Siamese (Himalayan) pattern.

The look is oddly elegant and refined for all that the “parts" don't seem to match when described separately.

On average, females weigh 5 – 7 lbs. / 2.27 – 3.17  kg while males are just slightly larger at 8 – 10 lbs. / 3.63 – 4.54 kg.

Origin: Britain

Grooming: 1/5

Activity: 5/5

GCCF Group: Foreign Shorthairs


A lively, active and intelligent breed that is quite talkative. Inquisitive by nature, the Cornish Rex character is often described as "naughty but nice".

Although always up for a rather dog-like game of fetch, a Cornish Rex will do his own toy tossing if need be, using his paws with the dexterity of hands.

This does not mean the breed can be left alone for long time, however. They can be demanding of their human's attention, and they like to be able to find you when they want you.

The kittenish exuberance of the Cornish Rex is a life-long and delightful quality. Capable of stunning, acrobatic leaps, these cats seem to be bottomless pits of energy. They’re absolute clowns, always going for the laugh if they can get it. But at the same time, this is definitely a "lap" breed and at times a “shoulder” breed since they are known to enjoy riding on their humans.

The Cornish Rex is quiet by nature, but expressive, showing affection by patting their people; offering "kisses" on the cheek, and delivering their opinions with a flick of the tail. Be forewarned. Life with a Cornish Rex can spoil you for any other breed.

These cats love any warm spot they can find, including your lap, under the covers of the bed, or right on top of the heating vent! Some owners refer to them as “Velcro kitties” because of their real craving to cuddle.

The average lifespan for the breed is 10 – 15 years.

Suitability as a pet

With its outgoing personality, the Cornish Rex suits even the busiest of households. It loves the company of children, cats and other pets. As a breed with less fur than most, the paler varieties need to have vulnerable points, such as the ears, treated with sun block if they are to be exposed to sunlight. You should watch their diet, too — Cornish have hearty appetites and are prone to obesity.

Gallery of Cornish Rex