Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Purrfect 10: Fascinating Facts About the Devon Rex

We love reading and researching anything and everything about cats, and wanted to find a fun and unique way to share the interesting facts we learn with you! Since top 10 lists are very popular in the blogosphere, we created The Purrfect 10 as a way to present 10 educational or fascinating tidbits about a wide variety of cat-related topics, everything from health issues to cat breeds to famous felines.

Back in January I attended our local cat show and the breed that made the biggest impression on me this time around was the Devon Rex, so the precious little pixies became the subject of this month's edition of The Purrfect 10...

1) Because of their unique appearance (low-set, over-sized ears, high cheekbones and large, wide-set eyes) the Devon Rex has earned a few nicknames: pixie cat, alien cat, and poodle cat.

2) The first Devon Rex was discovered in Devon, UK in 1960, the result of a mating between a straight-haired tortoiseshell female and a feral curly-coated male. The curly kitten was named "Kirlee" and initially linked with the Cornish Rex who had first come on the scene in 1950. Kirlee was sold and bred to Cornish females with the hopes of producing more curly-coated kittens, but every time the resulting kittens had straight coats. The curly coated cats were determined to be two distinct breeds, with Kirlee as the founding father of the Devon. (Ironically, the first Cornish Rex was also the offspring of a tortie!) Sadly, Kirlee was killed by a car in 1970.

3) Cats typically have three types of hair in their coats, guard (the outer layer), awn (the intermediate hairs), and down (the undercoat). The Devon's awn and downs are soft and close to the body, but their guard hair is very sparse and fragile. Temporary bald patches are not uncommon in areas where they lick themselves, and even brushing can cause the fur to break off completely.

4) Like their outer coat, a Devon's whiskers are also curly, short and prone to breakage. The whiskers will grow back, but not to the length most other cats have.

5) There's no need for a hot water bottle in a home with a Devon Rex! Their body temperature is the same as other cats but their coat doesn't provide as much insulation, causing them to feel warm to the touch. They are always in search of extra warmth, either from sunny windows or even a cozy sweater.

6) Their personality is rather dog-like and extremely people-oriented. They don't like being left alone and prefer to be with you (or *on* you, preferably perched on your shoulder) as much as possible. Likened to a cross between a dog, cat, monkey, and Dennis the Menace, playful Devons are often described as forever a “kitten at heart.” They love to jump, have a passion for food, and are highly intelligent.

7) It's a myth that a Devon's coat is hypo-allergenic. Their dander produces allergens just like every other cat. They do shed less which could possibly ease some people's allergic reaction, but anyone with allergies should make arrangements to spend time with a Devon before bringing one home.

8) By 1968 the Devon had emigrated to the United States and the breed was recognized by the American Cat Fanciers Association in 1972, the International Cat Fanciers Association (TICA) in 1979, and the Cat Fanciers Association in 1983.

9) The Devon Rex made it's big screen debut in the opening scene of 1978's Superman the Movie when the superhero rescues "Pixie" from a tree.

10) The iconic character of E.T. was inspired by Stephen Spielberg's pet Devon.

Got your heart set on adding a Devon Rex to your family? You can still make adoption your first option! Visit the adoptable Devon Rex cats on PetFinder!

We hope you learned something new today!
Do you have a topic you'd like us to cover in The Purrfect 10?


  1. Devon Rex kitties are my favorite breed. There were several at the Wichita Cat Fancy Show last month. Thanks for sharing fun facts about them. -Katie Kat

  2. Did any of the Devon Rex exhibitors at the cat show let you touch their cat? Because their fur is super soft and amazing to pet! My human loves Devon Rexes, and when she sees them in the ring, it always makes her smile.

  3. I have not been able to actually pet a Devon Rex yet, but I'm sure they've been around at the TICA shows here. There's another this month, so I'll have to look and see if there are any there. :)

  4. We enjoyed these facts about the Devon Rex.
    They are very cute cats :)
    Purrs Georgia,Julie and JJ

  5. We're loving The Purrfect 10 series you've started! Though I've never had one myself, I've known a few Devon Rex kitties, and they always have such fun personalities. One of them I knew was a resident cat at the clinic where I used to work, and at 15 years old he was spry as could be and just such a fun little guy. Thank you for sharing these fantastic facts with us, Mudpie and Melissa!

  6. Really interesting facts! I especially like the part about the Devon Rex being part cat, dog, monkey and Dennis the Menace :) And who knew that torties produced the first Devon Rex and Cornish Rex???

  7. I would love a Devon Rex, The Critters in the Cottage are such cuties. You are too Miss Mudpie.

  8. Interesting. Thanks, Melissa.

  9. What interesting cats the Devon Rex are.

  10. WE have always thought the Devon Rex was a cute cat. Isn't Daisy the Curly Cat a Devon?

  11. FRODO is a devon rex!! All of what you say is true but it's also worth noting that though he loves loves to be near me and needs constant attention, he actually is not a cuddler or lap lover. Also, he NEVER stops moving--he is the energizer bunny--(sometimes I wish I could unplug him!) I think it's that energy that is to blame for his refusal to leave Amarula alone and keep pursuing her with hugs!!

  12. Thanks for sharing...I've seen Devon Rex cats and wondered whether the benefits to humans could possibly outweigh the inconvenience to the cats! I can second the statements about how cuddly they are; they belonged to a massage client and would crawl onto her, or even onto me, during a massage. Now I realize they were just trying to warm their poor chilly paws.

    Thanks very much for the prompt/lead to a different Petfinder page :-)

  13. We love Devon Rexes here! :D They are wonderful kitties but then again, all kitties are wonderful! :)

    the critters in the cottage xo

  14. They’re cute little fellas but there are no ugly cats.

  15. What a fun new series. The Devon Rex is a beautiful cat and these are great facts! Love that pic you snapped at the cat show.