Cornish Rex 101: The Ultimate Care Guide!

Cornish Rex cats are an elegant and energetic breed, perfect for those looking for a lively pet to bring into the home. With their unique wavy-marbled coat, they can easily be identified by other cats. 

They may even look like a greyhound because of their long-legged body, complete with tuck-up! Not only are they aesthetically beautiful, but Cornish Rex cats are also smart and social creatures that love to be at the center of all family activities. 

If you’re looking to give your Cornish Rex the best care possible, this article is a must-read. Here, we’ll cover everything from diet and health to grooming and other important topics, so you can provide your feline companion with a long and comfortable life.

curly fur Cornish rex pet

Breed Overview

The Cornish Rex is a cat breed that originated in the 1950s on a small farm in Cornwall, England. This breed is known for its delightful curly coat, a result of a genetic mutation first spotted in a little cream-colored kitten named Kallibunker. The intriguing texture of the Cornish Rex’s fur is due to the lack of guard hairs, setting it apart from others.

Bodmin Moor, Cornwall, holds the key to this breed’s history. An exciting turn of events in 1950 led to the birth of Kallibunker, the pioneer of the Cornish Rex cats. Efforts to preserve the unique traits of this breed resulted in backcrossing, an interesting tactic that introduced more curly-coated cuties to the world.

Cornish Rex cats quickly captivated hearts, gaining popularity across continents. Their slender bodies, large ears, and long whippy tails give them an otherworldly elegance, traits further accentuated by crossbreeding with Siamese cats.

Despite similarities in appearance, it’s fascinating to note that the Devon Rex is a different kettle of fish. Sporting a different hair texture due to shorter guard hairs, Devon Rexes carry their own distinct genetic mutation. Want a short wavy fur cat? A cross between a Devon Rex and Cornish Rex won’t do the trick!

The breed faced challenges due to limited genetic diversity in its early days. Breeders took steps to ensure their survival by introducing new bloodlines. Domestic shorthairs, Siamese, and even Russian Blues contributed to the genetic robustness we now see in healthy Cornish Rex cats.

A nod to pop culture: the allure of the Cornish Rex reached mainstream attention with a feature in Life magazine in 1956. This coverage sparked worldwide interest and played a role in establishing the breed in North America, thanks to Frances Blancheri and a certain kitty named Lamorna Cove.

Today, the Cornish Rex is cherished for its unique look and loving personality. If you’re looking for a feline companion with history, quirkiness, and charm, you might just fall in love with this extraordinary breed.

Related: 11 Smartest Cat Breeds You Didn’t Know About!

Identifying Cornish Rex Cat

The Cornish Rex is a breed known for its soft, wavy coat that’s as delightful to touch as it is unusual in appearance. Unlike most cats, their curly fur is short, plush, and grows in tight marcel waves, making it a standout feature.

These adorable cats are often admired for their elegant, slender bodies that are muscular and flexible. They possess a graceful athleticism that’s hard to miss.

Another telltale sign of a Cornish Rex is their distinct head shape. They have a slightly rounded skull that gives way to high cheekbones, a strong chin, and an inquisitive look in their large, engaging eyes.

Their ears are strikingly large, and they stand proudly on the top of their heads like flags waving in the wind.

Playfulness is in a Cornish Rex’s nature, and they will be quick to show off their energetic personalities. These cats love to socialize and will often seek out human companionship or engage in playful antics, displaying an endearing and sociable demeanor.

Their intelligence and mischievous spirit make them delightful companions who can be trained to perform tricks or fetch toys.

The Cornish Rex is like a rainbow in the cat world, coming in an incredible variety of colors and patterns that could catch anyone’s eye. Imagine an artist’s palette brimming with hues – that’s the coat of a Cornish Rex!

These cats can display pure, single-color coats like striking black or pristine white, and they can also boast a blend of colors, like the warmth of a creamy beige or the sunny cheer of an orange tabby.

Their coat may come alive with well-defined patterns too, such as the classic stripes of a tabby, the sophisticated points of a Siamese, or the intricate swirls of a tortoiseshell. Even the ticked, speckled, or mottled designs are part of their wardrobe.

The spectrum extends to bi-color combinations as well, where you might see pretty patches of color splashed across their bodies.

Cornish rex breed profile portrait

Personality Traits

The Cornish Rex is an exceptionally friendly and outgoing breed of cat. They are extremely intelligent, active, and playful cats that thrive on attention and love to be in the middle of everything. 

They retain their kitten-like personalities throughout their lives which makes them excellent companions for children. 

These cats are also very acrobatic and enjoy playing fetch with toys just like a dog would. They do not like being left alone for long periods so it’s best to have another pet companion or human companion if you work long hours away from home. 

The Cornish Rex is also very affectionate towards humans; they will often show their affection by giving kisses, patting cheeks, or even offering a turned-back flip of the tail! 

When introducing other pets into the home, you must do so slowly and carefully. The Cornish Rex is social by nature and should get along easily with other animals if introduced correctly. 

Related: 11 Friendly Cat Breeds to Welcome into Your Home

Activity Level

The Cornish Rex is an extremely active, energetic cat breed that loves to run and play. They enjoy the company of their owners, other cats, and even some friendly dogs. 

Because of their agility and boundless energy, these cats are constantly on the go, whether it is chasing after toys or darting around the house. Their curiosity leads them to investigate every inch of their surroundings.

playful Cornish rex kitten cute

Cornish Rex Loyalty

You will not find a more devoted family pet than the Cornish Rex. Unlike certain breeds, the Cornish Rex is not distant or independent; rather, it likes to be right there with its human family at all times.

Their loyalty goes beyond simply being affectionate; these cats will follow their owners around the house.

Even when faced with unfamiliar situations or strange noises, these cats remain calm yet inquisitive, which makes them very easy-going companions for any household. 

Love Of Water

Cornish Rex cats are unique in that they love to spend time in the water. This is likely due to their short, thin coats, which dry quickly and don’t require much maintenance after a bath. 

While weekly bathing isn’t necessary for this breed, it’s important to introduce them to baths at an early age (around 16 weeks) so that it becomes a pleasant experience for them. 

When done properly, Cornish Rexes can even learn to enjoy swimming and playing with water toys!

curly fur Cornish rex pet


The Cornish is a unique breed of cat due to its highly trainable nature. This breed is known for its intelligence, friendliness, and inquisitive personality, which make it the ideal companion for those seeking a trainable cat.

Training a cat requires patience and dedication, but with the right methods, you can teach your Cornish Rex many different commands. Many of these cats have learned to sit, shake, wave, and even play fetch, with some even going so far as to use their paws to pick up objects.

When taught correctly, these cats respond well to positive reinforcement training, and they are eager to receive treats.

This breed’s trainability stems from their playful nature, as they are naturally drawn to games and activities that involve learning something new. With consistent reward-based training, they will learn quickly while having fun at the same time.

Additionally, this breed loves challenges, so if you give them puzzles or tasks that require problem-solving skills, they will enjoy every minute of it! 

It’s important to remember not to be too hard on them when training, as cats do have limits in what they can understand or accomplish, but with practice and patience, your Rex will soon become a well-behaved companion.

Adult Size

The Cornish Rex is a small to medium-sized cat. These cats are generally quite slender and have a height of 8 to 12 inches, with an average weight of 5 to 10 pounds.

Understanding the growth rate of your Cornish Rex can help you ensure they’re on track for a healthy life. Here’s a snapshot of their growth stages:

Kitten Phase: 0-6 months

  • Rapid growth with playful energy.
  • Double in size almost every few weeks.
  • Regular vet check-ups are important for vaccines.

Adolescent Phase: 6-12 months

  • Slower growth rate, but still growing.
  • Start to see their distinct curly coat develop.
  • Maintain a nutritious diet for optimal health.

Youth Phase: 1-3 years

  • Growth plateaus, reaching full size.
  • Stable weight and muscle tone are important.
  • Yearly health checks are recommended.

Adult Phase: 3 years and up

  • As growth halts, focus shifts to maintaining health.
  • Consistent weight; monitor for any changes.
  • Senior cats need more comfort and care.

Monitoring your Cornish Rex’s growth at each stage helps you cater to their changing needs as they grow from playful kittens to dignified adults. Keep them healthy and happy with love, play, and proper nutrition!

Cornish rex breed profile portrait

Life Expectancy

The Cornish Rex cat is a unique and beautiful breed that is known for its intelligence and affectionate nature. This breed has an average life expectancy of 12–16 years. However, many of them can live up to 20 years, making them one of the longest-living domestic cats in existence

To ensure your Cornish cat reaches its maximum lifespan, there are certain steps you can take to help keep it healthy and happy. The most important thing you can do for your cat is to make sure it receives regular veterinary checkups. 

During these visits, the vet will be able to monitor your pet’s health and identify any potential issues early on so they can be addressed before becoming more serious medical conditions. 

Make sure they get plenty of love and attention from their human family members; this will not only increase their life expectancy but also create lasting bonds between you both!

Cornish Rex Cat Care

Caring for this breed is an enjoyable experience for any cat owner. The first step to ensure their cleanliness is regular brushing and combing. 

Since the coat of a Cornish Rex is so fine, there’s no need to use rough brushes or combs; instead, all that’s needed is a gentle touch with your hand or a soft bristle brush or comb. This helps keep their coats looking neat and prevents mats from forming. 

If your cat has white fur, you may need to bathe it, as it can look dingy if not regularly bathed. In this case, you should use a mild shampoo specifically designed for cats and rinse thoroughly afterward. 

It’s also important to provide them with adequate warmth, as they tend to feel the cold more than other cats due to their short fur coat. Providing cozy sweaters can help keep them comfortable during the colder seasons. 

It’s also best practice, if possible, to build your cat an outdoor enclosure where they can jump and climb safely to protect them from potential predators or any other dangers outside, such as being hit by cars, etc.

playful Cornish rex kitten cute

Taking care of your friendly feline friend starts with the basics: grooming and cleanliness. To keep your cat’s pearly whites in tip-top shape, brushing their teeth is crucial. Doing it daily is the gold standard, but even a weekly brush makes a difference. Remember, a clean set of chompers means a happier kitty.

When it comes to those beautiful, expressive eyes, daily care is essential. Use a soft, moist cloth to gently wipe away any crust or discharge.

Pro tip: Use different parts of the cloth for each eye to prevent spreading germs.

Ear care is another cornerstone of cat health. Every week, take a peek inside those cute ears. If you spot dirt, simply swipe gently with a cotton ball dipped in a mix of cider vinegar and warm water. Watch out—steer clear of cotton swabs to avoid ear injuries!

But here’s the clincher for feline finesse: the litter box. Cats are super finicky about their bathroom space, so keep it squeaky clean. A pristine litter box matters to your cat more than you might think.

Follow these easy steps and your regal fur ball will be the picture of grace and health. Happy cat, happy life!


Nutrition is an important factor to consider when caring for a Cornish Rex cat. As earlier above, these cats tend to overeat and can easily become overweight if given the chance. 

This means that it is important to provide them with proper nutrition to ensure their health and well-being. The best way to meet the nutritional needs of your pet is by ensuring they have access to quality wet or dry food specially formulated for cats of this breed. 

These foods should be rich in protein, as proteins are essential for healthy muscle growth and development as well as providing energy throughout the day. 

Fats should also be included in their diet, as they help keep skin and coat healthy while supplying additional energy sources. However, these should come from beneficial sources such as fish oil or poultry fat rather than plant oils like corn oil which aren’t ideal for cats. 

Treats can also be used as part of your Cornish Rex’s diet; however, care should be taken not to overdo it so that calories don’t get out of control causing weight gain issues down the line.

Ideally only offer a few treats each day along with their regular meals instead of giving multiple snacks throughout the day.

Cornish Rex cats require a lot of clean drinking water daily to help keep them hydrated and healthy. 

To make sure this happens aim for multiple small water bowls placed around your home so that no matter where you’re at there’s always one available close by! Try to place the water bowl at least three feet away from any food sources so as not to overwhelm their sensitive noses. 

A filtered drinking fountain can be a great way to make sure that your cat has plenty of access to clean, fresh water throughout the day.

Cornish rex breed profile portrait

Exercise Requirement 

Keeping this breed active and engaged through regular playtime is essential for their overall well-being. Not only does it help to keep them physically fit, but it also helps maintain strong mental stimulation which can prevent boredom-induced behaviors such as excessive vocalization or destructive scratching.

Playtime activities for the Cornish Rex Cat should be tailored to their personalities. For example, if they are more independent by nature, then interactive toys like tunnels or wands may provide enough engagement for them without requiring too much direct human interaction. 

On the other hand, if they are more social creatures, then engaging in activities together such as fetching a toy with you would be beneficial. 

Regardless of what kind of activity you choose though, providing some form of physical exercise should always be part of your daily routine with your Cornish Rex Cat to promote good health and encourage positive behaviors within your pet’s environment.

Shedding Levels

The Cornish Rex is a low-shedding cat breed and can be a great choice for families looking for a low shedding cat breed.

Shedding levels of Cornish cats vary throughout their life stages. Kittens usually have thick fur coats which they shed as they reach maturity.

Kittenhood to Young Adulthood:

  • As kittens, Cornish Rex cats develop their first coat.
  • This coat is soft and light, leading to minimal shedding.
  • Proper grooming starts early, helping manage loose hairs.

Prime Adulthood:

  • Adult Cornish Rex cats have a full, wavy coat.
  • Their hair is short and fine, still shed less than most breeds.
  • Regular brushings capture loose curls, keeping furniture clean.

Senior Years:

  • Older Cornish Rex cats may have thinner coats.
  • Shedding might slightly increase due to health changes.
  • Gentle grooming supports their delicate skin and coat health.

In each stage, diet and health play a role in shedding levels. With these points, your Cornish Rex should stay as regal as ever, with a comfortable home free of excess hair.

Health Issues

The Cornish Rex has a very low-maintenance coat, which makes it great for allergy sufferers. This breed of cat has little to no shedding, so they don’t require much grooming and won’t deposit hair all over the house. 

Despite their low-maintenance coat, however, Cornish Rex cats are still susceptible to many diseases like any other breed of cat. Some common diseases affecting the Cornish Rex include:

  • Feline herpesvirus (FHV)
  • Feline calicivirus (FCV)
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • Patellar luxation. 
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Dental issues
  • Eye disorders such as entropion or ectropion,
  • Skin allergies that can trigger itching or hair loss.

Owners of this unique feline need to keep their pets up to date on vaccinations and regular veterinary checkups to prevent any potential health complications from arising.

Poor diet and living conditions can have a serious impact on the health of Cornish Rex cats. Poor nutrition can lead to obesity, malnutrition, and digestive problems. Make sure their living area is clean and sanitized. 

Visit your veterinarian regularly for check-ups so any potential issues can be identified early on. Lastly, make sure your Cornish Rex gets plenty of exercise through playtime or walks outdoors if possible!

Buying Tips 

  1.  Look for a healthy and well-socialized kitten. The Cornish Rex is a very active breed, so make sure you find one that has been handled from an early age and is used to being around people.
  2. Ask your breeder about the cat’s temperament. You want a kitten with an outgoing personality who will adjust easily to your home environment and be comfortable around other pets and family members.
  3. Make sure you are familiar with the genetic background of the Cornish Rex breed before making a purchase decision, as some genetic conditions tend to be more common in this breed than others. Ask your breeder about any potential health problems or predispositions associated with their cats or kittens before purchasing one so that you can better prepare yourself for any future issues that may arise due to genetics or hereditary factors beyond your control.
  4. Consider adopting a rescue cat if possible; there are many Cornish Rexes out there waiting for their forever homes! Rescued cats usually have already been spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and microchipped, saving you time and money on vet visits when bringing them home!

You Might Like: 250+ Amazing Cornish Rex Cat Names & How To Select One!

curly fur Cornish rex pet


The Cornish Rex is an excellent companion if you are looking for a unique and loving feline. With their curly coats, playful personalities, and affectionate nature, these cats make wonderful companions. 

They are relatively low-maintenance cats that enjoy spending time with their families. Plus, they don’t shed much hair compared to other breeds, making them a great choice for those with allergies or asthma. 

If you’re looking for a fun and loving cat that will bring joy to your home, the Cornish Rex Cat might be just what you need.

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