The Cornish Rex is a small to a medium-sized cat breed with an extraordinary appearance, from his egg-shaped head and curly whiskers to his short coat with bent hairs. The cat is often called the greyhound of the cat fancy because of its slim appearance and energetic personality; it possesses an unusual wavy coat that comes in many colors and patterns, including bicolor (one color and white) and tortoiseshell.
The first identified Cornish Rex, named for his coat’s resemblance to that of a rex rabbit, made his appearance in Cornwall in 1950. What distinguishes the Cornish Rex is not only the coats. He has an egg-shaped head topped with large ears, big eyes, curly whiskers, and unusually long hind legs.
With their outgoing and playful nature, the Cornish Rex is a good choice for families with children, other pets, or frequent guests. The cat makes an excellent therapy cat and is a good traveler.
Is Cornish Rex cat Hypoallergenic?
It is commonly believed that the Cornish Rex coat is hypoallergenic probably because of its texture; this claim is not true. Allergies are not caused by a particular type of coat but by dander, the dead skin cells that are shed by all living things with cats inclusive. There is no scientific evidence that proves that any breed or crossbreed is more or less allergenic than any other cat. Some people with allergies react less severely to particular cats, but no reputable breeder will guarantee that her cats are hypoallergenic.
Despite the similarities between both the Selkirk Rex and the Devon Rex, Cornish Rex’s signature curl is unique to the breed. This curl is also referred to as the Marcel Wave, a nod to a popular wavy hairstyle of the 1930s. This unusual short topcoat is where the rumored hypoallergenic claim began. As believed by many people, the amount of fur or hair that an animal has is what causes their allergy.
Lyons debunked this claim. Cats are unique within the animal world because they produce a specific protein that other animals do not—even dogs—which is why some people are incredibly allergic to cats and not other species. This is known as the Fel d 1 protein, and it’s found in the cat’s skin, saliva, and urine.
The Fel d 1-containing saliva dries and becomes an airborne allergen when a cat licks its fur to clean itself. Lyons reported that when people say dander, what they mean are the proteins that are in the cat’s saliva. According to her, when you are allergic to animals, you are allergic to several different proteins, but the cats have their special protein. Because of the presence of that protein, cat allergies are twice as common as dog allergies.
The possession of excessive furs in cats does not mean the cats are producing more allergens. What this indicates is the release of more allergens into the environment. The hair is a vector for the allergen to get around the house and get into the air; this is why bringing a cat into a home for a short time can bother allergic visitors long after the cat is gone
While dog allergies also stem from proteins in their saliva, Dr. William H. Miller, a professor of dermatology at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, clearly says that cats spread their allergens in a few different ways. “With cat allergens on the skin, they are then on the hands of the cat’s owner, who will take these allergens with her,” says Dr. Miller. “Like the cat grooms, it covers itself in its saliva which will become aerosolized (turned into vapor) when dry. That, coupled with the cat’s habit of covering every square inch of the house, makes cat allergen very widespread.”
So, the question is: Do any cats truly deserve the title of being hypoallergenic?
“No!”, says Lyons. “If anything is closest to being hypoallergenic, it’s the Siberian, which is a big long fluffy-haired breed,” she says. “People have noticed that specific Siberian cats do not elicit as much of an allergy response as other cats.”
Breeding Of Cornish Rex Hypoallergenic Cats
Breeders can only preserve the pure line by breeding a male and a female with the same wavy hair. This is because the gene responsible for the spontaneous genetic mutation that causes the thin hair coat and whiskers to grow in pattern waves instead of straight is a recessive gene. This is according to feline experts Benjamin and Lynette Hart in their book on cat breeds, known as “Your Ideal Cat”.
While inbreeding of Cornish Rex cats can be tricky, breeders endorse inbreeding when dealing with the specific gene responsible for the Cornish Rex breed. While some species or breeds may experience health-related problems due to excessive inbreeding, Lyons says, Cornish Rex is part of cat breeds that have a small population size that do quite well from a diversity point of view.
According to Dr Lyon, The Cornish Rex mutation is recessive; therefore, inbreeding is recommended, that is, breed a Rex cat to a Rex, she further noted that Cornish Rex seems to be one of the cat breeds that have genetically favoured and healthy, probably because the breed started with a good base gene pool. It doesn’t have a whole list of genetic problems associated with it.
The Cornish Rex is not the victim of a hairstylist experimenting with a permanent wave solution. His short, wavy, soft coat is the product of a spontaneous natural mutation, a very common occurrence in the world of cats.
Unique Traits and Grooming of Cornish Rex Cat
The Cornish Rex has a unique feature as its head is about one-third longer than its width; it appears sleeky but has good weight. The cat shares the same temperature range as other cats, but its light coat makes it look warm to the touch. This breed has a soft and silky short coat. The wavy fur rests close to the skin and extends to the chest and belly. Cornish Rex Cat coat needs less grooming. The hairs are fragile, and vigorous brushing or combing can damage it. The ears and paws require regular cleaning as they may develop a greasy feel.
The Cornish Rex is a very intelligent cat. Challenging his brain by teaching him tricks and providing him with puzzle toys that will reward him with kibble or treats when he learns to manipulate them is really appropriate for him. The Cornish Rex is well suited to any home with people who will love him, so playing with him and giving him the attention he seeks is good. Keep him indoors to protect him from sunburn, cars, diseases spread by other cats, and attacks from other animals.
This breed is generally healthy. Still, his coat offers little protection from the sun’s rays, so not letting him bask outdoors is necessary. He may also be prone to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and patellar luxation, a condition in which one or both kneecaps may slide out of place, and cause difficulty in walking. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the most common form of heart disease in cats. It causes thickening (hypertrophy) of the heart muscle.
Weekly nail trimming and occasional ear cleaning is the only other care that he needs. Brush his teeth frequently with a vet-approved pet toothpaste for good overall health and fresh breath. Look and sniff inside his big ears to make sure there’s no redness or a bad odor that could indicate an infection. If the ears look dirty, it is important to wipe them out with a cotton ball moistened with a gentle cleanser that is recommended by the veterinarian.