Monday 29 September 2008

Cornish Rex Cats

I've changed my mind about Cornish Rex Cats after seeing this picture on Flickr®, which is published here under a creative commons license - Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License. A fine photograph. I like the way the Dax's fur is reflected in the background colors and textures.

Cornish Rex Cats kitten picture
Cornish Rex Cats - kitten - he is called Dax - photo by Kattenpraat

The first of the "mutants" (as the authors of Robinson's Genetics for Cat Breeders & Veterinarians call this breed) was the Cornish Rex (1950). The individual cat was called Kallibunker. See his picture below (this I believe is Kallibunker - wrong? then please tell me in a comment)


Photo above: Kallibunker - you can see how the ears have grown because of selectively breeding for large ears. Cat breeders like big ears! Of course Kallibunker was "discovered" in Cornwall, England. This is in the far south west of England where the human population is lower. It is a popular tourist area for Brits.

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You can see a lot more including some great show cat pictures by the celebrated Helmi Flick on this page: Cornish Rex cat

Cornish Rex Coat
The mutated gene that gives the wavy coat in Cornish Rex cats is recessive. It is symbolized by the letter r. The coat is soft to the touch and like a mole-skin apparently. There are it seems no guard and awn hairs. The hairs are often distinctly wavy; a marcelled effect or curls (marcelled refers to people's hair styles that have deep wavy curls made by using curling irons). See the picture opposite for this effect. This is a cropped image copyright Helmi Flick.

The whiskers are shorter and frequently bent. The whiskers are a good marker to identify this breed in young cats.

The coat can be thin or a thick covering. Robinsons calls it a "pelage". A dictionary definition of the word pelage states that it means the coat of an animal consisting of hair fur or wool....Not very enlightening really.

There is a long haired variety of this cat breed. Although the hair lengths are longer that usual they are shorter than a non-rex coated longhaired cat and the hairs are thinner. This indicates the long haired gene (symbolized by the letter l) can work independently of the mutated rex gene.


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