Wednesday 1 October 2008

Selkirk Rex Cat

This is a fine photograph of the Selkirk Rex cat by the celebrated cat photographer Helmi Flick.

You can see more pictures and read a lot more, generally, about this cat on this page: Selkirk Rex cat.

This breed has a quality in respect of appearance that is a little like a sheep because of the curly coat and the cobby body type.

Selkirk Rex cat
Selkirk Rex cat
photograph is copyright Helmi Flick

Photo above: he looks an extremely well behaved cat and quality show cats have fine characters.

The Selkirk Rex cat originates in the USA, Wyoming (1987). Another curly coated cat also originates in the USA, the LaPerm (Oregon). And two other curly coated cats started in the UK, the Cornish (Cornwall) and the Devon Rex (Devon). And another started in Germany, yes, the German Rex (Berlin).

The mutant gene that gives this cat the curls is a dominant gene. The gene is symbolized by the letter Se. The coat is wavy and soft at birth. The coat gradually becomes less wavy at 2 months of age; then developing into a beautifully soft and wavy coat as an adult cat. I think that you can tell this from Helmi's photograph.

Selkirk Rex Cat - Photo copyright Helmi Flick

The long hair is produced by the recessive longhaired gene signified by the letter l. It is thought that the gene operates by directing that the hair grows for a longer period than normal. The growth phase is known as the "Anagen Phase". The longer hair exaggerates the variation in hair length normally present. Show cats are breed such that the longer hair is also silky. This might be because the down hairs are lengthened as well as the guard and awn hairs. The down hairs are very thin and delicate (and therefore soft). Selective breeding produces this and this breeding introduces polygenic factors to operate on the phenotype of the coat.

The longer hair of the Selkirk Rex cat means that the waviness is less obvious. When the dominant mutant gene that produces the wavy coat is homozygous the curls are tighter and the coat less dense.

As to the whiskers these are like the other rex cats; fragile, short and bent.

Selkirk Rex cat to Home Page

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