Thursday 24 February 2022

Where does the Cornish Rex come from?

The question in the title is asking about the origin of the cat breed called the Cornish Rex, one of the Rex cats. The first Cornish Rex cat was born in an old farmhouse on Bodmin Moor in Cornwall, UK on 21 July 1950. Originally the cat was called the 'English Rex' until a second form of Rex cat was discovered in nearby Devon (Devon Rex). The map below shows you the location of Bodmin, Cornwall.

A red tabby male cat in a litter of five kittens born to a standard farm cat called Serena was seen to be different to the others because he had an unusual curly coat. The owner, Mrs Nina Ennismore kept the kitten and on the advice of a geneticist, I am told, mated the curly-coated male kitten back to his mother, a tortoiseshell cat.

Beautiful Cornish Rex cat with a Van-type coat
Beautiful Cornish Rex cat with a Van-type coat. Photo: Pinterest.

This mating produced a litter containing two curly-coated kittens and one plain-coated kitten. They were back crossed a further time to produce further curly-coated kittens and the new breed called the Cornish Rex was established.

Clearly, a lot of inbreeding took place in those early days to establish this breed. This is typical of how breeders operate. They exercise a balancing act between too much inbreeding and fixing the appearance of the cat.

The first mail Cornish Rex cat and the founding cat of the breed 'Kallibunker'.

RELATED: Cornish Rex Cat.

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