This week in our series on Getting to Know Your Cat Breed we are featuring the Devon Rex. The Devon is a small pixie-like cat with big ears and a big personality.
Life expectancy: 9 to 15 years
Size: Devon’s are on the small side at 5 -10 lbs.Appearance: Devons are small pixie like cats with big wide eyes and large pointy ears. The combination of their appearance with their unique curly coat and you have a waifish adorable looking cat. Colors include a wide array of solid, shaded, smoke, tabby, bi-color, and pointed patterns.
Origins: The Devon Rex hails from Devonshire, England where they were first identified. They take their name from Devonshire and from the rex rabbit, which has a similar curly-haired coat like the Devon Rex cat. The Devon was actually an accident of genetics. They were thought to be descendants of the Cornish Rex, but the original Devon, named Kirlee appears to have gotten his curly coat through a different gene as he did not inherit other specific Cornish Rex traits.Personality: To go along with the pixie-like appearance, they have a bright and energetic personality. They enjoy being a part of the action and will perch on your shoulder or a high shelf in order to get the best view of the action. The are big eaters, so be sure and watch your counters or they will snack on whatever they find. They are friendly and would make good therapy cats.
Health Issues: The Devon is generally healthy, but like all bred animals may have some susceptibility to certain conditions. Problems identified with the breed include hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a common form of heart disease that causes a thickening of the heart muscle, patellar luxation, a problem with the kneecap – a fairly common issue with cats and a condition called hereditary myopathy that affects muscle function.
Fitness/energy level: Devon’s are playful with a medium energy level. They like games and will play fetch as well as puzzle toys, lasers and other cat toys. They don’t need a lot of exercise, but they do need to stretch their legs and their mind.Native foods for the Devon Rex: Native foods for the Devon Rex are foods found in the the UK and include: venison, rabbit, duck and salmon
Good foods to feed your Devon Rex: Based on the Devon’s origin, here are a few foods that contain some of the key ingredients that the original Devons would have likely eaten. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but rather provide ‘food for thought’.
- Recognized by the Cat Fancier’s Association in 1979.
- Devon’s lack a proper coat to sustain long periods of time outdoors, so they are best as indoor cats.
- Like their coat, the Devon’s whiskers are also curly.