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History of the Cornish Rex

Individualistic, playful, extroverted, intelligent, inquisitive, affectionate, spirited, sweet natured, gentle & friendly


The Cornish Rex is a genetic mutation that originated from a litter of kittens born in the 1950s on a farm in Cornwall, UK, hence the first part of the breed's name. One of the kittens, a cream-colored male named Kallibunker, had an extremely unusual, fine and curly coat; he was the first Cornish Rex. The owner then bred Kallibunker back to his mother to produce other curly-coated kittens. Cornish Rexes were later brought to America and crossed with Siamese, giving them their long whippy tails and big ears.

Sometimes called the ‘Poodle Cat’, the Cornish Rex has soft, wavy, rippled coats which lack guard hairs, and therefore they don’t shed like other cats.Rex CoatThis means that the Cornish Rex require very little grooming, and they don’t deposit hair all over the house. This also means that this breed of cat is one to consider if you are an allergy sufferer. Even tempered and very affectionate, they also appeal because of their extremely quiet voices.

The discovery of the Rex mutant gene in farm cats from Cornwall, England in the early 1950’s was undoubtedly the most exciting event in the cat world this century. In a relatively short span of time, the breed has gone from strength to strength with the Cornish Rex cats making their presence felt on the show bench. The Cornish are taking their fair share of Best in Show awards, and are literally forcing the Cat Fancy to ‘sit up and take notice’!

The RexOnce seen, never forgotten. The Cornish Rex cat is delightful, distinctively different, constantly charming and captivating. Rexes need people, and given a choice will spend most of their time with humans.  When they are free to choose their own sleeping quarters, their first choice is the owner’s bed.  This is partly due to their desire for warmth.

It is hard to find words to do justice to all their fine qualities, but whether as a show cat or just as a pet, no-one could be immune to their magnificent coats. The Cornish Rex is truly one of nature’s miracles.


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