A breed with a very curly, soft coat Devon Rex resembles the Cornish Rex in many ways. In fact it was discovered just ten years after the latter, in the same British Isles. Devon Rex was first seen in a litter of kittens in Devonshire. The cute baby was thought to be a Cornish Rex and initially bred with Cornish females to supplement their limited population at that time. However, it soon became apparent that the gene responsible for Devon's hair was different. Plus Devon had guard hair that the Cornish lacked, even as they were often sparse and easily breakable. Devon Rex cats moved to United States in late nineteen sixties, after their discovery early in that decade. By the mid eighties they had gained general acceptance amongst cat fanciers. As part of their development they were outcrossed with Burmese and American and British Shorthairs. Today they still remain one of the less common feline breeds.
Devon Rex cats have a deceptively slight body. They are well muscled and strong, weighing between six to ten pounds on average. Head is triangular and flat on top. Ears are big, low set on the skull and rounded at the tips. The big bright oval eyes are widely spaced and slope towards ears. Nose is slightly upturned. Fur is soft and curly and is seen in a number of colors and patterns including tabby, tortie, calico, smoke and solid. Hair break off easily and there are often bald patches seen on the body. Even the whiskers are curly and sometimes completely absent. Overall they are slender cats with an ethereal appearance, leading to them being called 'pixie' or 'alien' cats.
Devons often accumulate oil on their skin owing to their stunted hair that fail to absorb it. This alongside the accumulation of dust can lead to skin problems, and therefore requires periodic grooming and bathing of the cat. Also their large ears trap dirt readily and should be swabbed regularly. The short hair are beneficial in the sense that they don't lead to a lot of shedding and are suited for people allergic to cats. However they do mean that the cats catch cold easily and look for warmth in the winter by snoozing on electronic equipments and cuddling under blankets. Owing to past inbreeding, some Devon lines carry occasional hereditary illnesses including cardiac myopathy.
Devon Rex's personality is often considered to be a combination of a cat, dog and monkey's attributes. They are more curious and inquisitive in their nature than most cats, are affectionate and easily trainable like dogs, and are athletic and possessive of an unusual fondness for high places like monkeys.