This is a really good picture of a Selkirk Rex cat which shows off the curly coat beautifully. You may well know that the breed is aptly described as “The cat in sheep’s clothing”, or a “Sheepcat”.
As you can tell by the name, the Selkirk Rex cat is part of the Rex family of cat breeds. But unlike the other Rex breeds, the Selkirk has a bulky appearance with a more muscular body. This is quite a stocky looking “cobby” cat to refer to cat fancy language in describing cat body types.
The first Selkirk Rex was spotted in 1987 as a curly-coated, dilute calico female kitten in a normal straight haired litter of random bred cats. The litter had been deposited in an animal shelter with their mother. It happened in America, in Wyoming. As the cat looked interesting it was developed by a breeder and then by breeders and eventually became an cat breed accepted by the cat associations.
This cat breed is named after the Selkirk Mountains in Wyoming. The mutant gene which causes the coat to become curly is called the “Selkirk Rex gene” and it is inherited as a dominant trait unlike the other Rex genes. The symbol for this gene is Se. At birth and when the kittens are young, the coat is soft and wavy. After about two months the coat passes through a phase when it is less curly. When the cat becomes an adult the coat is dense, very soft and wavy.
The homozygous cat appears to have a different appearance with tighter curls but a less dense coat and like the Devon Rex the whiskers of the homozygous cat appear to be very brittle and break off easily. “Homozygous” means having two identical alleles of a particular gene or genes.
The Selkirk Rex’s coat fascintates people as it looks very unusual. However, despite this the cat breed does not rank as one of the most popular. There are no health issues associated with mutant gene which causes the curly coat unlike in some cat breeds such as the Scottish Fold where the gene can have severe health consequences.