This is a very nice photograph of the exceptionally soft and wavy coat of the Selkirk Rex. It comes from the Chatterie Du Berger website. They are Selkirk Rex breeders in Canada. You might know that this abnormal domestic cat fur coat is caused by an inherited dominant gene, a mutation. This is unlike the other Rex genes. For the Selkirk Rex, the gene is designated: Se.
At birth, and when they are kittens, the coat is soft and wavy. At approximately two months of age the coat becomes less curly according to the authors of Robinson’s Genetics for Cat Breeders and Veterinarians. They say that after that initial two month period the coat becomes dense, wavy and exceptionally soft as strongly indicated by the photograph on this page.
They also say that “the homozygous animal appears to have an identifiable appearance with tighter curls but a less dense coat”. The whiskers are very brittle and break off easily. The genetic designation for the hymozygous Selkirk Rex is SeSe. The coat is finer, more curly and sparser than the heterozygote cat. For cat shows the cat needs to be the heterozygous. Hymozygous means “an individual inherits the same alleles for a particular gene from both parents”. Heterozygous means: “an individual having two different alleles of a particular gene or genes, and so giving rise to varying offspring”.
Unlike the other Rex cats, the Selkirk Rex has been developed through selective breeding to be heavy boned with a rounded head and short muzzle. There is a long haired “variety”. In the long haired version the coat is not as long as in the Persian. You will find this breed in a wide spectrum of colours including solid colour, pointed, tabby, piebald (bicolour), smoke and silver as well as the full range of Burmese colours.
SOME MORE ON THE SELKIRK REX: