Photo by loveshobbits25

Cornish Rex - Breed Profile:

Origin: Great Britain
Colors: Any
Size: Small to medium
Coat Type(s): Shorthair, curly-haired
Grooming: Little
Talkativeness: Quiet
Activity Level: Very high
Attention Requirement: High
Overall: Can be a handful

Breed video: Cornish Rex

The Cornish Rex is relatively a new cat breed originated about 60 years ago. These cats have no guard hair (outer fur) but only undercoat (down fur). The latter is fine, silky, and curly. This makes Cornish Rexes pretty recognizable.

Physical characteristics

Cornish Rexes are small-to-medium size cats with a very slender appearance. Looking at their long lean body, long legs, neat oval paws, and arched back, you may conclude that this lithe and willowy cat is too weakly. However, this is a completely wrong impression. They have rather strong bones, muscles, teeth, and claws, so you had better not vex a self-assured Cornish Rex. Their long, tapering towards the end tail is extremely flexible. They have a relatively small egg-shaped head with a developed chin, prominent cheekbones, and curly whiskers. Oval-shaped eyes are slant slightly. Cornish Rexes have very large, highly set ears.
Cornish Rexes are considered to be one of the smallest cat breeds. Adult males weigh 6 to 9 pounds; adult females weigh 5 to 7 pounds.


These cats are very active, affectionate, intelligent and fearless. Rather vocal, though it depends on a certain cat's character. They have a strong personality and a great independent spirit. Extremely curious, they love people and company; they love to interact. You had better not leave them alone for too long a time. Cornish Rexes generally get on well with other cats, although can easily be the only pet in the house. Cats of this breed, as well as the Burmese, Bengal, and Ocicat, can be trained to do some tricks, including the fetch game. Moreover, don't be surprised if you see your Rex wagging the tail like a dog - this is the way these cats can express pleasure and satisfaction. Devoted and playful, Cornish Rexes may become a perfect pet for a family. But if you want your cats to stay aloof, the Cornish Rex is not the right breed for you.
Photo by Lisa

Cornish Rexes have an extremely slender appearance with a long tail and long legs.

Coat and grooming

Cornish Rex cats come in a great variety of colours and patterns: solid, tabby, bicolour, tortoiseshell, "smoke" colours, and the colour point pattern that is typical for the Siamese breed.
Their short curly coat, as it has been mentioned, consists of undercoat only. It is extremely soft and silky. Very little grooming is necessary. Cornish Rexes are known to be little shedding cats.


Cornish Rexes are generally healthy. However, they (and probably all the rex cats) can have serious, even fatal reactions to certain anesthetics such as Ketamine, Imalgene, Clorketam, Zoletil, and the gas Halothane. Avoid them for your pet's safery. It is also extremely important to discuss this issue with your vet before allowing your cat to be anesthetized. Many vets, unfortunately, have no idea of this breed quirk.

Other interesting facts

Cornish Rexes produce less allergens than the majority of other cats.
This breed is often confused with the Devon Rex. Read about the difference between the Devon and Cornish Rexes.