Cats get a bad rap for being annoying, overwhelming, and a bit judgy, We at Pride+Groom think all cats are beautiful. We love how much personality cats have and find them funny, quirky and adorable.
Just with dog preferences, different people have varying preferences when it comes to cat breeds. Some prefer small cats, some like bold cats, and others adore a feline with a muscular body. To each his own.
Still, one of the most eye-catching cat breeds is those with curly coats! Here, you will see six of the most common curly-haired cats and learn basic facts about them. This can help cat lovers make up their minds about their next feline friend.
Why Do Some Cats Have Curly Hair?
This is a question that baffles a lot of people. Usually, we see cats that have straight, fluffy fur in everyday situations. But curly coats? Who knew? That must be an anomaly?
Well, it is. Kind of. And the main explanation for this is a spontaneous genetic mutation.
It's All About Biology
In your high school biology class, you must have heard about dominant and recessive traits. The dominant trait of a cat's coat is straight hair, while the recessive trait is curly hair. Most of the time, a cat is born with the dominant trait.
There are instances, however, that a genetic oddity called a Rex mutation happens. And this mutation causes kittens to be born with the recessive trait for their coa…curly hair!
Curly is Special
Take note that this does not mean that curly-haired cats are anything abnormal. They are just special because they are statistically rare.
When you decide to get a cat with curly fur, you have to remember that each breed has its own features and needs, too. Do the necessary research beforehand and ask your cat lover friends for suggestions.
Curly Haired Cats
When it comes to the feline world, there are a couple of leading organizations. Two of which are The International Cat Association (TICA) and the Cat Fancier's Association (CFA). These entities are composed of members that are not just crazy about cats but are also well-educated about them.
For both TICA and CFA, there are only fourofficial curly hair breeds:
- Selkirk rex,
- LaPerm cats,
- Devon rex,
- Cornish rex cats.
Cat breeds with curly fur are gaining in popularity, and they may soon be recognized by leading cat organizations.
Imagine a British short hair with fuzzy fur. Yup, that is what Selkirk rex cats look like. Even their whiskers are curly whiskers!
This particular breed is known for being affectionate and having a variety of colors. A Selkirk rex kitten can live for up to 20 years when taken care of properly.
Have you ever gotten a perm? Then that should give you an idea of why LaPerm cats are called “LaPerm”. Lucky for them they don't need to spend hours in the salon chair to get their fur curled.
LaPerm kittens grow slowly. It may take them around three years to mature. But once they do, they become medium-sized cats that are very low-maintenance and family-friendly.
Don't let its appearance deceive you. A Devon rex may look like a feral cat because of its large ears, small face, and short curly hair. But deep inside, this cat has a playful attitude that makes it a great family pet.
Plus, it does not shed as much, so you have less maintenance and less wavy hair all over your house.
Cornish rex cats
Similar to a Devon rex, a Cornish rex is also known for having short curly hair and a bold personality. They almost look alike. But if you really want to differentiate them, a rule of thumb is that Cornish rex cats are smaller or thinner compared to Devon rex cats.
Are there other cat breeds with curly hair?
As mentioned, TICA and the CFA only recognize four curly-haired cat breeds at the moment. However, that does not mean that there is no other curly fur cat. There are a lot.
Skookum, Tasman Manx, and Other Breeds
A nice example is the Skookum, a dwarf curly-haired cat. Skookums are products of cross-breeding between a LaPerm and a Munchkin cat.
Another example is the Tasman Manx, a medium-sized cat native to New Zealand and Australia. What makes this cat special is not just its curly hair but also its lack of tai which is very unusual for a cat.
We can add more curly-haired cats to the list. There are German rex, Oregon rex, and many other rex cat breeds. You will never run out of options. But, no matter which cat you get, make sure you take care of all their coat-care needs.
How to Care for a Curly Haired cat breed
Taking care of a curly-haired cat is the same as taking care of a cat with straight and/or long hair. You need to brush them regularly to avoid matting and to maintain the color and texture of their natural coat. All you need is a good cat fur brush, and sometimes even your hands work.
Our ONLY BRUSH is perfect brush for curly haired cat breeds, as it has boar bristles and pins to work extensively through the curls and to give your cat's curls that smooth finish.
Here's a warning for owners of short curly-haired cats such as the Devon rex and Cornish rex:
The coat of a Devon Rex or Cornish Rex is relatively thin causing them to be prone to sunburns. Given that cats are generally independent creatures, keep your eye on these two making sure they don’t roam in the sun for a prolonged period of time.
You might need to bathe your curly cats occasionally, especially if they roam outdoors a lot. However, don't just use any shampoo - ask for veterinary advice first so you can maintain your cat's curly coat.
From the experience of our clients and vet's approval, we can recommend using waterless pet shampoo to maintain the hygiene of your cat without losing the luscious curls. Just apply the foam of MANE TAME all over your cat and use the brush afterwards. For easy use watch our "How to" video. In addition, most cats do not love a bath making the MANE TAME waterless shampoo the perfect option.
Yes, curly cats are adorable. Selkirk rex, LaPerm, Devon rex and Cornish rex are cat breeds that will be happy additions to your family.
Just like adding a dog to your family, we hope you get a curly cat breed not only because you find them irresistibly adorable but because you have done your research and you want to help them experience a beautiful and well-lived life. Any cat, be it curly haired, straight haired, fluffy or bald need your time, care, and lots of love! Pride+Groom is a destination for the perfect pet life so don’t hesitate to check us out for products and valuable information.