Beauty & Brains: Meet the Cornish Rex

The first time you see a Cornish Rex, you will probably do a double take. They are certainly a sight to behold. Often described as the Greyhound of the cat world, these beautiful cats are uniquely gorgeous. Any Cornish Rex owner will tell you, though, there’s way more to these cats than a pretty face.

Cornish Rex Origins

The Cornish Rex originated in the 1950s, making it a relatively new breed. It all started in Cornwall, England when a litter of barn cats was born. One of these cats, in particular, had a very special trait–wavy, super soft fur. This cat, Kallibunker (Kalli for short) was the very first of his kind. We now know that his special coat was the result of a recessive genetic mutation. Kalli and his son went on to sire many curly-coated kitties, and the Cornish Rex breed was born. News traveled quickly of these unique cats, and soon one of Kalli’s granddaughters made her way (while pregnant!) to California, where the first Cornish Rexes were born in the United States.

black and white cornish rex

Cornish Rex Characteristics

The foundation of the Cornish Rex includes influences from the Burmese, Siamese, and British Shorthair. Because of such a broad genetic foundation, the Cornish Rex is a very healthy breed and susceptible to very few health problems. A smaller cat breed, they range from between 5 to 10 pounds.

In addition to their curly coats (which you really have to feel to believe), Cornish Rexes are known for their enormous expressive ears and large eyes. They also have a prominent Roman nose, giving them a distinctive profile. Despite their slender bodies, they are anything but fragile. Cornish Rexes, or Cornies as they are affectionately known, have very strong hind legs and are extremely adept at jumping and climbing.

Cornies come in a rainbow of kitty colors. They can be any solid color, any type of tabby, tortoiseshell or other dilute colors, or even pointed like a Siamese. Like other very shorthaired cats, their bodies tend to be a little warmer than other cats, making them wonderful to snuggle and hug. Cornish Rex cats are perfect for cat owners who love to cuddle, and will often want to join you under the covers at night.

lilac point cornish rex

What it’s Like Owning a Cornish Rex Cat

If you are interested in bringing a Cornish Rex into your home, be prepared. These cats are almost like perma-kittens. They stay curious, playful, and a little bit crazy their whole lives. They are also extremely intelligent and will probably require some “child proofing” of your home. These cats will often climb to the top of the fridge or highest cabinet in the house. You must be willing to spend a lot of time with your kitty because they require a great deal of attention. They love to be with their people, and will often insist on being in your lap, on your shoulder, under your blanket, underfoot–you get the idea. We recommend they have another animal to keep them company as a playmate. Better yet, get a pair of Cornies and watch the fun unfold.

As demanding as the Cornish Rex cat is, they return the effort a thousandfold. They are devoted, loving little guys. They are cheerful companions and great in families. The more people around to love a Cornie, the better. That includes any strangers who may visit your home!

The Cornish Rex is many things: a unique conversation starter, a beautiful animal, a clownish source of entertainment, and a devoted friend. They make great pets to anyone who wants to be truly best friends with their kitty, and bring boundless joy to any household.

heterochromic cornish rex cat winking one eye