One of the few curly-haired cat breeds, Selkirk Rex, has become the pride of many breeders and lovers of mustachioe. "Over the eyes," even experts call the new breed super cats. A long-haired curly-haired kitten was born, whose "fur coat" resembled a sheep’s coat, was the result of a natural mutation of genes and a gift to humanity.
The mother of the first super-kitten was an ordinary stray cat, who got into the shelter already pregnant. Later, it was suggested that the cat was covered by a Persian cat. US medical and veterinary ethics, which doctors and volunteers relied on in the late 80s, did not involve sterilization of cats in late pregnancy, which was a decisive factor for the breed.
Among the kittens born, the attention of the volunteers was attracted by a baby with curly hair, antennae and eyebrows. The "glamorous" tricolor crumb with emerald eyes received a very presentable name - Miss de Pesto of Nofeys and was transferred to the experienced hands of Jerry Newman - breeders of Persian cats. Upon reaching 14 months of age, the unusual cat was crossed with a black tribal Persian cat. Two months of painful waiting ended in a sensation, Miss de Pesto became the mother of six kittens, 3 of which were “curls”. Not only that, two curly-haired kittens were born with soft long hair, therefore, Selkirk Rex cats were divided into long and short-haired cats from the very beginning. The breed was named after the father of Jerry Newman.
In the process of fixing and breeding a new species of pets, curly-haired representatives mated with Persian cats also with American, British and exotic shorthair. Statistical accounting of litters and a detailed study of mating by genetic biologists led to the conclusion that the "curler gene" is dominant.
The first recognition of Selkirk Rex occurred in 1992, but by 2000, most international clubs recognized a separate breed in the curlers. Work on data consolidation lasted until January 2015, after which interbreeding was prohibited and only cats of the Selkirk Rex breed can participate in breeding. The USA, Germany and neighboring countries have shown themselves to be the biggest fans of original pets, where most of the representatives of the tribal Selkirks live. The long-awaited in Russia, the first representative of "cat-sheep", was brought in 2008.
I must say that the emergence of a new breed is a combination of happy circumstances and the merit of the breeder, who believed in the baby Miss de Pesto. Usually, offspring from purebred parents born with abnormalities in the exterior are discarded from breeding and sold as pets with sterilization conditions. Against this background, it is hard to realize that the usual "yard" kitten became the ancestor of the breed.
Let's move on to the most interesting - the appearance of the "curlers". Regardless of the type of coat and color, curly babies are born with twisted tendrils and eyebrows if the latter are formed. The number of curly kittens in the litter depends on the genome of the parents, but we will deal with this below.
It is enough to look at the photo of the long-haired Selkirk Rex to fully appreciate the exoticness of the “curls” wool coat. No less attractive shorthair representatives of the breed require less thorough care, which is their practical advantage.
The solid undercoat, core and main hair have a different structure, due to which a bump effect is created. Most spiral curls are located on the neck and tail. By the way, the intensity of the curls can vary depending on the time of year, weather conditions, climate, puberty and hormonal levels.
Selkirk Rex kittens, depending on the genome of their parents, are born smooth-haired or very curly-haired. Wavy-haired babies can take one or two pairs of curly genes. If a kitten carries a homozygous gene (double), all of its future offspring will be born with curlicues. A baby with one pair of genes will bring “motley” offspring exclusively from a curly partner. The dominance of genes distinguishes Selkirk Rex from their "blood brothers" Devon, German and Cornish Rex.
If you plan to purchase an exotic pet, you should be interested in the pedigree and characteristics of the pedigree line, and not in the appearance of the baby at 2 months of age. If the parents and progenitors of the “child” were distinguished by a “weak curl,” then miracles should not be expected. The next "narrow" moment is "I will sell the Selkirk Rex kitten, age 1 month," this is at least an attempt by a dishonorable breeder to mislead you. The final belonging of the litter to the "pure breed" can be done no earlier than 2 months of age.
Note! Not a single decent breeder will give any guarantees what exactly will be the kitten's coat in the future. The "hairstyle" is formed up to 2 years of age, and even the most curly-haired representatives "straighten out" in adolescence. Curls return to 8-10 months. When transferring a kitten, only 1 aspect is clear - the length of the coat.
The most furry cat among the "curlers" has medium or large dimensions, its weight ranges from 3 to 5 kg and depends on gender. The palette of coat colors and irises can be varied, breeding preference is given to pets with a clear and rich pattern. If we consider the description of the breed as a whole, the conclusion subjectively suggests that Selkirk Rex took the best features from its ancestors, "weeding out" the weak genes. The breed standard of the exhibition representatives is as follows:
- The head is round, massive, wide with a powerful jaw box and concave nose bridge.
- Muzzle with smooth outlines, short, pronounced, sagging cheeks.
- Vibrises and eyebrows curled, spiral or wavy.
- The eyes are pronounced, set wide, with a single color pigmentation, in harmony with the main coat color.
- The ears are wide with a rounded apex; in the inner part of the auricle there are clearly distinguishable curls.
- The body is strong, muscular in shape with a "rectangular profile".
- The backbone is wide, well developed, proportionate.
- The neck is strong, thick with the obligatory presence of curls.
- Paws are medium or short, with well or moderately developed muscles.
- Round brush "clenched into a fist."
- The tail is thick and rounded at the end, medium long (proportional to the body).
Note! One of the highlights is a smooth transition from nose to forehead. A sharp, angular transition is considered a disadvantage for breeding work. In the presence of developmental defects, nodules on the tail, strabismus, problems with prolapse of the testicles, congenital deafness or blindness, the animals must be sterilized and rejected from breeding.
Character and education
From early childhood, Selkirk Rex gravitate to people's attention. If the baby walks confidently, your knees should not be free. The process of formation of the mental health of kittens can be safely compared with the human one, the more attention a small "curler" gets, the more self-sufficient and calmer your pet will be in the future.
The ability to adapt Selkirk rex was adopted from the Persians. Whether the pet will accept a puppy, a kitten or whether it will be friends with a child depends on the atmosphere in the family. If the animal feels that they love it, it will reciprocate, but if you stop paying attention to the ward and risk getting unpleasant consequences in the form of "cat revenge".
Note! Selkirk Rex is very patient, tolerant and emotionally restrained to the belly. If your pet has shown aggression or "naughty" in the house, then you are a "sinner", and rather big. Understand, look for what offended the pet and correct the situation, unlike many exotic breeds, Selkirk Rex is very "outgoing".
The nature of the animal is characterized by complaisance and friendliness, which makes it possible to “smooth out all corners”, even if the pet came to you in adulthood. "Kucheryashki" are very good listeners and, with the right approach, between the owner and the pet, through close relationships, trusting relationships are established. Games are another tool for networking and daily activities. Selkirk Rexa does not have a highly developed hunting instinct, and the fur coat is not adapted for climbing in the grass and basements, but “fluffy” and wrestling in a playful way will please your fuzz.
Selkirk Rex is well suited for living in an apartment and is calm about the temporary absence of owners. The owner should take care of the availability of toys and claws, especially if a young kitten remains at home, who will seek entertainment for himself. Accustoming to the toilet tray is fast, and "misfires" are extremely rare. If you plan to buy a Selkirk Rex kitten, you can not worry about the initial training of a new family member. Toddlers are sold when they reach 2 months of age, thanks to which a cat-mother and a breeder manage to teach “children” good manners.
Note! Selkirk rex is a person, unique and inimitable, as the breeders note, each representative has “his own opinion”. In addition, pets quickly and strongly become attached to the owners, and this requires reciprocity.
Maintenance and care
And now the “berries”, you probably already guessed that this is not about unpretentious pets. The main highlight of the breed is wool, which is the “Achilles heel” in the laudatory description of super cats.
Important! The use of a hair dryer for drying wool is strictly not recommended.
No matter what kind of Selkirk Rex will live with you, daily combing is necessary. In addition, a long-haired pet is combed out during seasonal molting as necessary, and this is at least 2 times a day. Ignoring the daily ritual will lead to the formation of warlocks, which are almost impossible to unravel, and bald patches from trimmed tufts of wool will not decorate your pet. For hair care you will need:
- A comb with long, stiff and rounded teeth for combing the main cover - your task is to prepare a fur coat for the care of the undercoat. If the hairs are tangled, the animal will be hurt when combing.
- A brush with small teeth for combing the undercoat or furminator is needed for daily care, especially during seasonal molting.
- Children's scissors with rounded ends - to separate the newly formed small warlocks. A knot of wool is cut vertically with respect to the body. Having made several small incisions, manually release the long hairs and remove the stray sublimate.
- Water spray - after combing, gently spray the wool with water and crush the curls, returning their "springiness".
Note! The frequency of combing depends on the type of curl. Ask the breeder how often you need to comb out the parents of the baby and rely on this data. Selkirk rex with strong, elastic curls is less prone to tangling wool.
The type of diet depends on your "host" preferences, the breed is not prone to indigestion and allergies, the main thing is that the food is balanced and clearly calculated by weight, many Selkirk Rexes are prone to overeating. Ask the breeders what they fed the baby after weaning from mother's milk, if you are not satisfied with the option, be sure to read how to properly transfer the cat to a different type of food. Lack of vitamins, trace elements and nutrients can adversely affect the animal, and especially on its "fur coat".
There are no specific instructions or warnings about Selkirk Rex. The only bottleneck is pet eye care. If the ward is often washed and you carefully monitor hygiene - there will be no problems, however, when you lose sight of the sour eyes, conjunctivitis develops very quickly.