What is a Selkirk Rex


They have all the qualities of the breeds that are allowed as outcrosses until there is a large enough gene pool when all use of outcrosses will now longer be allowed.  Persians, Exotics and British shorthairs are currently allowed as outcrosses and the Selkirk coat owes much of its lovely soft plushness to the Persian cat.   The use of these
outcrosses is essential to increase the gene pool. 

 The Selkirk Rex's coat, even the longhaired variety, requires little maintenance. An occasional bath followed by gentle combing once the cat dries will keep the fashionable "just got out of bed" look and remove loose hairs. Keep ears free of wax.

The feel of a Selkirk Rex coat is addictive, and the cats seem to know this. They love to participate in everything you do, provided you realize your obligation to pet them at the same time. Their relaxed personalities make them wonderful additions to families with other pets and older children.

They have a sweet disposition. They are playful without being wild, and loving without being demanding. They will expect to sleep on your bed. But with a little training they will allow you to share the pillow.  

The Selkirk Rex has two distinct coat types different from any other Rex cat. The shorthair coat features loose, random curls, while the longhair consists of cascading waves, almost ringlets. The body structure is more heavily boned with a more rounded head than a typical domestic cat. A distinctive, broad muzzle showcases the curly whiskers.   The muzzle should be an appearance of a rectangular matchbox with well padded whiskerpads.

 Selkirk Rex come in three types of coat -

Heterozygous (one copy of the curly coat gene), Homozygous(two copies of the curly coat gene)  or variant straight-haired.

The coat of the homozygous tends to be a tighter coat as it carries the two curly genes.

  • Homozygous (Zygot) cats have 2 copies of the curly gene, 100% of their kittens will be curly    -   (a normal Selkirk Rex has 50% straight haired kittens).

The homozygous  are extra curly but the extra gene also modifies their look, they usually have flatter heads, bigger ears, and slanty eyes. (their kittens will look like normal show type Selkirks).  The Selkirk standard describes the Selkirk with one curly gene, so homozygous are usually not suitable for showing. 

 All have the same lovely laid back  personality , just differing on coat.  They  are friendly, intelligent and love people.

The straight-haired is ideal for those who do not like the curly coat as they have the same most amazing endearing temperament as their curly counterparts.

As kittens some of the curly Selkirks can look quite ugly but just like the ugly duckling they turn into beautiful looking adults,   and have the most charming dispositions that soon have you wrapped round their little paws, loving fuss and attention.

They get along with people of all ages, old young, teenagers and also get on well with dogs etc .  They are very sociable, people oriented and like nothing better than being curled up on your lap. They love to cuddle, like to be carried in your arms and to lay back relaxed on their back.  They are better in pairs or in a house where someone is at home all day or where there is other feline company as being highly sociable cats they prefer company, and they  love to live in pairs and in  small groups. 

They are wonderful with children particularly the kittens as they will play for hours and then curl up and purr away to their hearts content - perfect companions for small children, teenagers and adults alike!

They are a pretty robust and healthy breed although can have any diseases any cat is prone or susceptible to.  PKD is included in the registration poilicy so no cat can be bred from unless it has neen dna tested negative from PKD.  Hcm is also known to exist in the breed but as there are  million underlying factors as to where this comes from it is impossible to rule this out and any gene test which would not be conclusive for all causes  is many years away. 
All a breeder can do is do their best and scan a  cat with any indications of disease and then  remove from a breeding program.  Even a scan is not conclusive proof of HCM but can only give an indication- The only way HCM can be proved conclusively is by a post mortem on a cat as there are a million and one reasons why a cat can die.
All responsible breeders will try and minimise all heath problems. 


The temperament of the Selkirk reflects that of the breeds used in its development.
They have a lot of the laid-back, reserved qualities of the British Shorthair, the cuddly nature of the Persian, and the playfulness of the Exotic Shorthair.

They are very patient, tolerant, and loving.


The Selkirk comes in both shorthair and longhair varieties, and they are both entirely different .

The coat of the shorthaired Selkirk is plush, medium in length, and curls over the entire body, although some may have fewer curls than others.

In the longhair the semi-long coat hangs in loose individual ringlets and has a more dramatic look - The curls are particularly prominent around the neck and on the tail.

In both hair lengths, the fur is soft and dense. The Selkirk Rex is accepted in all colours and patterns, including colourpoint.

Examples of longhaired coats at the top and shorthair coats at the bottom