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Devon Rex Cat Breed Info: Pictures, Temperament & Traits

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on June 21, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

White Devon Rex sitting on a white background

Devon Rex Cat Breed Info: Pictures, Temperament & Traits

No cat is likely to capture your heart as quickly and steadfastly as a Devon Rex. They are absolutely adorable with their big ears and eyes. One thing is evident when you gaze at them—there’s a lot going on behind the scenes. They are intelligent cats that are always on the lookout to explore their world. If there’s something you don’t want them to notice, forget it. They’ll find it.

Breed Overview

Height:

10–12 inches

Weight:

Less than 8 pounds

Lifespan:

10–17 years

Colors:

White, champagne, cream, cinnamon, fawn, brown, blue, lavender, black

Suitable for:

Active families or individuals who can make a lifetime commitment to a cat

Temperament:

Loyal, loving, mischievous, intelligent, friendly, needy

The Devon Rex is an excellent example of selective breeding at work. The breed is relatively new to the cat world, getting its start in the United Kingdom in 1959. The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) only recognized this cutie in 1972. Before that, the organization grouped the Devon Rex with its cousin, the Cornish Rex.

Don’t let the diminutive size of the Devon Rex cat fool you. They have a lot of spunk and are surprisingly muscular. It’s a good thing because it supports their high activity levels. The best way to describe this breed is unique. As you’ll soon see, this cat is anything but ordinary.

Devon Rex Characteristics

Energy
+
A high-energy cat needs a lot of physical and mental stimulation to keep healthy and happy, while a low-energy cat needs minimal physical activity, but still needs mental stimulation. When choosing a cat, It’s important to ensure their energy levels match your lifestyle.
Trainability
+
Cats that are easy-to-train are more willing and skilled at quickly learning prompts and actions with minimal training. Harder-to-train cats are usually more stubborn or aloof and require a bit more patience and practice.
Health
+
Certain cat breeds are more prone to various genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every cat in those breeds will have these issues, but they do have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Lifespan
+
Due to their size or potential genetic health issues of a specific breed, some cats have shorter lifespans than others. Proper nutrition, exercise, mental stimulation, and hygiene also play an important role in your cat’s lifespan and quality of life.
Sociability
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Some cat breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other cats and animals. Cats that are more social have a tendency to rub up on strangers for scratches or jump on laps for cuddles, while cats that are less social shy away, hide, are more cautious, and even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed or gender, it’s important to socialize your cat and expose them to many different situations.

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Devon Rex Kittens

white devon rex kitten up close
Image Credit: Tania Van den Berghen, Pixabay

The two tipoffs are high energy and intelligence. That can make for some challenging training and discipline, especially for the first-time pet owner. You can think of the Devon Rex as a cat that never grows up and is always a kitten at heart. That makes them playful and curious, and it’s worth noting that they’ll take up the task if you don’t provide enough entertainment for them.

The Devon Rex is a friendly cat, even with strangers. New people are just friends that it hasn’t met yet. They are affectionate cats that will bond like glue with their family and not a pet to leave alone for hours on end. This one needs your attention. We wanted to emphasize this trait because rehoming them if things don’t work out will be traumatic.

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Devon Rex

As we’ve discussed, the Devon Rex is a smart cat—one that is likely to figure out how to open cabinets.

Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪

The Devon Rex cat is an excellent choice for families. It’s one way to ensure that it gets all the attention that it wants. Their petite size might be problematic with small children who may not handle them as gently as they should. We suggest supervising playtime with the kids and teaching them how to handle cats properly to avoid hurting them.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets? 🐶 😽

Unlike many other breeds, the Devon Rex is open to bonding with other pets, including dogs. Again, their size is the overriding issue. After all, their energy levels are likely to invite a chase. Therefore, early socialization is a must-do. The ideal approach is for a puppy and kitten to grow up together. Nevertheless, we suggest keeping an eye on any play with other pets.

two-devon-rex-cat-resting-in-cat-tree
Image Credit: Veera, Shutterstock

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Things to Know When Owning a Devon Rex

By now, you know that the Devon Rex has a lot to offer as a pet in the right home. They are loyal cats, almost to the point of being an obsession. It’s imperative to understand that this feline must have your attention. They are prone to separation anxiety if left alone. They’ll likely follow you room to room and wait not-so-patiently outside of any closed doors.

Food & Diet Requirements 🐡

The Devon Rex has a small frame. That makes them vulnerable to gaining weight if they don’t get enough exercise. Therefore, we recommend that you monitor their body condition closely. They should have a well-defined waist when you view them from above. We suggest feeding them twice a day, even as an adult. They’ll likely go through the energy their food provides by mid-morning!

Exercise 🐈

The Devon Rex is an athletic and agile cat. They are likely to find the top of the bookcase or the top of the curtain rod easily. We suggest that you provide them with opportunities to jump and climb that are more appropriate than your drapes, though. Cat trees are an excellent way to divert their attention from these things while giving them welcome opportunities to get the exercise they need.

The best thing about these kinds of toys is that they will also provide mental stimulation. That’s critical for intelligent cats like the Devon Rex. We recommend switching out their toys every couple of weeks to prevent them from getting bored.

devon-rex-cat-on-a-tree
Image Credit: VH-studio, Shutterstock

Training 🧶

One of the most enjoyable things about inviting a Devon Rex cat into your home is that it is a willing learner. You can teach them tricks with a treat as a reward. It’s also a great way to bond with your pet. You’ll likely find that this feline will learn your routine and even learn to recognize the sound of your car pulling up the drive.

Grooming ✂️

One of the unique traits of the Devon Rex is its coat. Their fur is short, almost to the point of being just a covering. You’ll find that it’s wavy and quite soft. That is a clue about how to approach grooming—gentle is as gentle does to keep them looking their best. Because their coat is so short and without guard hairs, you’ll need to bathe them more often than other short-haired breeds.

We recommend making grooming with all the tasks of trimming nails, checking ears, and bathing a part of the routine. Handle their feet and ears often to get them used to it. You’ll thank us for this recommendation when you try to do these tasks with an adult cat.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Luckily, the Devon Rex is relatively healthy despite the shared ancestry. Routine vet care will alert you to any problems early on, which is essential for any pet. The primary concerns are hereditary conditions that a reputable seller can manage with pre-breeding health screenings and genetic testing. If possible, ask to see the mother and littermates to get a better idea of your cat’s temperament.

Minor Conditions
  • Eye disorders
  • Allergies
Serious Conditions
  • Hereditary myopathy
  • Patellar luxation
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Male vs Female

The size difference between males and females is negligible with a cat this small. Either sex will make a delightful pet if given the attention they crave. We suggest discussing spaying or neutering your pet with your veterinarian. The slim body of this feline makes breeding a female a risky venture. It’s something you should only consider if you have the experience and the finances to monitor any pregnancies closely.

However, altering the sex of your pet also carries some health risks. There is a greater propensity for obesity that can impact your cat’s health profoundly.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Devon Rex

1. The Devon Rex Began Life as a Stray

Several cat breeds began life as strays. The Devon Rex is no exception. This sweetie roamed the mining area of the county of Devon.


2. All Devon Rex Cats Can Trace Their Ancestry to One Cat

The story of the Devon Rex is well-documented and traceable to Miss Beryl Cox of Devon. She took pity on a stray and invited a male named Kirlee. Selective breeding the Cornish Rex started the journey toward developing this unique feline. All cats today can trace their history to this one lucky tomcat.


3. The Devon Rex Cat Thrives Best as an Indoor Pet

The short fur of the Devon Rex is one of their defining characteristics. However, it also means that they’re best suited as indoor pets instead of one that goes outside full or part-time. The lack of thick fur means they’re vulnerable to sunburn.

devon-rex-cat-playing
Image Credit: Veera, Shutterstock

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Final Thoughts

The Devon Rex is the kind of pet that is an ideal choice for someone who wants to lavish love on their cat. They’ll sprint to the head of the line for that job. That makes this breed more of a commitment than many others. We suggest considering how much time you can devote before you invite one into your life. However, they’ll make your life a joy if you can give them the necessary attention.

See Also:


Featured Image Credit: Katrin Baidimirova, Shutterstock

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