Curly-haired cats are extremely rare, and the anomaly indicates they are missing at least one layer of their natural hair. Cats have an outer coat of stiff hair called guard hair that protects against the rain. They have a middle, softer layer called awn hair and a short, soft layer called down hair.
A cat can have curly hair when one of these layers is missing. This is a rare occurrence, and when it has occurred, it has not always been possible to breed this trait. As such, it is even rarer to find curly-haired cat breeds. However, there are four known curly-haired breeds, most of which are in the Rex class.
Curly-haired cats are less prone to shedding and may not shed at all. This has led some to refer to them as hypoallergenic, and allergy sufferers may turn to these breeds to safely own a cat without having to endure the symptoms of cat allergies.
The 4 Curly Haired Cat Breeds
1. Selkirk Rex
The Selkirk Rex is a large cat with a rounded head and robust limbs. They have long coats and are revered for their teddy bear looks, which include almost woolen-looking fur. The breed is not known for being particularly affectionate or athletic, but they have a distinguished and unique look.
The Selkirk Rex should be kept indoors because, among their various traits, they lack energy and enthusiasm. The Selkirk Rex also has wavy whiskers, and all cats of this breed can trace their lineage back to a single cat called Miss Depesto.
The LaPerm cat’s coat is short and wavy, and it makes them look as though they have just been woken up. Unlike the Selkirk Rex, the LaPerm is known for being sweet and affectionate with people. They will follow you around, waiting to be noticed, and they crave attention, which they will surely receive, thanks to their incredible and unique appearance.
They can come in various colors and markings, and they’re available in shorthaired and longhaired varieties, but if you get one as a kitten, be prepared for the fact that their curly hair will disappear after birth before re-emerging when they are about 10 months old.
3. Devon Rex
Known as the pixie cat or the alien cat, thanks to their large ears and slender body, the Devon Rex is a beautiful and distinctive-looking feline. They come from Devon, UK, and they are prized for their intelligence and looks.
Their hair is short, and they have big eyes. The curly coat is quite fragile, and the breed is prone to over-grooming, leading to areas where the fur has been completely licked away. The Devon Rex is not only affectionate but incredibly playful and will gladly perform tricks to get their owner’s attention.
4. Cornish Rex
The Cornish Rex breed comes from Cornwall in the UK, which borders Devon, and is another breed that has short and curly hair. They share a few physical traits with the Devon Rex because they are slender and have large ears.
The Cornish Rex has no guard hair or awn hair and only has a soft undercoat. They are similar to the Devon Rex because they not only want but demand attention and affection from their owner. They’re also an agile and athletic cat and can run and play endlessly.
There may be other cats with curly hair, but these four are the only known curly-haired cat breeds. Although they are described as being hypoallergenic, there isn’t such a thing, but because of the lack of one or two layers of fur, owners are less likely to suffer allergic reactions around these cats than around long-haired felines.
If you are looking for truly unique and attractive breeds, these curly-haired cats meet the criteria and more.
You might be interested in:
- Cornish Rex vs. Devon Rex: What’s the Difference? (With Pictures)
- Devon Rex vs Sphynx Cat: What’s the Difference (With Pictures)
Featured Image Credit: athree23, Pixabay