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German Rex Cat: Breed Info, Pictures, Care, Traits & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Blue-eyed German Rex

Height: 8 – 10 inches
Weight: 6.6 – 8.8 pounds
Lifespan: 9 – 14 years
Colors: White, brown, gray, black, cinnamon, beige, multi-colored, cream, red, platinum, frost, fawn, chestnut, cinnamon, lavender, champagne, and seal
Suitable for: Active families looking for an independent cat with a low degree of shedding
Temperament: Curious, friendly, even-tempered, patient, and loyal

The German Rex is a medium-sized cat with a small bone structure, long legs, and a slender appearance. Their wavy hair is silky and soft to touch. With a large round head and eyes that complement their coats, they are regarded as an attractive breed that is highly intelligent and eager to please.

The German Rex is a rare breed that originated in Germany sometime in the 1940s and was developed from Kater Munk, the son of an angora cat and a Russian Blue. Prior to his death in 1945, he spread his seed among the cat population. In 1951, Rose Scheuer-Karpin rescued a black curly-coated cat and named it Lammchen (German for “little lamb”). She was the first rex-type cat and ancestor of the German Rex of today.

There were two Rex kittens from 1957 that were the offspring of Lammchen and Fridolin, a straight-coated stray owned by Karpin. Lammchen died around 1967, with her last litter being born in 1962. Lammchen’s offspring were used to improve other breeds like the Cornish Rex.

Two females, Jet and Marigold, were sent to the United States in 1960 and eventually joined with Christopher Columbus, a male German Rex, which formed the foundation for spreading the breed across America.

Due to their playful nature and even-tempered personalities, they would pair very well in a large, active environment where they can satisfy their curious nature and exhaust their energy. These little busybodies love their humans and want to be involved with the daily activities in your home. If you love interacting with your pets throughout your day, this may be just the cat for you!

German Rex Cat – Before You Bring One Home…

Energy
Trainability
Health
Lifespan
Sociability

3 Little-Known Facts About the German Rex Breed

1. German Rex cats have no guard hairs.

The coat of the German Rex cat is unusual because it has no guard hairs. Their tresses, including their whiskers, are naturally curly. The low-maintenance coat is silky soft and requires little grooming. A quick brushing once a week should do it.


2. The German Rex is considered one of the rarest cats in the world.

The German Rex cat is rare even in Germany, where they were first bred. Seeing a genetic similarity to the Cornish Rex, many breeders stopped breeding them as a separate breed. Although, there are some German breeders who are working to continue the breed.


3. German Rex cats with lighter coats are susceptible to sunburn.

Especially during the summer months, if a light-haired German Rex is going to spend time outdoors, they may require sunscreen on their ears to protect them from getting a sunburn.

German Rex close up
Image Credit: Prasanna photography, Shutterstock

Temperament & Intelligence of the German Rex Cat

Considered by some to be “the Einstein of cats”, the German Rex is known to be highly intelligent. If you want a cat that can be trained to do tricks and play fetch, this is the one for you. Interaction with others and lots of toys will keep your feline friend active and happy.

Teaching them manners should be a breeze too! They love humans and will be more than willing to learn to politely greet visitors at the door.

When playtime is over, this is a cat that will love to curl up with you for lots of petting and affection. They have an even temperament and are a good match for children and other pets.

Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪

The German Rex breed has a lot of energy to expel and likes to be involved in all the activities in your home. Surely, all the commotion of families with children and other pets, will keep this cat active and involved which will make for a happy feline indeed.

It’s important to remember to always monitor your children with your pets. Very young children especially, can unintentionally be rough and can cause your pet to get injured and feel stressed.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

This is a cat that is known for being very friendly. They like to socialize with humans and other well-behaved and respectful animals. However, you should always use caution and slowly introduce a new cat to your children, other pets, and your home.

Things to Know When Owning a German Rex Cat:

Food & Diet Requirementscat emoji

The German Rex has a system that may be sensitive to certain foods. They are not fond of eating human leftovers and need to be fed a diet that provides them with proper nutrition. Consulting with your vet will ensure it is getting a healthy and satisfying diet. The amount of food required will depend on the activity level and size of your cat.

Exercise 🐈

If a German Rex is living in an active household, their inquisitive nature and need to be involved may be enough exercise itself. Spending the day playing cat and mouse with your little one, may be enough to wear them out. However, if you notice them being troublesome, you may want to increase their activity. A bored cat can become a troublesome cat!

Training 🧶

When you combine this cat’s intelligence level with their willingness to please, this cat should be a pleasure to train.

Grooming ✂️

The coat of a German Rex is low shedding and requires little maintenance. Other than a regular brushing, the German Rex’s hair can become greasy, and they may require frequent bathing.

Health and Conditions 🏥

The German Rex is considered a healthy breed with no known serious illnesses and only one minor issue to mention. Keep in mind, however, there is limited information available due to the rarity of the breed. And remember, as with any pet, there are no guarantees when it comes to their health. When adopting or purchasing any pets, always get a vet check so you can address any health issues or concerns.

Minor Conditions
  • Alopecia. Usually resulting from flea allergy dermatitis, the cat will experience hair loss.
Serious Conditions
  • None

Male vs Female

The average size of the German Rex is about eight pounds, and while males tend to be a tad larger than females, the difference may not be noticeable. When it comes to personality, like many cats, the male tends to have a friendlier temperament, and the females are more timid or aloof.

Final Thoughts

This is a highly intelligent and beautiful creature. You can only imagine that owning one of these rare beauties would be a gift. They are a gift because, along with being playful and loving, they will keep you on your toes. This is no cat for a “couch potato”, but when it’s time to relax, it gives cuddles galore!

It may be difficult if your heart is set on owning this rare breed. You will need to do some research and possibly look to another country to find a reputable breeder. However, some German breeders are developing this breed to ensure that it remains.


Featured Image Credit: Dizfoto, Shutterstock

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