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Selkirk Rex Cat: Info, Pictures, Characteristics & Facts

Ed Malaker

By Ed Malaker

Selkirk Rex Cat

Height: 9 – 11 inches
Weight: 6 – 16 pounds
Lifespan: 10 – 15 years
Colors: All coat varieties
Suitable for: Active families who want a pet but can’t stay home all day with it
Temperament: Active, attentive, affectionate, gentle

The Selkirk Rex is a large, fluffy, curly-haired cat that makes a wonderful family pet. It’s a favorite among children and the elderly because of its calm, gentle temperament and cuddly appearance. It’s available in a wide variety of colors and patterns, and its curly fur is easy to maintain.  If you are thinking about getting one of these cats for your home but would like to learn more about it first, keep reading while we discuss cost, diet, and more to help you make an informed decision.

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Selkirk Rex Kittens


When you’re looking for a Selkirk Rex cat, take your time to find a reputable breeder. These cats are not so common so be ready to be on a waiting list, and you may need to put down a down payment to reserve your space in line.

If you do not purchase breeding rights, you will need to get the cat spayed or neutered, and they will require several vet visits in the first few years to get their vaccinations. You will also need to purchase food, treats, toys, and other accessories to make your cat feel welcome in their new home. Remember to take your kitty to regular vet checkups to avoid any common feline conditions.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Selkirk Rex Cat

1. The Selkirk Rex has a dense coat that can handle colder temperatures than most other breeds and is ideal for colder climates.

2. The Selkirk Rex is one of the newest natural breeds. It was first born in Montana in 1987.

3. You can find the Selkirk Rex in any color and pattern, so it’s easy to find the perfect one for your family.

Selkirk rex cat on the bed
Image Credit: athree23, Pixabay

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Selkirk Rex Cat

As we mentioned earlier, the Selkirk Rex cat has a very gentle and affectionate personality. They enjoy being around people and will tolerate rough play with children. They’re a relaxed cat that enjoys watching over the room from a high spot and sitting on your lap while you brush them.

Selkirk Rex cats are extremely intelligent. They will learn their name, all of the best hiding spots in your home, and your behaviors so they can make sure they’re in the right place at the right time. They’re also curious and will follow you around, especially if you are in a seldom-used part of your home.

Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪

The Selkirk Rex cat gets along well with the children and is a favorite among the elderly due to their relaxed personality and pleasing appearance. Their thick curly hair is a huge hit with children and almost makes the cat look like a teddy bear. While they can be curious and follow you around, they tend to be pretty laid back and don’t get into much mischief or suffer from separation anxiety like some other breeds.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

Yes, the Selkirk Rex cat gets along well with other pets. Their friendly and laid-back nature helps put more aggressive animals at ease, and since they like to spend most of their time lounging around, they usually goes unnoticed. Plenty of socialization as a kitten will help them be more friendly and outgoing as an adult, and they will be less likely to run and hide or fight with other cats and dogs.

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Things to Know When Owning a Selkirk Rex Cat:

Food & Diet Requirements 🐡

Since the Selkirk Rex cat spends a lot of time lounging around, it’s important to make sure you feed them high-quality food that contains plenty of protein and not a lot of simple carbohydrates. We recommend checking the ingredients list to ensure real meat like chicken, turkey, or fish is the first ingredient. Avoid foods that list corn or soy first because these grains digest quickly, leaving your cat feeling hungry sooner, which can lead to weight gain. We also recommend choosing brands that contain omega-3 fatty acids because these can help your cat develop a softer, shinier coat and healthy skin. Omega fats also help with brain and eye development. Brands containing probiotics and antioxidants are also good and can help your pet develop a stronger immune system while reducing the frequency of constipation and diarrhea.

Exercise 🐈

Many people struggle to get their cat involved in more activity but setting aside just a few minutes a day to play with your cat can work wonders for their temperament as well as themselves. One surefire way to get even the laziest cat running is to use the laser pen. These toys are safe as long as you don’t shine it in their eyes, and you don’t need to exert much effort to make your cat chase after the light frantically, burning calories and building muscle. They will also chase balls, especially paper or crinkly ones, and they love the toys that resemble a fishing pole.

Training 🧶

While cats are very intelligent, they are not easy to train, and the Selkirk Rex is no different. They will learn their name and where to use the litter box. They will also know when it’s dinner time and how to convince you to give them a treat, but most owners would agree that the cat is the one that trains you.

Grooming ✂️

Grooming your Selkirk Rex can be difficult because you want to brush them several times a week to keep them tangle-free and looking neat, but the more you brush them, the more the curls will disappear. These cats also shed quite a bit, so you’ll need to brush them more often during the spring and fall. We also recommend manually brushing your cat’s teeth with a pet-safe toothpaste to help slow the progression of dental disease.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Serious Conditions:

Polycystic Kidney Disease

Polycystic kidney disease is an inherited condition that the Selkirk Rex cat gets from their Persian ancestors. It causes cysts to develop inside the kidney, which prevents it from operating correctly. It can be hard to detect early, and there is not much treatment other than periodically removing fluid from the cysts to help improve kidney function.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a form of heart disease. It affects the left ventricle and reduces its ability to pump blood into the aorta. This condition also comes to your Selkirk Rex from their Persian ancestors, and cats usually start to show signs when they are between 5 and 7 years old. Signs include loss of appetite, difficulty breathing, a weak pulse, and an ability to tolerate exercise. You may also notice a bluish discoloration on the pads of their feet. Medication and a proper diet can help control the disease, but there is no cure.

Minor Conditions:


Obesity is a serious condition affecting all cats, including the Selkirk Rex. Some experts suggest that more than 40% of cats over age 4 need to lose a few pounds. Obesity leads to numerous health problems, including cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, and high blood pressure. Obesity also puts strain on your cat’s joints and can speed the progression of other conditions like hip dysplasia. You can prevent obesity with proper portion control and by making sure your cat gets plenty of exercise.

Dental Disease

According to some experts, dental disease affects up to 90% of cats over 5 years old. Cats have very thin teeth that plaque and tartar can damage easily. We recommend manually brushing your cat’s teeth as frequently as possible from an early age to help keep your cat’s teeth intact. Dry kibble, as opposed to wet cat food, can also help scrape away plaque and tartar as your cat crunches it when they’re eating.

Minor Conditions
  • Obesity
  • Dental Disease
Serious Conditions
  • Polycystic Kidney Disease
  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

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Male vs Female

There is no noticeable difference between a male and a female Selkirk Rex once they are spayed or neutered. Both sexes are about the same size and weight and have the same temperament.

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Final Thoughts

The Selkirk Rex makes a fantastic family pet. They’re laid back and get along well with other pets. They love children, and their thick curly fur is tough to resist. They like to lounge around or sit in a window and are available in a wide variety of colors and patterns. Grooming can be a bit challenging, but you will have a routine and a system that works after a few months.

Featured Image Credit: athree23, Pixabay

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