Selkirk Rex

Selkirk Rex

PatientGentle & Affectionate

Selkirk Rex breeds are distinct from other Rex breeds. The hair is normal length and not partially missing, unlike the Devon Rex and Cornish Rex. There are longhaired and shorthaired varieties. There is a difference between the Selkirk Rex coat and the LaPerm in that it is plusher and thicker

Lifetime Care

Breed Profile







Life Span

15-20 year




Polycystic Kidney

of cats

What is it?

Polycystic kidney disease is a genetic kidney disease that’s characterized by the growth of cysts on the kidneys. As it progresses, the kidneys are more prone to infection and failure. Drainage of cysts, low protein diets, and Vitamin D supplements are used to slow the disease’s progression. The number of cysts and the rate at which the cysts enlarge varies between cats.

Clinical signs

  • Increased drinking water and urination

  • Reduced appetite and weight loss

  • Vomiting and nausea


The diagnosis is based on breed, medical history, clinical signs, blood and urine tests, genetic testing, and ultrasound evaluation of the kidneys. Genetic testing for PKD is available to see if your cat has the defective PKD1 gene, and therefore is likely to develop the condition. There is no specific treatment for Polycystic kidney disease, as the disease causes similar clinical signs to those seen in cats with chronic kidney disease. Special diets, fluid therapy, and medications to reduce nausea and vomiting and block the absorption of phosphorus are often used to treat the symptoms of kidney failure.

Eligible vet bill


Reimbursement Rate

Amount a Spot accident & illness plan could cover*


Your Net payment


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*Hypothetical reimbursement examples illustrate reimbursement of an eligible vet bill at the noted reimbursement rate, assuming the annual deductible had already been satisfied and the annual coverage limit has not yet been met. Annual deductible, co-insurance, benefit and coverage limits, and exclusions may apply. Eligibility may vary. Visit for full terms. For Canada enrollments only, reimbursement rate is based on the pet's age.



Friendly. They have exceptionally tolerant and friendly personalities.


They are playful with the family.


Selkirk Rex is generally good with strangers and gets along with the family.

Lifetime Care


The coat of a Selkirk Rex is curly and short.


Color or combination that is genetically possible.




A weekly brushing will remove dead hair, tangles, and mats from the Selkirk's coat.


Selkirk Rex is a Cat that can be easy to train

Selkirk Rex, a medium- to large cat and shares traits with other cats in the "rex" breed class, which includes breeds with curly or wavy hairs, such as Devon Rex or Cornish Rex. The Selkirk is solid like a Cornish and sturdy like a Devon, but their body is stockier, and their face is rounded instead of narrow and pointed like a Devon. According to The Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA), they resemble a curly British Shorthair due to their stockiness, especially in the legs.

In addition to their plush, curly hair, the Selkirk Rex is also known as "the cat in sheep's clothing. They are born with loose, flowing curls and curly whiskers. Despite the dominant curly-hair gene, not all Selkirks are born with these ringlets. There are some cats with straight hair. Selkirks with long hair tend to have long ringlets, while those with short hair tend to have shorter, tighter curls. The things that make them a perfect choice for pet parents looking for a fun-loving and cuddly friend are their "teddy-bear" physical traits.

Selkirk Rex cats share a lively, energetic, and friendly temperament with their rex relatives. It would be great to have them as part of a family with children and other pets. They have a vivacious personality and can be patient with kids as well as dogs (so long as they returned the love).

Selkirk Rex: Introduction to the Breed

A pet is one of the most significant decisions you will have to make as a family. Before purchasing a new cat, you should research the available breeds and determine which one is the most suitable for your family and lifestyle. Consider what characteristics you would like to see in a cat, and what characteristics you would prefer the cat not to have. In order to make an informed decision about the Selkirk Rex, there are a few things you should know.

Selkirk Rex are generally:

  • Friendly

  • Energetic

  • Intelligent

  • Adaptable

  • Loving

As one of only four breeds of cats with wavy fur, the Selkirk rex cat is renowned for their curly coat. Both short-haired and long-haired versions of this curly-haired cat have a loving disposition. Large, huggable kitties with round heads, big eyes, and plush, curly coats that come in a range of colors and patterns (even their whiskers are curled). There are both long-haired and short-haired Selkirk rex cats, and both are equally adored by cat lovers. Cats of this breed are intelligent, loving, easygoing, and get along well with other animals and people. Although the Selkirk rex was just created in the 1980s, their unique looks and personalities are definitely worth seeking out.

Due to their adaptability, patience, and tolerance, it is possible for them to do well with children, other cats, and dogs, so long as they are properly introduced. It is important not to forget that every animal is different, and that each one has individual likes and dislikes.

What is the origin of American Curl?

The Selkirk cat breed (named after the original breeder's stepfather) appeared in Montana in 1987, and it didn't take long for cat associations and pet lovers to take notice. Natural mutations in a litter of kittens produced by a blue tortoise cat and a white cat caused Selkirk Rex curls. A curly-haired kitten, whose siblings all had straight hair, also had the curly whiskers the Selkirk is known for.

After adopting this kitten (who was named Miss DePesto because of her pesky personality), the owner discovered that, while the mother cat was slightly wavy with her hair, "Miss DePesto's littermates all had normal coats and there were no other curly cats in the area, which led her to believe that Miss DePesto might be responsible for a new mutant rex gene," reports The International Cat Association. Unlike Devon and Cornish breeds, which are recessive, the Selkirk is dominant in the curly-haired gene. Despite being rare, the Selkirk Rex cat breed has gained popularity around the world in just a few years.

The Cat Fanciers' Association breed standard will allow outcrosses with British shorthairs and exotic shorthairs until January 1, 2025. The breed will then be limited to kittens born to two Selkirk Rex parents.

What are the Risks for the Selkirk Rex Cat Breed?

Most cats are susceptible to genetic health problems, just as all people can inherit certain diseases. Any breeder who does not offer a health guarantee or who states that her kittens are isolated from the main part of the household for health reasons should be avoided. Never buy from a breeder who does not provide a written health guarantee.

Because the Selkirk Rex can be outcrossed to Persians, Exotic Shorthairs, and British Shorthairs for reasons of genetic diversity, they may have some health issues that should be considered. Ask a breeder whether she screens for these conditions or if any of these conditions have appeared in her lines.

The following are some of the most common health conditions Selkirk’s can experience:

  • Polycystic Kidney

  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

  • Hip Dysplasia

If you bring home a Cornish rex kitten, they'll need a place to explore. They are natural climbers and jumpers, so a cat tree (or two), some wall-mounted cat shelves, and a window hammock will be their favorite things. A nice, cozy, and (most importantly) warm cat bed is also essential for your rex.

Selkirk Rex cats are breeds that remain active throughout their lives, especially with routine care. Their grooming routine should include combing, brushing their teeth, feeding them well-balanced meal, providing them with fresh, clean water throughout the day, scooping out their litter box regularly, and showing them plenty of love. They will return the favor with all the love she has to give, which is a lot.


It is important to be prepared for the things you cannot control. Our number one priority at Spot Pet Insurance is helping you give your cat a long, happy, and healthy life. Learn more about our range of well-rounded plan options for your Selkirk Rex by requesting a free pet insurance quote today.