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Cornish Rex at a Glancecornish rex Full Body copy

The Cornish Rex has an outstanding and enthusiastic personality. These attention seekers are highly social and like to be in the middle of everything. Intelligent and active, they retain their kitten-like personalities throughout their adulthood. They are a good choice for families with children, other pets, or frequent guests. The most unique feature of the Cornish Rex is their coat that lays in tight waves close to the skin that resembles a washboard. This coat is low maintenance cat. Find out more about this breed and if the Cornish Rex is right for you and your family.

  • Temperament: Athletic, Sweet, Loyal

  • Size: Small-sized cat

  • Colors: The Cornish Rex is recognized in all colors and patterns.

  • Life Expectancy: 9-13+ years

About the Cornish Rex

Cornish Rex are very loyal and loving and will do anything to be with in constant contact with their families.

Activity Level: The Cornish Rex is an athletic cat and can appear limitless in their love of running, jumping and playing.

They prefer the company of their humans, other cats, and cat-friendly dogs rather than being left alone for hours at a time. This breed gets along well with both children and other pets.

TICA Regions, Clubs & Rescues

Want to connect with fellow cat lovers and those who love the same breed as you?
TICA is a large resource made up of smaller regions and clubs around the world.
Click here to find a club near you and contact information for your regional director and website.

Wherever you are, you’re in TICA’s world!® 


Find a Kitten: Cornish Rex TICA Breeders

The TICA website is the only place where you can find TICA member breeders who have signed the TICA Code of Ethics.
Click here to find Cornish Rex Kittens.

Khaomanee Breed Head ShotCare

The short coat of the Cornish Rex does not shed much. However, the lack of a thick coat tends to make them cold more often. Bathe your Cornish Rex regularly. Once wet, their thin-haired coat dries quickly.

As with all cats, keep their nails trimmed, ears cleaned and teeth brushed regularly with a vet-approved pet toothpaste and provide a nice tall scratching pole to help their natural scratching instinct.


Cornish Rex cats tend to overeat, so special care should be taken with their nutrition and the amount of food provided to control their weight and prevent them form becoming overweight.

As with all cats, it is important to give your cat fresh, clean water daily. Fresh, clean water is best, so cats don’t hesitate to drink. If you worry about your cat drinking enough water each day, here's a tip from cat behaviorists - Place the water bowl at least three feet away from any food. Cats’ noses are sensitive and an overwhelming smell of food may cause them to drink less. Consider a filtered drinking fountain to use in place of a water bowl.   


The Cornish Rex is considered a generally healthy breed. Due to their short coat, dermatological issues are possible, including sunburn. The breed may also be prone to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and patellar luxation, a condition in which both kneecaps may slide out of place and cause difficulty walking.


The story of the Cornish Rex begins in Bodmin Moor, Cornwall. On July 21, 1950 a tortoiseshell cat named Serena, owned by Mrs. Nina Ennismore gave birth to a litter of five kittens. One red & white coloured kitten in this litter had an unusual curly coat. The kitten was named Kallibunker (Kalli) and was to become the founder of the Cornish Rex breed. Nina's veterinarian suggested she contact geneticist A C Jude. He advised she mate Kallibunker back to his mother. This breeding produced three kittens. One was a straight coated female the other two curly coated males. Sadly, one male died at 7 months of age, the second male named Poldhu (along with Kallibunker) went on to sire further litters.

Due to the gene pool being very small in the 1950s-1960s the Cornish Rex was an endangered breed. They were out crossed to domestics as well as Siamese, Russian Blues, American Shorthairs, British Shorthairs and Havana Browns to create great genetic diversity and a strong, healthy foundation for the breed.

In 1956, Life magazine published an article on the Cornish Rex that generated a lot of attention worldwide. The following year Frances Blancheri of California imported Lamorna Cove. She was pregnant by her father Poldhu at the time. She went on to have a litter of 4 kittens...the start of the Cornish Breed in North America.

Did You Know?

  • The Cornish Rex is also known by the popular nicknames: "Con Artist in Fur, "The Feline Version of a Whippet" and "Feline Invaders from Outer Space."

The Breed Standard

A Cornish Rex is a curly-coated, fineboned cat that stands high on its legs. It has a distinctive arched back, deep rib cage and "tuck-up" resembling a greyhound. The Cornish Rex has a hard, muscular body that is warm to the touch. The coat quality, texture, waviness, as well as the distinctive body type are of prime importance.

Click here to read the full TICA Cornish Rex Breed Standard.

Cornish Rex Breed

Cornish Rex Full BodyAccepted For Championship in TICA in 1997

Photos used courtesy of © Helmi Flick Cat Photography. 

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