A fairly new breed, the Selkirk has gained popularity in a very short time and is now bred in many countries around the world. Their unusual coat is not their only drawing card though – much of their appeal can be attributed to their kitten-like attitude, which remains throughout adulthood.
Made in the USA
Kitty Garrett Brown who ran For Pets’ Sake, a shelter in Bozeman, Montana came across an unusual curly-coated kitten and gave her to a Persian breeder. Once she was older, the breeder bred her to her black Persian male. She had six babies, of which three were curly, proving the curling gene was dominant.
Love a good game
They are curious and adore a game of fetch. Toys such as mice, laser pointers or even a wad of scrunched-up paper can keep them entertained for hours on end. People-oriented, without being very clingy, a Selkirk Rex enjoys spending time with her favourite person. Because of their social nature they do not cope well in isolation or when left alone for long periods at a time.
Their temperament is often described as that belonging to the breeds used in their development. They have the laid-back, reserved qualities of the British Shorthair and the playfulness of the Exotic Shorthair. Unlike other Rex breeds, the Selkirk Rex is not recommended for those suffering from allergies.
Long and short
Both longhairs and shorthairs are accepted. The shorthair has a soft, plush full curl that is dense with no bald or thinly covered areas on the body. The coat stands away from the body without appearing close-lying or flat. The longhair has a similar texture without being as plush, but should not feel thinner. The tail curls are plumy and stand away from the tail.
Spritz and polish
The Selkirk Rex does not require a great deal of grooming, but is slightly higher maintenance than other Rex breeds. Bathing is usually unnecessary unless for showing. Before bathing, brush the coat to remove any loose or dead hairs.
Beware of over-brushing though, as this will straighten the coat and the curl will not be as distinct. The best shampoos to use would be those that don’t coat the hair but instead leave it silky, thereby encouraging the curl. Spritzing with water will help to bring out the curls at shows.
The full article appears in the June issue of AnimalTalk.