Cornish Rex

Cornish Rex
Cornish Rex

The Cornish Rex has a body like a greyhound, long and svelte, with large ears that make this cat unique. This breed is also unusual due to the texture of their hair. Like a light down with slight ripples and curls. Even their whiskers are curled!


Key facts about the Cornish Rex

  • Life expectancy : Between 12 and 15 years
  • Temperament : Affectionate, Playful, Intelligent
  • Type of coat : Short
  • Price : Between £300 and £500

Physical characteristics of the Cornish Rex

Adult size

Female cat Between 11 and 12 in
Male cat Approximately 12 in

These cats reach their adult size at around 1 year.


Female cat Between 7 and 9 lb
Male cat Between 9 and 11 lb

Coat colour

Black, white, chocolate, ginger, cinnamon and all dilutions, grey/blue, lilac, cream, fawn etc
All colours are recognised for this breed.

Coat patterns

Solid / plain, tabby, colourpoint, bicolour, tricolour

Type of coat

Short, wavy

Eye colour

Blue, aquamarine, green, golden yellow, dichroic eyes


The Cornish Rex is an average sized cat, with a fine skeleton and long legs. But fear not, this is not a fragile cat, thanks to its strong muscles. This is what has earned it the nickname the “greyhound cat”. Their immense eyes and ears are as entertaining as they are charming. When you stroke these cats, you will undoubtedly succumb to the softness of their fur. Free from hair, this cat only has a velvety undercoat.



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The Cornish Rex will always find an excuse to snuggle against you for warmth.


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These cats’ svelte bodies and long legs give them a great ability to climb and mean they run very quickly.


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Every individual is different, but typically once they have used up their energy these cats will usually calm down.


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This smart cat will look for more than one opportunity to demonstrate its abilities. So why not teach you cat some tricks? It's also a way to build a close relationship with your four-legged companion.

Fearful / wary of strangers

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The Cornish Rex is usually interested in new people, but these cats may be discreet and reserved at first. By letting your Cornish Rex choose the right time to come and meet newcomers, there is a better chance that they will trust them.


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Solitude is not one of this cat’s strengths. Their weakness to the cold will lead them to spending most of their time with you, making them less independent than other breeds.

Behaviour of the Cornish Rex


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Always in close proximity, your Cornish Rex may meow to gain your attention.

Need for exercise / Sporty

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These cats are more in need of care than exercise.

Tendency to run away

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Their lack of a coat means that the Cornish Rex is not well adapted for the outdoors. Once your cat has experience some of the cold winter’s air, it won’t go far.

Greedy / Gluttony

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A Cornish Rex always finds something to do other than eat if you change their environment to encourage them to explore and have fun. Use lots of toys, play hide-and-seek games with food throughout your home, play interactive games together and you'll both be winners!


Cornish Rex and cats

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The company of another cat might bring your Cornish Rex pleasure through the warmth it’s companion will provide. Contact a feline behavioural specialist.

Cornish Rex and dogs

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All cats can be more or less curious of dogs. The way in which they are introduced, and how good you are at overseeing them will determine how your cat and dog will get along.

Cornish Rex and children

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Children will learn a lot from growing up with a Cornish Rex. It is quite likely that your Cornish Rex will curl up with their stuffed toys!

Cornish Rex and the elderly

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Cats of this breed come across as very affectionate in their endless search for body warmth, which makes them great companions for relaxed people. However, you must ensure that you can meet this cat’s needs for activity. Adopting a slightly older Cornish Rex would be a good choice if you are looking for a calmer cat.


The average price of a Cornish Rex kitten is between £300 and £500. This price often varies according to the pedigree, the breeder, the age or even the sex. It will cost on average £30/month to provide for their needs, to ensure a high quality diet and to buy products recommended by your vet.


A light weekly brushing will suffice because these cats do not really lose their undercoat. Be sure to monitor their skin more regularly to ensure there is no redness or other abnormalities. In addition, it is advisable to regularly clean the ears and eyes of this cat: small secretions may appear and should not be left to accumulate.


The Cornish Rex’s light down is unlike the fur of other cats, you will very rarely find any of your cat’s hair on your clothes!

Nutrition of the Cornish Rex

To keep your cat in good health, its is important to maintain a high quality diet as recommended by your vet.

Health of the Cornish Rex

Life expectancy

Around 12 to 15 years on average.

Strong / robust

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With such a thin coat, the Cornish Rex is very sensitive to the cold, especially when they are young. Kittens must be kept warm.

Tendency to put on weight

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The playful character of a Cornish Rex means that these cats are unlikely to put on weight but nevertheless, keep an eye on them.

Common illnesses

This cat is susceptible to feline diseases like any other cat.

Some illnesses are linked with their genetics such as:

  • Progressive atrophy of the retina is a disease that can cause blindness in this breed. A screening test is available.
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy results in thickening of the heart muscle. This causes heart failure that can result in arrhythmias or lung edema. Screening is done by means of an echocardiography examination, which is usually carried out annually. A treatment can be administered to reduce discomfort.
  • Dermatosis, that is, skin diseases such as red spots, can be found in this breed. It is advisable to consult your vet at the slightest abnormality.


        The Cornish Rex has been crossed a lot with Siamese and Oriental cats, as such the females now come into heat more often.

Good to know

The kittens fur will only develop its curliness at around 5 or 6 months.

Origins and history

The Cornish Rex was born on a farm in Cornwall (UK). The first kitten displayed frizzy hair, reminiscent of Rex rabbits. As this genetic mutation is recessive in nature, it took many inbreeding crossings to maintain this coat. Of course, breeding with other breeds such as the Siamese or the Burmese, for example, has diversified this new breed that was first recognised in 1967 in England.


Good names for a Cornish Rex: Aly, Giovany, Lois, Owen

Find out name ideas for your cat here