Devon Rex Cat: A Comprehensive Guide to This Playful Breed

  • By: Bob
  • Last updated: April 20, 2023
  • Time to read: 8 min.

The Devon Rex is a small but mighty feline known for its friendly temperament and playful behavior. Originally from England, they emerged in the late 1950s and quickly caught the attention of cat lovers with their distinct appearances.

What sets the Devon Rex apart from other breeds are its large, tall ears and short, wavy coat. These medium-sized cats typically weigh between 6-9 pounds and have long, slender bodies. Despite their unusual looks, you’ll be charmed by their vibrant personalities, which are sure to keep you entertained for their 10-15 year lifespan.

When it comes to caring for your Devon Rex, they adapt well to various living situations and are generally easy to care for. With their affectionate nature and ability to learn tricks, their companionship is truly one of a kind. So, if you’re considering bringing a Devon Rex into your life, your feline friend is sure to brighten your days and fill your home with endless love and laughter.


Devon Rex cat sat on a lap

Contrary to popular belief, the Devon Rex cat originated in the Devonshire region of England in 1960, thanks to a woman named Beryl Cox. She discovered Kirlee, a curly-coated kitten, and assumed it was related to the Cornish Rex breed. However, crossbreeding with Cornish Rex queens proved this idea wrong.

Your Devon Rex’s unique history continues with the discovery that it is actually the second oldest of the four Rex cat breeds. Despite its age, it’s still considered a relatively new breed.

The birth of this unique cat breed stems from a stray cat with a litter in Beryl’s garden. The curly-coated male kitten, Kirlee, caught her attention and eventually led to the establishment of the Devon Rex breed. It made it over the pond to the United States sometime in 1968.

Over time, the Devon Rex gained recognition for its distinct features, such as its slender body, wavy coat, and large ears. Today it is recognized by the International Cat Association, the Cat Fanciers Association and all the other major cat breed registries.

This intelligent breed is capable of learning complex tricks but might require extra motivation. So, when it comes to training your Devon Rex, expect a bit of a challenge. Remember to be patient and use positive reinforcement to encourage them.

Physical Characteristics


The Devon Rex has a short, curly coat that feels soft to the touch. Their fur is fragile, requiring gentle care, and brushing is not recommended. The coat can come in a variety of colors and patterns, making each Devon Rex unique in appearance.

Head and Ears

the Devon Rex head is unique

When you look at a Devon Rex, you’ll immediately notice their large, fox-like eyes and oversized, deep-cupped ears. The striking combination of these features gives them an endearing, almost alien like appearance. Their head is wedge-shaped, with high cheekbones and a short, slightly upturned nose.


Your Devon Rex will have a medium-sized, lightweight frame with a muscular build. Their body is compact, and they typically weigh between 8 and 10 pounds. The legs are long, with a slight bow in the front that contributes to an unusual walking style, reminiscent of a boxer dog.


Devon Rex eyes come in a wide array of colors, including amber, aqua, blue, copper, green, gold, hazel, odd-eyed, orange, and yellow. The shape of their eyes is often described as almond or oval, giving them a unique and captivating gaze.

What Makes The Devon Rex Such a Great House Cat?

Personality Traits

Devon Rex cats are known to be exceptionally active, sociable, and friendly. They are an extraordinarily social cat, which makes them great playmates and wonderful companions for any family configuration including those with young children, other cats and even dogs.

These mischievous and sweet cats are true gems, and their energetic and inquisitive personalities ensure that they will always keep you entertained.

Are Devon Rex Cats hypoallergenic?

Many people refer to the Devon Rex as the “poodle cat” due to their unique coat made of short, wavy fur that can appear in a variety of colors. While they are not completely hypoallergenic, they are considered low-shedding, similar to poodles. This makes them a good choice for those with mild allergies or sensitivities to pet dander.

Remember that regular grooming is essential for maintaining a healthy coat and minimizing shedding in your Devon Rex. With proper care, your Devon Rex should lead a high-quality life, providing you and your family with endless joy and companionship.

Health and Care


Devon Rexes have a thin, curly coat that may require regular grooming. To maintain their coat’s health, gently brush your cat with a soft-bristle brush once a week. Due to the thinness of their coat, their skin might become greasy, especially in skin folds – this can be addressed by bathing your cat occasionally with a mild, cat-safe soap.

Common Health Issues

While the Devon Rex is generally a healthy breed, there are a few health problems to watch out for:

  • Devon Rex Myopathy: a genetic muscle disorder that occurs within the first few months of life and stabilizes around 9 months of age. Severity varies among cats.

  • Amyloidosis: a condition in which proteins called amyloids accumulate in organs and tissues, leading to organ dysfunction. Kidneys are commonly affected in cats, as well as the liver and pancreas.

  • HCM: Devon Rexes are more prone to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) than most cats, which is a genetic heart disease that can lead to congestive heart failure. HCM causes thickening in the heart muscle, which leads to higher pressure in the heart and can result in congestive heart failure or blood clots.

  • However, not all Devon Rex cats will develop HCM, and it is recommended to have them screened regularly by a veterinarian to monitor their heart health.

Regular vet check-ups can help detect and manage these issues early on.


Due to being such an active cat a high quality food is essential to keep your four legged friend healthy. Aim for a high protein food specifically for active indoor cats such as the Blue Buffalo Wilderness.

Exercise and Playtime

Devon Rex cats are a highly active breed with a playful nature and they’re an intelligent cat breed, requiring daily exercise and mental stimulation. Provide your cat with interactive toys, scratching posts, an exercise wheel and a cat tree as they love to climb.

a couple of Devon Rex kittens on a cat tree

Engage in playtime with them to keep them physically and mentally stimulated. This will also help to strengthen the bond between you and your cat.

Where to Buy a Devon Rex Cat


When searching for a Devon Rex to adopt, consider visiting a shelter that specializes in the breed. This will increase your chances of finding a Devon Rex in need of a loving home.

Another option is looking online at websites like Petfinder, where you can view adoptable pets by breed and location.


If adoption isn’t possible, you can also find a Devon Rex through a reputable breeder. Before choosing a breeder, do your research to ensure they are trustworthy and have positive reviews.

It’s essential to ask questions about their breeding practices, kitten health screenings, and any guarantees they offer. Reputable breeders will be more than happy to answer all your questions. This will help you find a healthy, well-socialized kitten.

FAQ about Devon Rex Cats

How much should I pay for a Devon Rex cat?

When purchasing a Devon Rex from a breeder, prices may vary depending on the quality and health of the kitten. Expect to pay between $600 and $1000.

Keep in mind that proper kitten care and health screenings can be costly, so don’t shy away from paying a higher price for a healthy and well-cared-for kitten.

How much is a Devon Rex kitten?

Devon Rex kitten prices can vary depending on various factors such as the breeder, location, and demand. On average, a Devon Rex kitten can cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000 or more

What’s the difference between Devon Rex and Cornish Rex?

  • Physical traits: Devon Rex cats have large, low-set ears and a curly, soft coat, while Cornish Rex cats have longer legs, a smaller waist, a larger chest, and a finer coat.

  • Breeding history: Cornish Rex cats have a longer breeding history, potentially making them healthier, but they are available in fewer colors and patterns. Devon Rex cats, on the other hand, are available in every color and pattern but require more attention, or they can become destructive.

  • Weight and height: Both breeds have almost the same weight, but Devon Rex cats are taller, with an average height of 10-12 inches, while Cornish Rex cats are slightly shorter.

  • Lifespan: Devon Rex cats tend to have a shorter lifespan than Cornish Rex cats, with an average lifespan of 10-15 years compared to 12-16 years for Cornish Rex cats.

It is important to note that these are general differences and that individual cats within each breed may vary in their characteristics.

Are Devon Rex cats cuddly?

Devon Rex cats are known for their friendly and affectionate nature, making them great cuddle buddies. They are often described as being very social and loving attention from their owners. They also tend to be very playful and enjoy interacting with their owners, making them a wonderful family pet for those who are looking for an affectionate and interactive cat.

Do Devon Rex shed?

Yes, Devon Rexes do shed although the amount they shed is less noticeable than other cats due to their short, curly coats. Devon Rexes are considered low-maintenance when it comes to fur, but mild shedding can still be expected, especially when losing their winter coat.

Are Devon Rex cats Rare?

Devon Rex cats are considered a relatively rare breed. They are not as common as some other cat breeds and may be harder to find at animal shelters. Finding a reputable breeder is often the best way to acquire one. However, their popularity has been increasing in recent years due to their unique appearance and friendly personality.

How to clean Devon Rex ears?

You should clean a Devon Rex cat’s ears to prevent wax buildup once every couple of months., Here are some general steps:

  • Gather supplies: You will need an ear cleaning solution made specifically for cats, cotton balls or gauze pads, and a towel.

  • Restrict movement: Place the cat on a stable surface and restrict their movement to prevent them from running away.

  • Apply the cleaning solution: Saturate a cotton ball or gauze pad with the ear cleaning solution and gently place it in the cat’s ear. Be careful not to insert it too deeply, as this can cause discomfort.

  • Massage the base of the ear: Gently massage the base of the ear for about 30 seconds. This will help to loosen any dirt and debris that is trapped inside.

  • Wipe away debris: Use a clean cotton ball or gauze pad to wipe away any debris or ear gunk that comes out of the ear.

  • Repeat the process on the other ear.

It is important to note that you should never insert anything into the ear canal or use Q-tips, as this can cause injury to the cat’s ear. Additionally, if you notice any signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or discharge, it is important to contact a veterinarian for further evaluation and treatment.

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