cream-colored Devon Rex cat
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Meet the Devon Rex: Devon Rex Cat Breed Profile

Est. read time: 7 min.

The Devon Rex cat has been compared to various creatures and animals, and that’s because there’s nothing quite like them. 

They are compared to the Poodle because of their wavy coat and to elves and fairies for their large, pointy ears and angular faces. Some even compare this cat to aliens because of their large, hypnotic eyes. 

The curly coat of the Devon Rex is unlike anything you'll find in most cat breeds. While their ears and eyes almost seem to be too big for the rest of their bodies, it’s the wavy coat of the Devon Rex that really sets them apart from many other breeds.

Not only are Devon Rex cats interesting to look at, but they are extremely playful and affectionate with their humans. Keep reading to learn more!

Devon Rex cat a glance
Personality Playful, mischievous, sociable
Life expectancy 9-15 years
Weight 6-9 lbs
Coat & colors Short, wavy; various colors & patterns
Energy level High
Affection level High
Friendliness High
Shedding level Low
Required grooming Low

Overview of a Devon Rex cat

black Devon Rex cat with yellow eyes

The Devon Rex cat is a small to medium-sized cat. They are very lightweight and compact but display large features that give them a striking, disproportionate look. These cats will remain small and stay rather active, keeping their weight at a healthy level.


The weight of a Devon Rex typically falls between 6 and 9 pounds. Males and females aren’t discernibly different in size.


From their noses to the end of their tails, Devon Rex cats are around 18 inches long. While their bodies are slender and compact, their tails are very long and fine, giving them a lengthier appearance. 


The curly coat is one of the most distinctive features of the Devon Rex. It is very fine, short, and wavy, which is rare among cat breeds. This waviness is caused by a mutation that cat lovers just can’t get enough of. Some people even consider the Devon Rex coat to be hypoallergenic.

All colors and patterns can be found on the Devon Rex, including bicolor, pointed, tabby, tortoiseshell, calico, and more.

This means that any new Devon Rex you come across will likely look unique from the next. 


The lifespan of a Devon Rex cat is typically between 9 and 15 years. When your Devon Rex is well taken care of and gets proper nutrition and exercise, they can live a very long and happy life. Regular veterinary check-ups are a must. 

History of the Devon Rex 

orange tabby Devon Rex cat

You can trace the Devon Rex lineage to one feral cat with the wavy coat mutation. The first Devon Rex came from Buckfastleigh, Devonshire, England.

In 1960, a calico cat belonging to Beryl Cox of Devonshire had a litter with a feral tomcat that resulted in a wavy-haired kitten. Ms. Cox named this kitten Kirlee, thinking Kirlee was a Cornish Rex cat (as this breed was fairly common in nearby Cornwall).

Not quite! Cox was, in fact, the first to lay eyes on the beautiful elfin breed with a wavy coat.

Cox soon realized that the curly hair gene was recessive. This means the mother and father of Kirlee had to have been related to pass on the recessive curly hair gene.

Breeders began working to preserve the new breed. Devon Rex cats were brought to the United States in the late 1960s and began to flourish. While a relatively new cat breed, they are widely accepted and beloved today. 


calico Devon Rex cat

Everything about the Devon Rex is one-of-a-kind, including their unique appearance. If you see one, you are likely to do a double-take (and perhaps squeal with glee). These cats look like they emerged straight out of a fairy tale, and their small frames only add to this. 

From far away, you’ll notice they have slender bodies but large pointed ears, big round eyes, high cheekbones, and a long neck. As you get closer, you’ll behold their most striking feature, the wavy hair that encompasses the entirety of their bodies.

Personality traits

While these felines appear as pixie-like creatures that might be flighty and hard to capture, the Devon Rex is quite affectionate and people-oriented. They do, however, have a mischievous side—but their cute antics are just that: cute! 

If you feel intimidated by their looks, don’t. Devon Rex cats are just like any other, enjoying snuggles and toy-chasing. They can learn to play fetch, perch on your shoulder and watch you do work from your computer, purr and thump their tail as you pet them, and find any way to end up on your lap. 

Devon Rex cats are also very sociable, making them great for families with children or other pets. They get along well with cats and really enjoy having a friend, but they also get along with dogs! 

The Devon Rex loves to entertain and feeds off their human’s attention. They aren’t very vocal but will have a few conversations with you throughout the day, mainly to check in. 

Caring for this breed of cat

The main thing you need to provide your Devon Rex is attention. They are very active kittens, and that doesn’t change as they age. They require lots of play, both physical and mental stimulation, throughout the day. 

Having another animal in your home or multiple people will be beneficial for your Devon Rex. They do best when they have multiple ways to get attention, which is why many people will recommend getting two Devon Rex cats at once. 

You’ll need to keep their litter box clean and tidy, as a Devon Rex disgruntled by a dirty litter box could lead to messes. For the best and easiest litter box solution, invest in a self-cleaning litter box like Litter-Robot 4. It provides a clean place for your Devon Rex to go, and you never have to scoop again. 

grey Devon Rex with teal eyes

Grooming needs

Another amazing thing about the Devon Rex cat is that their wavy coat hardly sheds. You don’t need to brush your Devon Rex cat, but you may want to gently wipe down their coats weekly. Regular nail trimming and ear cleanings are also important. 

Speaking of their short coat, it’s critical to protect them from sunburn. Limit their exposure to direct sunlight as often as possible. 

Possible health issues

The Devon Rex is typically a healthy cat breed that can live a long, happy life if properly cared for. Like many cats, certain diseases and health problems can arise, so it’s best to be prepared and educated about the possibilities. 

For example, Devon Rex cats are prone to the common condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This condition occurs when the walls around the heart thicken, disrupting blood and oxygen flow, which can make breathing more difficult for your cat. Luckily, there are genetic tests that can identify this disease early on.

Specific to the Devon Rex  

Your Devon Rex could also develop patellar luxation and hip dysplasia. Patella luxation is when their kneecaps dislocate due to weakened ligaments. This can cause a limp or a hop to form, but surgery can help alleviate the symptoms and pain.

There is such a thing called Devon Rex Myopathy, which is genetically passed down in the breed. Symptoms arise between 6 weeks and 3 months in a Devon Rex kitten, resulting in weakened muscles in the neck and head. Your vet may recommend genetic testing for this as well.

The pixie cat playmates

You will be constantly entertained with a Devon Rex cat. No matter how old they get, they will behave just like the kitten you first met, proving their playfulness and loyalty to you every day.

If you want a kitty that will stay by your side and enjoy every second of your time together, the Devon Rex cat may just be your fairy-tale ending! 


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