Devon Rex cats have large oval eyes, prominent cheekbones, huge ears and a short, wavy coat. Their bodies are pure muscle which gives them a beautiful lithe appearance. Long, slim legs lead down to small, oval paws. Longer hind legs allow Devons the ability to jump high. The long tail tapers at the end. Males tip the scales at 8 to 10 pounds, females are 5 to 8 pounds.
Devon coats are soft, fine and wavy. Even their whiskers are crimped. The coat is short on the lack, sides, tail and upper legs. It’s extra short on the head, ears, chest, abdomen and paws.
In 1960, cat lover Beryl Cox noticed a curly-haired feral tom cat living in a deserted mine near her home in Buckfastleigh, a small town in the county of Devon in southeast England. That tom mated with a straight-coated calico who delivered her litter in Cox’s garden. One kitten looked like Daddy. She adopted the kitten and called him Kirlee. The Cornish Rex had been discovered ten years earlier, so Cox contacted some breeders. Reluctantly, Kirlee was sold to a Cornish Rex breeder. Subsequent litters produced no curly-coated kittens, so they knew Kirlee was not a Cornish Rex. Bred to one of these kittens, they produced two straight kittens and one curly female. They named the breed after the Devon region and voila. Later, breeders discovered that the gene for the Cornish Rex coat was rex gene I, while the Devon’s gene is rex gene II. They also uncovered that the Devon’s genes are recessive meaning that the gene must be passed on from both parents.
Be warned: A Devon wants to be with you 24/7. They are very playful and affectionate. In a multiple cat household with more than one Devon, you’ll find the Devons sticking together. If no other Devon in present in the home, your Devon will get along with the other cats, cat-tolerating dogs and…birds? (Yes, say breeders. And not just cause they’re looking for lunch.) They make a great family pet as long as children are gentle with them. Devons will not do well if they are left alone for long periods of time. If you work outside the home, they need a companion. Oddly, Devons aren’t great lap cats. They prefer to sit on shoulders or drape across your neck. (Guess the lap is too far away from you.) Humans are a Devon’s favorite companion! They adore fetch and will keep you highly entertained.
Devons are mischievous, but it’s an adorable mischievousness. Devons are highly intelligent, observant and curious. They tend to fly through the air. A closed cupboard door is not a barrier for a Devon. Devons aren’t very vocal, they communicate via chirps, twitters and those adorable silent meows (their mouths open but no sound comes out).
Devons have insatiable, peculiar appetites. They have been known to eat pasta, corn, cantaloupe, bananas and anything you have on your fork. They’ve even been known to take food out of someone’s mouth! Their energy level keeps them naturally slim. As they age, you’ll need to decrease their daily food allotment or they could begin to imitate a balloon.