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The Coat

The Rex Cornish’s Hair

Everyone knows that our much-loved Rex cats have a particular wavy coat that feels like silk. The question is: Why?

In most cat breeds, there are several types of hair growing within the same follicle. There is the guard hair which is the outer, most visible part of the hair. Next, we have the awn hair, a shorter coat, and finally there is the undercoat. The Rex cats mostly just have that undercoat, they do not have any guard hair.

Wavy hair is one of the particularities of Cornish Rex cats. That particularity of the coat texture appeared in the United Kingdom at the end of the 19th century. It appeared because of two spontaneous mutations that acted on the hair production.

The way the hair curls is hereditary. It means that it depends on the different genes inherited by both parents. The genes can be recessive or dominant. They can combine by three different ways:

-Two dominant genes = homozygous dominant

-Two recessive genes = homozygous recessive

– A mixed pair = heterozygous

A dominant gene will hide the presence of any recessive gene, so it will only be the dominant one that is going to be visible. The curliness is a recessive gene, so to get the kitten’s hair to be wavy, we will need 2 parents who have the gene. Otherwise, the kitten will not be curly at all.

For example:

Curly Dad + Curly Mom = Curly Baby

Curly Dad + None-Curly Mom = None-Curly Baby

So, pure bred Rex cats need to have the recessive homozygous gene in order to be. It is an important characteristic of the breed. However, the cat can have a curly coat without respecting the other aspects of the breed standard (head shape, ears shape, size, etc.) For more details on the different characteristics of the breed standard, refer to the document: Canadian Standards club-crcc.ca/chats#standardfr

That is one of the many reasons why is it important to choose the right breeders, to ensure your cat will represent all of the breed’s different characteristics.



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(Page consultée le 20 avril 2021)

[Anonyme] “ la génétique”, date inconnue, Jakcurly,
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KONIG, Claire. “Le poil animal”, 27 juillet 2020, futura-sciences,
(Page consultée le 20 avril 2021)

ROMAIN “ Pelage du chat: conseils et solutions”, 22 juillet 2011, technidog,
(Page consultée le 22 avril 2021)

“Cornish rex”, dans Wikipédia,29 juin 2019,
(Page consultée le 20 avril 2021)