devon rex cat sitting amongst christmas decorations

Devon Rex Cat Breed: The Complete Guide

Devon Rex cats are often described as being pixie-like in both appearance and temperament; they have oversized ears, large eyes and a playful, even mischievous, personality.

The Devon Rex breed is fun, social and relaxed – words that you may not necessarily associate with cats. In truth, the Devon Rex has a personality that is a bit like a mix between a cat and a dog.

It may sound strange but as you read on this will all make sense.

devon rex cat sitting amongst christmas decorations

Why We Love the Devon Rex Breed

Devon Rex are full of energy and love to play. They enjoy heights so will often be perched up on bookshelves, door frames or even on your shoulder.

They will happily watch the world go by below them and will be ready to pounce at any given moment. A Devon Rex always wants to be involved, they love to be with people and will often be found at their owners side.

These cats are very affectionate and when they aren’t running around, playing games they love to curl up on your lap or under the covers of your bed, seeking warmth and attention.

Devon Rexes are generally quiet cats but will sometimes communicate vocally with a soft meow.

Due to this breed being very people-orientated they don’t do well being left alone so are better suited to households where at least one person is around during the day.

If they are left alone they can become bored or stressed, leading to destructive behaviour.

ginger devon rex cat sat in kitchen

These furry felines are known for seeking out warm, cosy spots. They do feel the cold quite easily (read our article to find out how cold is too cold for cats) so don’t be surprised if you find them laying on your laptop or any other electronic device that gives off warmth.

Although they have good coats, if you live somewhere particularly chilly you may want to buy your kitty a jumper to help keep them warm during winter.

Playful Nature

We’ve mentioned that Devon Rex cats are very playful but it may surprise you to hear they are actually fond of playing games such as fetch.

This is another area that makes people think of them as being dog-like. They are very intelligent and can be trained to fetch and walk on a cat harness and lead.

You will see your Devon Rex whizzing around the house, playing games and creating mischief. They are actually very entertaining to watch and you will find yourself laughing at their cheeky antics.

They Love Food but Lack Self Control

Be warned – Devons are foodies! They will eat and eat and eat if you let them.

They will never turn down a meal so it is important to carefully monitor their cat food intake and to not give in to their big-eyed pleads when you know they have had food.

Devon Rex Cat Appearance

As we mentioned, a Devon Rex cat has characteristic bat-like ears and wide oval eyes. Their cheekbones are high, bodies are slender and neck and legs are long.

They also have short, velvety, wavy fur that rarely sheds and short, stubbly whiskers that are very fragile and tend to break off at around 1-inch in length. This breed can be any colour or colour combination.

Are They Hypoallergenic?

This is a common misconception as many associate short coats that hardly shed as being hypoallergenic.

The reality is that allergens are caused by dander (dead skin cells) rather than by fur type so no cats are truly hypoallergenic. However, some people find they react less severely to certain breeds.

Keeping Them Well Groomed

The coat of the Devon Rex is very easy to maintain, their soft hair is delicate so should be groomed very gently with a soft cat brush to avoid damage.

Often, simply stroking their hair with your hand can be enough to keep their coat sufficiently well-groomed and in good condition.

cat - devon rex breed

Cat’s don’t really need to be bathed ever…except in a few rare circumstances for example if they’ve got oil or faeces on them…in this case, read our article on how to bathe a cat for some tips.

The large ears should be checked weekly for dirt, if your cat’s ears are dirty you can wipe them with a moist cotton ball or with a veterinary recommended ear cleanser.

Do They Suit Your Lifestyle?

Due to the active, friendly nature of Devons they are better suited to living with families or in households where someone is always at home.

They get along well in families with children and even homes with cat-friendly dogs. As long as your Devon Rex received a lot of attention and love, they will thrive. They are busybody’s and like to be in busy homes where there is lots going on to keep their minds busy.

Common Health Concerns

The Devon Rex breed is generally healthy but, as with all cats, there is potential for genetic health issues.

Health problems seen within this breed include:

Devon Rex History

Devons Rex Cats originates from Devon, England (hence the name). Their history stems from a curly-coated kitten that was found in Devon in 1959, making this cat breed a relative newcomer.

The curly coat was a result of a natural mutation and was different to the geographically close by Cornish Rex breeds.

They found the two curly hair genes were different when the curly-coated cat (named Kirlee) was bred with Cornish Rex females and the kittens produced had a straight-haired coat.

Kirlee became the first Devon Rex and the breed became recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association in 1979.

Bringing a Devon Rex Home

Now that you know more about the breed you will be able to determine whether this loving, energetic cat breed is suitable for your home and lifestyle.

devon rex cat sat in a car waiting to be taken to it's new home

The next step is where to get your Devon Rex from, there are two common pathways to consider; adoption or a breeder.


Head to your local animal shelter and give a cat a second chance in life. There are countless cats looking for forever homes, there may be some Devon Rex cats at a nearby rescue centre so head down there and have a chat with staff.

What to expect with adoption:

  • The cat will have had a thorough medical check; it would’ve been vaccinated, wormed, microchipped, treated for fleas and will have been spayed or neutered too
  • You will know more about the personality of the cat you are looking to adopt
  • You can find a cat with a personality and age to suit what you are looking for
  • Low costs (usually adoption includes a low fee)
  • The option to adopt older, more relaxed, cats

Reputable Devon Rex Breeders

If you are looking to buy a pedigree cat, make sure you find a reputable breeder. A good breeder is essential, they should have thorough medical records for your cat and will often offer guarantees as they have dedicated a lot of time to the animal’s care and welfare.

A good breeder will also be knowledgeable about the breed and you should be able to meet the mother and father of the kittens and see where they live.

A responsible breeder will:

  • NOT sell kittens younger than 12 weeks old
  • Provide vaccinations for all of their cats
  • Be able to answer any questions you have about the health and care of the kitten
  • Ask you a number of question regarding the care and housing for the kitten you intend to buy
  • Provide you with health records and documentation for the kitten

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