The cats we see most often have perfectly straight coat. Many of you have probably never even seen a cat with curly fur! Do they actually exist?
Cats with curly fur are not common, but yes, they are real! Their unique appearance makes them popular and desirable among cat lovers.
There are four different breeds that can have curly fur: Cornish Rex, Devon Rex, LaPerm, and Selkirk Rex.
Let’s learn a bit more about these beauties and their unique coats.
1. Cornish Rex
Although it’s super soft and silky, this cat’s coat resembles waves, and it kind of looks like corn rows, according to Hill’s Pet.
This breed dates back to 1950, as Cat Fanciers Association explains. It was discovered when Nina Ennismore noticed an unusual kitten among her new litter in Cornwall, England.
The kitty was covered with tiny curls, and kind of looked like a small lamb. His mother was a British domestic shorthair, but, as the kitten was growing up, it didn’t end up showing a round head and sturdy body, but rather a slender body, long legs, and a narrow head.
A geneticist advises Nina not to neuter the unusual kitten, but rather to breed him with his mother to perpetuate his unique look. When these two had their litter, two of their three kittens had curly coats.
Soon, many people worldwide become crazy about this breed with its unique appearance.
While the normal cats’ coats have three hair types – the long guard hairs, finer awn hairs, and a downy undercoat – the Cornish breed doesn’t have guard hairs at all.
This is why this cat’s coat is so silky and soft when you touch it. This is also the reason why these cats are always seeking a heat source to keep them warm.
The Cornish Rex’s coat comes in different colors, such as black, brown, fawn, chocolate, blue, white, etc. It can also come in various patterns – it can be solid-colored or have the tortoiseshell, tabby, point, or calico pattern.
When it comes to living with the breed, this athletic cat loves to run, jump around, and play for hours. She loves to be around her humans and you can expect this cat showing desire to enjoy your company for most of the day.
2. Devon Rex
The Devon Rex is another cat with curly fur that lacks guard hairs.
This breed appeared in 1960 – 10 years after the world found out about the Cornish Rex cat. It was developed due to a natural mutation that occurred amongst non-pedigree cats in Devon, according to Devon Rex Owners Club.
The first Devon Rex, Kirlee, was born in 1959, as the only kitten with a curly coat in its litter. Its mother was a non-pedigree queen, while its father was unknown.
Breeders and genetics first thought that this was the same mutation as seen in the Cornish breed, but it turned out to be a completely separate and different one.
Thanks to this mutation, the Devon Rex doesn’t only have an unusual coat, but it also has a long, more muscular body, large ears, high cheekbones, and a flat skull.
These cats have dense, short, and fur luxuriant in texture. Waves covering their bodies are the feature that makes the Devon Rex breed really stand out among all others.
To keep the Devon Rex’s coat in good shape, it’s usually enough to hand-groom it. In some cases, it will be necessary also to use a soft bristle brush and a tooth comb to keep these pretty waves in perfect form.
This cat’s coat can come in almost any available color, such as blue, chocolate, cinnamon, white, etc.
Besides their charming looks, these cats are also curious, intelligent, and playful. They tend to form deep bonds with their owners.
If you like this description, check out our list of Devon Rex breeders to see if there are any available kittens!
The LaPerm is a rare cat breed best known for its curly coat.
This curly beauty was discovered back in 1982, when Linda and Richard Koehl from Oregon noticed a bald kitten in the litter of their tabby barn cat. All the other kittens were brown and bigger than this one.
Around 8 weeks old – the bald kitten also started to grow hair all over the body, but it wasn’t the same as the hair in their siblings. It was curly! When this kitten got big enough to have her own kittens, the Koehls bred her.
All of her five kittens were also born bald, and, eventually, developed curly coats. In 1992, Linda signed up her curly cats into a Cat Fanciers Association show in Portland, and named this new breed LaPerm.
Since then, this breed has been recognized and loved by many cat people worldwide. Its curly coat doesn’t shed much, which makes this cat a good choice even for allergy sufferers.
Not only this, but the LaPerm is also a gentle and affectionate cat that loves the company of adults, children, and even other pets! Quite a remarkable breed, don’t you think?
4. Selkirk Rex
The Selkirk Rex is the youngest curly-coated cat breed originating from a spontaneous mutation that was discovered in the United States in 1987, as Serina Filler and her associates  explain.
This cat’s coat is so curly and plush that it’s also known under the name “the cat in the sheep’s clothing”.
Jeri Newman, a Persian breeder from Montana, is the man who discovered this breed in the late 80s. He noticed that only one kitten in a litter from a mixed-breed feral cat had curly whiskers and a wavy coat.
Later on, Jeri bred this cat with a black Persian male, which resulted in three kittens with wavy coats.
This cat doesn’t shed much, so it’s also a decent option for people with allergies. Still, this cat’s loose hairs seem to stay on her coat, causing it to become matted.
This is why it’s necessary to groom a Selkirk Rex with a wide-toothed comb to prevent mats. You shouldn’t use a brush if you want to keep this cat’s silky waves in the best shape!
Her coat can also come in many different colors, such as black, blue, gray, brown, sable, cream, fawn, etc.
As its temperament goes, the Selkirk Rex is friendly, affectionate, and even needy with their humans.
They are also highly intelligent and active and require a decent amount of mental stimulation.
All lovers of unique felines will surely be delighted with the appearance of these cats with curly fur.
They are quite rare, which makes them even more interesting and desirable. In addition, each of these four curly cats has a lovely temperament and will truly make any family looking for a nice furry companion happy.
I think these descriptions are quite enough for you to start looking for one of these unique breeds as soon as possible.
Which one is your favorite among these curly cuties? Share your thoughts with us!
 Filler S, Alhaddad H, Gandolfi B, Kurushima JD, Cortes A, Veit C, Lyons LA, Brem G. Selkirk Rex: morphological and genetic characterization of a new cat breed. J Hered. 2012 Sep-Oct;103(5):727-33. DOI, Retrieved June 09, 2023.