Devon Rex Breed Photo

Devon Rex

Devon rex cats are known as “poodle cats,” thanks to their wavy coats and intelligent, outgoing personalities. Learn more about owning a Devon rex cat.
Devon Rex
Coat Length
Pattern
Other Traits
Temperament
Devon Rex
height
  • 10–12 inches
weight
  • 6–9 pounds
life span
  • 9–15 years
good with
  • children
  • seniors
  • dogs
  • cats
  • families
temperament
  • sociable
  • affectionate
  • neurotic
  • bold
intelligence
  • high
shedding amount
  • normal
playfulness
  • high
activity level
  • hyper
vocalness
  • when necessary
coat length
  • short
colors
  • chocolate / brown / sable
  • cinnamon
  • lavender / silver
  • fawn
  • blue / gray
  • white
  • black / ebony
  • red / orange
  • cream / beige / tan
patterns
  • bi-color
  • solid
  • calico / tri-color
  • tabby
  • color point
other traits
  • easy to train
  • easy to groom
  • friendly toward other pets
  • friendly toward strangers
  • friendly toward humans
  • good for first-time pet owners
  • strong loyalty tendencies
  • good lap cat
  • tolerates being picked up

Devon rex cats are visually striking and known for their impish faces, tall ears, and slender frames. These wide-eyed cats love to play, climb, and clown around. They're a great fit for engaged owners with lots of time and attention to give. These super social cats absolutely adore people and love making friends, so don't expect them to be quiet and reserved felines.

The Devon rex is a relatively uncommon breed. Potential owners can expect to spend $600–$1000 for a Devon rex kitten from a quality breeder.

Appearance

The Devon rex has an elven, almost alien-like appearance. She's a medium-size cat, weighing 6–9 pounds and standing about 10–12 inches tall. Her large ears, big eyes, high cheekbones, long neck, and slender body are some of the breed's most obvious traits—aside from the wavy coat, of course.

gray tabby devon rex kitten in cat perch
Like most cats, the Devon rex needs lots of toys to play with and cat trees to climb (and snooze on).
| Credit: insonnia / Getty

These curly cuties have fine, wavy coats of hair. Their coats are short all over, but especially short near the head, ears, neck, paws, chest, and abdomen. Their coats come in nearly every available color, including black, blue, chocolate, cinnamon, lilac, and white. Devon rex cats can also have tortoiseshell, calico, tabby, pointed, and shaded patterns, amongst others.

And while there's no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic pet, the Devon rex's short and fuzzy fur can be a good fit for a family with allergies. This isn't to say the Devon rex doesn't shed—they do, but their waved hair does help to lessen the amount of loose hairs left behind on furniture and fabric. But before bringing home a Devon rex kitten, spend time with the breed to see how your allergies react. 

The Devon rex is often compared to the Cornish rex, and they have similar looks, though the curly coats they have in common are caused by totally different genes. The Cornish rex also tends to have a somewhat longer coat and a face that's more slender.

Temperament

Devon rex cats are intelligent, friendly, and outgoing. These super sociable animals are good with kids (as long as the kids know how to properly interact with cats!) and love to be around pets and other people. Cuddling and goofing around with her pet parents is a Devon rex's favorite thing to do.

"They need stuff to do and people to love," says Marilyn Krieger, certified cat behavior consultant in San Francisco. "They're very responsive to their people and they do follow them from room to room."

woman holding Devon Rex with her hand hold his head
If there's one thing a Devon rex loves, it's her people. These kitties need lots of affection and have earned a reputation as being "Velcro cats."
| Credit: Alvaro Castillo / EyeEm / Getty

The highly active Devon rex is clownish in character and loves to entertain her people, sometimes to the point of being a little demanding—this breed isn't afraid to do what it takes to get your attention. These cats also remain playful into old age, retaining a kittenish energy well into their senior years.

Although her personality can be a bit in-your-face, the Devon rex isn't a particularly loud cat. They're not totally silent, however, and will give a little meow here and there to communicate with you, but their meows "are a little softer," Krieger says. 

Living Needs

The Devon rex needs a home that can offer playmates and lots of attention. These kitties love to initiate play by motioning to favorite toys with their paws or by bringing toys to their owners. Provide them with lots of playthings and opportunities for human interaction.

white devon rex cat sitting on windowsill
Along with the wavy coat, a Devon rex is known for her large ears, big eyes, high cheekbones, long neck, and slender body.
| Credit: Angela Kotsell / Getty

These playful pets do great with older children, other pets, and frequent guests to socialize with. But just how social a Devon rex is all comes down to the individual cat and her history, Krieger says. 

"They are people cats," she says. "But it depends on where they come from, if they're from a breeder, and if that breeder socialized them early."

Because they tend to crave attention so much, they don't do well if left alone often. Busy families or owners who are frequently out of the house would leave their Devon rex feeling lonely. If you have to be on the road a lot, the Devon rex is a good traveler who much prefers road tripping with you to waiting at home. Or, Krieger recommends adopting a bonded pair so they can keep each other company when you're not home.

Two Devon Rex cats cuddled together looking up
Devon rex cats are affectionate and social. They don't like to be left alone and will appreciate another four-legged friend to keep them company at home.
| Credit: insonnia / Getty

Because of their short coats, Devon rex cats can be sensitive to the sun. Keep an eye on your cat to make sure she stays inside to minimize risk of sunburn.

Care

Caring for a Devon rex is fairly simple. They require a little more care than some cat breeds, but nothing overwhelming in the way of grooming. Their short coats can get greasy easily, so your Devon rex will need regular bathing with a mild pet shampoo and warm water. You'll also need to do periodic nail trimming and ear cleaning, and keep her litter box clean.

"[The Devon rex is] a highly active breed, known for her clown-like antics," Kurt Venator, DVM, PhD, and Chief Veterinary Officer at Purina says.

To help keep your high-energy Devon rex moving, provide lots of opportunities for play and be willing to entertain her silly and fun-loving personality. Toys and cat trees are great ways to provide for your cat's exercise needs.

Close up of Devon Rex outdoors
Devon rex cats can have coats in any color and in a wide range of patterns.
| Credit: Lisa/ Adobe Stock

The Devon rex is a highly intelligent cat breed that's easy to litter train, will play fetch, and has the capability of learning difficult tricks. Be warned, though—their smart personalities means these willful cats can be hard to motivate. Praise, play, and snacks are good tools to use.

"They are trainable," Krieger says. "A lot of people think they're not, but they are if you find what motivates them."

Your Devon rex cat should be fairly easy to socialize. Make sure to do introductions early on after bringing your cat home to help her get adjusted. "This extraordinarily social cat is a wonderful family pet that gets along well with cats and cat-friendly dogs," Venator says.

Feed your Devon rex high-quality cat food—no special diet is typically required, and these cats aren't prone to obesity. Check in with your vet to know how much and how often to feed your individual pet.

Devon Rex cat wearing a sweater
Devon rex cats are smart and active. They are quick to pick up training cues—as long as you find what motivates them.
| Credit: CasarsaGuru / Getty

Health

Devon rex cats have a lifespan of 9–15 years and are typically healthy pets. The breed's greatest health risks include hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), hip dysplasia, luxating patella, congenital myasthenic syndrome (a muscle condition) and hereditary baldness. Reputable breeders will screen for health issues in your kitten, but it's important to have them screened regularly into adulthood. HCM and other health problems can go undetected until later in your cat's life.

Prioritize your Devon rex cat's health by scheduling frequent vet visits and taking the advice of your cat's veterinarian.

History

This unique breed began in the 1950s, when a wavy-coated kitten was born in Buckfastleigh, a town in Devon, England. The owner of the kitten was a woman named Beryl Cox, who also owned the stray tortie mother. The father of this eye-catching breed was a local feral cat with a curly coat.

Devon Rex standing on a rock near grass
Because of their outgoing, social personalities, Devon rex cats are sometimes referred to as "dog-like."
| Credit: manonallard / Getty

Cox named the kitten Kirlee. Because she knew of the effort to preserve the already discovered Cornish rex cat's curly-coated gene, Cox reached out to the conservation program offering Kirlee to help preserve the breed. During this process, it was discovered that Kirlee actually had a different wavy-haired gene than the Cornish rex—and the Devon rex was discovered.

After this discovery, breeders started doing work to preserve the Devon rex, and the breed was introduced to the United States in the late 1960s. All Devon rex cats today can have their genealogy traced back to Kirlee, who died in the '70s.

Fun Facts