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Home > Cats > Cat Breeds > Selkirk Rex Cat: Temperament, Traits & Pictures

Selkirk Rex Cat: Temperament, Traits & Pictures

selkirk rex cat

If you’re searching for a large, fluffy cat as a pet, then the Selkirk Rex cat breed might just be the right pet for you. Its curly fur only makes it more adorable!

This breed is as compatible with elderly people as it is with children and can live with a single person as well as with an active family. These cats can be dependent on their owner but also don’t mind being left alone for short periods.

Breed Overview


9–11 inches


6–16 pounds


10–15 years


White, Black, Lavender, Red, Cream, Chocolate

Suitable for

Active families, apartments and condos, families with more than one cat, seniors, single people


Affectionate, active, independent, patient, playful, quiet, social

If you’re considering adopting or purchasing a Selkirk Rex, then there are a few things you might want to consider before deciding. In the guide below, we’ll go into everything you need to know to make an informed decision.

It’s also essential to remember that adopting any pet, whether it’s a cat, dog, or exotic pet, comes with a ton of responsibility. So, before you decide to give the Selkirk Rex or any pet a forever home, keep this in mind.

Selkirk Rex Cat Characteristics

High-energy cat will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy cats require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a cat to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train cats are more willing and skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Cats that are harder to train are usually more stubborn and will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some cat breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every cat will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds' potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some cat breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other animals. More social cats have a tendency to rub up on strangers for scratches, while less social cats shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your cat and expose them to lots of different situations.


Selkirk Rex Kittens

two black Selkirk Rex kittens
Image By: Linn Currie, Shutterstock

Selkirk Rex cats continue to gain popularity because of their distinctive looks and affectionate personality. If you’re considering bringing one into your family, be ready to have a playful cat around you. They won’t depend too much on you, since they tend to be quiet and independent cats.

If your heart is set on the Selkirk Rex cat, make sure you have a comfy bed, some kitten treats, and toys to welcome your kitten and make them feel at home. Selkirk Rex cats create strong bonds with their families and people love them because of their calm and mellow nature.

Temperament & Intelligence of the Selkirk Rex Cat Breed

The Selkirk Rex cat has an even temperament. They’re tolerant, patient, and can be extremely loving. However, they are also typical cats, so are going to want to be loved on their own terms. Other times, they’ll want to be left alone to their own devices.

Even though this breed is happy-go-lucky and enjoys being around people, they have been known to have episodes of sadness. If your cat feels that it’s being left alone too much or not getting enough attention, they may become depressed.

The Selkirk Rex cat breed is also a very intelligent cat, which means you’re going to need to buy toys that will stimulate your cat’s mind. If they get bored, you may find them going through your open drawers looking for something to do!

Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪

As previously mentioned, this breed can get along with children, seniors, and the entire family! However, as with any pet, the Selkirk Rex needs to be socialized and trained early on if you want your cat to be comfortable around others.

While you need to socialize and train your cat from an early age, you need to teach any children in your home how to treat your cat and other pets for the best results.

curly-haired selkirk rex cat
Image Credit: mdmmikle, Shutterstock

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

This breed gets along great with other pets. However, as with children, the cat needs to be socialized as a kitten so that they’re used to being around other animals.

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Things to Know When Owning a Selkirk Rex Cat Breed:

Now that you know everything there is to know about the Selkirk Rex cat breed, you’ve probably decided whether you’re ready to adopt or purchase one and give it a forever home.

Now that you’ve made that decision, there are a few things you should know about owning and caring for this breed. Ready to learn how to care for your little Selkirk Rex? Read on below!

Food & Diet Requirements

This breed does spend a lot of time lying around, so you need to make sure you feed them a diet of high-quality dry food. Feeding these cats a high-quality food will prevent them from becoming obese.

You’ll want to check the ingredients of the food you’re offering and find one that has the first ingredient listed as chicken, fish, or turkey, as this will help meet the protein requirements of your cat. Since this breed is already a relatively large cat, you have to be even more careful that you don’t overfeed it.

Exercise 🐈

As with any other cat, the Selkirk Rex will play when it wants to and won’t if it doesn’t feel like it. So it’s a good idea to have plenty of cat toys, a scratching post, and even a cat tower available so that your cat can get the exercise it needs when they’re ready to get it.

A cat tower serves double duty as it gives your cat a space to rest and get high above the action when they feel the need for some privacy.

Training 🧶

As with most cats, these cats aren’t easily trainable. Remember, your Selkirk Rex is highly intelligent, but they’re not a dog. Teaching your cat to do fancy tricks probably isn’t going to happen, in other words.

However, they shouldn’t have a hard time learning to use the litter box, as they are highly intelligent, and this is something that comes naturally to most cats, including the Selkirk.

Grooming ✂️

Believe it or not, even as fluffy as the Selkirk Rex is, they’re pretty easy to groom and shed very little. However, their long fur can mat easily, so this breed needs to be brushed on a regular basis. Use a wide-tooth comb and brush your cat once or twice a week for the best results.

Give your pet baths only when needed and brush their teeth a couple of times a week. If you’re unsure of the grooming process for this breed, talk to your vet or take the cat to a groomer.

Selkirk Rex
Image Credit: Pixabay

Health and Conditions 🏥

As with any pet breed, there are a few serious and minor health issues you should be on the lookout for with the Selkirk Rex cat breed. We’ll list a few of them below.

Make sure to take your cat in for regular checkups, and if you see symptoms of any of the conditions below, talk to your vet right away for diagnosis and treatment.

Serious Conditions
  • Polycystic kidney disease
  • Arterial thromboembolism
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • Hip dysplasia
Minor Conditions
  • Eye issues
  • Separation anxiety

Male vs. Female

If you have your cat spayed or neutered, then there’s very little difference between the male and female of this breed. If you don’t, then males can become very territorial once they start to mature. Females will also develop problems with their behavior when they’re in heat, so neutering and spaying are highly recommended.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Selkirk Rex Cat

1. The Selkirk Rex has a Dense Coat

The Selkirk Rex has a dense coat, which means it can handle colder climates much better than other cat breeds.

2. The Selkirk Rex Makes a Great Therapy Cat

If you’re looking for a therapy cat for yourself or a friend, then the Selkirk Rex fits the bill.

3. The Selkirk Rex Is a Natural, New Breed

This breed is a natural breed that’s relatively new. This breed originated in 1987 in the state of Montana.


Final Thoughts

This concludes our guide on the Selkirk Rex cat breed. These cats are mellow, friendly, and adaptable cats that can fit into a variety of homes. Remember, if you decide to adopt or purchase one of these cats, you need to be prepared to give it a forever home, and make sure to spend plenty of time with your furry feline to keep them happy and healthy for many years to come.

Featured Image Credit: Linn Currie, Shutterstock

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