As their name implies, Cornish Rex cats originated in Cornwall, England, where they first appeared in a litter of barn cats born around 1950.
Cornish Rex cats have a wavy coat that is very short, lies close to the body and is very soft. Their fur comes in a wide variety of colors in the solid, shaded, smoke, tabby, bi-color, parti-color and pointed patterns.
In addition to the coat, this breed has a distinct head and body type. Their large ears are set high on a small, egg-shaped head. The body has been compared to a Whippet dog's because of its arched back, barrel chest, small waist and very long, fine legs. In spite of their dainty appearance, these small to medium sized cats are extremely muscular, using their long legs for fast starts and stops, quick turns and high jumps.
The Cornish Rex is extremely affectionate and people-oriented. They are also active cats whose kitten-like behavior lasts all their lives. Favorite Cornish Rex games are fetch, catch and tossing small objects. In spite of their sophisticated and elegant appearance, Cornish Rex cats are anything but cool, aloof or dignified. They are the perfect pet for the owner who wants an active cat to participate in family life.
Because of their extremely short coat, many people wrongly believe that the Cornish Rex does not shed and is hypoallergenic. Compared to some other cat breeds, Cornish Rex shedding is minimal, but most allergic people are still bothered by the dander and saliva of Cornish Rex cats.