Selkirk Rex Cat, or Poodle Cat Officially Its Own Breed

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Poodle Cat Breed

A new study released this week has rekindled interest in the breed of cat called the Selkirk Rex cat, or also known as the Poodle Cat.

The study was published by researchers from at the Institute of Animal Breeding and Genetics’ Department for Biomedical Sciences at the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna.

According to the International Cat Association, the breed’s origin dates back to 1987 when a Persian male bred with a curly haired female cat. She then birthed a litter of five kittens in Montana.

At the time, breeders noticed that one of the kittens in the litter looked different from the others, primarily because of her thick curly hair.

That kitten in particular looked so interesting that a Persian breeder named Jeri Newman adopted her and named her after a character from the television show “Moonlighting.” Miss Depesto then bred with other Persians, which eventually then created their own breed.

According to researchers at the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Miss Depesto’s DNA experienced a spontaneous mutation which resulted in the curly hair.

After nine generations of breeding, this mutation appears to be autosomal dominant, meaning that it is located on one of the numbered, non-sex chromosomes (autosomal) and that only one copy is needed in order to manifest the unique curly phenotype (dominant). After combing through their DNA analysis, they found this dominant trait throughout the generations, leading them to classify the Selkirk as a breed all its own, reported Red Orbit.

“Rexoid, curly hair mutations have been selected to develop new domestic cat breeds. The Selkirk Rex or poodle cat is the most recently established curly-coated cat breed originating from a spontaneous mutation that was discovered in the United States in 1987. Unlike the earlier and well-established Cornish and Devon Rex breeds with curly-coat mutations, the Selkirk Rex mutation is suggested as autosomal dominant and has a different curl phenotype,” the authors said in the abstract of the study.

That’s why the poodle cat is also referred to as the “cat in sheep’s clothing.”

Though it’s only now been made official by science, cat breeders and associations have been classifying the Selkirk Rex as its own breed for many years.

An article in the Examiner reported the price of one of these poodle cats can run anywhere from a few hundred dollars to as much as $1,000.

Selkirk Rex Cat

Selkirk Rex Cat Breed.

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