Have you ever heard of a poodle cat? Is it a cat that looks like a poodle? A poodle that looks like a cat? This concept can conjure up images of strange hybrids inhabiting the island of Dr. Moreau from the eponymous science fiction novel by H. G. wells! In fact, this is the name of an unusual genetic cat breed.
The case is clear that the case is dark
The “poodle cat” phenomenon is not entirely new. Links to poodle cat take us back several decades to the Internet. And yet this term was not in demand for some time, until relatively recently it began to be used to refer to all sorts of unique animals that have features of both cats and dogs.
For a long time, cat lovers were confused by different types of similar breeds, not knowing how to classify them. Some considered poodle cat hybrids from crossing the Scottish fold and Rex breeds, Cornish or Devon. Someone took for these strange animals descendants from a complex crossing of several breeds, and not approved in Germany as an independent breed due to difficulties in German legislation.
Anyway, interest in these cats increased in the late 80’s in connection with scientific research, finally shedding light on what exactly is a poodle cat.
Genes are a delicate matter
Scientists from the University of Austria have revealed the secret of the poodle cat in a published paper entitled “Selkirk Rex: morphological and genetic characteristics of cats of a new breed”. This was a joint study By the Institute of animal husbandry and the Department of genetics of biomedical Sciences At the University of veterinary medicine Vienna.
Rexoid, curly hair mutations have been selected for the development of new domestic cat breeds. The Selkirk Rex (or poodle cat) is one of the last created breeds of cats with a curly coat. It originates from a spontaneous mutation that was discovered in the United States in 1987.
Unlike the earlier, well-known Cornish Rex and Devon Rex breeds, which also have a curly hair mutation, the Selkirk Rex mutation is not recessive, but dominant. This shows a completely different type of curl. That is, the curly nature of the cat’s hair is the result of the dominant gene. This means that members of this breed can be crossed with other cats, while maintaining a unique hair type.
At the time, scientists confirmed that the Selkirk Rex is genetically significantly different from all other known breeds and is classified as an independent breed. It is the fourth type of “curly cat” in addition to Devons, Cornish and German Rex.
Cat in a coat
So, the uniqueness of the Selkirk Rex breed is that its representatives have a very thick, curly coat, much thicker, due to its three-layer structure. That’s why the funny nickname of these animals “cats in sheep’s clothing”was born.
It is also a rare distinguishing feature in comparison with related Shorthair breeds that there are also long-haired varieties of the poodle cat, and their fur can be found in a wide range of colors.
Now officially recognized as a separate breed, all poodle cats can be traced back to a single litter discovered in America in 1987.
Cherche La femme!
The “trendsetter” for an unusual curl of wool was then unexpectedly born the only cat in the litter. Geri Newman, a breeder of the Persian breed, became interested in the carrier of a new mutation with incredibly thick, beautifully styled curls. She decided to lead this line of cats by mating them with Persians.
She christened the new breed Selkirk after her stepfather to make it the only one of its kind to be named after a human. And the founder of an unusual group of cats Geri Newman called “Miss Dipesto”. The famous cat owes its name to the heroine of the television series Agnes Dipesto, which starred Bruce Willis and Sybill shepherd.
The main advantages of the Selkirk Rex
In addition to their unique appearance, the Selkirk Rex is a calm, peaceful animal. After all, they are usually bred not only “in themselves”, but also with good-natured Persian or British Shorthair.
In addition to the mentioned advantages, they are playful and obedient. They are very fond of home comfort, but do not refuse pleasant walks. These cats need free space to play and run, but it is just as easy to train them to walk on a leash.
And only the fact that they shed, makes them less popular in comparison with other breeds of Rex in relation to allergies.
Poodle cat and health
There are some genetic diseases that this breed is more prone to than others. But there are also tests that help detect pathologies.
Since Persians are involved in Selkirk Rex breeding schemes, there is a risk of polycystic kidney failure. It usually appears towards the end of life, so you need to choose a small poodle from a reliable breeder who keeps the disease under control. From the British Shorthair cat, poodle cats inherit a genetic disease such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which is also detected by appropriate tests.
The Selkirk Rex is an active and generally healthy breed, despite the fact that it owes its external advantages to mutation. The love of movement and attachment to family members, especially children, allows the poodle cat to overcome such hereditary problems as a predisposition to obesity. And bring incomparable happiness of communication to everyone around them.