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Selkirk Rex: An Overview Of The Curly Haired Cat

The Selkirk Rex is a breed that originated only recently with a curly shelter cat that was discovered in Montana and was paired with a Persian male cat.

The results were curly-haired kittens that were subsequently named Selkirk Rex.

There are a few of the Rex Cat breeds with typically wavy hair, the Devon Rex and the Cornish Rex.

The breeder crossbred the Selkirk rex with some other cats, the British shorthair, the American shorthair, and the Persian to create two different coats: short and long.

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Selkirk Rex Characteristics and Personality

Selkirk Rex Curly Haired Cat

The Selkirk Rex is a cuddly and highly social cat that is readily identifiable by their uniquely curly fur and whiskers.

With her plush hair that is thick and curly, the Selkirk Rex looks like a stuffed animal.  In fact, her curly hair is a dominant feature, but not all Selkirk Rex have curly hair and depends on the breed.

Their coat comes in many patterns and colors and patterns.

The Selkirk Rex has a strong, sturdy body and usually weighs between 8 and 12 pounds.

You will need a good hairbrush to keep that coat maintained which is thick but pliable.

The Selkirk Rex is a very tolerant and patient breed, making him a great companion for children and families

Selkirk’s are also known to be an affectionate cat who adores cuddling and jumping right into your lap.

Related: 10 Things You Must Know Before You Buy Pet Insurance

Common Health Issues with the Selkirk Rex

The health issues that are common to the Selkirk Rex are the following:

Polycystic kidney disease

Polycystic kidney disease is a congenital disorder, which affects as much as 16% of some cat breeds and causes cysts to form in one or both kidneys. It normally doesn’t manifest itself until a cat is seven to ten years old.

The condition is progressive and irreversible, though surgery may in some cases help to relieve the cat’s discomfort.  Special diets can help manage the condition by reducing the kidney’s workload. If not treated, the disease can lead to kidney failure.

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Max had a urinary blockage that required surgery. After medication and a few follow-up visits, he recovered well and is now doing great!

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is another hereditary condition that occurs when a kitten is born with a malformed hip socket. While more common in dogs, Hip Dysplasia can result in acute discomfort for the cat, which may appear sluggish and avoid physical activity.

While there is no cure for the disorder, medicines may be administered to treat pain and to improve mobility.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is one of the more common heart conditions in cats that results from the thickening of the muscles around the heart. This causes the heart to beat irregularly and may lead to clotting and the accumulation of fluid around the lungs and heart.

Cats suffering from the condition tend to have relatively short lives, though treatment with drugs that control heart rate and reduce fluid buildup can be effective.


Gingivitis is a dental disease that develops when there is a build-up in plaque in the cat’s mouth.  It can be either hereditary or from a poor diet. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontal disease and could eventually cause even more harm.

While easy to treat when caught in the early stages, Selkirk’s seem to have a common predisposition to this disease.

Treatment for any of these conditions can easily add up to thousands of dollars, especially if a cat requires hospitalization.

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Should You Purchase Pet Insurance for Your Selkirk Rex?

The answer is yes!

Cats, of course, suffer from illnesses just like people do, and purebreds like the Selkirk Rex are more prone to certain hereditary disorders that are rare in most other cats.

And for those who don’t have pet insurance, this means making some agonizing decisions about just how much treatment an owner can afford to spend on a beloved pet.

It doesn’t have to be this way and, of course, no cat owner wants to be in this position.

If you adopt or purchase a specific breed like a Selkirk, it really is encouraged to enroll in cat insurance.  Even if your cat is from the top and most respectable breeder!

You might be lucky and your Selkirk Rex doesn’t inherit any of the diseases known to the breed, but some health conditions could still arise.

With cats living up to 15 years old, kidney disease and other long term illnesses will invariably occur.

Pet insurance can help with any sudden illness, condition or injury that your Selkirk encounters and will pay up to 90% of the costs!

With plans starting at $10 a month, cat insurance can be a very affordable and easy payment to make each month.

It is important and a good idea is to purchase pet insurance for your Selkirk while they are young and before any of the potential conditions occur and are then considered pre-existing.

No pet insurance company will cover pre-existing conditions. Ever!

Another thing to consider is making sure that the policy includes breed and hereditary-specific conditions.

The best cat insurance companies will cover these conditions and almost all long –term health issues that might arise.

Healthy Paws, Petplan and Embrace are just some of the companies who will cover breed-specific conditions in all of their plans.

In fact, Healthy Paws offers unlimited benefits in all their plans for the cat’s life.  Therefore, you will never have to worry about reaching a cap for a certain medical condition.

Final Thoughts on Selkirk Rex Cat Insurance

Hopefully, you will be a lucky Selkirk cat owner and never have a long term health condition with our cat.   But, if you do, you will be so glad that you purchased pet insurance.

Make sure to do your homework and talk to your vet about the potential health conditions that might occur with your cat.  And look for a pet insurance company that covers those conditions and more!

If you would like to learn more about other common health issues that could occur with your cat(s), our list of common health conditions is a good place to start!


Other articles you may find helpful: 


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The Best Pet Insurance By State 

What Is Pet Insurance?

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The Ultimate Guide to Safe Foods for Dogs

Dog Health Problems

Dog Breeds


Cat Health Problems

Cat Breeds


We have worked hard to provide you with all the free resources possible to help give you insight into the best pet insurance for cats, additional cat breeds info, common cat health issues, and a fun look at frequently asked cat questions.


Additional Cat Breeds:


American Curl Cat, American Wirehair Cat, Arabian Mau Cat, Ashera Cat, Balinese Cat, Burmese Cat, Chartreux Cat, Chausie Cat, Cymric Cat, Domestic Medium Hair Cat 

Himalayan Cat, Japanese Bobtail Cat, Manx Cat, Nebelung Cat, Norwegian Forest Cat, Orange Tabby Cat, Oriental Cat, Persian Cat, Pixie-Bob Cat, Russian Blue Cat

Scottish Fold Cat, Selkirk Rex Cat, Siamese Cat, Siberian Cat, Singapura Cat, Somali Cat, Thai Cat, Toygers Cat, Turkish Angora Cat, LaPerm Cat, Maine Coon Cat


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