The German Rex is a rare breed known for its curly coat, large ears, and playful personality. But don’t let its cute appearance fool you: this cat is also one of the most intelligent and trainable felines you’ll ever meet. In fact, some people call them the Einsteins of the cat world!
In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the German Rex cat breed, including its origin and history, its characteristics and temperament, its care needs and health issues, and where to find one if you’re interested in adopting this remarkable kitty.
|Coat Colors||Any color or pattern accepted by FIFe|
|Eye Colors||Any color that matches the coat color|
|Personality||Playful, friendly, loyal, family-friendly, people-oriented, intelligent, trainable, curious, mischievous|
|Good with Kids||Yes|
|Good with Pets||Yes|
History of the German Rex Cat
The German Rex is a relatively young breed that originated in post-war Germany. In 1951, a doctor named Rose Scheuer-Karpin found a black cat with a curly coat wandering in the garden of a hospital in Berlin. She named her Lammchen, which means “little lamb” in German, and took her home.
Lammchen had several litters of kittens with different males, but only two of them inherited her curly coat. In 1957, Lammchen was bred with one of her curly-haired sons, producing the first intentional litter of German Rex kittens. Dr. Scheuer-Karpin realized that she had discovered a new mutation and decided to develop a new breed.
In 1960, an American breeder named Ethelyn Whittemore imported two German Rex females to the United States. She also acquired a male German Rex named Christopher Columbus from Germany. These three cats became the foundation of the breed in America.
However, the German Rex never gained much popularity and remained scarce in both Europe and America. The breed was overshadowed by the more established Cornish Rex, which also has a curly coat but a different genetic origin. Today, the German Rex is recognized by only one major cat association: FIFe (the International Cat Federation).
Size and Shape
The German Rex is a medium-sized cat with a slender body and long legs. It has a round head with well-developed cheeks and a strong chin. Its ears are large and open, and its eyes are round and expressive. The eyes can be any color that matches the coat color.
The coat is the most distinctive feature of the German Rex. It is short, silky, and curly, with no guard hairs. The curls are more pronounced on the neck, belly, and tail. The whiskers are also curly but less so than the coat.
The coat of the German Rex is influenced by environmental factors such as temperature and humidity. It may become straighter or curlier depending on the season or the climate. It may also change over time as the cat ages or undergoes hormonal changes.
The German Rex can come in any color or pattern that is accepted by FIFe. Some of the most common ones are solid colors (such as black, white, blue, red), tortoiseshell (a mix of black and red), bicolor (white with patches of another color), tabby (stripes or spots), ticking (a salt-and-pepper effect), smoke (a dark base with light tips), shaded (a light base with dark tips), and points (a light body with dark ears, face, legs, and tail).
The German Rex is a cat that loves to be around people. It is friendly, loyal, affectionate, and family-oriented. It enjoys being petted, cuddled, and held by its human companions. It also gets along well with other cats and dogs that are respectful of its space.
The German Rex is also very playful and curious. It likes to explore its surroundings and investigate anything that catches its eye. It has a high level of intelligence and can learn new tricks easily. Some owners have taught their German Rexes how to fetch, sit, roll over, or even use the toilet!
However, having such a smart cat can also have some drawbacks. The German Rex can get bored easily if it doesn’t have enough stimulation or entertainment. It can also be mischievous and naughty if it doesn’t get enough attention or supervision. It may open cabinets or drawers, knock things off shelves or tables, or even escape from the house if it finds an opportunity.
To keep your German Rex happy and healthy, you need to provide it with plenty of toys and activities that challenge its mind and body. Puzzle toys that dispense treats or kibble are great for keeping it busy and rewarding it for its cleverness. Interactive toys that move or make noises are also fun for stimulating hunting instincts and satisfying curiosity. Of course, nothing beats a good old-fashioned play session with you or another friendly pet. You can use a feather wand, a laser pointer, or a crumpled paper ball to make your German Rex chase, pounce, and jump.
Another way to enrich your German Rex’s life is to teach it some tricks or commands. You can use positive reinforcement methods such as praise, treats, or clicker training to reward your cat for doing what you want. You can start with simple tricks such as come, sit, or high-five and then move on to more advanced ones such as spin, wave, or speak. You’ll be amazed by how fast your German Rex can learn and how eager it is to please you.
Care and Health
The German Rex is a low-maintenance cat when it comes to grooming. Its coat doesn’t shed much and doesn’t need frequent brushing or combing. However, you should still check its coat regularly for mats or tangles, especially in areas where the curls are tighter. You can gently use a soft brush or your fingers to detangle any knots.
You should also bathe your German Rex occasionally to keep its coat clean and shiny. Use a mild shampoo that is suitable for cats, and rinse well. If it doesn’t mind the noise, you can towel-dry your cat or use a blow-dryer on a low setting. Be careful not to overheat or burn your cat’s skin.
Common Health Issues
The German Rex is generally a healthy breed, but it may also be prone to health issues affecting other cats. Some of these include:
- skin allergies
- dental problems
- ear infections
To prevent or treat these conditions, you should do the following:
- Check your cat’s skin regularly for signs of irritation, redness, or itching. If you notice any of these symptoms, consult your vet for diagnosis and treatment. You may need to change your cat’s diet or use hypoallergenic products to avoid triggering an allergic reaction.
- Brush your cat’s teeth daily or at least weekly with a toothbrush and toothpaste designed for cats. This will help prevent plaque buildup, tartar formation, gum disease, and tooth decay. You can also give your cat dental treats or toys that help clean its teeth.
- Clean your cat’s ears weekly with a cotton ball, a soft cloth moistened with warm water, or an ear cleaner made for cats. This will help remove any dirt, wax, or debris that may cause infection or irritation. If you notice any signs of ear problems, such as redness, swelling, discharge, odor, or scratching, take your cat to the vet as soon as possible.
- Monitor your cat’s weight and body condition regularly. If your cat is overweight or obese, it may have a higher risk of developing diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, and other health problems. You can help your cat lose weight by feeding it a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that is appropriate for its age and activity level. You can also encourage your cat to exercise more by playing with it more often and providing it with interactive toys.
In addition to these care tips, you should also take your German Rex to the vet for regular check-ups, vaccinations, parasite prevention, and spaying or neutering. These will help ensure your cat’s overall health and well-being.
Where to Buy a German Rex Cat
If you’re interested in buying or adopting a German Rex cat, you may have a hard time finding one near you. This breed is rare, and few breeders or rescue organizations specialize in it. However, you can try some of the following options:
A couple of options to aid in your search are:
- Contact FIFe (the International Cat Federation) and ask for a list of registered German Rex breeders in your area or country. You can also visit their website https://fifeweb.org/ and search for German Rex breeders by region.
- Join online forums or social media groups dedicated to German Rex cats or curly-coated cats in general. You can ask for advice, recommendations, or referrals from other cat lovers who may know where to find a German Rex cat.
The German Rex is a rare and remarkable cat breed that combines intelligence, affection, and beauty. This cat will keep you entertained and amused with its playful antics and clever tricks. It will also shower you with love and loyalty as your faithful companion. However, be prepared to face some challenges in finding one, as this breed is very scarce and not widely recognized. You may have to search far and wide to find your curly-coated kitty.
Do you have a German Rex cat, or are you interested in getting one? Share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!
More Cat Breeds
If you’re interested in learning about similar cat breeds, check out:
Q: What is the difference between the German Rex and the Cornish Rex?
A: The German Rex and the Cornish Rex are both cat breeds with curly coats but have different genetic origins and physical features. The German Rex originated from a spontaneous mutation in post-war Germany, while the Cornish Rex originated from a spontaneous mutation in Cornwall, England. The German Rex has a round head, large ears and eyes, and a strong chin, while the Cornish Rex has a wedge-shaped head, large ears, and a Roman nose. The German Rex has a soft and silky coat, while the Cornish Rex has a wavy and woolly coat.
Q: How do I keep my German Rex entertained and stimulated?
A: The German Rex is a very intelligent and curious cat that needs plenty of toys and activities to keep it happy and healthy. You can provide it with puzzle toys that dispense treats or kibble, interactive toys that move or make noises, feather wands, laser pointers, or crumpled paper balls for play sessions. You can also teach it some tricks or commands using positive reinforcement methods such as praise, treats, or clicker training.
Q: How often do I need to groom my German Rex?
A: The German Rex is a low-maintenance cat when it comes to grooming. Its coat doesn’t shed much and doesn’t need frequent brushing or combing. However, you should still check its coat regularly for mats or tangles, especially in areas where the curls are tighter. You can gently use a soft brush or your fingers to detangle any knots. You should also bathe your German Rex occasionally to keep its coat clean and shiny. Use a mild shampoo that is suitable for cats, and rinse well. If it doesn’t mind the noise, you can towel-dry your cat or use a blow-dryer on a low setting.
Q: What common health issues may affect the German Rex?
A: The German Rex is generally a healthy breed, but it may also be prone to health issues affecting other cats. Some of these include skin allergies, dental problems, ear infections, and obesity. To prevent or treat these conditions, you should check your cat’s skin regularly for signs of irritation, redness, or itching; brush your cat’s teeth daily or at least weekly with a toothbrush and toothpaste designed for cats; clean your cat’s ears weekly with a cotton ball or a soft cloth moistened with warm water or an ear cleaner made for cats; and monitor your cat’s weight and body condition regularly. You should also take your cat to the vet for regular check-ups, vaccinations, parasite prevention, and spaying or neutering.
Q: Where can I find a German Rex cat for sale or adoption?
A: The German Rex is a very rare breed, and few breeders or rescue organizations specialize in it. Contact the Cat Fancier Associations and ask for help locating a breeder or join some related groups/forums and start networking with other like-minded cat lovers.