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It can be easy to confuse the Cornish Rex and the Devon Rex. Their names alone are so similar, coming from the breeds’ origins in the United Kingdom. Both cats look alike, with lean, muscular bodies, large ears, and wavy coats. Despite these similarities, though, there are several unique distinctions that set each breed apart.
The Devon Rex has a few easily identifiable physical traits that make it unique from the Cornish Rex, including its large, low-set ears, much shorter whiskers, and slightly shorter and more muscular legs. The Cornish Rex, on the other hand, has longer legs, a smaller waist, a larger chest, and a finer coat than the Devon Rex.
Other than these subtle physical traits, there are distinct personality differences too. In this article, we’ll take a look at each breed and identify exactly what sets the two apart.
The Cornish Rex can best be described as charming, regal, and intelligent and is a confident cat that loves to be around its owners. They are happy to be handled and held, even by children, making them an ideal family pet. Many Cornish Rex owners describe these cats as “dog-like,” due to their ease of trainability and ability to retrieve toys.
They are highly playful cats and are known to retain this kitten-like playfulness well into adulthood. Although not as vocal as some other breeds, like the Siamese, these cats are not afraid of voicing their opinion and are by no means silent!
With their short and smooth coat, grooming a Cornish Rex is a simple affair. Even just regular stroking and petting is usually enough to keep this cat groomed, and for Cornish Rexes with slightly longer coats, an occasional brush will suffice. That being said, this short coat is free from a protective outer coat, so they’ll need to stay inside where it’s warm in colder climates.
Like their Cornish cousins, the Devon Rex originated in the United Kingdom in their namesake Devonshire, albeit about a decade afterward. Their short and wavy coat was similarly caused by a unique genetic mutation, and the breed was thought to be genetically the same as the Cornish Rex, but this was quickly proved to not be the case. The breed was officially recognized by the CFA in 1979, more than a decade after the Cornish Rex.
The Devon Rex is an affectionate cat that loves to be wherever you are. They can usually be found not far from their owner, watching closely and observing their every activity with quiet and gentle grace. This cat is a fun-loving breed that is always up for a play session but is far more relaxed and laidback than their Cornish cousins. Loyalty is a common trait described by Devon owners, and these cats are happy as long as they are close to their family, whether it be playing, cuddling on the sofa, or sleeping in the bed!
These two breeds are similar in more ways than they are different, and either cat is sure to be an affectionate, outgoing, playful, and loyal family companion. They both have a uniquely beautiful appearance, with their wavy and short coats, crinkled whiskers, and large, low-set ears. Both cats are also easy to look after, with low grooming requirements.
That said, Cornish Rexes are slightly more playful and energetic and a bit smaller in size and have a slightly longer lifespan. They also have fewer hereditary diseases to be concerned with, although both breeds are known to be healthy overall.
If you are looking for a playful, energetic cat that is affectionate, loving, and loyal, either breed is a great choice, although the Devon Rex may be more docile and easy-going than the Cornish Rex.