Skip to Main Content

Skipped to Main Content

Selkirk Rex Cat

Published on 26 Apr 2021

A Selkirk Rex sitting on a table front portrait.

Large and laidback, the Selkirk Rex has a curly, somewhat messy appearance, but that’s part of their appeal. 

A cross between a rescued cat and a Persian in the Montana, USA in the 1980’s resulted in three kittens with curly coats. This was the start of the Selkirk Rex breed. 

Unlike the Devon and Cornish Rex, the Selkirk Rex was bred to be a heavy-set cat who can weigh up to 7.5 kgs. Their life expectancy is around 10 to 15 years.

Cat Breed Facts & Characteristics


Montana, USA, 1980’s

Also known as 



Large, 5 to 7.5kgs 

Weight Range

5 to 7.5kgs


All cat colours and patterns 

Life expectancy

10 to 15 years 


Curly or straight, have short and long coat lengths


Sociable, patient, playful 

Exercise requirements


Best suited for 

Households with time to give them company  

Apartment Friendly



Selkirk Rex cats are said to be placid and sociable. They don’t tend to be very vocal and get along well with people and other pets if introduced early. Although they may not be as active as some other cats, they still need plenty of toys and cat trees for them to climb on and scratch. Because they are quite sociable, they can become lonely if left for long periods of time. They may therefore be better suited to a household where someone is home to keep them company, or perhaps adopting two could be a way to ensure they have suitable company if you are out a lot. They are well suited to apartment living if they are given plenty to keep them occupied. Keeping your Selkirk Rex cat indoors or in a cat friendly enclosure helps keep them safe from roads, other cats, snakes as well as helps to keep wildlife safe from your cat. 


The coat can be wavy or curly and there are also long and short coated varieties. They don’t need a lot of grooming, but a gentle brushing once or twice a week helps keep the skin and coat healthy and help remove loose hairs as the Selkirk Rex does shed. Keeping up with yearlong parasite control will help keep your Selkirk Rex tick and flea free.  


When choosing a food for your Selkirk Rex, select a premium food appropriate to your cats age and life stage. Follow the recommended feeding guides on the food appropriate to your pet's size to help avoid obesity and ensure your fur baby gets appropriate nutrition. Always ensure your Selkirk Rex cat has a constant supply of fresh water available and consider providing them with a water fountain, as many cats prefer to drink moving water.

A Selkirk Rex cat in a cot with soft toy.

Common Health Concerns 

The five most common reasons for a Selkirk Rex to visit the vet (excluding routine care visits) according to PetSure data from 2016 to 2020 included gastrointestinal problems like vomiting and diarrhoea, as well as constipation, megacolon, eye problems and urinary tract disease.  

Traumatic accidents including cat fight abscesses and claw injuries were also noted in the top five reasons for a Selkirk Rex to visit the vet from 2016 to 2020. It may be possible to lower the risk of your Selkirk Rex from having a traumatic accident by keeping them indoors or in a cat safe enclosure. 

Table:  The five most common reasons for a Selkirk Rex cat to visit the vet (excluding for routine visits like vaccinations), PetSure claims data from 2016-2020.

RankConditionAverage cost for single treatment
(average pet insurance claim amount)
Highest cost for single treatment (highest pet insurance claim seen for this condition)
1Gastrointestinal problems $283$1,249
2Constipation and megacolon$365$1,363
3Eye problems, including conjunctivitis and corneal ulcers$103$198
4Urinary tract disease$376$2,076
5Traumatic accidents, including fight abscesses and claw injuries$379$876

Disclaimer: Reimbursement for these claims would be subject to limits, such as annual benefit limits or sub-limits, benefit percentage, applicable waiting periods and any applicable excess. Cover is subject to the policy terms and conditions. You should consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or policy wording available from the relevant provider.


A Selkirk Rex sitting near the door in sun beam

Most popular Selkirk Rex names

According to PetSure data from 2015 to 2020, the most popular names for Selkirk Rex cats were

Most popular names

  1. Louis
  2. Bambi
  3. Frankie
  4. George 
  5. Rocky
  6. Audrey
  7. Chai
  8. Cricket
  9. Dobby
  10. Florence 

Most popular female names

  1. Bambi
  2. Frankie
  3. Rocky
  4. Audrey
  5. Chai
  6. Cricket
  7. Dobby
  8. Gracie
  9. Kitty
  10. Lily

Most popular male names

  1. Louis 
  2. George
  3. Florence
  4. Frank
  5. Monkey
  6. Nugget
  7. Ollie
  8. Oscar
  9. Phoenix
  10. Sunny Winston

Did you know?

All Selkirk Rex today are ancestors of the rescued cat called Miss DePesto. 

Where can I get a Selkirk Rex cat?

Selkirk Rex cats are uncommon in Australia. If you are looking for a feline companion, shelters generally have many beautiful cats looking for loving homes. It may be possible to find a Selkirk Rex through a breed specific rescue. But check out your local animal shelter or rescue organisation where you may just find your perfect kitten or cat! 


  1. Wikipedia, Selkirk Rex, Accessed on 11/03/2021
  2. The Cat Fanciers Association, The Selkirk Rex, Accessed on 11/03/2021
  3. VetStreet, Selkirk Rex, Accessed on 11/030/2021 is general insurance issued by the insurer The Hollard Insurance Company Pty Ltd (ABN 78 090 584 473; AFSL 241436) (Hollard); is promoted and distributed by Pet Insurance Pty Ltd (ABN 38 607 160 930; AR 1234944) (PIPL) and PIPL’s authorised distribution partners (including Pet Culture Group Pty Limited ABN: 69 644 613 098; AR 001284860) (PetCulture) and administered by PetSure (Australia) Pty Ltd (ABN 95 075 949 923; AFSL 420183) (PetSure). PIPL and PetCulture are authorised representatives of PetSure. Any advice provided is general only, has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs and may not be right for you. Consequently, before acting on this information, you should consider the appropriateness of this information having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. You should obtain and consider the product disclosure statement (PDS) in deciding whether to acquire or continue to hold, Pet Insurance.

Kylie Mitchell

Kylie Mitchell


Kylie Mitchell is a veterinarian with over 17 years experience in animal health and welfare, including in the veterinary and pet insurance industries

She has three rescue cats (Noah, Bei Bei and Meeka), four very old cockatiels and a pond-full of fish.

Kylie Mitchell's Pets

  • MeekaMeeka
  • Bei BeiBei Bei
  • NoahNoah

Sign up to our newsletter

For exclusive offers and promotions, the latest expert pet advice and 15% off your next order (maximum discount of $20)!

We care about keeping your personal data safe. View our Privacy Policy here to learn more.