Lifestyle & Belief

Selkirk Rex cat with sheep-like coat declared a new breed

Selkirk Rex cats have finally been declared a separate breed of cat.

Apparently this was an obvious fact for cat lovers but had never been scientifically proven. Now it has.

The Selkirk Rex, which some call the 'Poodle Cat,' has storied origins.

The breed itself has been traced back to a cat called "Miss Depesto," born in Montana in 1987.

Miss Depesto bred with a Persian male — cat, that is — and had five kittens, some with curly hair and others with straight.

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Researchers at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna, Austria found after DNA tests that Miss Depesto's genes likely mutated causing the curly hair.

This gene mutation was bred into her kittens and, subsequently, became a whole new breed of feline.

The new breed is characterized by thick, curly hair, a round head and round ears.

The testing was completed in October but the results were only released this week.

Apparently the International Cat Association got an early start: they had been declaring the Selkirk a separate breed since the early 1990s.