No two curly-haired cats are the same. While some are naughty, others are easygoing. Some can be very vocal, while others hardly make a peep. So if you’re looking for a feline with a unique look and personality to match, you’ll love our list of top 10 curly-haired cat breeds and how to care for them.
Ten Curly Haired Cat Breeds
There are only four curly-haired cat breeds that have been internationally recognized as cats with curly hair. These include the Devon Rex, Cornish Rex, Selkirk Rex, and Scottish Fold.
However, some newer breeds have not yet been classified as having a curly coat but may end up on the list in time. Many of them even have curly bellies, examples include:
- American Curl
- Maine Coon Long Hair
All of these cats come in many different colors and patterns. The unique coats these cats get come from their parent’s gene combinations, and which ones they inherit can be the luck of the draw for breeders if the breed is not fully established.
Many curly hair cats have short hair, but it is very soft and velvety to the touch due to its dense undercoat. You can find long-haired cats with curls, though too.
To avoid problems while grooming your new kitten or curly-haired adult cat, you should get a comb explicitly designed for this type of fur instead of one made exclusively for long-haired pets, as those may damage your cat’s coat significantly.
If you want more information on how to care for your curly-haired feline friend or which one you should get. please read below.
Why Do Some Cats Have Curly Hair?
Curly hair is a dominant trait in many cat breeds. That means a cat with curly hair can pass on its curly coat to its offspring. A cat doesn’t need both parents to have the curly gene for their kittens to have curly fur.
However, if you breed two cats with this recessive gene, you’ll get kittens that won’t inherit any of their parents’ curls, they will be normal-haired cats instead.
The Cornish Rex is an example of a breed in which the curl gene is dominant since all new Cornish Rexes are born with curly fur. On the other hand, American Curls and Devon Rexes must both inherit one copy of the recessive straight hair gene from each parent for them not to be born with curly locks.
Instead, they’ll grow up looking like ordinary house cats until they start shedding around four months old when their coats change into something more exotic.
1. Cornish Rex
Cornish Rex is a small cat with a wavy coat and curly tail. They have big ears, which are often held in an alert posture. The Cornish Rex is from England and can be found in many colors and patterns, including:
- Black tortoiseshell
- Chocolate tortoiseshell
- Lilac tortoiseshell
The Cornish Rex is very friendly, so if you want to be able to pet your cat on your own terms, this might not be the breed for you. They love attention and often seek it out
They are also known for being active, so if you have other pets or children that love to play, keep this in mind while adopting a Cornish Rex.
2. Devon Rex
The Devon Rex is a medium-sized cat with a short curly coat. They are playful and energetic. Plus, this breed is known for its intelligence and curiosity. Devon Rexes are very social, making them good if you want to interact with your pets daily.
The Devon Rex’s mischievous nature means they can be encouraged to fetch toys or perform tricks on command if you make training fun.
Expert Tip: Devon Rex cats have been known to learn how to use the toilet or go outside when needed. This makes them ideal companions for families with children who may not have time to constantly clean a litter box.
However, since they love attention. Your Devon Rex must spend time interacting with all family members daily, otherwise, they may become frustrated or bored. Bored cats become trouble makers. If you want to make a Devon Rex part of your family, you can purchase one for between $600 and $1000.
LaPerm is a breed of curly-haired cat. It’s relatively new. It was developed in 1982 on a farm in Dalles. Oregon, by Nancy Jodhan and Carol Ann Brewer. The cats had what appeared to be naturally curly coats, but they were not consistently curly they would have random patches of wavy or curly fur here and there.
These cats are descendants of Persians, and American Curls crossed back with each other over several generations until they produced the LaPerm you see today. A LaPerm is a large, long-haired cat with an extremely thick coat that curls throughout its body (but not its tail).
Their coats make them one of the most popular breeds for show. The curls create an interesting texture that judges appreciate during competitions. LaPerm also tends to be very intelligent and friendly pets who enjoy spending time with their owners.
Because these cats have such long hair that tends to be a mix of curly and straight, it can be challenging to find grooming tools or products designed specifically for them.
However, once you figure out what works best on your cat’s coat type, maintaining it should become easier over time and less costly since you can do it yourself instead of taking them to the groomers.
4. Selkirk Rex
The Selkirk Rex is a curly-haired cat breed that is known for its unique coat. A cross between a Persian and a domestic shorthair, the Selkirk Rex has short or medium-length fur that is typically soft. Its coat is also dense and sheds very little.
The breed’s name comes from their curled tail tip. which resembles an old Scottish tartan pattern of cloth weaving called “Selkirk.” They have an average lifespan of 9-15 years and are generally healthy cats with few health issues that plague other breeds.
Furthermore, the Selkirk breed is exceptionally social, so they make good low-maintenance companions. These cats don’t require much outside of regular grooming. In addition, they don’t mind being brushed or combed regularly during grooming sessions because they enjoy being petted by their owners.
The cost for this breed ranges anywhere from $600-$1,500 depending on where you purchase them. But if you think about how much time these precious little ones will spend in your life, it might seem worth it!
5. American Curl
The American Curl is a medium-sized cat with long hair and an unusual curl in its ears.
American Curls have a gentle temperament and make good companions for children and other animals. They are known for their affectionate nature, making them great lap cats.
Expert Tip: The American Curl is also a more vocal breed, making it an ideal choice if you like hearing your cat meow or purr when you’re around. The American Curl has a medium-length coat that requires minimal grooming since they rarely shed their fur.
However, it’s essential to brush them at least once every two weeks to prevent tangles from forming in their coat. This breed also doesn’t need frequent baths because they’re naturally clean pets who spend most of their time cleaning themselves!
6. Tennessee Rex
The Tennessee Rex is a relatively new cat breed, with its origins traced back to the state of Tennessee. It’s a curly-haired cat that’s medium to large in size, making it an ideal choice for people who want something larger than your average house cat but not so big as to be inconvenient.
The Tennessee Rex loves being around people and will often climb into your lap or cuddle up next to you while watching TV. This is a sign that they’re very social cats! They’re even known as “velcro” cats because they love being around their owners so much. This breed costs between $600-$1000.
If you’re looking for a cat that will be as affectionate and loyal as any dog, then the Skookum is just right for you. These cats are thought to be part Persian and part Siamese. They have medium-to-large builds with short, dense, curly coats. Their noses are wide and flat.
Their adorable faces are accented with large ears that tend to stick out on either side of their heads. The tail is long and bushy, with a few kinks near its base.
The Skookum breed is playful but not overactive like some other breeds, they love attention like most other curly-haired cats but aren’t demanding in this regard (though they might meow or purr loudly if they sense something’s amiss). They’re also known for being very affectionate and less shy around strangers than many other animals even dogs.
8. Maine Coon Longhair
Maine Coons are a large cat breed that has been around for over 150 years. Like most other curvy cats, they’re big on affection and friendly with their human companions. They’ll follow you around the house while you do chores. They’re also great hunters of mice, birds, and other rodents, so they work well on farms.
Expert Tip: Maine Coons can swim because they have webbed feet like ducks. This helps them swim faster than other cats in water situations where danger lurks below.
However, Maine Coons also have thick coats, making them very warm during winter when it can get chilly outside. They need regular grooming because their fur tends to be very long compared to other breeds (primarily if your cat has been bred specifically for show).
Grooming isn’t difficult if you know what techniques work best with curly hair types such as these. You should brush them at least once weekly to prevent their coat from matting. You should also give them a bath every few months, depending on how dirty they get outside. Be sure to dry your Maine Coon thoroughly afterward.
9. Norwegian Forest Cat Longhair
The Norwegian Forest Cat Longhair is a large breed known for its thick, long coat. These cats are also known for their bushy tails, large round paws, and large eyes. They are a very social breed making them great companions to have around the house or good family cats.
The Norwegian Forest Cat has an average lifespan of 12-14 years, so you can enjoy this beautiful cat for many years with proper care and attention.
You should brush your cat’s coat every week to keep it looking nice and healthy while reducing shedding and other problems such as matting or tangles in their fur (which could lead down the road to infections). Proper brushing also helps to prevent furballs.
Ragamuffin cats are one of the most popular cat breeds because they are affectionate, playful, and easy to care for. They are also very intelligent, making them an excellent choice for families with children or other pets.
Ragamuffins have a short coat that comes in many colors and patterns. Their fur ranges from curly to straight but is always thick and plush. They can weigh anywhere from 10 to 20 pounds and live between 12 and 16 years with proper care.
The Ragamuffin has been around since the 1960s when a breeder named Barbara Davis crossed a Persian with a Burmese cat. She wanted to create a cat with the Persian’s long fur and the Burmese’s easygoing personality. Since then, this breed has become popular worldwide because it is so relaxed and friendly.
How to Care for Curly Haired Cats
It’s essential to groom your curly-haired cat regularly. Curly-haired cats are more prone to matting and tangling than straight-haired cats, so it’s important to use a detangling spray or conditioner after washing and drying your cat.
Expert Tip: Additionally, if you find mats forming in the fur along its spine or back legs, these should be trimmed away with scissors or clippers as quickly as possible. If left unattended for too long, they can become very painful for your pet.
However you choose to care for your curly-haired cat at home (or if you’re traveling), here are some great tips:
Daily brushing helps remove dead hair from shedding season and keep their coats shiny and healthy looking by distributing natural oils throughout the coat.
Use a soft bristle brush designed specifically for shedding cats. This will help prevent damage caused by pinching against stiffer bristles that could cause breakage at the ends of each strand. Hair damage occurs most often at the ends of the hair.
This should only be done when necessary since combs pull out more hair than brushes due to their design.
Keep in mind there isn’t much need for trimming unless any knots begin forming because this could lead to an infection that may require antibiotics depending on severity.
It’s best practice to bathe your cat every couple of months. You can bathe it more often if it plays outside and becomes dirty. Be sure to dry your curly-haired cat off completely.
If your cat has curly or wavy hair, keeping that coat in good shape is essential. You may be tempted to take your curly-haired cat to a professional groomer, but this isn’t always necessary. It all depends on the breed of your cat and where you’re located.
If you live in an urban area where there are plenty of grooming salons, then, by all means, go for it! It will save you time and keep your cat socialized. If not consider whether or not taking your furry friend out of their comfortable environment is worth it.
Some cats get stressed out easily when they leave home. Long rides can even make cats’ car sick. So choose wisely when deciding how much effort should be put into grooming them at home vs. sending them away for a day at the spa (or salon).
As with any cat, the first thing to consider when feeding a curly-haired cat is their age and health. If you have an older or ill-tempered cat. choose food that’s easy on the stomach.
All cats need high protein diets. This can be achieved by feeding them wet or dry food, depending on your preference and how picky your cat is about textures. Most people provide their cat’s wet food because it adds variety to their diet and keeps them hydrated throughout the day.
However, if your pet has sensitive digestion or weight loss issues, you may want to stick with dry products instead of giving them too much moisture in one sitting, as this could cause upset belly syndrome.
A common misconception is that curly-haired cats have more health problems than straight-haired cats. This is simply not true. They are no more or less likely to have health issues than their straight-haired brethren. The key difference between the two types is just how they should be cared for and groomed.
Expert Tip: Curly-haired breeds need to be groomed regularly to avoid matting and tangles, leading to severe skin infections if left untreated. They also require less frequent baths but should still be bathed occasionally just as you would with any other cat.
Curly-haired cats also tend to be more prone to fleas than straight-haired ones because of their unique fur pattern, so keeping on top of these little pests by putting down flea treatments every now and then will ensure all your pets remain happy and healthy.
We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about the top 10 curly-haired cat breeds and how to care for them. As you can see. they are all beautiful animals with unique personalities and grooming needs.
With so many options available today, there’s no reason why every cat lover shouldn’t find their perfect match. If you have any questions about curly-haired cat breeds, leave a comment below.