A new study published in the latest issue of the Journal of Heredity describes a fairly new cat breed dubbed Selkirk Rex. Its distinctive trait: its almost sheep-like curly hair.
Mind you, curly-haired pet felines have been around for quite some time. Until recently, however, merely three distinct breed were documented.
As it turns out, Selkirk Rex is a fourth one. One that, for a good while, was erroneously labeled as merely a variety.
This fourth breed of curly-haired cats appears to be the result of a single genetic mutation.
The specialist thinks this spontaneous genetic mutation occurred in a single cat about a quarter of a century back and that has since been passed on to this one feline's descendants.
Specifically, Serina Filler says the breed was born in 1987, when a domestic cat in Montane delivered a curly-haired kitten.
“In 1987, a domestic cat rescued from a shelter in Montana, USA surprisingly gave birth to a curly-haired kitten. The kitten ended up mating with a Persian male and giving birth to a mixture of curly-haired and normal-haired kittens,” Science Daily explains.
Overtime, the genetic mutation was passed on and a proper breed was born, with Selkirk Rex fans spread all across the world.
Although a proper breed, Selkirk Rex specimens are quite diverse these days. Hence, Serina Filler recommends that breeders try and limit the number of other felines they cross them with and try to develop a more unique profile.