The Cornish Rex is a genetic mutation that originated from a litter of kittens born in the 1950s on a farm in Cornwall, UK. One of the kittens, a cream-colored male named Kallibunker, had an extremely unusual, fine and curly coat; he was the first Cornish Rex. The owner then backcrossed Kallibunker to his mother to produce 2 other curly-coated kittens. The male, Poldhu, sired a female called Lamorna Cove who was later brought to America and crossed with a Siamese, giving the breed their long whippy tails and big ears.
The Cornish Rex has no hair except for down. Most breeds of cat have three different types of hair in their coats: the outer fur, a middle layer and the down hair or undercoat, which is very fine and about 1 cm long. Cornish Rexes only have the undercoat. Cornish Rex are prone to hair loss and many will develop a very thin coat or even go bald over large parts of their body.
The breed is sometimes referred to as the Greyhound of the cats, because of the sleek appearance and the galloping run characteristic of the breed. These cats tend to stay playful and kittenish throughout their long lives. Some Cornish Rexes like to play fetch, race other pets, or do acrobatic jumps. The Cornish Rex is an adventurous cat and is very intelligent. It can readily adapt to new situations and will explore wherever it can go. The Rex is extremely curious, seeks out the company of people and is friendly towards other companion animals
Cornish Rex cats come in a wide variety of coat colours and patterns including white, black, chocolate, orange and the dilutes blue, lilac and cream; all forms of tabby including classic, mackerel and ticked tabbies, bicolor "tuxedo" coat in many colours, tortoiseshell, "smoke" colours and the colour-point pattern standard in the Siamese breed.