It was 1959 when a woman by the name of Cox in Devonshire, England found a unique looking kitten in a litter from a stray. She named him Kirlee, and he became the progenitor of the breed known today as the Devon Rex.
The coat varies widely across individual cats, ranging from a shaggy mop to an almost suede, almost bare appearance. Even though they surprise people by how warm they are, their short coats naturally cause the Devon to seek heat, and they will loiter anywhere that heat can be found, even burrowing under the bed covers of their owners. The genetic mutation changes the coat and lengthens the hind legs of the Devon. Its head is wedge-shaped with huge ears. Standing tall, the Devon Rex has long, slender legs and a tapered tail.
People-oriented, Devons do not talk much, but do chirp when they need the attention of their owner. Called a "wash and wear" companion, the easy maintenance of the Devon Rex cat is a superb characteristic--right down to their ears. A quick brush of the hand is all that is required, since they do not shed. Loyal, active and playful, the Devon is an agile and far-reaching jumper who mooches anything available.
To distinguish between the Cornish Rex and the Devon Rex requires a thorough knowledge of their differences. The Cornish is tall and thin with big ears on the top of its head and a greyhound tuck at the front of its hips. The Devon is shorter with the still pronounced, large ears, but these are set on the side of the head. The Devon has a depression in its face where the forehead and muzzle merge, but the Cornish does not. The Cornish Rex has a velvety coat while the Devon Rex has more of a suede-like coat. The softer wave of the Devon Rex coat should not be compared with the tightly waved coats of the Cornish Rex.
The Devon Rex was first brought to the United States in 1968, earning championship status with the American Cat Fancier's Association (ACFA) in 1972, with The International Cat Association (TICA) in 1979, and with the Cat Fancier's Association (CFA) in 1983.