Poodle Cat: Fluffy Feline Becomes Distinct Breed – Selkirk Rex

Image: Poodle Cat: Fluffy Feline Becomes Distinct Breed – Selkirk Rex

Monday, 24 Jun 2013 08:51 AM

By Michael Mullins

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The "poodle cat," as it is commonly known, has been classified as a new feline breed by scientists, due to the animal's thick, plush coat of curly hair, a genetic mutation.

The roots of "poodle cats," formally known as Selkirk Rex cats, go back to one genetically mutated stray kitten adopted in Montana in 1987.

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The first Selkirk Rex was reportedly one of five kittens born to a rescued cat.

Intrigued by the kitten’s unusual hair, a Persian cat breeder named Jeri Newman adopted the poodle cat, according to the Mother Nature Network.  Newman named her "Miss DePesto" after the curly-haired character in the 1980s television sitcom "Moonlighting."

Twenty-five years later, there have been nine generations of Selkirk Rex cats.

Late last year, scientists from the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna confirmed poodle cat is genetically distinct.

"The Selkirk Rex is the most recently established curly-coated cat breed originating from a spontaneous mutation that was discovered in the United States in 1987," experts wrote in a journal at the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health.

The International Cat Association recognized the Selkirk Rex as a breed in 1992.

The American Cat Fanciers Association and the Cat Fanciers' Association, two of the U.S.’s most well-established pedigree cat registries, have also accepted the poodle cat as a separate breed since 1998 and 2000 respectively.

Often referred to as "a cat in sheep’s clothing" because of its thick locks, the poodle cat is one of four types of curly haired cats, according to Mother Nature Network.

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