Frequently Asked Questions

Are Cornish Rex cats hypoallergenic?
Because Teri works with veterinarians and gets a number of referrals from allergists locally, what we advise people is this:
If you have mild, seasonal allergies, you could probably tolerate a Cornish Rex, maybe not sleeping with it (and they love to sleep right next to you, even on the pillow), and maybe with bathing it weekly, and maybe with wiping it down daily with distilled water and a sponge to wash off any saliva and dander.
But all of those are maybes.
We have one allergic pet owner with two Cornish Rex cats. She does nothing to them (and sleeps with them), and she doesn't react at all. But if she comes to a cat show, within 15 minutes she is wheezing with watery eyes, etc. So she is very sensitive to other cats.
We also have two relatives with severe allergies, and neither can be around our cats, or even hug us, without reacting a few minutes later.
So we explain to people that if you have mild allergies, a Cornish Rex may be OK. If you have multiple allergies, chances are even a Cornish Rex will cause you to react.

What is their general temperament?
Compared to our first two house cats of mixed origin, they are very active, but not in a hyperactive, hysterical way.
They are very interactive, very people-like (we hate to say "dog-like," as you often hear, because "dogs drool, cats rule"!), and they will stop playing just to be with you, whether you are washing the dishes or taking a bath. It doesn't have to be a "cat activity" to draw their attention.
Where other cats need food or a toy or petting to stay with you, not so a Cornish Rex. And that very quality is what makes them too intense for some people.They are demanding, vocal and insistent. If we are doing something they shouldn't get involved in (sewing, cooking or something that could be dangerous) we just put them in the bedroom until we're done. Then they can come out and see what we've been up to...and boy, do they check!
They have differing voices, from gravelly to purrtts to one single note like "aacckk." We find ourselves encouraging their conversation, and people accustomed to quieter cats think they never shut up; but if you are quiet, they are quiet. 
What should I expect to pay for a Cornish Rex cat?
That varies from cattery to cattery, and the fee we asked for our pet quality kittens included all vaccines, spaying/neutering and micro chipping. Teri has experience working at an all feline veterinary practice and every year our breeding cats got a complete physical and lab tests, and are screened for heart soundness by a veterinary cardiologist. Our cats are vaccinated for FVRCP, Rabies, and FELV as needed and recommended by their veterinarian.
As for adults or "retirees," we think everyone hopes to keep their cattery population low, and for a special cat to be in a home with lots of love, not lots of cats. So we have placed a number of adults. We asked a reduced fee for these cats, depending on age, health and "looks." We have had very good success with these cats adapting and loving their new homes, We think that because Cornish Rex are so affectionate and needy, they fall in love with whomever they live with, with few exceptions.
How difficult is it to get a Cornish Rex?
We did not advertise in magazines, and before we had a web site, all of our cats went to people we met at cat shows or through referrals from people who already had a Furry Dance cat. That way, we were able to meet and "evaluate" prospective owners and start building a relationship while they were waiting for a kitten. By the time the kitten arrived and was old enough to go to its new owner, we knew whether they would be the right person for one of our cats.
We tried to have at least two people on our waiting list before we bred our cats, and went to cat shows about once a month and put up photos and info about the new babies and spent a lot of time promoting ourselves and the breed.
We never took kittens to shows to sell even though a number of breeders do. We do not think getting a cat should be an "impulse" buy, and we didn't want to make a snap decision about whether someone was the right person for our cat. By not taking kittens to shows we avoided that situation.
We had an Adoption Application that we took with us, and often handed it out to interested people. It was 4 pages long, and it took time and effort to fill out, so if we got it back, it was a good sign that they were thinking seriously about the decision to get a Cornish Rex. It also gave us insight into the family, pets, personality and lifestyle a Furry Dance kitten would be going into.
What should you look for in buying a Cornish Rex?
Besides the "shiny coat, clean eyes" stuff, we advise people to try and do what we did when we were looking for our very first Cornish Rex: visit the catteries, see the environment, see the adult cats condition and temperament. That is drawback to buying a cat at a cat show; you just can't see much in the way of temperament or personality in a caged cat or one perched on a strangers lap. And you cannot tell if this is the best or the worst of what a breeder has to offer.
We advise seeing the parents and the whole population interact in a cattery. But in this Internet age, one can not always be able to make decisions face-to-face, and you may need to have a kitten shipped to you. Try and get to know the breeder as well as you can by emails and photos before making the decision to purchase a cat from them.
Teri has been a Veterinary Technician since 1972, and we feel that this experience helped make us more informed, knowledgeable and conscientious breeders. We are also available for any questions or problems that may arise after a person gets a Furry Dance cat. That relationship is very important to us and will continue even though we are no longer breeding.
Part of our contract stated that we will take back a cat if someone can no longer keep it. We have taken cats back for various reasons (moving to Europe, allergies, boyfriend/kids/new cats not getting along) and found good homes for them (again), and they have settled in to new homes just fine. 
Does the Cornish Rex breed have any unique health issues?
Being a relatively new breed, the Cornish Rex maintains the vigor of a mixed breed cat. The problems seen in some breeds due to breeding for extremes in body type are not seen in the Cornish Rex.
Two health concerns that also affect some other breeds are blood type incompatibility (which can cause an Rh factor type syndrome that can cause fading kittens), but we blood type all our breeding cats and have not had a problem with incompatibilities.
The other concern is for a heart defect called Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (also seen in other breeds such as Maine Coons and American Shorthairs). It is often first heard as a heart murmur, but progresses where one side of the heart becomes thickened and does not pump and function as a normal heart would. Many cats that develop this condition live long normal lives without medication, but it can cause blood clots to form or congestive heart failure signs. Breeding cats should have an ultrasound annually by a board certified veterinary cardiologist to screen for this disease.
A kidney disease called PKD found in some breeds of cats, including Persians and Siamese, may be a concern for Cornish Rex, but we have not heard of this in Cornish Rex so far..
Gingivitis is found in some pedigreed as well as mixed breed cats, and some Cornish Rex seem to be more prone to this. 
More info on these and other health-related problems can be found on the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine Feline Health Center website.
How do you groom a Cornish Rex?
Nothing is more enjoyable than running your hand over the soft wavy coat of a Cornish Rex and for the most part grooming the coat is more like a massage for the kitty, brushing to loosen loose hair.
Because of their short, downy fur the natural skin oils that are normally absorbed by a thicker coat tend to accumulate and attract "dust." Because they have much more hair than a Sphynx, the "body" of a Cornish Rex isn't where the oils tend to build up. Just like when one spills milk on a carpet, a few days later one notices a dirty spot where dirt and dust has accumulated, this is what an oily Rexes paws, face, tummy area can look like. It varies from cat to cat.
Of the cats we have here currently, two produce a lot of skin oils, like a Sphynx cat, and could use a bath once a week. We have others that can go months without a bath and still be silky and sweet-smelling.
How "oily" a Rex is going to be has been evident to us early on, so if we sell a kitten that gets dirty paws, blackheads on the chin or ears that build up waxy debris quickly, then we gave the new owners instructions for cleaning the ears, nail beds, and chin--sometimes even bathing-- when they pick their kitten up so they can see what to do and how the cat reacts. And all the necessary products were included in it's "care kit" when we sent a kitten off to it's new home! 

Our recommended grooming products are KetoHex Shampoo, Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleanser and KetoHex Wipes for cleaning nailbed and chins. Another favorite product for spot cleaning is QuikClean Waterless Shampoo.
We started grooming, nail trimming, ear cleaning at a very early age (6-8 weeks) so our kittens were used to all of it by the time they leave our home. If you would like to view our video series on How To Groom A Cornish Rex, just click HERE.
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