The Devon Rex - breed information and advice

Imagine a cheeky little monkey in a cat costume and you have the Devon Rex! Behind that innocent pixie face and unique rippled coat is an extrovert personality and a keen mind for mischief. The Devon Rex is a natural comedian and an expert at keeping the whole household entertained.
If you are the owner of a Devon Rex or are considering getting one, you can take a look at our cat insurance policies to ensure your pet will receive the care they need in the case of an illness or accident.

Breed information

Essentials

Colour: Devon Rex cats come in virtually any colour and pattern, but all have a deceptively fragile appearance and large, pointed ears.

Coat: Short and wavy, mostly made up of a downy undercoat that requires no grooming. The Devon Rex is also less likely to cause allergic reactions than other breeds.

Life span: 10-15 years, but most Devon Rex cats will live to their mid-teens.

Eye conditions

Like all cats, the Devon Rex can suffer from eye problems such as glaucoma (caused by increased pressure inside the eyeball); cataracts (opacity of the lens); entropion (inward rolling of the eyelids); retinal problems; or conjunctivitis (inflammation of the insides of a cat’s eyelids). Of these, Devon Rex are most prone to conjunctivitis, which has various causes including infections, scratches to or something within the eye’s surface, a lack of tear production, allergies, or entropion. Treatment of each eye condition depends on the type and severity of the problem, although many are treated using eyedrops.

Fact

Eye conditions are the second most common illnesses we see in Devon Rex

Close information panel

Mouth and gum disease

Like most breeds, the Devon Rex may suffer from gum and dental disease during their lifetime. Gum disease occurs when some (or all) of a tooth’s deep supporting structures become inflamed. This begins when food, bacteria and minerals accumulate along the gum line, leading to the build-up of a brown scale known as tartar. When this undermines the gum the condition is called gingivitis. Eventually, small spaces can form between the gums and the teeth creating pockets of space for bacteria to grow, resulting in what is known as periodontal disease. Devon Rex may also suffer from mouth inflammation and ulcers, which can be triggered by viruses such as feline calicivirus (FCV). Dental treatment under general anaesthetic is usually required to assess and resolve the full extent of the problem.

Fact

We paid £2,418 to treat Patch the cat for gingivitis in 2016

Close information panel

Diabetes

Diabetes is a condition which can affect all cat breeds, but especially the Devon Rex. It occurs when a cat’s pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin – the hormone that keeps blood sugars at a steady level – or when the cat’s body doesn’t respond normally to insulin. It can also be caused when a cat has been on long-term steroid medication (for another disease), which affects insulin production. Cats suffering from diabetes may be more hungry or thirsty than usual or may lose weight. Diabetes is usually managed with daily insulin injections and diet control. Unlike many other species, cats with diabetes may even be cured, if the condition is treated early enough.

Fact

Diabetes is the fifth most common illness we see in Devon Rex

Close information panel

Cystitis

Conditions that affect a cat’s bladder and urethra are collectively known as feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD), which is more commonly referred to as cystitis. Devon Rex can suffer from these conditions, which can be caused by stress, not urinating enough, infections and bladder stones or crystals. Cats suffering from cystitis make frequent, painful attempts to urinate, and blood is often found in the urine. Treatment depends on the cause, but cats diagnosed with cystitis will usually require pain relief, access to plenty of water, special diets and perhaps some help to reduce stress.

Fact

Cystitis is the most common urinary problem we see in Devon Rex

Close information panel

Dislocated kneecap

A dislocated kneecap occurs when the kneecap (or ‘patella’) moves out of its normal location. This can occur in any breed, including the Devon Rex, due to trauma or injury, or the cat may develop this defect when young. If only one side is affected the cat will limp intermittently, whereas if both kneecaps are affected the cat will often do a strange ‘bunny hopping’ motion or collapse. Surgery may be required to correct a dislocated kneecap in order to help prevent long-term changes that could lead to arthritis.

Fact

We paid £3,704 to treat Flo the cat for patella luxation in 2016

Close information panel