German Rex

Written by Bärbel Edel
BGerman Rex Katzenrasse

German Rex-Katzen gibt es in allen Farben und Mustern.

The German Rex is on the of the few cat breeds with wavy fur. The breed is considered friendly, people-focused and has a calm nature. However, its breeding history is problematic.

Appearance: Typical wavy fur

The German Rex’s most striking feature is its wavy or curly fur. Since this breed has no longer top coat, the coat is relatively short and feels quite velvety and soft.

The whiskers of this cat breed are also curved and shorter than normal.

The German Rex’s owes its curly coat to a genetic defect. The mutated gene is inherited recessively. This means that not all German Rex cats have curls. There are also smooth-haired cats, but they are not used for breeding.

The development of the curls is only fully complete at two years of age, so the coat can be even smoother in young kittens than in adult animals.

Organised cat breeders recognised all fur colours and patterns with the German Rex.

Is the German Rex a cat for allergy sufferers?

People who are allergic to cat hair are said to tolerate contact with these curly-haired felines quite well. However, you should get tested beforehand if you’re an allergy sufferer and wish to buy a cat.

Did you know?

Cat hairs aren’t what trigger an allergic reaction in some people. Instead, certain proteins in the cat’s saliva, which reach the fur when the cat cleans itself, are the culprit. This is usually the protein Fel d 1.

Medium-sized cats with muscular stature

Apart from its unusual coat, the German Rex resembles a normal domestic cat: Its physique is slender but muscular with slim legs and oval-shaped paws. There are two ears with rounded tips on the round head. The medium-sized eyes are also round. Their cheekbones are strong and they have a slight indentation at the base of the nose.

How heavy does a German Rex get?

A female weighs between three and four kilograms and a male up to five kilograms.


Experts on this breed say that it has a very friendly nature. It is considered people-focused and sociable. A German Rex loves cuddling extensively with its owner and can be very affectionate.

Overall, the German Rex is quite a calm cat breed, but like all cats, it likes a varied environment with plenty of opportunities to play, climb and frolic.

In the zooplus online store, you will find a large range of scratching pads and cat toys for your German Rex.

Due to its calm character, the German Rex makes a suitable indoor cat. Like all indoor cats, it likes to have a secured balcony to get some fresh air.

Keeping the German Rex as an outdoor cat is also possible. Make sure that it can always get home when it’s cold. Its curly coat isn’t particularly thick, so this breed is more sensitive to the cold than cats with normal fur.

The coat barely moults and is easy to maintain. Regular brushing isn’t necessary with this cat breed – but your feline friend may enjoy the attention associated with grooming.

Multi-cat household recommended

The German Rex doesn’t like being alone. It enjoys being close to people as well as the company of fellow felines. Hence, it’s recommended to keep a German Rex together with other cats.

The German Rex also gets along well with children and dogs.

German Rex cats are considered extremely low-maintenance. However, inbreeding is a problem that accompanies this cat breed from the beginning. Even nowadays there are still said to be cases of inbreeding. The offspring of closely related parent animals are often sickly and have a shorter life expectancy than common domestic cats.

The short curly fur is also problematic. Since there is no top coat, it basically consists solely of the undercoat. Scientists have discovered that this undercoat is even thinner than that of common cats. The fur is just 65% of the normal thickness. As well, it only becomes half as long.

The Rex mutation occasionally causes the hair to break off.

Limited function of the tactile hairs

The whiskers (tactile hairs) are an important sensory organ for orientation in the dark, but also to feel and catch prey. The whiskers of the German Rex are short and crinkled, so their function is severely limited.

Although experts in torture breeding don’t recommend a general breeding ban, but a change in the breed standard. Breeding animals with severely shortened or crinkled tactile hairs should be avoided.

Have these curly-haired felines stolen your heart and you would like to take in one or even several German Rex cats?

What does a German Rex cost?

German Rex cats are offered at different prices. The range goes from 650 to 2,200 euros for a pedigree cat.

There’s no question that a curly-haired cat really is something special. Nevertheless, you should consider carefully whether it absolutely has to be a pedigree Rex cat. After all, you contributing to demand encourages continued reproduction of cats with health problems.

You’re best off adopting a German Rex from an animal shelter, where you can find cats of all breeds and with a bit of luck, even a German Rex.

History and breeding

  • The name Rex originally comes from rabbit breeding. Rabbits with similar fur are called Rex rabbits.As well as the German Rex, there are other Rex cat breeds with a peculiar fur texture:
  • Selkirk Rex
  • Cornish Rex

Another cat breed with curly fur but a different genetic background is the LaPerm.

The ancestor of German Rex cats is a curly-haired cat called Lämmchen that lived with the doctor Rosa Scheuer-Karpin in Berlin. In 1957, Lämmchen had curly-haired offspring for the first time – by her son Fridolin. She even had curly-haired kittens by another of her sons, which formed the basis for Rex breeding in other countries.

The history of the breed’s origin shows that it has been inbred from the beginning – with sometimes problematic consequences for the health of the cats.

There are just two cat breeds that originated in Germany: the German Longhair Cat and the German Rex.


With its curly fur, the German Rex has an exceptional appearance amongst cats. It doesn’t just look attractive, but also has an incredibly loving character.

However, you shouldn’t support breeding due to the breed-specific health problems. It’s best if you look for a curly-haired beauty in an animal home.

German Rex Cat Breed Information

Breed German Rex
Weight 3-5 kg (6.6 – 11 lbs)
Coat Short, wavy, soft, and velvety with no guard hairs
Coat colors All colors and patterns are accepted, including those with white
Eye color Varies according to coat color
Price €650 to €2,200 euros
Temperament Calm, people-oriented, sociable, and playful
Origin 1957, Germany, from a mutation
Health Prone to health problems related to inbreeding, common in the early development of the breed, and their short, thin coat lacking guard hairs
Apartment living Suitable for apartments

Here are some purchase proposals curated by the zooplus editorial team

The products featured have been carefully selected by our editorial staff and are available at the zooplus online pet shop. The selection does not constitute advertising for the mentioned brands.

Bärbel Edel
Profilbild von Magazin-Autorin Bärbel Edel

I am a journalist, love animals and have already researched the relationship between humans and dogs during my folklore studies. A few years ago I adopted a tomcat from the Munich animal shelter. Elvis was the reason to start my cat blog "Lieblingskatze" and also to deal with animals in a journalistic way. With my articles I would like to help people understand their pets better.

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