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German Rex Cat – Cat Breed Guide


The German Rex is a domesticated cat breed that can be considered as a Rex-type cat and also a European Shorthair type. Actually, the German Rex is both, this cat breed is a European Shorthair that exhibits the similar gene of the Cornish Rex.

The German Rex breed bears the same genetic mutation that gives these cats their curly-haired coats. This particular Rex-type breed was used in the foundation stock to develop the American lines of Cornish Rex.

Official Name

German Rex

The breed’s name depicts its country of origin and the recessive gene that causes the curly coat trait.


The German Rex can trace its ancestry to the early Rex-type cat from Germany owned by Ms. Ema Schneider and is believed to have been born sometime between 1930 and 1931 in the suburbs of the former Königsberg, Deutsches Reich which is known today as the Russian city of Kaliningrad.

The first European Shorthair that exhibited the Rex gene first appeared in 1947 in East Berlin, Germany. It was a semi-feral cat that lived in the Hufelandklinik hospital, displaying the same genetic mutation that causes the curly-haired coat on the Cornish Rex.

The serious development program of the modern German Rex was initiated in the late 1950s, starting from the discovery of the breed by Dr. Rose Scheuer-Karpin M.D.

Quick FAQs

Size: German Rex Cats are typically medium in size.

Coat Type: The German Rex Cat breed has a silky and short length coat that tends to curl as these cats mature. Some German Rex cats may display nearly straight hair with a slight curl.

Body Type: German Rex Cats are considered to be heavier than the Cornish Rex and inherited the heavy body type of the European Shorthairs.

Groom Requirement: German Rex Cats only requires very little grooming attention and will be okay to be groomed once every two weeks.

Vocal Tendency: Like their ancestors the European Shorthairs, German Rex Cats may vary in temperament and it is hard to predict if they will be vocal, quite or very talkative.

Energy Levels: German Rex Cats will be lively and playful as these cats have high activity levels.

Time Alone: There is no general temperament description of the German Rex Cat breed; but typically, these cats require 4 to 8 hours of alone time.

Care: These cats are typically easy to handle and will require average to minimal attention.

Recognized By

Australian Cat Federation Inc.
Fédération Internationale Féline
World Cat Federation
Livre Officiel des Origines Félines


German Rex first appeared during the last years of Germany’s Weimar Republic and the early days of Hitler’s Third Reich. In the early 1930s, the first Rex-type first appeared in the household of Ms. Ema Schneider in the suburbs of the former Königsberg, Deutsches Reich which is known today as the Russian city of Kaliningrad.

The cat owned by Ms. Schneider eventually spread his genes by prolifically mating with the other domestic and street cats in the suburbs. By 1945, there was an abundant population of curly-haired shorthairs in this part of Germany.

The first serious breeding development happened in the 1950s, starting from the discovery of the Rex-type cat by Dr. Rose Scheuer-Karpin M.D. at the Hufelandklinik hospital in Berlin. The physician eventually adopted the semi-feral curly-haired cat who was living freely in the hospital who she named Lämmchen which is the German word for Little Lamb, depicting the cat’s curly hair that resembles a sheep. Lämmchen eventually became the ancestor the all German Rex breed.

Today German Rex is only fully recognized by three members of the World Cat Congress, the Australian Cat Federation Inc., Fédération Internationale Féline and World Cat Federation. The Livre Officiel des Origines Félines or LOOF also recognizes the German Rex.


German Rex may have European Shorthair lineages but this curly-haired cat breed is more similar in behavior to the Cornish Rex. These cats will be very lively, playful and also known to be more intelligent compared to the average European Shorthair.


The German Rex is a medium-sized domestic that has legs that are slender and medium in length. These cats share the same coat traits with the Cornish Rex, silky and short-length coats that have a tendency to curl!

Although very similar to the Cornish Rex cats in appearance and on the characteristics of their coat, German Rex Cats have a different body built and developed to be heavier than that of the Cornish. Their body conformation is more like that of the European Shorthairs.
German Rex Cats are fairly long, stocky and muscularly built. These cats have a prominent chest that is deep and broad in appearance.

Head, Ears and Eyes
German Rex Cats have round-shaped heads and well-developed cheekbones. These cats have large open ears and their eyes are medium-sized.

Coat and Tail
German Rex Cats tails that are medium in length with a thick base tapering to a tip that is rounded. These cats have short, silk and extremely soft undercoats. It is dense and consistently wavy.

German Rex comes in all colors and patterns.


German Rex cats have insufficient hair that helps to absorb oil secretions, making these Rex-type cats of Germany get easily greased which may cause hygiene-related problems including allergies, dermatitis and various skin and coat related health issues if not attended to.



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