xander the german rex kitten
(Picture Credit: This is Xander from Dexter's Kitties. He went to his forever home! Go to dexterskitties.org to see other cats in need!)

German Rex

The German Rex cat, known for its distinct curly coat, is a breed that stands out for its unique appearance. The German Rex originated in post-World War II Germany and is characterized by its curly whiskers, soft and wavy coat, and large, expressive eyes. This breed is also known for its friendly and sociable nature. They often form strong bonds with their human companions. Additionally, German Rex cats are affectionate and enjoy being part of the family, making them well-suited for households seeking a loving and interactive feline friend.

With a moderate size and a well-proportioned body, the German Rex is an agile and playful cat that thrives on mental and physical stimulation. They generally do not require a large amount of grooming compared to some long-haired breeds. Their unique coat, however, certainly benefits from occasional brushing to maintain its texture. The German Rex’s engaging personality, distinctive appearance, and social demeanor contribute to its popularity as a charming and delightful companion in homes around the world.

When considering a German Rex, it’s advisable to prioritize adopting from rescue organizations or shelters to provide a loving home to a cat in need. However, if you decide to purchase, it’s crucial to choose a reputable breeder. Conduct thorough research to ensure that the breeder follows ethical practices and prioritizes the well-being of their cats. Reputable German Rex breeders prioritize the health and temperament of their cats, conduct necessary health screenings, and provide a nurturing environment for the kitties. This active approach ensures that you bring home a healthy and happy kitty while discouraging unethical breeding practices.

Quick Facts

  • Origin: Germany, developed in the 1930s from a mutation in a domestic shorthair cat.
  • Size: Medium (8-12 pounds)
  • Breed Group: Rex (short, curly coat)
  • Lifespan: 12-15 years
  • Coat: Short, dense, and curly, with various colors and patterns like solid, tabby, bicolor, and tortoiseshell. Feels like soft velvet to the touch.
  • Temperament: Intelligent, playful, energetic, affectionate, social, curious, outgoing, enjoys attention and playtime.
  • Exercise Needs: Moderate to high – playful and loves climbing, jumping, and exploring.
  • Training: Easy to train, enjoys learning tricks and games.
  • Grooming: Weekly brushing to remove loose curls and prevent matting.
  • Health: Generally healthy, but some potential for genetic health conditions like hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).
  • Laemmchen was the first known German Rex, which translates to “Poor Little Lamb” in German.
  • The German Rex mutation gene is recessive.
  • The German Rex cat has no guard hairs, which results in a super soft coat. you

German Rex History

The German Rex has mysterious roots. Back in the 1940s, a cat with wavy hair was discovered living in the basement of a hospital in East Germany. She was named Laemmchen, and eventually her litters became the basis for the German Rex breed.

However, the German Rex cat is much rarer to come across than the genetically similar Cornish Rex. The German Rex is officially recognized by the Fédération Internationale Féline. These days, you may find the German Rex breed in shelters or in the care of rescue groups. So make sure to consider adoption if you decide that this is the cat for you!

German Rex Size

The German Rex is a small- to medium-sized cat. As is always the case, exact size standards might vary.

Most German Rex cats weigh in at five to eight pounds. Some cats can be smaller or larger than the average for their breed.

German Rex Personality

In general you can expect the German Rex to be a very active and very loving cat. You’ll definitely need to be willing to provide your German Rex with a lot of attention, whether that’s instigating play times or letting the cat come and snuggle up to you on the couch or in bed.

This cat will form a very strong bond with the humans in their life, and they also enjoy being picked up and handled. But it’s important to underscore that you’ll definitely need to be very involved in this breed’s life on a day to day basis. This is a smart feline that will happily learn to play fetch and will love solving problems to secure treats. If you’re away from the home for long periods of the day, the German Rex might not be the ideal cat breed for you. But if you can commit to lavishing your cat with attention, you’ll have a perfect feline companion.

German Rex Health

German Rexes are generally considered to be healthy cats. As always, it’s important to schedule regular wellness visits with your cat’s vet. There aren’t any breed-specific health problems associated with the German Rex, but always keep an eye out for signs that your cat might be in distress or pain.

German Rex Care

As with all cats, it’s important to keep up your German Rex’s regular veterinary checkups to detect any health concerns early. Your vet can help you develop a care routine that will keep your cat healthy.

Beyond scheduling yearly wellness visits with your vet, make sure that you pick up a scratching post for your German Rex’s living environment. This can help promote healthy scratching and keep the cat’s nails in good condition. The German Rex is an active and athletic cat, so it’s imperative that their nails are kept in tip-top shape.

The breed’s ears should also be examined regularly for signs of dirt building up or possible infection. Talk to your vet about starting a regular teeth brushing regimen that will suit your German Rex. Your vet can advise you about specific brands and techniques.

German Rex Coat Color And Grooming

The German Rex cat can be found in a very large range of colors; although versions based around black, white, chocolate, and fawn are common. The breed also comes in a wide array of patterns, including tabby, calico, smoke, and bicolor.

When it comes to grooming, most German Rex cats are fine with weekly brushing sessions. This will help lessen the likelihood of hairballs and mats forming. Although as a breed with wavy hair, the German Rex often doesn’t naturally produce enough oil to maintain healthy skin and hair, so you’ll need to give the cat regular baths to prevent them from feeling greasy or suffering from skin irritations.

In terms of climate, the German Rex is generally an adaptable breed of cat, although they favor warmer temperatures. You should also always make sure that there’s enough shade and fresh water available during the hotter months.

Children And Other Pets

The German Rex goes great with young kids. They’ll become best friends and instant play buddies. Just make sure that early socialization takes place and boundaries are properly set on both sides, and supervise interactions between kids and cats.

When it comes to other household pets, the good-natured German Rex fares well with many domestic animals. But again, always supervise playtime between the new cat and existing pets, especially smaller ones who might be seen as prey by the cat. Ultimately, early socialization really pays off with this breed. Make sure to reward your German Rex for good behavior when you bring them home to your family!

German Rex Rescue Groups

It may be hard to find a breed specific rescue for German Rex cats. However, you may want to try shelters and rescues that cater to all types of cats, including German Rex cats, as well as your local shelter. Here are some nonprofit rescues you can try:


Life Span
9 to 14 years
Small to medium
5 to 8 pounds
Country Of Origin


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