How to Care for a Devon Rex?
The Devon rex cat breed is known for its elfish good looks, wavy fur, and people-focused personality. Since it is a rare breed, if you are lucky enough to have one you should learn how to properly take care of it. Caring for a Devon rex requires that you pay attention to its health, keep up with grooming, and enrich its environment. If you can do all of these things regularly, your Devon rex is likely to be a happy, healthy, and devoted member of your family for years to come.
Grooming Your Devon Rex Cat
1. Be gentle when grooming the cat. The Devon rex has delicate fur that needs to be treated gently when grooming. Whether using a metal comb made specifically for grooming cats or a soft brush, you need to be gentle on the cat’s coat and skin. The cat’s fur can be damaged and break if you are rough when brushing or combing it.
- If you are taking your Devon rex to a groomer, make sure that they know to treat your cat delicately. Groomers that have not worked on this type of cat before may not know.
2. Consider bathing your cat regularly. The Devon rex has a thin coat that allows the cat’s skin to get greasy, especially in folds of skin. If your cat is getting greasy, give it a bath. Fill your bathtub with a few inches of warm water, place the cat in it, and clean the cat with a mild soap made for cats. This should only need to be done every few weeks.
- After the bath, the cat can simply be towel dried and then allowed to finish drying on its own.
3. Trim the cat’s nails. Like with all cats, it’s important to trim the Devon rex’s nails on a regular basis. You can use a pair of pet nail trimmers or human nail trimmers. Hold the cat’s paw in one hand and the clippers in your other. Make sure to only trim the very tip of the nail so that you can avoid cutting the quick, the vein inside the nail.
- The more often you trim your cat’s nails, the more comfortable with the procedure the cat will get. You will have to trim very little nail each time.
- Keep styptic powder on hand in case you cut the quick. If you cut the quick, place a little pressure on the tip of the nail and place a small amount of styptic powder on the tip. Once the bleeding has stopped, clean the area with mild soap meant for cats. Cleaning the area will assure that no infection sets in.
4. Inspect and clean the cat’s ears. The big ears of the Devon rex give the cat a wonderful look, but they can attract dirt and debris. Look in the ears weekly and make sure they are clean and debris free. If the ears need cleaning, use a cotton cloth and a product made specifically for cleaning cats’ ears to clean them.
- If you use a product that is made to clean cat’s ears, make sure to follow the directions on the packaging. Each product is different and you don’t want to damage the cat’s ears due to misuse.
- Never place anything inside of your cat’s ear canal. Only clean the outside of your cat’s ears.
5. Give the cat proper dental care. You should begin brushing your cat’s teeth when it is young so that it gets used to the process and doesn’t fight it. Use a pet toothbrush and a veterinary toothpaste and brush its teeth at least once a week.
- Do not use toothpaste made for humans. It includes chemicals that are not good for pets and its taste is not appealing to them either.
Keeping Your Devon Rex Healthy
1. Feed the Devon rex high-quality food. All cats are carnivores, meaning that they should only eat animal tissues. This means that any food you buy them should consist of predominately meat. Look at the packaging of potential cat foods and make sure that the first few ingredients are some sort of meat or meat byproducts.
- Follow the directions on the packaging for meal size and frequency. This is usually based on your cat’s size and age. If you are not sure that the portion size and frequency suggested is right for your cat, discuss it with your veterinarian.
- If you are unsure about choosing a type and brand of food, consult with your veterinarian. They should have recommendations for your particular cat.
2. Make sure the cat has water. Cats need constant access to water in order to stay properly hydrated. Make sure that their water is clean and cool. Be sure to change it daily so that it is fresh.
- If your cat is interested in running water, consider getting it its own drinking fountain. There are a variety of cat drinking fountains available that recirculate water constantly, attracting your cat to come and drink, and maybe to play around in the water a little bit.
3. Get the cat veterinary care. A Devon rex needs to get both annual veterinary care and veterinary care if it is sick or injured. Your cat should have an annual exam every year to assess its overall health and to give it preventative veterinary care, such as administering vaccines.
- Make sure that your cat is assessed for common genetic illnesses that occur in Devon rex cats. These include hereditary baldness, heart disease, malassezia dermatitis (a yeast infection in the ears or on the skin), hip dysplasia, urticaria pigmentosa (a skin infection that causes sores on the skin), and Devon rex myopathy, which causes the cat to become very weak and tired.
4. Have the cat spayed or neutered. All cats should be spayed or neutered. This usually occurs when the cat is between three and six months old. Spaying and neutering helps to limit pet populations in general, but it can also help the health and happiness of your cat.
- Male cats that are desexed don’t spray and they are protected from the chance of testicular or prostate cancer.
- Female cats that are fixed have a lower chance of uterine infections and mammary cancer later in life.
Creating a Nurturing Environment
1. Clean the cat’s litter box regularly. In order to give your cat a clean and nurturing environment, you need to give it a clean and comfortable place to go to the bathroom. Clean the cat’s litter every day and replace it completely on a weekly basis, depending on how dirty it gets.
- Make sure that your cat likes its litter and the type of litter box you give it. If the cat refuses to use its litter box, try getting different litter or a different box.
2. Spend quality time with your cat. The Devon rex is a very social cat that loves to spend time with its family members. It is likely to curl up on your lap, sit with you at meal time, or follow you around while you do chores. Be sure to take some time to focus on your cat every day, playing with it or just petting it while its curled up on your lap.
- Because of this social nature, they do not do well when left alone.
3. Consider getting companion animals. Devon rex cats are social creatures that need lots of attention and interaction. One way to give them this interaction is to bring them into homes with multiple pets. This breed of cat tends to get along with a wide variety of animals, including other types of cats and dogs, but they do particularly love to pile up with other Devon rex cats.
- If you are planning on adopting one Devon rex, you may want to consider adopting two, so that they can be lifelong companions.
4. Give your Devon rex enrichment toys and equipment. The Devon rex is an active and energetic cat that needs lots of stimulation. This can come from other animals or humans, but it can also come partially from playing with toys. Give it a variety of toys, including strings that you can wave around. Also consider getting the cat climbing towers or perches for it to climb up to.
- For a cat, the Devon rex is particularly good at learning to fetch or play hide and seek. Try throwing a cat ball to it and see if you can train it to bring it back to you.
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