A new cat breed may have some dogs confused.

A domestic cat defined by a curly coat that earned it the nickname “poodle cat” has been deemed an official breed by scientists at University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna. 

The curly cat has been known by feline connoisseurs and has been an accepted cat breed by the International Cat Association since 1992 and other major feline associations, but it was only recently, in a study, that science confirmed the cat breed, named Selkirk Rex.

The breed is believed to have come from a genetic mutation discovered in 1987 in the offspring of a feral blue tortie and a white cat in Montana, according to the International Cat Association. The kitten, named Miss DePesto, had a wavy coat of fur. When Miss DePesto had a litter of her own, her kittens had curly coats, which proved that the gene that causes the unusual hair is a dominant one. All poodle cats can be traced back to "Pest."

poodle cat No "product" used here. The curls are all natural on the Selkirk Rex, an newly recognized breed otherwise known as "Poodle Cat." Photo: Reuters


Unlike the Cornish Rex, Devon Rex and LaPerm breeds, which also have frizzy coats, the Selkirk Rex possesses a dominant gene and a different “curl phenotype,” or visible hair texture, altogether. Poodle cats are distinct at birth, not only because of their curly coats but also for their kinky, usually brittle whiskers. The cats come in long-hair and short-hair varieties, and they shed a lot, according to the Mother Nature Network.