Ever hear of a poodle cat? Is it a cat that looks like a poodle? A poodle that looks like a cat? Some horrible new entry on Urban Dictionary that will forever change the way you look at furry handcuffs?
The poodle cat phenom is not entirely a new thing. References to a poodle cat on the web go back years, and the term seems to have been up until somewhat recently used to refer to all manner of unique animals that have traits both feline and canine.
But this week’s poodle cat interest seems to center around a recent cat study that definitively pegged what specifically constitutes a poodle cat.
Scientists at a Vienna, Austria university unlocked the poodle cat mystery a few months back, with a published study on the Selkirk Rex … also known as poodle cat.
The study, titled “Selkirk Rex: morphological and genetic characterization of a new cat breed,” was the work of the Institute of Animal Breeding and Genetics’ Department for Biomedical Sciences at the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna in Vienna, Austria.
An abstract for the study explains:
“Rexoid, curly hair mutations have been selected to develop new domestic cat breeds. The Selkirk Rex [or poodle cat] is the most recently established curly-coated cat breed originating from a spontaneous mutation that was discovered in the United States in 1987. Unlike the earlier and well-established Cornish and Devon Rex breeds with curly-coat mutations, the Selkirk Rex mutation is suggested as autosomal dominant and has a different curl phenotype.”
Now officially recognized as a breed, all poodle cats can be traced back to the one litter of poodle cats discovered in America in 1987.
Back when the study was released, MotherNatureNews reported:
“The female kitten had thick curly hair that breeders had never seen before, and she caught the eye of Persian breeder Jeri Newman. Newman adopted the kitten and dubbed her ‘Miss DePesto’ after the curly-haired character in the television show “Moonlighting.’ “
In addition to their unique appearance, Selkirk Rex or Poodle Cats are considered playful and docile overall — but their shedding makes them less of a popular choice for cat allergy sufferers compared to other Rex breeds.