UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine Veterinary Genetics Laboratory
Selkirk Rex Coat


A dominant mutation that causes the curly coat in the Selkirk Rex breed has been identified. The variant behaves as an incomplete dominant; that is 1 copy produces cats with a wavy coat and 2 copies produce a tighter curl to the hair. Homozygous cats also have a slender body type with large ears. Cats that are heterozygous for the variant are favored over homozygous cats, due to a preference for the sturdy body type, smaller ears and wavy coat.

The mutation was discovered by Dr. Barbara Gandolfi of the Lyons Feline Genetics Research Laboratory at UC Davis. The mutation affects function of a gene crucial for hair formation and maintenance. A scientific manuscript for the publication of the work is under preparation.

The VGL offers a DNA test for the Selkirk Rex mutation. The test will assist breeders to select cats that will produce offspring with the desired outcome.

Procedure for collecting a feline DNA sample

Allow 2-6 business days for results.

Results reported as:

Test Result Selkirk Rex Coats

No copies of the Selkirk Rex mutation are present


1 copy of the Selkirk Rex mutation is present; 50% of offspring will inherit the Selkirk Rex curly coat


2 copies of Selkirk Rex mutation are present; all offspring will inherit the Selkirk Rex curly coat. If bred to a N/N mate, all offspring will be heterozygous for Selkirk Rex.


Veterinary Genetics Laboratory, Tel 530-752-2211, Email VGL