Maine Coons are known for their long, thick fur, but the Rexed Maine Coon breaks all preconceptions of the breed.
This rare version of the Maine Coon is truly a sight to behold, but it is unlikely you will be able to bring one home as a pet. Keep reading to learn more about the Rexed Coon cat.
Maine Coons with a Rexed coat appeared in Britain in the late 1980s. Maine Coon fanciers panicked, assuming the Maine Coon’s line was compromised by the introduction of Rex breeds. It is still unknown whether the Rexed Maine Coon was the result of a natural genetic mutation or outcrossing to other breeds.
Although the existence of the Rexed Maine Coon caused many breeders to panic, other fanciers found it curious and even desirable.
Sadly, no new breed was established to accommodate this unusual combination, and Rexed Maine Coons are not permitted in the breed standard.
Read on to find out if there are still any Rexed Maine Coons today!
Rexed Maine Coon
The Rexed Maine Coon, also known as a Rexed Coon or a Maine Wave, is a Maine Coon cat with an unusually curly coat.
The rex term comes from cat breeds like the:
While all cats have similar names and similar curly coats, the genes responsible for these coats are all different.
The Devon Rex and Cornish Rex both have thin coats that are missing some layers of fur, whereas the Selkirk Rex has thicker fur with more plush curls.
A Maine Coon with Rexed fur may have received one of the genes responsible for the Rexed coat from a non-Maine Coon parent, but it is possible the gene developed on its own.
While the term “genetic mutation” might conjure up images of scary monsters for some, genetic mutations are natural and responsible for variety among species.
In the cases of the Devon Rex and Cornish Rex, the first cats of these breeds were anomalies with fine, curly coats that were inbred with other curly-coated siblings to retain the unique feature.
Unlike many cat breeds, however, the Maine Coon is a naturally occurring breed.
Fanciers of this breed are wary of introducing any genes that might compromise their generally healthy nature.
As a result, any changes to the Maine Coon breed, either spontaneous or deliberate, can cause fanciers of the breed to panic.
As beautiful as the Rexed Maine Coon may appear, its existence brought a lot of controversy.
So, how exactly did the Rexed Coon come to be? (source 1).
History Of The Rexed Maine Coon
The Maine Coon originated naturally in North America, and fanciers of the breed are especially proud of the fact that these cats are only prone to a few health problems.
The Rexed Maine Coon origins are much more controversial.
However, this is no longer allowed for fear of introducing undesirable or even unhealthy genes into the gene pool.
Today, there is a lot of focus among cat fanciers to preserve the integrity of the breed and improve the breed standard without changing it dramatically.
When a litter of British Maine Coon kittens was born with wavy coats in the late 1980s, there was a huge uproar.
Many Maine Coon breeders immediately assumed it was the result of outcrossing.
Even more panic ensued when several Maine Coons from different bloodlines were found to carry recessive copies of the gene.
There were many rumors and conspiracy theories, and many breeders’ reputations were ruined along the way.
One retired breeder was accused of being lax with her studs and queens.
Since this breeder happened to have a Cornish Rex, they assumed the Cornish Rex had either accidentally mated with one of the breeder’s Maine Coons, or the communion was intentional.
Some even went so far as to claim the breeder falsified the pedigrees of these supposed Cornish Rex – Maine Coon mixes.
However, breeders mated the Rexed kittens with both Cornish Rexes and Devon Rexes.
Had the Rexed kittens carried genes from either of these two breeds, their kittens could be expected to share their parents’ curly coats.
However, most of the resulting litters were not Rexed, leading many to believe that the Rexed Maine Coon was the result of a natural genetic mutation.
Two known Rex-carrying Maine Coons died young.
Although there was no evidence to suggest their deaths were related to the Rex gene, breeders tried to stamp them firmly out of existence.
Since there were so many Maine Coons in Britain that were later discovered to be carriers of the gene, many British Maine Coon breeders neutered their studs and imported new Maine Coons to completely get rid of all Rexed Maine Coons.
While most Rexed Maine Coons were essentially wiped out of existence, another litter of Maine Coons was born in 2002 in the United States, and two of the kittens had the same Rex coat.
It is possible their parents were carriers of the gene, or a new genetic mutation occurred.
What Does The Rexed Maine Coon Look Like?
The Rexed Maine Coon looks similar to a regular Maine Coon, but with wavy fur.
Their faces appear smaller and more triangular, possibly due to Cornish Rex or Devon Rex ancestry.
Most Maine Coons have some wave to their fur, but the Rexed Maine Coon’s fur is much wavier.
Their coat is not as curly as a Devon or Cornish Rex, though, and their coat is also much thicker and softer.
The Rexed Maine Coon’s coat is thinner than the average Maine Coon coat, so Rexed Maine Coons appear smaller.
Rexed Maine Coon Coat Type
Most Maine Coons have a triple coat, with a semi-water-repellant outer coat and two dense undercoats.
The Rexed Maine Coon still has a triple coat, but their fur is finer and much wavier.
This wavy coat also makes their fur appear shorter (source 1).
Rexed Maine Coon Colors
The curly-haired Maine Coon can come in any color that the regular Maine Coon can.
Maine Coons can come in every possible coat pattern except colorpoint, and they can come in any color besides:
Rexed Maine Coon Characteristics
The Rexed Maine Coon is very similar to Maine Coons in most ways besides appearance.
Here are some of the known characteristics of the Rexed Maine Coon cat:
Like most Maine Coons, the Rexed Maine Coon has a sweet and gentle disposition.
They are friendly towards strangers and slow to anger.
Their sociable nature means they are much more likely to try and make friends with someone than become aggressive or territorial.
They are also especially good with children and other pets.
When David Brinicombe brought some of his Rexed Maine Coons to a cat show, those lucky enough to handle his prized cats were amazed at how cuddly they were.
Like a true Maine Coon, they loved to be held and snuggled, and did not mind being petted by strangers!
Most Maine Coons have a thick triple-coat of fur, with a coarser, thicker layer of guard fur and two finer, plush layers of undercoat.
The Rexed Maine Coon has finer fur that is much softer and wavier.
Though not as tightly curled as the coat of a Cornish Rex or Devon Rex, the waves are still distinguished enough to make the Rexed Maine Coon’s coat appear significantly shorter.
What Are Maine Waves?
In the 1990s, a man named David Brinicombe purchased a Maine Coon queen and her litter of kittens.
The sire of this litter was named Cornish Cream, and it was eventually discovered that he was a carrier of the Rex gene.
Brinicombe loved the wavy coats of these cats, and he called them the Maine Wave.
Sadly, other Maine Coon fanciers in Britain were so concerned that the carrier gene could also come with health problems that they developed a “Rex elimination Programme,” and they attempted to get rid ofanyl Maine Waves.
Maine Coon Cornish Rex Mix
Some believe that the Rexed Maine Coon is simply a cross between a Maine Coon and a Cornish Rex.
Since one breeder’s cat turned out to be a carrier, other breeders assumed it was the result of a female queen mating with the breeder’s Cornish Rex stud.
People even went so far as to accuse the breeder of falsifying the kittens’ pedigree, spreading the Cornish Rex genes throughout Maine Coon bloodlines.
The Rexed Maine Coon has a mysterious rex gene that makes its fur fine and wavy.
While it is unknown whether the rex gene is the result of a natural genetic mutation or crossbreeding with Cornish or Devon Rexes, many Maine Coon lovers were impressed by the Rexed Maine Coon’s coat.
Sadly, there are hardly any Maine Coon Rexes today, and fanciers of the breed seem to benot attemptt to bring them back.