This document is seen as a way of ensuring breeders observe what is considered 'best practice' in their involvement with the Selkirk Rex and particularly in their Selkirk Rex breeding programmes.
Selkirk Rex, unlike most other breeds, owe their origin in 1987 to one cat Miss DePesto. Inbreeding was carried out to establish if this was a new, or already established gene. It was found that Miss DePesto was a new mutation of a complete dominant nature unlike the Devon and Cornish Rex which are both produced by a recessive gene. The Selkirk Rex may be homozygous (have two Rex genes) or heterozygous (have one Rex gene) and may be long or shorthaired. To produce Rex coated kittens at least one parent must be a Selkirk Rex. Straight coated Selkirk Rex Variants do not carry the Rex gene but are useful for breeding because the best exhibition Selkirk Rex are heterozygous.
Two blood types have been confirmed in Selkirk Rex - type A and type B. Type A is dominant over type B. This means a cat with type B blood is homozygous for B. Type A cats can be either homozygous for A or heterozygous (carrying the B gene). Cats with type B blood have strong antibodies against type A red blood cells. These anti-A antibodies can cause two serious problems: Neonatal Isoerythrolysis (fading kitten syndrome) and transfusion reactions.
It is vital regular selective outcrossing be introduced and maintained to increase the gene pool and maintain stamina and health. This is 'best for the breed' in its ongoing development.
Breeders and owners of Selkirk Rex and Selkirk Rex Variants are recommended to blood type test all their cats but more especially all breeding stock. Blood type A kittens resulting from a mating between a type A stud and a type B queen may die within the first few days of life if allowed to suckle their mother's colostrum. It is also important to know that cats with the relatively rare type B blood can die if given a transfusion of the more common type A blood.
PKD has been confirmed in Selkirk Rex. Breeders are advised to buy only from PKD tested stock and to breed only with cats, including ALL outcrosses, which have been screened PKD clear under a recognised scheme (the FAB/PKD scheme in the UK).
All cats used for outcrossing should be thoroughly researched, of sound temperament and free from any hereditary defects.
Breeders should ensure, to the best of their knowledge, that any Selkirk Rex from which they breed are of sound temperament, free from any hereditary defects, (including those listed in the GCCF Standard of Points), and conform as closely as possible to the Standard of Points (excluding the coat description where variants are concerned).
Selkirk Rex are not compatible with either Cornish Rex, Devon Rex or LaPerms. Such matings are therefore highly undesirable. The product of such matings will be registered on the Reference Register and cannot be considered to be variants. They cannot be used in any Rex breeding programme and should be placed on the non-active register. It is considered to be in the best interest of the Selkirk Rex breed to keep it entirely separate from other incompatible Rex mutations.
Under no circumstances should any cat with Sphynx ancestry be introduced into the Selkirk Rex breed. Selection for hairlessness contradicts the coat quality requirements for Rex cats. The product of any matings between Sphynx and Selkirk Rex will be registered on the Reference Register. They cannot be considered to be variants nor be used in any Selkirk Rex breeding programme and should be placed on the non-active register.
Breeders shall ensure that any Selkirk Rex or Selkirk Rex Variants from which they breed, shall be registered with the GCCF in accordance with the Rules in force at the time. It is recommended that the progeny from any matings that are not required for Selkirk Rex breeding, should be placed on the Non-Active Register to avoid the introduction of the Selkirk Rex gene into other varieties of pedigree cats.
The majority of matings are most likely to be between Selkirk Rex x Selkirk Rex and Selkirk Rex x Selkirk Rex Variant, but to ensure a healthy gene pool outcrosses are essential.
Breeds approved for use in outcrossing are: British Shorthair (including longhaired Variants), Persian and Exotic (including Variants). All other breeds are listed as non-approved. In addition, for cats bred outside the UK, American Shorthair was an approved outcross until 31.12.97 when it was discontinued.
All other breeds are listed as non-approved.
Breeders will be encouraged to take advantage of any relevant official scheme, which may be devised by the Selkirk Rex BAC to test the soundness of the Selkirk Rex breed.
Note: It is recommended where the colour of a cat is in question a DNA test, (where such a test exists), be arranged.