Frequently Asked Questions About Devons

Do you have a question about Devons?

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Do Devons get along with dogs?
How do I introduce my new kitten to an existing pet?
How much does a kitten cost?
Why should your cat stay in at night?
Should my cat be an indoor only cat?
Do Devons have any road sense?
Do Devons feel the cold?
I am allergic to cats, will I be able to live with a Devon Rex?
Should I microchip my cat?
Should I get a male or female kitten?
Should I adopt an older cat?
Will my Devon be all right if I work all day?
What should I do when I have to go away, How do I find out what Catteries have a good reputation?
Should I leave food out all the time for my Devon?
Is it okay having the kitten desexed at ten weeks?
Can I bath my Devon Rex?

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Devon Rex and Greyhound Chilling on a couch together

Do Devons get along with dogs?

I am often asked whether our cats get along with dogs. Being a firm believer that a picture speaks a thousand words I decided to add a cat and dog section to my website. Our cats are raised with dogs and often form close relationships with their new family’s dogs. Some of my kittens actually prefer the company of our dogs to the other cats; I actually try to place these kittens with families who own a dog. Devon Rex cats can be bold, determined and fearless, and it is a good idea to feed your dog where your kitten/cat is unable to run up and steal their food, growling is not usually enough to deter a hungry Devon and even the best of dogs may be driven to snap. To read more about how to introduce your kitten to your other cats or dogs please read how to introduce your kitten to the resident household pets

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How do I settle my new kitten or adult cat into my home and introduce them to the resident pets

Devon Rex Cat - Mouse kissing Buddy the miniature horse

Although I refer to your kitten the same principles apply to introducing an adult cat to your home. Regardless of whether you have other pets or not, your new kitten will need time to investigate the nooks and crannies and new smells of your home in peace. I feel it is best to confine the kitten to a room when not supervised, and especially after meals. An entire house is too large an area for a small kitten with a sudden toilet urge to navigate, and even more so if there is an inquisitive, enthusiastic canine supervisor in hot pursuit!

Wisecracks Devon Rex Cats And Dogs Various ImagesWisecracks Devon Rex Cats And Dogs Various ImagesWisecracks Devon Rex Cats And Dogs Various ImagesWisecracks Devon Rex Cats And Dogs Various Images

When bringing a new animal member into your household, it is essential that you make an extra effort to make a big fuss of your resident pets! This will help stop any jealousy in the future. I usually suggest that kittens are given a safe space from which to view and sum up the dog and/ or existing cat family. Even the carry cage is a good start, a collapsible crate if you can borrow one is even better. Once the introductions are over and the dog has settled or is outside the kitten can be allowed out to watch through the door or window. You will get a feeling when it is time to allow fur to fur contact; a quiet sniff while the dog is sleeping is a good start. NEVER allow your dog to chase any cat, a chase is a prelude to a kill, and what starts as a game can end in tears.

Wisecracks Devon Rex Cats And Dogs Various ImagesWisecracks Devon Rex Cats And Dogs Various ImagesWisecracks Devon Rex Cats And Dogs Various ImagesWisecracks Devon Rex Cats And Dogs Various Images

As I mentioned in the answer about Devon's and dogs, Devons are fearless when it comes to food, so if your dog is zealous about his/her dinner, keep the kitten away at meal times. Once your kitten discovers the eternal warmth that radiates from their dog they will normally start the everlasting hottie routine and the dog's peaceful nights will become a thing of the past!

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How much does a Devon Rex kitten cost?

A Wisecracks Devon Rex kitten will cost you $600 to buy, desexed and with their first vaccination, they will require a second vaccination 3-4 weeks after their first. You will find yourself seduced by toys and cat beds etc, they prefer your bed and are happy with a laser light to chase or the ring from the top of a plastic jar to retrieve, but a good strong tall scratch pole is essential.

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Why should your cat stay in at night?

If at all possible keep your Devon Rex kitten/cat inside from dusk to dawn, this is the most dangerous time for your cat to be outdoor. Please consider keeping your cat entirely indoors. Form more information about keeping an indoor cat please visit the indoor section of my Getting Ready page. An article in the pet magazine stated that 94% of cat deaths occur outside between the hours of dusk and dawn.

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Should my cat be an indoor only cat?

Devon Rex kitten in push chair

This is a question I am asked regularly, and after yet another phone call reporting the death of one of my darling cats I decided to add a wee bit of information regarding the indoor/outdoor issue! If you decide to allow your cat outdoors PLEASE always bring them in before dusk.

Indoor cats are kept safe from traffic, poisons, many accidents, unpleasant neighbours and theft! A recent program on sky television stated that indoor/outdoor cats live an average of 3 years as opposed to indoor only cats who usually survive for at least 11 years, food for thought?

In the end this is a decision each owner must come to after giving the issue due consideration. Some people actually think it is cruel to keep their cat indoors only,

Granted time needs to be put into making sure there is adequate stimulation to keep a busy Devon Rex occupied, but knowing they are safe and sound makes any effort well worth the time and expense. There are other alternatives, such as a safe outdoor area, or cat proof fencing. What an indoor only cat will need.

If you decide to allow your cat outdoors PLEASE always bring them in before dusk.

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Do Devons have any road sense?

No! Although some cat breeds seem to be less accident prone than others I personally think cats only learn road sense by trial and error, with many of the errors being fatal! Cat breeds who are less adventurous will be less likely to get into as much strife as the more active inquisitive breeds. Devon Rex cats specialize in getting into trouble, investigating anything new and meeting the neighbours all fun but high risk behaviours. A study in UK 2001 found that 51% of outdoor access cats who died suddenly were the result of a cat vs vehicle encounter! They went on to try to identify the risk factors and age was found to be a big contributor, cats between 7 months and 2 years of age are at the highest risk, with the risk decreasing with each year of age, not unlike human teenagers! I have certainly found this to be the case from the many distressed owners who have contacted me after losing their cat on the road. Accidents also happen with vehicles at home make sure you know where your cat is before moving any vehicle, some cats will even perch on top of warm tyres, while older cats who used to hear and move may be that little bit slower!

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Do Devons feel the cold?

Devon Rex Cat feeling the cold - wearing a jersey

Short answer is yes, I think all cats feel the cold, they are by nature heating seeking missiles! However Devons tend to vary in the amount of coat they wear quite dramatically and some lesser coated individuals do get totally forlorn and cold and actually enjoy the warmth of a sweater, pet electric blanket, or human slave keeping the home fires burning.

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I am allergic to cats,
will I be able to live with a Devon Rex?

I have many owners with asthma and cat allergies living blissfully with Devon Rex cats, having said that I have also had people meet one of my cats and have an allergic reaction. I am not willing to send a cat to a family with allergy sufferers until they have met a Devon Rex and spent a bit of time handling them, I am always happy to give potential Devon owners contact details of an owners close by (if I know of one) and of course they are always welcome to visit and get a good dose of Devon! It is unfair to both the cat and the family if they find they are unable to live comfortably together. A very important thing to consider is that it is now medically proven that children who live with an inside cat as a pet (inside being a pet who is indoors at least 12 hours a day) in the first year of their life, have half the chance of being allergic to cats as those children who do not and the same applies to dogs.

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Should I microchip my cat?

Short answer YES! The cost of microchipping is only $60 which includes the chipping and a lifetime registration on the New Zealand Companion Animals Register (NZCAR) I have read and heard of so many reunions of pets and their families only possible because the pet was microchipped.  I recently read a wonderful book about a young boy with aspergers syndrome who only learned to talk when a cat named Ben adopted him, when the cat went missing the boy stopped talking, his mother searched for many months, many of the cats she found she took to shelters to be scanned for microchips and she was able to reunite them with their families and she did find Ben only because he was microchipped he was 70 miles away from home, and yes her son began to speak again as soon as he had his cat back!

An added bonus to microchipping it that there are now cat flaps which can learn your cat's microchip number and only allow your cat/cats into your home.The video above will give you more idea of what these flaps are capable of, they definately have the potential to help you have more control over your cat's comings and goings without the risk of a collar and hanging magnet as used by previous cat flaps. I see them also reducing territorial issues with stray cats terrorizing your cat and breaking into your home. There are more costly models which allow for very individual setting, curfews etc. I will be posting the cost I am able to supply these at plus of course there will be fitting costs.

 

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Should I get a male or female kitten?

There is no right or wrong answer and a lot comes down to personal preference. I personally find desexed males cats wander less and are more affectionate than female cats. I like their behavior to lions, the males lay about relaxing while the females do the networking and checking out the hunting ground etc.Devon Rex Adoption Page

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Should I adopt an older cat?

A retiring adult cat is often a better choice for people who would rather not survive the kitten stage; young children of course enjoy and benefit from living with a kitten and watching them grow up and taking responsibility for their care. The adult cats I place in homes usually prefer to be the only cat after living in a multicat home they rejoice in reigning supreme and ruling the roost. Adult cats may take a while to adjust to their new surroundings. I have noticed that cats seem to have a switch, rather than adapting slowly but surely, they often skulk about or even hide and then suddenly somewhere around the week or two week mark they just click and act as if there was never a problem! To see the adult cats I have needing forever homes please visit my Adult Cats Needing Homes Page.

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Will my Devon be all right if I work all day?

Devon Rex cats need people, having said that cats do sleep up to 16 hours a day. If you do work you need to be especially careful to make sure your Devon has enough stimulation to keep them happy while you are away. If your Devon is allowed outdoor they will adopt whatever neighbours are home, so it is worth your while to let your neighbours know you are adopting a very cheeky cat who may very well be visiting! When any of my owners have lost their cats and gone on a neighbourhood walk, they are always shocked to find how far and wide their cat has been spreading their love.

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What should I do when I have to go away and how do I find out what Catteries have a good reputation?

If you are only away overnight, lock them indoors with a litter tray and food and water. Because Devons are attached to their people it is not a good idea to leave them with house minders if they are roaming outdoors, they will often go walk about looking for you. They are safer in a cattery if you are away for longer than a day.

Ask people locally about what cattery they use and why, the local vet clinics may also be able to help but may be professionally or ethically unable to mention issues of concern about any particular cattery. Also take the time to visit the cattery before you need to use them. I personally do not believe that communal cat rooms in boarding catteries make any sense what so ever, firstly cats are not team players, with the exception of lions all the great cats are solitary hunters and do not live in groups, so your cat is not likely to enjoy the company of other cats he or she does not even know. Secondly when cats are stressed they can shed any virus they may have and many will have the cat flu viruses. Therefore a boarding cattery is full of cats that may be shedding viruses, even if your cat is vaccinated they can and will get these bugs, their vaccination only stops them getting very sick from them. If you have had a very good or bad experience with a boarding cattery please let me know so I can help owners if they approach me.

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Should I leave food out all the time for my Devon?

While your cat is just a kitten a kitty kitchen or continuous feeding system is fine, however once they reach adulthood at about 9 months they are better with measured food servings as Devon Rex cats are given to over eating, and can quickly become eggs on legs if left to their own devices.

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Is it okay having the kitten desexed at ten weeks?

I have had my kittens desexed at 10 weeks for many years now. The wee girls are bouncing fit within hours and eating and playing while the boys do not even seem to notice that anything is missing. Older cats take a lot longer to recover and seem uncomfortable for a day or so.

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Can I bath my Devon Rex?

Devon Rex cats do get dirty, and many I am sad to say are not flash in the personal hygiene department. A kitten owner recently very accurately described this state of hygiene as ‘Devon Tar’.  If you are house proud or allergic to cats you may want to bath your Devon, some take to this better than others. If you are struggling with bathing them a wipe down with a warm flannel is a good compromise. Some Devons seem to stay cleaner than others, I have found the balder the dirtier.

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