LaPerm Rex – A new hair-do in Cats!

The LaPerm is a breed of Rex cat that differs from the Devon and Cornish in being a dominant gene and bred mainly in long hair. This is characterized by plush curly body hair, which is the texture of lamb’s wool and a wonderful ‘plume’ tail!

Examples differ however, and some have a harsher coat, which is quite ‘wiry’ along the spine. In spring they have a seasonal molt which is over in a few days and results in a shorter summer outfit which can be quite sparse around the neck and legs.


The year was 1986 and farmer, Linda Koehl, heard a kitten crying outside. Venturing out in the dark and the rain, she found a tiny, bald kitten abandoned near her barn, where barn cats came and went as they pleased. Fearing it would not survive, she brought it into her house and within a few weeks, the kitten not only survived but also had grown a lovely curly coat! Linda knew very little about breeding cats but noticed that more curly-coated kittens appeared in each generation. These curly cats were recognized by TICA as a new breed of Rex cat in 1995, and by CFA in 2000.

The breed standard

The LaPerm is a naturally occurring mutation producing both long and shorthaired cats. It is medium sized and curly coated with semi-foreign type. All colours are acceptable. All parts of the body are in harmony with the size of the cat. There is evidence of surprising weight for size. The cat is alert and seems to be walking tall on its feet. Coat texture will be distinctly different than that of any other Rex mutation and will vary within the breed.

The head is carried on a medium long neck, is a modified wedge with rounded contours. There is a gentle convex curve rising from the bridge of the nose to the brow. The muzzle is slightly broad in proportion to the wedge. The ears are placed to continue the modified wedge of the head, slightly flared and cupped, medium to large with full furnishings and earmuffs. Lynx tipping preferred. The eyes are medium large and expressive, almond shape at rest and rounder when alert – slightly slanted towards the base of the ear. The body is medium in size, semi foreign, medium fine boning with back lightly higher in the rear.The perfect cat will have a moderately soft, springy coat texture standing away from the body in ringlet curls or waves over most of the cat. The thicker and heavier the coat the better. Shorthaired LaPerms do not have the ruff or plumed tail. Ear furnishings and whiskers can also be curly.

The coat can vary in length and fullness according to the season and maturity of the cat. Gradually the breed has begun to emerge internationally with an individual look. They have become longer in the body and tail and taller on the legs with and overall more graceful appearance.


The LaPerm has a sociable and outgoing nature and thrives on human companionship. They are very playful and happy cats and will adapt to all environments.

They like to know what is going on around them and kittens have been known to quit nursing and seek out the source of a human voice even before their eyes are open! The LaPerm is active and intelligent and can be trained to a harness. They demand affection, like to follow their owners around, enjoy a shoulder ride (if allowed); they are face huggers and kissers and love being talked to. A truly wonderful companion for people on their own or for a family.


All Rex breeds have the reputation of being hypoallergenic. It can only be by ‘reputation’ as there are no guarantees, probably because there are many different types of cat allergy and reactions differ in sufferers. To some it can be the cat’s saliva, which it deposits on its coat when grooming, to others it can be the fur itself. The Rex cat has a genetically modified coat texture which causes it to curl or wave and this seems to make a difference between a severe reaction to a very mild reaction or none at all.

Return to La Perm Breeders Index

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La Perm 2
La Perm 3
La Perm 4
La Perm 5
La Perm 2