How to Groom A Cornish Rex Cat

Reviewed by Grooming Expert: Clarissa Stevenson, CFMG

Table of Contents

Cornish Rex Cat Characteristics

Body Type: Foreign

Coat Type & Length: Rex

Coat Texture: The Cornish Rex has a unique coat texture that is soft, curly, and almost wool-like to the touch. It lacks guard hairs, making it feel like velvet and giving it a distinctive appearance.


Cornish Rex cats are known for their unique curly fur, which is soft and silky to the touch. They have a slender, athletic build and large ears that sit high on their head. These cats are highly intelligent and playful, and they love to interact with their owners. They are also known for their high energy levels and love of climbing and exploring.

Cornish Rex cats are a great choice for families with children or other pets, as they are friendly and social animals. However, their curly fur requires regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling.

Grooming Tools for Cornish Rex Cats

In order to groom Cornish Rex Cats properly, you’ll need to have the following tools:

Grooming ToolDescriptionPrice
Slicker brushHelps detangle matted hair and remove excess fur$10 – $20
Grooming glovesGets rid of excess fur while giving a comforting massage$10 – $25
Nail clippersCuts your cat’s nails in a safe manner to keep overgrowth in check and prevent accidents$5 – $15
Ear cleanerHelps reduce the buildup of bacteria, yeast, and other harmful microorganisms in your cat’s ears, thereby preventing ear infections$8 – $15
Cotton ballsMade from soft fibers that won’t irritate or scratch the delicate skin inside a cat’s ears, ensuring a comfortable and safe cleaning experience$1 – $5
ToothbrushMaintains your cat’s oral health by cleaning their teeth and preventing dental concerns$3 – $10
ToothpasteRegular use of cat toothpaste can help prevent periodontal disease, gingivitis, and tooth decay, contributing to your cat’s overall health and well-being$5 – $10
ShampooCat shampoos are made with mild and non-toxic ingredients that are specifically chosen to be gentle on your cat’s skin and fur, reducing the risk of adverse reactions and irritation compared to using human shampoos$3 – $12

Grooming Your Cornish Rex Cat

Brushing Your Cat

Frequency: Brush your Cornish Rex once a week

Technique: Use the slicker brush or grooming mitt and brush in the direction of hair growth.

Bathe your Cornish Rex occasionally to help control shedding.

Bathing your Cornish Rex Cat

Bathing a Cornish Rex is a bit different than other cat breeds due to their unique curly coat.

  1. Start by brushing their coat to remove any loose hair and tangles.
  2. Use a gentle cat shampoo and warm water to wet their coat thoroughly.
  3. Massage the shampoo into their coat, being careful not to pull or tug on their curls.
  4. Rinse thoroughly with warm water, making sure to remove all the shampoo.
  5. Gently pat their coat dry with a towel, being careful not to rub or mat their curls.
  6. You can use a blow dryer on a low setting to finish drying their coat, but be sure to keep it at a safe distance and avoid overheating their sensitive skin.

How Often Should I Bathe My Cornish Rex Cat?

You should bathe your Cornish Rex cat once every 4-6 weeks to maintain their unique coat texture and prevent excessive oil buildup.

How to Trim the Nails of a Cornish Rex

  • Start by getting your Cornish Rex comfortable and relaxed. You can do this by petting and talking to them in a soothing voice.
  • Gently hold your cat’s paw and press on the pad to extend the nail.
  • Use a sharp, high-quality cat nail clipper to trim the tip of the nail. Be careful not to cut too close to the quick, which is the pink part of the nail that contains blood vessels and nerves.
  • If you accidentally cut the quick, apply some styptic powder or cornstarch to stop the bleeding.
  • Repeat the process for all the nails on each paw.
  • Reward your Cornish Rex with a treat or some playtime to make the experience positive.

Recommended Frequency of Clipping

Cornish Rex cats are active and playful, which means their nails can grow quickly. It’s recommended to trim their nails every 2-3 weeks to prevent them from getting too long and causing discomfort or damage to furniture.

How to Clean the Ears of a Cornish Rex

  • Gather your supplies: cotton balls or pads, ear cleaning solution (make sure it’s safe for cats), and a towel.
  • Hold your Cornish Rex securely in your lap or on a table.
  • Gently lift one ear flap and inspect the ear for any signs of redness, swelling, or discharge. If you notice anything unusual, contact your veterinarian.
  • Saturate a cotton ball or pad with the ear cleaning solution and gently wipe the inside of the ear flap and the ear canal. Be careful not to insert the cotton ball too far into the ear canal.
  • Use a fresh cotton ball or pad to wipe away any excess solution and debris.
  • Repeat on the other ear.
  • Reward your Cornish Rex with a treat or some playtime to make the experience positive.

If your Cornish Rex shows signs of discomfort or pain during the ear-cleaning process, stop immediately and contact your veterinarian. If you notice any unusual discharge, odor, or redness in your Cornish Rex’s ears, contact your veterinarian as this could be a sign of an ear infection or other health issue.

How to Brush the Teeth of a Cornish Rex

  • Start by getting your Cornish Rex comfortable with having their mouth touched. Gently lift their lip and touch their teeth and gums with your finger.
  • Once they are comfortable with this, introduce them to a toothbrush specifically designed for cats. You can find these at most pet stores.
  • Use a small amount of cat toothpaste on the brush and gently brush their teeth in a circular motion. Be sure to focus on the back teeth where plaque and tartar tend to build up.
  • Brush for about 30 seconds on each side of their mouth.
  • Reward your Cornish Rex with a treat or praise after each brushing session to make it a positive experience.
  • Aim to brush your Cornish Rex’s teeth at least 2-3 times a week to maintain good oral hygiene.

Cornish Rex Common Coat Issues

Grooming your cat is 90% done. However, it’s important to keep an eye on the following “potential” issues:

Fleas and Ticks

Watch out for excessive scratching or biting, as this may indicate the presence of fleas or ticks. To prevent fleas and ticks, regularly groom your cat with a flea comb and use a flea preventative recommended by your veterinarian.

Matted Fur

Cornish Rex cats have a short, curly coat that rarely mats. However, if mats do occur, use a metal comb to gently work them out, starting at the base of the mat and working your way outwards. Avoid using scissors to cut out mats, as this can be dangerous.

Allergies and Skin Irritations

Cornish Rex cats have delicate skin that can be prone to dryness and irritation. To prevent this, use a gentle shampoo and conditioner specifically formulated for cats, and avoid over-bathing. Regular brushing can also help distribute natural oils and keep their skin healthy.

Frequently Asked Questions About Grooming Cornish Rex Cats

How Often Should I Brush My Cornish Rex Cat?

You should brush your Cornish Rex cat at least once a week to keep their short, curly coat looking shiny and healthy. However, if your cat sheds more than usual or has skin issues, you may need to brush them more frequently to prevent matting and promote good skin health.

Can I Use Human Shampoo on My Cornish Rex Cat?

You should not use human shampoo on your Cornish Rex cat. Human shampoo is formulated for human hair and can be too harsh for your cat’s delicate skin and coat. It can strip away natural oils and cause dryness, itching, and irritation. Instead, use a cat-specific shampoo that is gentle and pH-balanced for your cat’s skin.