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The Origin of Poodle Cats

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Just to be clear, there was no hanky-panky between poodles and cats to make a poodle cat. Rather, in 1987 a stray cat in Montana had a litter of five kittens in which one kitten was bestowed with a genetic mutation that made its fur uniquely thick and curly. A breeder of persian cats, Jeri Newman, adopted the kitten and named her Agnes DiPesto (or Miss DiPesto) after the curly-haired receptionist in the popular 1980s TV show, “Moonlighting.”

Realizing that Miss DiPesto was an unusual cat, Jeri had her genetically tested and learned that indeed, Miss DiPesto was genetically distinct from other cats due to this random mutation in the fur gene. So, Jeri created a distinct bloodline of cats with this mutation dubbing them “poodle cats.” Nine generations later, researchers from the University of Vienna declared that indeed poodle cats are a distinct breed and the fourth recognized “curly hair” breed of cat, which are now scientifically referred to as Selkirk Rex.

Since, the mutation is dominant, poodle cats can be bred with other cat breeds and retain their unique thick curly fur. Hence, the wide variety of colors and both short and long-haired poodle cats. Some people refer to the breed as “a cat in sheep’s clothing.”

If you covet one of these plush kitties however, be prepared to fork over about $1000 as the breed is still rare. Furthermore, if you have even a hint of feline allergies a poodle cat is not for you — they shed frequently and copiously!


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Cherise Udell

Cherise Udell is a mom, clean air advocate, anthropologist and feline aficionado with the nomadic habit of taking spontaneous sojourns to unusual destinations. Before her adventures in motherhood, she was an intrepid Amazon jungle guide equipped with a pair of sturdy wellingtons and a 24-inch machete, as well as a volunteer at a rainforest animal rescue center.


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11:32PM PDT on May 13, 2015

cute. I'm not usually fond of the poodle dogs i've encountered though

5:47AM PDT on May 5, 2015

poodle cats? seriously?

4:32AM PDT on May 4, 2015

Thanks for sharing.

8:15AM PDT on Apr 15, 2015


8:17AM PDT on Apr 14, 2015


10:05PM PDT on Apr 13, 2015

Interesting. Thanks.

3:26PM PST on Mar 5, 2015

I. Want. A. Poodle Cat ! My cat was a devon rex, they actually look very similar. The fur looks almost identical. Well they are awfully cute, but idk if they are $1,000 cute lol.

1:35PM PST on Feb 18, 2015

Nah, I prefer alley cats! LOL

7:43PM PST on Feb 15, 2015

How about Furbies or Furballs.

7:38PM PST on Feb 15, 2015

Poodle cats, they could have found a better name for the poor cats, ineresting thank you for sharing.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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