Poodle Cat [VIDEO]: Curly-Haired Feline Selkirk Rex Declared New Breed

Scientists have declared the feline commonly referred to as the poodle cat, scientific name Selkirk Rex, its own breed nine generations after it first appeared.

Researchers from the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, identified the new breed last year.

The origins of the breed can be traced back to 1987 when a feral Calico shelter cat named Miss DePesto gave birth to a litter of five in Montana.

At the time, breeders noticed that one of the kittens in the litter looked different than the others because it had curly hair.

Scientists noted in the study that the breed developed from a spontaneous genetic mutation, which makes the curly hair a dominant trait making the Selkirk Rex a genetically distinct breed.

The breed, sometimes called "a cat in sheep's clothing," is the fourth type of curly haired cat that has been classified. The Selkirk Rex differs from the Devon Red and Cornish Rex breeds, which also typically have curly hair but due to a recessive gene. The Selkirk Rex also has a thicker coat than the related breeds because it has three layers of fur.

Breeder Jeri Newman of Wyoming mated her Persian cat with the first Selkirk Rex kitten that was born in 1987. She named the breed Selkirk after her stepfather, making it the only type of cat that is named after a person, according to Discovery.

The University of Veterinary Medicine only recently confirmed that the Selkirk Rex is a genetically distinct line. However, the International Cat Association, the American Cat Fanciers Association and Cat Fanciers' Association had all already accepted the cat breed.

Watch a video about the origins of the Selkirk Rex here.

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