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06/23/2013 11:13 am ET | Updated Jun 24, 2013

Poodle Cat: New Breed Of Feline Is Adorably Fluffy (VIDEO)

Meet the Selkirk Rex cat.

Researchers from the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, identified the new breed of kitty in a study published last year, but the fluffy feline may be better known by its common name: poodle cat.

According to the International Cat Association, the breed's origin dates back to 1987 when a feral cat birthed a litter of five in Montana. At the time, breeders noticed that one of the kittens in the litter looked different from the others, primarily because of her thick curly hair.

As the team noted in the study, the breed arose from a spontaneous genetic mutation, which makes the curly hair a dominant trait. However, unlike related breeds Devon Rex and Cornish Rex, which are also characteristically curly but carry recessive genes, the Selkirk Rex has a significantly thicker coat due to its three layers of fur.

That's why the poodle cat is also referred to as the "cat in sheep's clothing."

The curly-coated feline caught the eye of Persian cat breeder Jeri Newman, who decided to cultivate the line by mating the kitty with a male Persian. She christened the new breed Selkirk after her stepfather, making it the only type of cat that is named after a person, Discovery reports.

As Mother Nature Network notes, the University of Veterinary Medicine only recently confirmed that the Selkirk Rex is a genetically distinct line. The International Cat Association, the American Cat Fanciers Association and Cat Fanciers' Association, on the other hand, have already accepted the cat breed.

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