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                                                The Tennessee Rex!




                    Available in Kindle format at Amazon.com!

                                                                Kindle link below


A New Creation: The Saving of the Tennessee Rex (The history of the Tennessee Rex from discovery as kittens to the successful reproduction of the T-Rex gene by the founder of the breed). Many pictures!! Please visit the book page for details and order information for paperback.                                                                                 


                                   Tennessee Rex Breed History

      The history of the Tennessee Rex was established through many perils experienced by the breed from its beginning. The original cats were born not far from the mighty Tennessee River located in the Chattanooga area. The Tennessee Rex has proven to be a strong, solid cat and should make a fine addition to the cat fancy and it is believed that the breed will bring much enjoyment to many Tennesseans and also the rest of the world. The Tennessee Rex already has fans in Great Britain, Brazil, Belgium and as far away as Johannesburg, South Africa! The breed has been referred to as T-Rexes for short. The official home on the Internet for the Tennessee Rexes and the Utrex cattery will be located at www.tennesseerex.com.

      To help promote these beautiful cats, I have authored a book ( A New Creation: The saving of the Tennessee Rex) which will be sold from the Utrex cattery revealing the whole story of the Tennessee Rex from it's origin as backyard kittens to the successful reproduction of the gene. This book was written with a personal touch added and not just pure scientific research. In it I share many of the trials and experiences that manifested while trying to preserve this gene along with many pictures that marked milestones in the development of the breed. This website is just a part of the Tennessee Rex story. I hope you enjoy reading about the Tennessee Rex as much as I have enjoyed experiencing it. On behalf of the cats, I would like to welcome you to the world of the Tennessee Rex!

                                                                                                                     Franklin R. Whittenburg

                                                            Tennessee Rex breed founder                                                                "T-Rex, a breed as nature intended"



                                                            Humble Beginnings


       The first sighting of the kittens happened when a semi-feral female cat picked the back porch of the Whittenburg family as the place where they should be birthed into this world. The first peril encountered was the location of the birth. The Tennessee Rex was believed to be born under the mowing deck of a riding lawn mower Fortunately mowing season was over! The next potential danger came from a large feral tomcat that had killed a previous litter of kittens in the same area. When the kittens became old enough, the mother cat brought them upon the back porch and hid them behind a chest type freezer! The kittens would run around and play on the back porch and then run behind the freezer when anyone would come near which made them hard to catch. The thought alone of the kittens getting caught up in the freezer's compressor fan motor or chewing on the wires was enough to warrant a rescue. Franklin Whittenburg, decided to adopt them and took the kittens into custody. He brought them to a vet to be cleaned up and checked out. Although the curly hair gave the kittens a unique appearance, the Tennessee Rex was destined to hold even greater surprises! Satin and Fire Red!




                                                       The Tennessee Rex Fur

      The coat of the Tennessee Rex immediately draws attention to it. In fact, almost every response when someone sees a Tennessee Rex for the first time is WOW! What a beautiful cat! I personally have to give God the glory for this very unique creation. The satin effect gives the cat the ability to reflect sunlight with it's coat giving the cat a metallic shine in sunlight.


      While some rex breeds have course wirehair like a terrier, the Tennessee Rex has soft, satin hair. The Tennessee Rex had small tight curls as a kitten, but as their hair grew longer, the curls grew out into long corkscrews.  Even the whiskers of the Tennessee Rex are curly.


      Some rex breeds will lose their hair (molt), only to grow it back later. The coat seems to stabilize in other rex breeds when the cats are spayed or neutered. It remains to be seen if this will also hold true for the Tennessee Rex. The T-Rex has experienced molting also as kittens, but not as adults. It will be curious to see what other changes the hair goes through in the future. The tail is one of the most striking features of the breed. The long corkscrew hair makes the tail expand the width of the cat when it is carried in the upright position.        


        Although the rex (curly) mutation is rare and very desirable, the Tennessee Rex still held an even greater surprise. SATIN!!  The chances of a cat experiencing a new spontaneous rex mutation is extremely rare, but the chances of a cat manifesting a much rarer satin or glitter mutation with it is astronomical. These two rare mutations that the T-Rexes carry should make the Tennessee Rex stand out as a separate breed in every corner of the world! Currently the only known breed to experience something similar to this very rare mutation is the Bengal breed, and then only from time to time. The current glitter mutation can be traced back to one cat found in Delhi, India in the 1980's. It is referred to as the glitter gene giving the appearance of gold dust being sprinkled on the fur. There is also a gene that is called satin that appears in rodents, but has never appeared in cats. If it turns out to be the same satin mutation found in rodents and some other species also exhibit it, then the Tennessee Rex would be the first known cats in world history to exhibit this mutation! The satin gloss really stands out when seen in comparison to a normal haired cat. When you look at the fur closely in direct sunlight, you can see tiny little prisms in the fur that refract the light to produce the colors of the rainbow as well as the "gold dust" appearance. Sharp geometric shapes of the hair shaft, like facets of a diamond, causes this. If this mutation, with the rainbow effect, is applied to a white cat, then you could theoretically have a new color of cat (oyster shell or pearl) that would be unique to the Tennessee Rex breed. Either mutation, satin or glitter or one that is totally new is a very welcome addition to the Tennessee Rex breed and it will be written into the breed standard.



     (you can see the glossy shine that the "satin" effect has on the fur by comparing the shine of the coat to the mother and brother cat that have normal hair in this picture).



                                                         T-Rex Satin Fur Close-up Photos


                                                    Satin MUST SEE!!      Click photos to enlarge )

    For a history of other rex and satin cats that have spontaneously appeared around the world from time to time, stretching all the way back to the 1800,s, please visit Sarah Hartwell's website, www.messybeast.com/satin-glitter.htm  and  www.messybeast.com/curly-cats-rex.htm .        


    Read the story about another stray Tennessee cat named  Miss Tennessee and her interesting Tennessee markings!                          


                                                                Go Vols!!!


                                   The Tennessee Rex Breeding Program

     Franklin Whittenburg and the Tennessee Rexes are part of a worldwide network of professional feline breeders, geneticist, new breed developers, feline rescuers and all around cat lovers, which gives the Tennessee Rex breeding program the ability to tap into the greatest knowledgeable minds in the feline arena. Many of these also attend cat shows regularly and can bring much experience to the table in the giving of advice when the Tennessee Rexes start appearing on the cat show circuits. The Tennessee Rex program also has some anonymous friends around the world that have also been very helpful operating in the background. They have been there to put a paw onto the Tennessee Rex program and give it a little push to help the program advance at critical times. With this team, the Tennessee Rex has one of the best chances of becoming a new breed in the worldwide cat fancy that many people around the world will able to enjoy.



                    Available in Kindle format at Amazon.com!

                                                                Kindle link below


A New Creation: The Saving of the Tennessee Rex (The history of the Tennessee Rex from discovery as kittens to the successful reproduction of the T-Rex gene by the founder of the breed). Many pictures!! Please visit the book page for details and order information for paperback.                                                                                 



Contact Information

Electronic mail :
General Information: contact1@tennesseerex.com
Webmaster: contact1@tennesseerex.com


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Last modified: 06/11/11