A brown Exotic Shorthair kitten with its iconic large expressive eyes

The Calm and Endearing Exotic Shorthair Cat

As its name suggests, the Exotic Shorthair cat is most renowned for its distinctive look, easily recognizable with its large, expressive eyes. It is often dubbed as the lazy man’s Persian, as they originally bred to be a less-maintenance alternative to the higher maintenance feline. The Exotic Shorthair has a sweet, calm, and playful personality with lower exercise and energy requirements. Thus, making it ideal for families looking for a cat that needs gentle handling, but is still capable of building strong, affectionate bonds and being a lovely companion.

Origin of the Exotic Shorthair Cat

Persian cats are one of the most prized cats breeds in history. Due to its popularity, many of the breeders during the 1950s started breeding the American Shorthair to the Persian. The attempt was made to enhance the former breed, wishing that it would pass the Persian cats’ elegant appearance to the American Shorthairs.

The first kittens produced through the breeding were attractive but were not wholly desired. With that, cat enthusiasts continued breeding the crossed litters to develop the Exotic Shorthair breed further. As it rose into popularity, breeders began introducing Russian Blues and Burmese cats into the gene pool.

The Cat Fanciers’ Association then limited the number of outcrosses accepted in purebred Exotic Shorthairs and eventually banned outcrosses entirely, only authorizing breeding programs with the Persian cats. Today, the Exotic Shorthair is considered one of the most renowned purebred shorthair cats aside from the Persian itself.

A one-year-old Exotic Shorthair cat

Physical Characteristics of the Exotic Shorthair Cat

  • Length: 12 to 18 inches
  • Weight: 7 to 14 pounds (Male), 6 to 10 pounds (Female)
  • Life Expectancy: 15 years
  • Coat Color: White, black, Himalayan smoke, silver, bicolor,
  • Type of Coat: Short, dense, and plush, available in different patterns such as pointed, tortoiseshell, tabby, etc.
  • Eye Color: Gold, copper, blue, green

The Exotic Shorthair conspicuous with their distinct appearance and facial features, livening up to their “exotic” name. It is renowned mainly due to its brachycephalic head, characterized by a short and broad head, with a flattened muzzle. Another feature that makes the breed stand out is its pedomorphism, wherein it retains its kittenish features as an adult, sporting a large, round egg, wide-set expressive eyes, short nose, and small ears. Today, this feline breed is tersely described as the short-haired version of the Persian cat.

A three-month-old white Exotic Shorthair

Exotic Shorthair Cat Personality

Exotic Shorthairs are livelier versions of the laidback and mellow Persian cats. Thanks to their American Shorthair roots, they are somewhat playful and happy to engage in games between few good snoozes. They can also have a jaunty and mischievous demeanor, making it fun to live with these adorable furballs.

What they retain from the Persian cats is their sweet, loyal, affectionate personality. They are peaceful and would be content in following their owners and just observe whatever their favorite humans’ are doing. These felines would also enjoy sitting in laps for petting or cuddling, repaying their masters with licks and purr of affection.

When it comes to children and other cat-friendly pets, Exotic Shorthairs would never be shy nor aggressive in dealing with them. This breed enjoys companionship from their own family but may take some to warm up to visitors.

Male Exotic Shorthairs tend to be more loving and sweet, while females can be slightly independent. Yet, both sexes boast an endearing personality and will stay loyal and devoted to their families.

A sleeping Exotic Shorthair cat

Caring for the Exotic Shorthair Cat

The Exotic Shorthairs were developed to be a less-maintenance version of the Persian cat. They shed so little and do not need daily combing. Knots, tangles, or mats are pretty uncommon in this breed. Unlike the Persian that requires daily grooming, weekly combing can suffice to keep the Exotic Shorthairs’ coat healthy and manageable.

Due to being flat-faced, the Exotic Shorthairs’ eyes are likely to tear. Washing their face daily is an excellent way to prevent their tears from staining the fur in their fur. However, extra caution is needed when cleaning them using a soft, dry cloth if an excessive discharge is present. If their eyes seem to be crusty, red, it is best to bring them to a vet the soonest time possible.

As with other cat breeds, ear cleaning should be a part of their weekly routine. Their ears must be examined for signs of injury or infection. It is recommended to use soft, cotton cloth is cleaning up any build-up or debris. Cotton swabs are discouraged as they can easily lead to damage to the ears’ inner structure.

Exotic Shorthairs are lively but have lower energy levels. They will be happy with playing with cat toys, but more often content in cuddling and lounging with their family members. Otherwise, they will be roaming around to search for spots to cool down, such as tiles and bricks floors. Owners must ensure that these furballs have cozy places for snoozing in between games and snuggles.

For their wellness, the Exotic Shorthairs are not vulnerable to many diseases and abnormalities, mainly because of the breeder’s efforts at the onset of the developing the breed. However, being a brachycephalic breed, they may have sinus problems at times, or issues with tooth crowding and misalignment. Generally, they are a healthy breed, and regular consultations with the vet can help detect or prevent any possible condition.

Exotics Shorthairs are plush and stunning cats ideal both for urban homes and country living. They are one of the more affectionate feline breeds that would add joy to families that would get them as their endearing companions.