The adorable, squishy-faced Exotic Shorthair is an easy-going cat who gets on with everyone making them an ideal family pet. They are often described as having a slightly surprised teddy bear look; which makes them picture perfect for any number of amusing internet cat themed memes.
At first glance the Exotic Shorthair looks like it might be a Persian which has been given a haircut as it has thick short fur with a Persian face. The face is flat with saucer shaped eyes set wide to either side of a snub nose, giving them that adorable, slightly surprised teddy bear look; a face which is picture perfect for any number of amusing internet cat themed memes. The ears are small with slightly rounded tips, and are also widely spaced on the over-sized head.
The coat of the Exotic Shorthair is short, thick, plush, and extremely soft. The body is definitely at the cobby end of the spectrum, being round and stocky with muscular but short legs. Males can weigh up to 6.3 kgs (14 pounds), with females being a little smaller and weighing up to 4.5 kgs (10 pounds).
If you like being spoiled for choice of colours for your cat then the Exotic Shorthair is the breed for you as it is available in over 70 different shades, combinations, and patterns.
You could say the Exotic Shorthair was a happy accident. During the 1950s breeders were introducing the longhaired Persian to American Shorthair bloodlines in an effort to create Shorthairs with the Persian’s trademark stunning green eyes and silver coats. Part of their aim was to also create a more robust body type for the American Shorthair.
Their efforts failed in many respects, as while they got the coat type they were looking for the face shape was a long way from what they were after. Nonetheless, the offspring were considered quite handsome. In the 1960’s the vote was unanimous in calling these offspring an entirely new breed, and so the Exotic Shorthair was unveiled to the world as a breed in its own right.
There have been a few amendments to the breed standard over the years and in the 1970’s it was decided that the Exotic Shorthair breed standard correspond to the Persian breed standard in all respects except coat length.
As the Exotic is basically a shorthair Persian their personalities are identical, which is to say they are outgoing, peaceful, and easy-going cats who make great companions. They are at their happiest when they are with people or playing with the kids.
Exotic Shorthairs will follow you everywhere and if you dare to close the door on them they will berate you from the other side until you reopen it, albeit with a quiet and gentle voice. Any home will do for the Exotic Shorthair, whether it’s a house, flat, apartment, family with kids, or a couple; as long as they are the recipient of plenty of love and attention and have a warm lap to snuggle in at night.
Did You Know?
Occasionally a mating between two Exotic Shorthairs will produce longhaired kittens.
While the CFA refer to Persians as Longhaired Exotics, FiFe (Fédération Internationale Féline) simply call them Persians.
The Exotic Shorthair is often referred to as a Persian for the lazy cat owner as their coat is much easier to care for than the longhaired Persian’s coat. It’s this trait which is perhaps lending popularity to the Exotic Shorthair at the expense of the Persian.
Caring for Your Exotic Shorthair Cat
The Exotic Shorthair has a diverse gene pool which makes it a more robust cat than other pure breeds. However, it does have a higher than normal incidence of feline polycystic kidney disease (PKD), which is also prevalent in Persians.
Other minor health problems you may encounter include tear duct and sinus problems, and snuffly breathing issues. Wiping a damp cloth over your cat’s face on a daily basis can be helpful. Weekly grooming is also recommend to prevent matting of their coats.
Because the jaw develops atypically their teeth may become misaligned. This may mean a trip to the dentist later on in life to have a tooth or two pulled.
If you have an Exotic Shorthair cat in your life, please share your experiences below.