A Shorthaired Version of the Persian
Lori Marsh - Last Updated on January 25th, 2021
Everything you Need to Know about the Exotic Shorthair
The Exotic Shorthair, sometimes also called just Exotic or even Exotic Persian. The sweet and charming cat is a result of crossing an American Shorthair with a Persian. The easy-going Exotic Shorthair is a docile, gentle feline with a soft voice.
They have been affectionately dubbed the “Lazy Man’s Persian” because unlike a Persian it doesn’t require such a large amount of daily grooming. They have a plush undercoat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
Exotic Shorthair is the perfect pet and does well as an indoor cat. Their short nose, large eyes, and gentle personality tend to not help them in the outdoor world. Keep them inside to save them from themselves.
Appearance Matters. What does an Exotic Shorthair look like?
The Exotic Shorthair is considered to be a large or medium-sized cat with a level back. It has a round head with large round eyes. The nose of these cats is short and tight up against their face creating a “smooshed” look to the cat. Their ears are small with a round tip. Short, thick legs support them tipped with tight toes. Tails are short compared to their bodies.
The biggest difference between the Exotic and a Persian is their coat. The Exotic Shorthair cat has a medium-length coat with a dense, plush undercoat. The hair seems to stand out from the body due to the thick undercoat. That is what gives these cats the grooming needs of other shorthair cats.
These Exotic cats can come in a range of colors.
- White. Pure white without any markings.
- Blue. A solid grey. The lighter coats are the more desired.
- Black. Solid color with no brown undercoat.
- Red. Tabby striped and a brilliant orange with a cream undercoat.
- Cream. A light, almost white version sometimes with markings.
- Chocolate. A deep warm solid brown coat.
- Calico. The traditional three colors are mixed.
- Tabby. Various shades of brown with a striped pattern.
- Point. This pattern mimics the tan points of a Siamese cat
Of these colors, there are variations and patterns with many having a white underbelly. Calico’s can range from the patched version to the tortoiseshell.
Various color combinations and patterns can come out of the same litter. You never know what you are going to get. So if you are looking for a particular color kitten know that there might be a wait.
These adorable kittens look just like mini versions of their adult self. And the litters can sometimes have coat length variations.
It's all Personal. The personality of the Exotic Shorthair.
These playful cats are full of personality. Normally a very quiet cat who doesn’t meow often. Their docile nature makes them great companions for city-dwelling or an apartment.
Their thick undercoat keeps them warm. So you might very often find them spread out on the cool tile floor instead of on the bed.
Exotic Shorthair has a very playful personalityand is often friendly towards other cats and dogs. Some say these cuties make great mouse hunters.
Do Exotic Shorthair cats like to be held?
Unlike what most people think about cats, Exotic’s are lap cats. These loveable cats have a needy personality and enjoy the company of their owner. Some even enjoy being held.
Caring for your Exotic Shorthair
A lot of people wonder if these cats shed a lot, or even if they are hypoallergenic. The downside to that plush undercoat is that they are not hypoallergenic. The undercoat just builds up dander easily.
Do Exotic Shorthair cats shed a lot?
The Exotic Shorthair will shed. That plush layer helps, but it does shed more than other shorthair cats. So these cats will need regular brushing, but not as labor-intensive as the Persian. Be warned, the undercoat will “blow out seasonally”. An undercoat brush with help.
Just like other flat-faced cats, the Exotic’s tear ducts can sometimes leak, or “cry”. It’s normal and generally harmless but can dampen and stain the face. You can clean their face with a cloth with some water on it, or they do have wipes as well.
The Health and Happiness of your Exotic Shorthair
When you first look at this cat, one feature you can’t help but notice is their “smooshed” faces. They are too cute to miss. You can’t help but wonder if that flat face causes breathing problems for the Exotic Shorthair.
Do Exotic Shorthairs have breathing problems?
Sadly, yes. The Exotic Shorthair is prone to not just breathing problems. These cats also have jaw alignment problems due to the unique shape of their face.
Exotic Shorthair is prone to having Brachycephalic Respiratory Syndrome. Also called Congenital Obstructive upper airway disease. This illness causes abnormalities in the upper airway passage. Each case is unique and can range in severity.
A typical healthy Exotic cat can weigh around 12 pounds. These loving cat’s average lifespan is between 12-15 years. So prepare to have your best kitty friend around for a good long while.
Feline History. Where does the Exotic Shorthair come from?
A relatively new breed, the Exotic Shorthair was accepted into the Cat Fanciers Association in 1966 but the history goes back into the early 1960s.
This mild-mannered cat is a result of crossing American Shorthairs with Persian cats. Outsourcing once included Burmese and Abyssinians but have sense reversed back to mixing the breed only with Persian cats. Most litters contain a mix of long and short-haired kittens.