For those who love the beauty of the Persian cat with its glorious long fur coat, but don’t want to deal with the extra grooming necessary to keep that breed clean, or the excessive amounts of cat fur and shedding, the Exotic Shorthair may be the perfect choice. Developed as a shorthaired version of the Persian cat, this breed has a warm, docile personality, with the convenience and ease of a shorthaired cat.
First recognized in the 1960s by most cat associations, the Exotic Shorthair was originally created by crossbreeding an American Shorthair or Burmese with a Persian or Russian Blue. However, today, registries only recognize and accept those bred using the Persian. Formal recognition for the Exotic Shorthair as a breed came in 1967, and with the only recognized colors being those of the traditional American Shorthair and Persian. Fortunately in 1980, pointed colors were accepted, and in 1989, sepia and mink colors were also recognized.
The Exotic Shorthair has a very unique look, with a large round head, big round eyes and small ears. Its snout or muzzle is very compact and flat to the face with round cheeks above a broad, strong jaw. An Exotic Shorthair’s eyes are bright and deep in color (gold in most color varieties, green in the golden fur, and blue in the white fur).
A medium-sized feline, the Exotic Shorthair cat sports a broad chest, wide shoulders and a muscular body that is carried low to the ground on large, round paws. It is not unusual for tufts of fur to appear between the toes. The fur, which is dense but fluffy, is slightly longer than most shorthaired breeds, and stands a bit more erect. Exotic Shorthairs also have a short, thick tail with a rounded tip that they generally carry low.
Like the Persian, Exotic Shorthairs are gentle with a calm demeanor, but also have a livelier side too. Very playful and a bit more curious than many breeds, it gets along well with other cats and dogs. Because of its outgoing nature, the Exotic Shorthair does not like being alone and craves the attention and interaction from its owner. If you must be away during the day, leaving a familiar sound associated with you or an object with your scent will help to keep your cat content while you’re not readily available. This breed is extremely loyal and affectionate and absolutely loves to spend time in its owner’s lap.
One of the most appealing features of the Exotic Shorthair cat is how well they groom themselves with very little help needed from their owners. Although you still need to brush and comb their fur regularly to remove loose fur and help reduce shedding and hairballs, this breed requires little maintenance. The only other concern as far as grooming is concerned is periodically wiping the cat’s face with a damp cloth to reduce the dampening and staining of the face due to tear overflow which is common in flat-faced dog and cat breeds.
Exotic Shorthairs have inherited their medical problems from their Persian heritage. One main concern is the asymmetrical jaw line that affects their ability to bite down correctly, making it difficult to eat properly, which can lead to dental problems. Other maladies include sinus and tear duct problems, as well as a higher incidence of Keratosis Sequestrium (inflammation of the cornea of the eye) because so much of their eyes are exposed due to their flat facial structure.
- This breed is not mature until two years of age, which makes it a “late bloomer” regarding puberty.
- If two Exotic Shorthairs breed, they may actually produce longhaired kittens, which would be classified as “Exotic Longhairs” by the C.F.A. (Cat Fanciers’ Association), but “Persian” by all other breeders and cat registries.
- Exotic Shorthairs rarely meow.
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