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Exotic Shorthair

The Exotic Shorthair appears to be a perfect replica of the Persian cat sans its long, flowing hair. Nicknamed as “the lazy man’s Persian,” this breed entirely takes to the cute and cuddly bear-like looks of the Persian, though exhibiting an increased liveliness and energy which makes it an appealing house pet.

Quick Information

Physical Appearance & Size

Body Type:Medium
Physical Appearance:Square muscular body; massive, oval head; short and broad skull; round forehead; short, flat muzzle; short, broad nose; firm chin; broad jaws; small-sized, round-tipped ears; large, round eyes that are widely set; short and thick tail with a rounded tip that is carried low.
Weight (Size):7 to 14 pounds
Temperament:Gentle, curious, playful, affectionate, intelligent, well-mannered and lively

Colors & Patterns

Coat Type:Dense, plush, soft and fluffy shorthaired coat with erect hairs.
Color:Blue, black, cream, lilac, chocolate, red, chinchilla, silver, silver and white
Eye Color:It corresponds to the color of the coat, with blue and green being the most common ones.
Pattern:Spotted, tabbybicolorcolorpoint

Other Characteristics

Nicknames:Exotic, lazy man’s Persian
Lifespan/ Life Expectancy:8 to 15 years
Lap Cat:Yes
Shedding (Do they shed):Moderate
Vocalization:Mostly quiet
Good with Children:Yes
Competitive Registration/ Qualification:CFA, TICA, FIFe, AACA


The Exotic, having a history of less than 50 years is an accidental outcome of the initiatives taken by the American shorthair breeders who aimed at outcrossing the Persian for its rich silver color, and green eyes, alongside improving the body type of their cats. The kittens born as a result of this crossing lacked the criteria of the American shorthair. They had the cute appearance and behavior of the Persian but possessed a short, plush coat which was easy-to-maintain. Because of the beautiful silver color they had, a breeder named Jane Martinke wanted to categorize them as a new breed altogether under the name Sterling. Other cats used in the breeding program included the Burmese due to its sturdy built and short coat as well as the Russian Blue since it had a dense double coat.

However, amidst all these crossbreeding the Shorthair went on to lose its uniqueness as a separate breed. The efforts of Carolyn Bussey, an American breeder helped in getting it registered as the Exotic shorthair. In fact, Ms. Bussey used a red tabby Persian and a brown Burmese in the breeding program, and the outcome was black-colored kittens with a cute appearance. It is from here that she got the idea of Persian cats with short coats and carried on her endeavor in establishing them.

As their popularity increased, Persian breeders too helped in their development. Though the Russian Blue, Burmese and American Shorthair were used before, of late they were only crossed with the Persian so that their pedigreed status could be maintained.  At present they are regarded as identical to the Persian barring their coat length. It attained championship status by CFA and TICA in 1967 and 1971 respectively.

Temperament and Personality

  • Has a loyal disposition, following its master from one room to the other.
  • Possesses an affectionate nature that is greater in males than females, desiring to be loved, petted and caressed at the slightest available opportunity.
  • Makes for a perfect lap cat as they enjoy snuggling comfortably on your lap during their naptime.
  • Is as playful as the Persian, being busy in going after a toy till they get tired of it or quite engaged in trying to figure out the mechanism of bringing down their plaything lying high up on a shelf, out of their reach.
  • Gets fascinated and amused by simple things like looking at water dripping from a tap or running behind paper balls.
  • Has a soft, pleasant, soothing voice that is rarely heard.
  • Detests when left alone for prolonged periods, but would be satisfied if television or radio plays in the background to keep them company.
  • Is curious in nature, demanding to know everything happening around it.

Who is the Exotic shorthair good for

  • Those who desire a cuddly cat but are unwilling to work hard in maintaining it.
  • People who would enjoy seeing a cute, adorable cat standing at the threshold to greet them when they return from a tiring day’s work.
  • Families needing a feline that would be gentle, well-mannered and easily adapt to any living condition.
  • Those who do not mind a clingy pet, jumping onto their shoulder and hugging them when petted.
  • Households seeking for a companion cat that would get along well with kids and the elderly.
  • Homes looking for a perfect mouse hunter to chase away all the mice.


Because of its short coat, grooming this cat is quite easy. Brush its coat one to two times a week using a brush made of stainless steel to keep off dead hair and maintain the shine. Bathe them once in a month or whenever they get dirty and blow dry them to avoid accumulation of water.

Since they have a flat face these cats may be subjected to excessive tearing, resulting in an eye discharge that even turns brown, staining the face.

Hence proper eye care is essential to prevent staining and dampening. Wipe the region around their eyes and face using a damp cloth to keep all infections at bay. Like the Persians, the Exotic also has chances of getting hair stuck in their eyes. In case your cat has watery eyes check it in a proper light source and remove any hair using a soft cloth and an eye wash.

Being a brachycephalous breed, it is prone to problems of the tear ducts and sinus. It can even suffer from the brachycephalic airway syndrome where the upper airway gets obstructed. Other probable health concerns include calcium oxalate urolithiasis (kidney or bladder stone), dystocia (abnormal labor), and feline polycystic kidney disease.


Training this intelligent and curious breed would be a perfect delight. You can train it like a dog to follow your commands as well as a host of interesting tricks like giving a high five, jumping on a chair or jumping through a hoop.

Since they get amused at the slightest things you can train the Exotic shorthair kittens to do a high five by placing their favorite treat right above their nose and uttering the word high-five. It would gradually raise its paw to reach to it, as well as associate with the meaning of high five.

Interesting Facts

  • The Exotic was acknowledged as the best kitten of the CFA in 1992.

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