Exotic Shorthair cat breed

Exotic Shorthair

Step into the world of Exotic Shorthair cats, a breed known for their affable nature, unique appearance and fascinating history. Much like their Persian counterparts, these cats boast a playful yet laid-back demeanor, paired with sumptuous soft fur, and a stout, sturdy body. In this article, you’ll be guided through their character traits, health considerations, and grooming needs, along with insider tips on how to best care for your little feline friend. So brace yourself, as you are moments away from having your heart stolen by the endearing charm of these fascinating furry creatures.

History of Exotic Shorthair


Imagine if you could combine all the grace of a Persian cat with a hint of the animated energy of an American Shorthair? That’s exactly how the Exotic Shorthair came about in the mid 1950s, when American breeders decided to experiment a bit and mix the aforementioned breeds. That’s how the Exotic Shorthair was born.

Introduction to the United States

With its initial development, the Exotic Shorthair was warmly welcomed into the United States. Pet enthusiasts appreciated the unique combination of Persian charm blended with the active nature of an American Shorthair. As a result, this breed began to gain traction steadily within the feline-loving community across America.

AKC Recognition

The Exotic Shorthair was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1984 as a separate breed, a landmark moment for this feline. It was proof that the Exotic Shorthair had established itself as a breed abounding in characteristic charm and distinctiveness.

Exotic Shorthair cat breed
Exotic Shorthair cat breed

Physical Characteristics of Exotic Shorthair

Size and Weight

As an Exotic Shorthair ow ner, you’ll notice that these felines are generally medium-sized, with most of them falling in the 7 to 12 lbs weight range. Females, of course, tend to be at the lower end of that scale, while males are a bit heftier.

Coat and Colors

The Exotic Shorthair sports a short, dense coat. The texture is plush and gives the impression of a teddy bear. And when it comes to color, oh, where do we even start? There’s an enchanting array of possibilities. The coat can range from a pristine white to a rich black, and everything in between, including blue, chocolate, lilac, and more!

Eye Colors

Speaking of color, when you gaze into an Exotic Shorthair’s eyes, you might be met with a vibrant blue, or even a striking copper. Some Exotic Shorthairs even have mismatched eyes – one blue, one copper!

Distinctive Features

Perhaps it’s the large, round eyes, or the flat, broad face. Or maybe it’s the robust, muscular body that’s surprisingly heavy when lifted. Any way you look at them, the Exotic Shorthair is a cat with distinctive features that can make any cat lover’s heart flutter.

Behavior and Temperament

General Behavior

Exotic Shorthairs often feature a blend of their ancestors’ behavior. They have a calm and gentle temperament akin to Persian cats, yet may display playful bouts typical of American Shorthairs.

Interaction with Humans

If you’ve got an Exotic Shorthair, your home will never lack warmth and love. This breed is notorious for being affectionate, friendly, and extremely attached to their human companions.

Interaction with Other Pets

It’s not just humans that Exotic Shorthairs get along with; they tend to mingle well with other pets too. Whether you have another cat or even a dog, you will often find your Exotic Shorthair is happy to coexist in harmony.

Health and Lifespan

Average Lifespan

On average, a well-cared-for Exotic Shorthair can live between 12 to 15 years. Some have even been known to hit the 20-year mark, although this is less common.

Common Health Issues

The Exotic Shorthair can, unfortunately, face some health issues in their life. Common issues include Breathing difficulty, excessive tearing, dental malocclusions, and heat sensitivity. Regular vet check-ups can help monitor and manage these issues effectively.

Potential Genetic Disorders

Due to their Persian ancestry, Exotic Shorthairs might inherit some specific genetic disorders like Polycystic Kidney Disease. There’s also a risk of experiencing heart conditions such as Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.

Exotic Shorthair cat breed
Exotic Shorthair cat breed

Grooming and Maintenance

Grooming Requirements

When it comes to grooming, Exotic Shorthairs need a bit of attention, although not as much as their Persian relatives. A weekly brush should suffice to keep their coat looking smooth and shiny.

Bathing and Nail Care

Every few weeks, they might require a gentle bath to help keep their skin and coat clean. It’s also important to check their nails regularly and provide a good scratching post to help manicure their nails naturally.

Brushing and Shedding

Shedding is a common issue with Exotic Shorthairs, so be ready to find a few tumbleweeds of fur rolling around your home. Regular brushing can help control the shedding and keep the coat in good condition.

Special Dietary Needs

Dietary Guidelines

Exotic Shorthairs are not particularly picky eaters but they need a balanced and nutritious diet to maintain their health. Protein-rich food is a must.

Obesity Risk

You need to watch-out for overfeeding, though, as these cats can quickly put on weight if their diet isn’t regulated. Regular play and exercise can help maintain a healthy weight.

Common Food Allergies

While not particularly known for having food allergies, Exotic Shorthairs can develop sensitivities just like any other breed. Your vet can guide you if your cat shows signs of a potential food allergy.

Breeding and Genetics

Common Traits Passed On

Because of their mixed ancestry, the Exotic Shorthair tends to inherit certain traits from both Persian and American Shorthair cats. These could encompass physical features like their distinctive flat face to their playful and friendly temperament.

Breeding Challenges

Breeding Exotic Shorthairs does come with some challenges, primarily because of the genetic diseases that they can carry. Breeders need to be careful in selecting the gene pool to prevent passing on genetic health conditions.

Breeding Standards

When it comes to standards, breeders are advised to stick to the guidelines set out by cat fancy associations. This includes ideal coat and eye color, body shape, and more.

Purchase and Adoption

What to Look for in a Breeder

If buying an Exotic Shorthair, consider breeders who are transparent about the breed and its temperament. They should be willing to show you the environment where the cat was bred and raised and provide health guarantees.

Adoption Process

Adoption is a wonderful option for those seeking to bring home an Exotic Shorthair. Organizations often have a straightforward process that involves an application, interview, and home visit.

Cost Considerations

Exotic Shorthairs aren’t cheap. Prices can range from several hundred to even thousands of dollars. Don’t forget to factor in potential healthcare costs, grooming, and other needs for the lifespan of the animal.

Training and Exercise

Training Requirements

Exotic Shorthairs are intelligent creatures and, with patience, they can learn things quickly from basic command to using a cat-flap or even performing tricks.

Exercise Needs

Despite being a laid-back breed, they still require regular exercise to maintain a healthy weight. Provide your cat with stimulating toys to encourage play and movement.

Play and Stimulation

Play is integral to their mental and physical wellbeing. Interactive games, puzzle toys, and even a game of fetch can go a long way in keeping your Exotic Shorthair healthy and happy.

Famous Exotic Shorthairs

Famous Exotic Shorthairs in Pop Culture

Exotic Shorthairs have made a splash on the big screen and in pop culture. For instance, the hilarious Mr. Jinx from the “Meet the Parents” film series was an Exotic Shorthair.

Famous Owners of Exotic Shorthairs

Even celebrities can’t resist the charm of these cats. Star Trek actor Chris Pine is known to be a big fan and owner of an adorable Exotic Shorthair.

In conclusion, Exotic Shorthairs truly are a breed to be treasured for their distinctive looks and delightful personalities. Whether you’re a novice cat owner or a seasoned cat enthusiast, these cats can bring a special kind of joy to your life.

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