Exotic Shorthair

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exotic shorthair portrait
Get ready to be enchanted by the Exotic Shorthair, a breed that's all about irresistible charm and cuddly companionship. With their playful antics, plush teddy-bear looks, and easygoing personalities, it's no wonder they're stealing hearts worldwide.

Join us in this comprehensive guide as we explore everything you need to know about this breed, including their appearance, temperament, care, health concerns, history, and more!


OFFICIAL NAMEExotic Shorthair
OTHER NAMESExotic, Shorthair Persian
ORIGINUnited States
HEIGHT8-10 inches
WEIGHT7-12 lbs
LIFESPAN12-15 years
exotic shorthair outdoor
Photo: yanjf/Getty Images


The Exotic Shorthair’s appearance is nothing short of entrancing. Imagine a cat with the plush loveliness of a teddy bear, coupled with a dash of exotic allure. That’s our Exotic Shorthair in a nutshell.

At first glance, their medium to large-sized body, which typically weighs between 7-12 pounds, catches your attention. It’s a perfect mesh of robustness and roundness, endowing them with an irresistible plush toy-like appeal. Their body is well-muscled and compact, giving a sense of strength beneath the soft, cuddly exterior.

Now, let’s talk about their heads. Equally enchanting, it’s large and round, perfectly complementing their ample body. Their full cheeks give them an adorable, slightly chubby expression that’s sure to melt your heart. The nose is short and broad, giving them a signature pug-nosed look, unique to only a few cat breeds.

Adding to their distinctive charm are their medium-sized ears, set far apart and tilted forward. They’re just the right size to balance their round head. Don’t forget their eyes! They’re large, round, and set well apart. The color can vary, ranging from brilliant blue, to copper, to a mesmerizing green, depending on their coat color.

Speaking of coats, the Exotic Shorthair boasts a luxurious, thick, and plush double coat that stands out from the body, contributing to their teddy bear-like appearance. Their coat texture can range from soft and cottony to slightly coarse. What’s more, it comes in a rainbow of colors and patterns, like solid, tabby, calico, bi-color, and particular, making each Exotic Shorthair unique.

Lastly, their tail deserves a special mention. It’s short but proportional to their body with a rounded tip. It’s like the perfect punctuation to their captivating physique.

All these features culminate in an expression that’s nothing short of sweet, endearing, and slightly mischievous. The Exotic Shorthair, with their plush coat, round lines, and playful expression, is truly a sight to behold. A cat that combines the exotic appeal of a Persian and the playful shenanigans of the American Shorthair, they are every cat lover’s dream come true.

exotic shorthair looking at his toy
Photo: Ratchat/Getty Images


Exotic Shorthairs are not only a delight to the eyes but also a joy to live with. They are sometimes fondly referred to as the lazy man’s Persian for their strikingly similar looks but simpler grooming needs. But their personality? It’s a delightful blend of the best of two worlds.

Exotic Shorthairs have a reputation for being the clowns of the cat world. They’re often found in the most unusual places and positions, sparking plenty of laughter with their antics. They’re playful, yet not overly demanding. They’re happy to chase a string, pounce on a toy mouse, or simply curl up in your lap. They’ll keep you entertained but won’t exhaust you with ceaseless demands for attention.

For those who love the melodious purring of a cat, the Exotic Shorthair will be a treat to your ears. Known for their soft, melodious voices, their purring can soothe even the most troubled minds. Yet, they’re not overly vocal. They express their pleasure or displeasure in soft murmurs rather than loud meows.

These cats are also incredibly affectionate. They form strong bonds with their human companions and love to be around them. But unlike some breeds, they’re not overly clingy. They’re comfortable being alone for a while, but they’ll always be delighted when you’re around. They’re loyal, loving, and will follow you around, quietly observing your activities.

Exotic Shorthairs are also quite intelligent and curious. They can quickly master new tricks and are always keen to explore their surroundings. They’ll happily invest hours in inspecting a new toy or a changed furniture arrangement. But their curiosity is tempered with caution, they’re not reckless risk-takers.

When it comes to other pets and children, Exotic Shorthairs show remarkable adaptability. They get along well with other animals and are gentle with children. They also adjust well to different living environments, be it a small apartment or a spacious house. However, owing to their Persian lineage, they’re more suited to a quiet, peaceful home.

Finally, Exotic Shorthairs are known for their calm and easygoing disposition. They’re not easily ruffled and take life at their own pace. They love their routines and enjoy a calm, predictable lifestyle. After a playful bout, they’re happy to retreat to a warm lap or a cozy corner for a peaceful nap.

exotic shorthair resting on the chair at home
Photo: Akifyeva Svetlana/Getty Images



Exotic Shorthairs require a bit of pampering, but don’t fret! Their grooming routine is more straightforward than it seems. Yes, they have dense, plush coats, but unlike their Persian siblings, they don’t mat or tangle easily.

A weekly brush is usually enough to keep their fur glossy and healthy. Use a stainless steel comb to gently tease out any loose hairs. Bathe your Exotic Shorthairs every few months, but remember to dry them thoroughly to avoid any skin issues. Their eyes may require a bit more care due to their breed. A soft, damp cloth can help to wipe away any discharge, keeping those stunning peepers clean and clear.

Exercise and Play

Exotic Shorthairs are not your typical energy-bursting felines. They prefer a more leisurely lifestyle. However, they can be quite playful and enjoy interactive toys that engage their natural hunting instincts.

Try dangling feather toys, laser pointers, or ball towers to pique their curiosity. Remember, even though they’re laid back, they still need their daily dose of exercise to stay in good health. Regular play sessions can help keep their weight in check and their minds sharp.

Diet and Nutrition

Exotic Shorthairs put on weight easily, so a carefully controlled diet is essential. A balanced diet of high-quality, protein-rich cat food will keep them healthy and prevent obesity.

Cats are carnivores by nature, so ensure they get plenty of meat. You can offer a mix of wet and dry cat food for variety and hydration. Always ensure they have access to fresh water. Treats can be given, but sparingly. Remember, overfeeding can lead to health issues in the long run.

exotic shorthair sitting near a christmas tree
Photo: pixelshot


Exotic Shorthairs have a life expectancy of 12-15 years, with some even reaching into their late teens. Being a brachycephalic breed, they have a distinct flat-faced appearance which, while charming, places them at risk for certain health conditions.

Brachycephalic Syndrome: This is a condition common to breeds with shortened noses. It can cause breathing difficulties and is something to monitor closely.

Dental Issues: Due to the shape of their faces, Exotic Shorthairs are more prone to dental diseases. Regular dental check-ups are necessary.

Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD): This inherited condition can lead to kidney failure in later life. Genetic testing can identify carriers of the disease.

Calcium Oxalate Urolithiasis: This condition is characterized by the formation of stones in the urinary tract and can cause urinary issues.

Obesity: Their laid-back nature can easily lead to weight gain, making a balanced diet and exercise crucial.

Manage these health risks by maintaining a healthy diet and ensuring routine veterinary check-ups. Regularly scheduled vaccinations are also key to protecting them against common feline diseases.

Caring for an Exotic Shorthair may seem daunting with these considerations, but remember, their charming demeanor and loving nature more than make up for it. With the right care, these cats make delightful, long-lived companions.

exotic shorthair lying on the floor looking up
Photo: blanscape/Getty Images


The Exotic Shorthair cat breed has a rich history that traces back to the mid-20th century. This breed’s story begins, interestingly enough, with the American Shorthair. Enthusiastic breeders desired to enhance the American Shorthair’s plush, silver coat. Their solution? A crossbreed with the Persian cat, known for its dense and luxurious fur.

However, the result was a pleasant surprise. Yes, they achieved a softer, shinier coat, but these new kittens inherited more than just their Persian parent’s luscious fur.

They boasted an entirely new appearance, featuring the distinctive flat faces of their Persian lineage, yet with the medium build of the American Shorthair. This unique combination captured the hearts of cat lovers everywhere. Thus, the Exotic Shorthair was born.

Initially, there was resistance from Persian breeders about accepting this new breed. However, the Exotic Shorthair’s irresistible charm won over skeptics. The breed was officially recognized by the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) in 1967 and later by The International Cat Association (TICA) in 1979.

Today, the Exotic Shorthair is cherished for its sweet disposition, coupled with its distinctive appearance. What started as a quest for a shinier coat turned into the creation of one of the most beloved cat breeds in the world.

This journey encapsulates the magic, mystery, and sometimes, the unexpected turns in the world of cat breeding. With its rich history and delightful character, the Exotic Shorthair continues to win hearts, proving that sometimes, the best things in life are indeed unexpected!

Breed Standard

A breed standard is a set of guidelines that describes the ideal characteristics, temperament, and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function with soundness essential. Breed standards are devised by breed clubs and recognized by various cat registries worldwide.

These standards provide detailed descriptions of the breed’s physical characteristics such as body shape, size, coat type and color, eye color and shape, ear placement, and tail length.

exotic shorthair lying in the garden
Photo: speakingtomato/Getty Images


Are Exotic Shorthair cats rare?

Exotic Shorthair cats aren’t classified as a rare breed, though they aren’t as common as some other breeds. Their popularity has steadily grown because of their unique features and charming personalities.

Are Exotic Shorthair cats friendly?

Absolutely! Exotic Shorthairs are known for their remarkably sweet and friendly nature. They love to be in the company of their human families and are generally good with children and other pets.

What are some disadvantages of owning an Exotic Shorthair cat?

Like all breeds, Exotic Shorthairs do come with a few potential challenges. They are prone to certain genetic conditions such as Polycystic Kidney Disease and can suffer from respiratory issues due to their flat faces. Their dense and plush coat may also require regular grooming.

Are Exotic Shorthairs Persian cats?

While Exotic Shorthairs share many traits with Persians, they are a separate breed. The Exotic Shorthair was initially bred as a short-haired version of the Persian, and hence they have a similar body type and temperament but differ in their coat length.

What type of care do Exotic Shorthair cats require?

Exotic Shorthairs require regular grooming to keep their plush coat in good condition. They will also benefit from a balanced diet to maintain a healthy weight, regular exercise, and routine veterinary checks to monitor their health.

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