Exotic Shorthair Cat – History, Appearance & Temperament


At a glance   About   Exotic Shorthair history     Exotic cat appearance     Exotic cat personality     Caring for your Exotic cat

Exotic shorthair breed profile

Exotic Shorthair at a glance: 

  • Origins: United States
  • Lifespan: 12-14 years
  • Eyes: Hazel, green, yellow, brown, blue
  • Energy: Low
  • Temperament: Easygoing, sweet, loyal, quiet
  • Weight: Males 11-6  kg (8.8 – 13.2 lbs), females 4.5 -5.5 kg (9.9 – 12.1 lbs)
  • Colours: All coat colours and patterns
  • Grooming: Requires weekly grooming


The Exotic is essentially a shorthaired Persian. It shares many of its Persian cousin’s traits such as a laid-back and gentle nature and a characteristic round face with a flat nose.

Due to its quiet nature, the Exotic makes a great pet for families or retirees who want the look and personality of the Persian with an easy to care for coat.

History of the Exotic Shorthair:

Exotic Shorthair

The Exotic Shorthair is a relative newcomer to the cat fancy originating in the United States in the 1960s. The breed is the result of crossing American Shorthairs with Persian cats. Later other breeds were used as outcrosses including Burmese and Abyssinians. The only allowable outcross for the Exotic Shorthair now is the Persian. Due to the fact that they are outcrossed to Persians, most litters will contain both short haired and long haired kittens.

In the UK a similar breeding programme was underway crossing Persians with British Shorthairs.

The breed received official recognition with the CFA in 1966.

Exotic Shorthair appearance:

Exotic Shorthair cat

The breed standard for the Exotic is the same as that of the Persian with the exception of the coat, which is short.

Exotic Shorthairs have the same round face of the Persian with a thick, dense short-haired coat. Nicknamed the “teddy bear cat”, that is exactly what they look like. Cute, soft and cuddly.

They are medium to large sized cats, with have short, thick bodies, broad, deep chests, short, sturdy legs and tail with a rounded tip. They are surprisingly heavy when picked up.

The face is round, with a snub nose, large, expressive eyes and short round ears. The cheeks are full, forehead rounded with wide jaws and a firm chin.

The coat is short, thick and plush, it comes in all the colours of the cat rainbow.

Exotic Shorthair personality:

Exotic Shorthair cat

Image Bryant Wong, Flickr

The Exotic is placid and laid back, although it is said they are livelier than their Persian cousins.

They are sweet, affectionate, loyal, fun loving and get along with people, including children and other pets. The Exotic is not as demanding or obtrusive as other breeds of cat but it is said they do like to follow their human companions around the house.

They are not prone to talking, but when they do, they have a soft and pleasant voice.


Some Exotic Shorthairs can be prone to tear duct and eye problems due to the shape of their face.

Due to having Persian in their bloodlines, polycystic kidney disease may be a problem. It is important when selecting an Exotic that you view the parents and ask the breeder about any health problems and screening they have done (including testing the parents for PKD).

Caring for an Exotic Shorthair:

Exotic Shorthair

Image Cristina, Flickr

The Exotic Shorthair has a reasonably easy coat to care for. A weekly groom is sufficient to remove loose hairs.

Brush teeth daily with a pet toothbrush and toothpaste (don’t use human toothpaste on your cat). Raw chicken necks or cut up beef are also good for maintaining dental health.

An annual veterinary health checkup is important, and once your Exotic is seven, twice a year is recommended, that way any health problems can be picked up early.

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