The Exotic Shorthair is a gentle and sweet, shorthair Persian cat breed. It has a different coat than the Persian. This breed came about in the 1950’s when the Persian cat breed was bred together with the American Shorthair.
It is believed that the Exotic Shorthair was also bred together with the Burmese cat breed, and the Russian Blue cat breed. The mix breed was then bred again with the Persian cat breed. That said, the Exotic looks like a Persian, but with a fluffy and short coat. Persian cat breeders were totally fascinated with the original Exotic cat breed look that they continued breeding. At first the colors achieved were silver with green eyes. This breed was recognized by the CFA in 1967. The ICA recognized this breed in 1979. Today, the Exotic is bred only with the Persian cat breed, and the Himalayan cat breed.
The eye color is related to the coat color in the Exotic cat breed. This cat breed will have blue or copper eyes, and even one of each color. Exotic cats that have one solid color will have copper colored eyes. White colored cats will have a brilliant blue or copper colored eyes. Golden or silver Exotics will have green or blue-green colored eyes.
The Exotic’s legs are short and strong. With an oval head and round eyes, the Exotic has a short nose and thick neck. The tail is short, but is in proportion to body length. The coat is thick and plush, and yields a thick undercoat. There are two types of Exotic cat breeds. One is called the Extreme Exotic, and the other is the traditional. Extremes have a flatter face, while the latter has a lower set nose, and less breathing problems. Exotics have stripes with many colors and coat patterns. These can be:
- Silver tones
- Golden tones
There are also numerous particolor, and bicolor tones, as well as smoky, tabby, calico versions.
The Exotic is a sweet and gentle cat that enjoys hanging out with family and friends. This very affectionate cat breed is good with children, as long as they are gentle and quiet. The Exotic enjoys playing with anything that is lying around, and is curious, fun, and quirky. This wonderful cat breed is super soft to cuddle with, and is easy to live with. The Exotic needs plenty of love, fun cat toys, and mental stimulation. This cat breed is very vocal.
The Exotic does best as an indoor cat. This cat breed thrives on affection, and plenty of cat toys. The Exotic is a gentle cat that loves to cuddle, and is non-aggressive with other cats. Eye tearing may be a problem with this cat breed. Sedentary Exotics tend to pick up weight, and are prone to more medical conditions, like liver disease.
Exercising cats is more difficult than with dogs, yet cat parents can do so by purchasing certain cats toys to promote exercise. Litter box training needs to start during kittenhood. All cats are super clean animals, so it is very easy to litter box train. Litter boxes for the Exotic need to be kept clean, or your Exotic may not use it. All cats will need parasite control and routine health care throughout its life. This means vaccinations which are an important part of keeping your cats healthy throughout their lives. Your Exotic will also need to be spayed or neutered. Consult with your veterinarian.
Possible Health Concerns
The Exotic is a healthy and moderately active cat breed that may be susceptible to the following health conditions:
- Breathing Problems due to smaller nostrils
- Excessive Tearing
- Polycystic Kidney Disease. This occurs when the polycystic kidney has numerous cysts within the functioning part of the kidney resulting in enlarged kidneys. Consult with your veterinarian if your Exotic vomits frequently, has a decreased appetite, and increased thirst or urination.
- Heat Sensitivity: Cats will sweat through their foot pads. The Exotic needs to be kept indoors during the hot summer months. The Exotic needs lots of fresh water to drink, cool places to lie in, and a cool home during extreme summers. Flat–faced cats and Persians have breathing problems, and don’t pant as well as other cat breeds. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include a fast heart rate, sunken eyes, and excessive panting. If your Exotic is a senior cat or is obese, it will be necessary to watch closely for heat exhaustion.
- Ringworm: This is an infection of the skin, hair, or claws, and is caused by a fungus called dermatophyte. This occurs in 98% of cats. It spreads easily from cats to people. Symptoms include circular, bald patches that scale and have broken hairs in a ring-like fashion. Consult with your veterinarian for advice.
- Skin Disorders: The Exotic may be prone to skin disorders. Persian cats are prone to idiopathic seborrhea. This is an inherited skin disorder resulting in the overproduction of an oily substance. This clumps in the cat’s fur, and causes it to smell bad. Symptoms include red and irritated skin with excessive scratching. Consult your veterinarian for advice.
- Cherry Eye (Eyelid Protrusion): This is a disorder of the third eyelid, resulting in swollen redness of the eye. It is more common in Persian cats. Consult with your veterinarian for advice.
- Entropion: This is the inversion of the lower lid. It is more common among purebred cat breeds like the Persian cat.
The Exotic cat breed needs daily exercise. Cat parents can use cat toys like the pole with the feather to play with their cats. This will encourage your cat to run after the feather, and play “chase.” Finding a variety of mentally stimulating cat toys will allow for your Exotic to lead a well-balanced life that has the right amount of exercise and mental stimulation. Cat harnesses also allow for daily walks.
The Exotic cat breed will need proper nutrition. That said, a high-quality diet that is appropriate for the specific life stage of the cat is necessary. Dry cat food is a popular choice because it promotes healthier gums and teeth. Wet cat food also has its benefits. By choosing a well-known name-brand cat food that has scientific backing, as well as quality control, cat parents can be assured that they are providing a well-balanced diet.
All cat breeds need high-quality fat and protein in their diets. They also need amino acids, including taurine that cannot be found in either human food or dog food. There are also numerous specialty diets for your cat that are formulated specifically for certain medical problems like urinary tract disorder, obesity, or kidney disease.
All cats do well by being fed twice daily. During kittenhood, kittens will need to be fed every few hours. Growing kittens need more calories, nutrients, vitamins, protein, and calories. Your Exotic should be able to enjoy a peaceful meal in a quiet corner of the house. Some cat parents prefer to leave cat kibble out 24/7. Consult with your veterinarian for the best dietary advice for your Exotic Shorthair.
The Exotic needs daily grooming to remove shedding hair, and to prevent hair from matting. Because this breed is a shorthair cat breed, taking care of the Exotic is super easy. All cat breeds will groom themselves several times throughout the day. Daily grooming is necessary because it limits the amount of hair that your cat will consume. This helps limit the development of hairballs. Your Exotic will enjoy being groomed.
Cat parents can remove mats by using cat clippers which are safer than using scissors. Ears should be checked weekly for cleanliness and sensitivity. If there is a build-up of wax and dirt, organisms can lead to an ear infection. Consult with your veterinarian about ear cleaning.
Healthy Exotics need minimal bathing with a gentle cat shampoo. Your Exotic will need dental care as well. By feeding dry food, and having professional dental cleanings with your veterinarian throughout your cat’s lifetime, your Exotic will have less of a chance of developing gingivitis or gum disease.
Adopting an Exotic Shorthair
Cat parents often wonder if they should adopt or purchase. With so many cats up for adoption, it’s the only way to go! When choosing your Exotic, ask questions, and look for a great temperament! That said, numerous cats can be quirky at shelters, but soon settle down in their new homes, and become very friendly and sociable. In addition, kittens should be playful and curious. Sickly kittens that have bad odors or plenty of diarrhea stains, and a dull coat need to be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible. Kittens when ill, can go downhill very quickly. However, the rewards of adopting a sick animal and caring for it are tremendous, provided that good veterinary care is provided right away. Keep in mind that vaccinations and parasite control are an important part of feline health care.
Your cat will also need to be protected from household hazards, most especially electrical cables, poisonous plants, medication, and open windows. The Exotic makes for a wonderful adoption! As usual, make sure that children are always gentle and quiet around your Exotic.
Give your Exotic time to adjust to his new surroundings. As with any cat adoption, make sure that you have the time and resources to take good care of your Exotic Shorthair.