The Exotic Shorthair: Cuddly and Family-Friendly


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With its distinctive flat face and lush fur, it’s no wonder the Exotic Shorthair is one of the world’s most popular felines. How can you go past that unusually squishy, fluffy cat face?

If you think the Exotic Shorthair looks just like a Persian, you’re half-right. It’s the result of interbreeding the Persian with the American or British Shorthair. The outcome is a cat that’s both friendly and energetic.

A true homebody, the Exotic loves spending hours in the house playing and getting cuddles, and it’s widely regarded as a great cat for families. Let’s find out more about this cuddly critter.

Breed origin

This fluffy cat breed became popular in the 60s, but was only consolidated as a breed in 1967.

Feline breed judge Jane Martinke was the first person to mix the Persian with a British/American Shorthair. She succeeded in getting the world’s largest registry of pedigreed cats, the Cat Fanciers’ Association in the US, to recognise the Exotic Shorthair in its own category.

Exotic Shorthair characteristics

Like the Persian, the Exotic has a flat face with a wide skull, short flat nose and large eyes. Their lifespan is up to 15 years, and they average 3-6kg.

They have adorably short legs, wide necks and a chubby look due to their bone density. In terms of colouration, the Exotic comes in all colours, including black, white, tabby and calico. Their eye colour ranges from intense blue to brilliant copper.

As mentioned, the Exotic is one of the friendliest cat breeds, and they thrive on company and attention. Leaving the Exotic alone for extended periods of time isn’t advised, as they may develop behavioural issues like separation anxiety in pets. Lonely Exotics may destroy items in the house, vocalise loudly, shred paper or use their litter box improperly.

They’re an affectionate, quiet, docile and intelligent cat breed. Due to their nature, you could say they’re one of the best pets for apartments – as long as you don’t leave them alone too often. Some Exotics may become so anxious when their pet parent gets ready to leave home that they’ll become aggressive.

Exotic shorthair cat. Exotic domestic cat on black background.

Grooming and health

This fluffy cat needs regular brushing to keep its thick double coat in tiptop shape and prevent fur balls. Luckily, it’s a non-shedding breed, which means you may find the occasional hair here and there, but no excessive shedding.

Their large eyes tend to get watery, and the oxidising tears can cause infection. It’s advised to keep these tear stains clean with sterile gauze and saline water (our remove dog tear stains article will provide more tips). Because their eyes protrude, they’re more prone to getting scratched or injured.

Exotic shorthair cat. Funny playful cat

The Exotic is generally healthy, but its flat face does make it prone to more respiratory problems than other cats. Our write-up on brachycephalic breeds has plenty of info that applies to cats.

Some Exotics are bred with slightly longer noses, and this is usually referred to as a “doll face” type. They have less eye tears and breathing problems than the true flat face type.

Because of their face shape, their mouths are smaller than other cats and they may struggle to get food into it. You’ll notice your Exotic is somewhat of a messy eater due to this – so it’s advisable to keep their food bowl in a spot where you won’t be stepping in cat food all day.

Is an Exotic just a shorthair Persian?

As mentioned, the Exotic Shorthair is not just a Persian with shorter hair. It’s a mix between a Persian and British or American Shorthair, and has been classified as its own breed.

Its fur is not as long as the Persian’s, but shorter than the British or American Shorthair. Some refer to this fluffy cat as the “lazy man’s Persian”, as you get all the Persian’s characteristics, but without the maintenance of a long coat. Just note that the Exotic is not one of hypoallergenic cat breeds, so you may react to their fur if you’re allergic to cats.

Insurance for your Exotic

We just know that your Exotic Shorthair loves you to bits. Reciprocate those feeling with the ultimate act of love – providing them with a pet insurance plan in case of an accident, illness or other health upset.

A cat insurance plan by PD Insurance offers tail-ored coverage to suit their needs, giving you a financial safeguard against things like accidents, sicknesses, infections, allergies and more. Why wait a moment more; click below to price your plan today.

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