If the Persian is a cat in a glamourous evening gown, the Exotic is the Persian stripped down to its skivvies. The Exotic Shorthair, or Exotic for short, is a Persian of a different coat. The new breed first began to be developed in the 1950s by crossing Persians with American Shorthairs and, later, other shorthaired breeds such as the Burmese and the Russian Blue, then breeding back to Persians once the short coat was achieved. The eventual result was a cat with the same features and personality as the Persian but wrapped in a short, plush, easy-care coat.
The cross, which had originally been intended to bring the Persian’s striking silver color and green eyes to the American Shorthair, was controversial at first, but Persian breeders became intrigued by the new look and began to cooperate in the development of what became known as the Exotic.
The Cat Fanciers Association recognized the breed in 1967 and called it the Exotic. In some other associations, it’s known as the Exotic Shorthair to differentiate it from the Exotic Longhairs that sometimes appear in Exotic litters and are considered by some associations as a breed unto themselves. The International Cat Association recognized the breed as the Exotic Shorthair in 1979. Today Exotics are recognized by all cat registries. Exotics these days are outcrossed only to Persians and Himalayans, not to any shorthaired breeds.
|Life Span||8 – 15 years||Other Names||—-|
This is a medium-size cat. Exotics usually have a weight range of 7 to 12 pounds.
|Kid Friendliness||60%||Affection Level||80%|
Like the Persian, the Exotic is sweet, docile and quiet, but don’t get the idea that she is merely an adornment for the home. She loves to play when she’s not sitting in a lap or being petted. Exotics have a reputation for being more active and curious than their Persian siblings, and they are more suited to an active family. Males are said by some to be sweeter and more affectionate than females, who are sometimes described as aloof.
Exotics enjoy batting at toys for as long as you will play with them but are capable of entertaining themselves when their people are busy or away. They follow faithfully after family members and wait patiently for any attention to come their way. Exotics are little heard, but when they do speak it is in a soft, pleasant and musical voice. An Exotic’s needs are simple: regular meals, a little playtime with a catnip mouse or feather teaser, and lots of love, which is returned many times over.
Both pedigreed cats and mixed-breed cats have varying incidences of health problems that may be genetic in nature. Although they are beautiful and sweet, Exotics are prone to a number of potential health problems, most commonly related to their facial structure:
- Breathing difficulty or noisy breathing caused by constricted nostrils
- Dental malocclusions, meaning the teeth don’t mesh well together
- Excessive tearing
- Eye conditions such as cherry eye and entropion
- Heat sensitivity
- Polycystic kidney disease, for which a genetic test is available
- Predisposition to ringworm, a fungal infection
- Seborrhea oleosa, a skin condition that causes itchiness, redness and hair loss