The Exotic Shorthair Cat – America’s Favorite Kitty!

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exotic shorthair cat breed looking out of windowIntroducing the Exotic Shorthair Cat Breed!

The Exotic Shorthair cat is actually not that exotic, it’s just a shorthaired Persian. Also known as the “furniture with fur” cat and “lazy man’s Persian” this cuddly kitty is America’s favorite cat breed!

The Brief History of Exotic Shorthair Cats

The 50s. The decade that gave us rock ‘n’ roll, rockabilly dresses and this exotic shorthair breed of cat!

Unlike the practically ancient Persian cat, Exotic Shorthairs have only been strutting their stuff for the past 60 years. Back in the 1950s, American Shorthair breeders combined ultra-fluffy Persian breeds (the original exotic longhair) with everyone’s favorite American shorthair cats.

These kitties were then outcrossed with Persians again. The result was a Persian look-a-like with short fur and a calm, friendly nature.

Since then they’ve worked their way up to number 1 on the Cat Fanciers’ Association most popular breeds list, plus they’ve had championship recognition from The International Cat Association (TICA) since 1979!

The Appearance of These Kitties

In one sentence: cobby, short hair, small ears, and a flat face! But the cuteness of this tubby feline is hard to capture in words.

Imagine Yoda. But a cat. And much cuter!

The domestic shorthairs have scrunched up, flat faces with huge round bush-baby eyes. These cats have a stocky build with short legs, barrel-shaped bodies, and round heads. They’re quite muscular and have big bones – but that’s no excuse for overfeeding them!

Their fur is very soft and thick but also very short (unlike Persians) and super easy to keep clean.

European Shorthair vs Exotic Shorthair: What’s the Difference?

Although they look very similar, they aren’t related! The European Shorthair (and British Shorthair for that matter) is a much older, different breed. While these Euro breeds have only been defined and categorized in the past century, they can be tracked all the way back to the Romans.

These breeds may have some Persian blood in their veins from centuries of breeding, leading to that slightly flat faced and chunky appearance. However, it’s not as pronounced as the Exotic Shorthair – a breed that we know for sure is a result of Persian breeders mixing their cats with American Shorthair breeds!

exotic shorthair cat lying on leather couch

Average Size and Weight of These Exotic Cats!

This is a medium sized cat, although their thick fur can make them appear quite large. They can weigh up to 12 pounds, but the healthy average is around 9 or 10 pounds.

Weighing a cat is usually no easy task… however, the exotic breed loves lounging around on laps, chairs, and sofas. You’ll have no trouble getting mittens to sit still on the scales for a weight check!

Coats and Colors Explained!

Originally these short-haired cats were bred to be a silver Sterling color… however, the breed standard has since been changed to accept these cats in their wide range of different colors and coats!

From their breeding with Russian blues, red tabby cats, and other multicoat color breeds, the Exotic cat can have pretty much any coat color imaginable. From white, cream, silver and gold to smoky, tabby and calico, if there’s a color you love, there’s an Exotic Shorthair in that color waiting for you!

Perks of a Persian Cat Without the Grooming Requirements!

The Persian coat is very long and thick – you need to spend hours brushing it. If this doesn’t sound like kitty heaven to you, the Exotic Shorthaired is more suited to your pet needs.

The short coat is very thick with an under and overcoat that only needs brushing once a week. If your kitty is particularly indoorsy and neat, you may even only need to brush them once a fortnight.

Furthermore, they are notoriously light shedders. While this keeps your home fresh and fluff-free, it does mean the poor kittycats will overheat in the summer unless you have a room that’s air-conditioned or a cool, shady patch for them to chill out in.

cute exotic shorthair kittens in cat bed

Temperament and Personality: What to Expect!

These cats are a bit more active than regal Persians. They love to chase bits of string, scrunched up paper and shoelaces if you’re not careful!

But they’re also the perfect lap-cats. They’re calm, kind and gentle. Their “furniture with fur” nickname comes from their love of settling down on the sofa by your side. This is the perfect Netflix binge-watching companion!

They do need a fair bit of affection, however. Once they’ve established their favorite human to cuddle with, having 5 minutes to yourself on the sofa gets a little tricky.

Real Cool Cats! Exotics are Very Chilled!

Like most cats, they can get a bit jumpy on July 4th and can take a while to warm up to strangers… but in day to day life, these are very chilled felines. Kids, cat-friendly-dogs and even vacuum cleaners are all accepted with open paws.

They’re not the type to climb up curtains!

How Long do These Cats Live?

These cats can live up to 15 years old, which is quite long compared to other pets. The key to a long and healthy life is to help your kitty stay active and eat a healthy diet. Encourage their playful behavior and make sure they have lots of toys to play with in-between snuggles on the sofa.

List of the Exotic Cat Breed’s Potential Health Issues!

  • Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) that can lead to kidney failure if not treated.
  • Blocked nasolacrimal ducts (gunky tears that need cleaning away from your cat’s eyes).
  • Hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver) a complication that occurs in obese cats.
  • Brachycephalic syndrome due to their flat faces. This can lead to respiratory problems.

Exotic Shorthair for Sale!

It’s time to buy the kitten! Look for reliable breeders who’ve had DNA tests to ensure hereditary problems (like PKD) haven’t been passed on to the kittens. If you want a particular color cat, you may need to be patient. A responsible breeder won’t sell off a kitten until it’s at least 12 weeks old.

exotic cat lying on grass

How Much do Exotic Shorthair Kittens Cost?

For a cute kitten, prepare to pay at least $1500! For competition standard cats and highly sought-after coat colors, your budget should be nearer $2000.

Find a Reputable Breeder!

The best breeders are those recommended directly by authority organizations, like The International Cat Association and other cat fancy groups.

If you come across exotic shorthair breeders with any of these signs, run a mile!

  • Exotic kittens available all the time, all year round
  • 100% guarantees of no health conditions
  • Multiple litters and a “pick your own kitty” breeding program
  • Distressed or noisy kittens at the cattery (Exotics are usually a quiet, happy breed!)

Adopt, Don’t Shop! Ask an Animal Shelter About Exotic Shorthair Rescues!

If you’re looking at the calm and collected Exotic Shorthair breed, it’s likely that you don’t want a handful. You need an affectionate cat with a mature personality…

With this in mind, consider adopting a full-grown cat rather than a kitten. Not only are kittens over-excited and high-maintenance, but they’re also more expensive.

Visit your local shelter for a grown-up kitty companion instead! These sweet cats need loving homes.

Common Questions About Exotic Shorthair Cats

Are British Shorthaired cats related to Exotic Shorthaired Cats?

What colors are Exotic Shorthaired Cats?

Are Exotic Shorthaired cats easy to groom?

Are Exotic Shorthaired cats Persian?

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  • Norma says:

    Is there an Exotic Shorthair breeder in Massachusetts or Rhode Island ?

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