Exotic Shorthair Cat Breed, Health Problems and Characteristics

Exotic Shorthair cats are descended from the famous Persian cat, known for their long, luxurious fur. But unlike their Persian cousins, Exotics have short, plush coats that are much easier to care for. This makes them perfect for people who love the Persian look but don’t want the hassle of daily grooming.

Don’t let their good looks fool you! Exotic shorthair cats are full of personality. They’re gentle and loving, happy to curl up on your lap for a cuddle. They’re also playful and curious, always up for a game of chase or a swat at a feathery toy.

These furry friends make wonderful companions for families with children and other pets. They’re adaptable and easygoing, happy to fit into any lifestyle. We know you might have read about the domestic shorthair cat, but if you want to learn more about the exotic shorthair cat,? Keep reading to discover everything you need about Exotic Shorthair cats, from their history and personality to their care and health needs. 

Breed History of Exotic Shorthair Cat

Cat lovers, prepare for one perfectly unexpected twist in the Exotic Shorthair’s story—hold on to your hats! Unlike many breeds with centuries-old pedigrees, this lovable beauty is an enthusiastic newcomer, only gracing our laps since the 1950s. But don’t let their youth deceive you—they have remarkably complex ancestry!

American shorthair breeders were enamored with the Persians’ luxurious coats and large, dreamy eyes. Guess what they did? They wanted their breed to have that abundant appearance. They mixed American shorthairs with Persians in secret! Now, only some people who own an American Shorthair welcome this. They weren’t exactly overjoyed that their breed was becoming unusual!

However, some breeders recognized these cute, floofy, short-haired animals’ potential. Jane Martin, a visionary, spearheaded their cause, and in 1966, the “Exotic Shorthair” was born with a flick of her whiskery tail! They were originally known as “Sterlings” due to their gorgeous silver coats, but “Exotic” seemed more exotic, don’t you think?

At this point, the situation becomes even more intriguing. Other breeds, including Burmese and Russian Blues, were invited to the breeding party as the Exotic Shorthair’s popularity grew, greatly enhancing its gene pool and coat color palette. However, the party was shut down in 1987! The Exotic Shorthair is a purebred Persian with a short, soft coat that the Cat Fanciers’ Association approved as the only playmate suitable for these furry fashionistas.

Folks, there you have it! A lucky accident that developed into a cherished breed is the Exotic Shorthair. So every time you encounter one of these teddy bear-esque cuddling monsters, recall their remarkable history, from a crossbred dispute to a superstar in the feline world.

Read More: Domestic short-haired cat

Exotic Shorthair Cat Health problems

With their characteristic flat cheeks and luxurious coats, exotic shorthair cats are cuddly little balls of fluff. However, because of their selective breeding methods and brachycephalic (flat-faced) traits, they have a higher chance of developing several health issues, despite their endearing appearance. The following are a few of the most prevalent health issues to be aware of:

1. Brachycephalic Syndrome

This syndrome arises from their short noses and narrow airways, causing difficulty breathing, especially in hot weather or during exercise. Symptoms include snoring, snorting, and labored breathing. Severe cases might require surgery to improve airflow.

2. Polycystic Kidney Disease

This inherited condition leads to cysts forming in the kidneys, eventually impacting their function and potentially leading to kidney failure. Genetic testing can help identify carriers, and breeders are working to reduce their prevalence.

3. Eye Problems

Their shallow eye sockets and misaligned tear ducts predispose them to several eye issues like excessive tear staining, keratitis (corneal inflammation), and progressive retinal atrophy (vision loss). Regular eye cleaning and vet checkups are crucial.

4. Dental Issues

Flattened faces can lead to misaligned teeth, making proper chewing and cleaning difficult. This increases the risk of plaque buildup, gum disease, and tooth loss. Regular brushing and dental care are essential.

5. Skin Issues

Their thick fur tends to hold moisture and debris, promoting skin infections like dermatitis and ringworm. Regular brushing, keeping their environment clean, and promptly addressing any skin irritation are important.

6. Breathing Infections

Due to their narrow airways, exotic shorthairs are more susceptible to upper respiratory infections like rhinotracheitis and calicivirus. Vaccination and avoiding contact with sick cats are crucial for prevention.

7. Other Potential Issues

Bladder stones, obesity, heart problems, and separation anxiety are also occasionally seen in Exotic Shorthairs. Regular vet checkups are important for early detection and management.

Remember, proper care can significantly improve your exotic shorthair’s health and well-being. Choose a responsible breeder who prioritizes health and genetic testing, provides quality food and regular vet checkups, maintains good hygiene, and keeps them comfortable in a cool environment with ample entertainment. With proper care, these charming felines can be wonderful companions for many happy years.

Read More: Cats with Down Syndrome

Exotic Shorthair Cat Characteristics

A cat with the luxurious, round features of a Persian but with a delightfully short, plush coat. That’s the Exotic Shorthair Cat, a breed that combines the best of both worlds!


According to Purina, medium-sized charmers, or exotic shorthairs, usually weigh between 10 and 12 pounds. Their round heads, wide eyes, and short snouts give them a teddy bear-like appeal. Despite being short, their fur is very silky and dense, akin to a plush velvet blanket. They also have an amazing range of colors and patterns, from traditional solids like black and white to gorgeous calico and exotic bi-colors like Persians.


Despite their majestic looks, exotic shorthairs are surprisingly pleasant and easygoing. They are content to spend hours snuggled up by your side or relaxing on your lap, similar to the “cuddle bugs” of the cat world. They are surprisingly interested and adore quiet playtime with interactive toys like laser pointers or feather wands. They don’t, however, place as much emphasis on needing continual care as their hyperactive feline counterparts do. Their large, expressive eyes make them quite happy to amuse themselves or watch the world around them.


According to the Spruce pets, the best part about the Exotic Shorthair cat is their low-maintenance coat! Unlike their long-haired Persian cousins, they don’t require daily brushing to prevent matting. A quick weekly brush is all you need to keep their fur healthy and gleaming. They’re also relatively clean cats and generally don’t need frequent bathing. However, their flat faces can sometimes lead to tear staining, so gentle eye cleaning may be necessary.

Exotic Shorthair Cat Grooming tips

Here are some essential grooming tips for your exotic shorthair cat.

  • Brush your Exotic Shorthair at least twice a week, even more during shedding seasons. This removes loose hair, prevents matting, and keeps their coat shiny.
  • Exotic Shorthair cats typically don’t need frequent baths; once every 4-6 weeks is sufficient. However, if your cat gets dirty or has skin issues, more frequent baths may be necessary.
  • Use a gentle cat shampoo and lukewarm water. Rinse thoroughly, dry your cat completely with a towel, and blow dry on low heat.
  • Wipe away any tear stains with a damp cloth and a gentle eye cleanser.
  • Trim your cat’s nails every 2–3 weeks to prevent them from getting too long and painful.

For those who like the appeal of Persians but lack the time or energy for rigorous care, exotic shorthair cats make ideal companions. They’re excellent companions for families with kids or other pets because they’re amiable, flexible, and generally laid-back. The Exotic Shorthair cat might be your ideal companion if you’re searching for an affectionate, active, and low-maintenance cat.


In conclusion, the Exotic Shorthair is a captivating feline package for the American household. This breed seamlessly blends the luxurious looks of a Persian with the effortless care of a short-haired cat, making it a dream fit for busy lives and snuggle-loving hearts. From playtime to purr sessions, the Exotic Shorthair brings undeniable charm and a laid-back vibe to any American home.

If you’re seeking a furry friend who’s as stunning as they are easygoing, consider opening your heart to this delightful ambassador of Persian elegance in a convenient short-haired package. After all, America’s love affair with cats continues, and the Exotic Shorthair is primed to steal the show, one velvety paw at a time.


Are exotic shorthair cats friendly?

Absolutely! Exotic shorthairs inherit the Persian’s calm nature, making them amiable and affectionate pets. They enjoy cuddling and playing but are also content to occupy themselves or study the world around them with their large, expressive eyes. Think teddy bear cuddles with a dash of independent flair.

How much is an exotic shorthair cat?

Expect to pay $500 to $1500 for an Exotic Shorthair kitten in the USA, depending on breeder, pedigree, and coat color.

Why are exotic shorthair cats so popular?

Exotic shorthairs charm hearts with plush Persian looks and surprisingly chill, low-maintenance fur, making them cuddle-ready companions for busy American lives.

Do exotic shorthair cats like to be held?

Yes, many Exotic Shorthairs adore cuddling! While their Persian heritage means they value independence, they also crave affection and often become lap cats. Think about luxurious snuggles, not clingy desperation.

Do exotic shorthairs meow a lot?

Nope! Exotic Shorthair cats tend to be quiet communicators; using meows more softly is the only way to communicate.

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