Exotic Shorthair: The Ultimate Guide to their History, Types, Characteristics, Temperament, and Care

Don’t you just love those flat, punched-in faces that Persian cats have? If you have ever thought that you would love to own one of these sweet-faced cats, but you don’t like the idea of daily grooming and a lot of cat hair in your home, there is another option. 

The Exotic Shorthair has the facial features, but a short coat that is easy to care for. Known as the “lazy man’s Persian,” these cats have a sweet disposition, and they are adorable to look at.

What’s the nature of the breed?

This breed of cat kind of came about by accident. Originally, breeders were breeding their cats to Persians in order to get that silver fur and green eyes.

Check out some amazing facts about Exotic Shorthair Cats in the video below: 

The kittens didn’t look like the American or British shorthairs, but they were very pretty cats. They had that Persian face, and even the same body shape, but a short coat that is thick and soft.

Origin and history of the breed

This breed of cat kind of came about by accident. Originally, breeders were breeding their cats to Persians in order to get that silver fur and green eyes.

The kittens didn’t look like the American or British shorthairs, but they were very pretty cats. They had that Persian face, and even the same body shape, but a short coat that is thick and soft.

Once breeders started getting the Persian look in a shorthair cat, other breeders added Burmese and Russian Blues to the mix to secure the short-coat gene. Those offspring were bred to Persians, and voila, we have the Exotic Shorthair, or as many people call it, an Exotic.

You may be interested to know that the breed standards for Persians and Exotic Shorthairs are the same, with the exception of the length of the coat.

Both of these cats have sweet faces with short, flat noses and big eyes, and their body shape is short and square. Today, the Exotic is one of the most popular breed of cats, with only the Persian being more popular.

Physical standards of the breed

Health and possible diseases

All cats, just like any animal or human, can develop genetic health issues. But, there are some health issues that are common to certain cats, and this can certainly be said of the Exotic Shorthair.

Some breeders may try to tell you that they have no genetic problems or health issues, but this is just not the case. If a breeder tells you this, get away from them as soon as possible, and never buy a cat from them. They will tell you anything just to make a sale, and probably don’t care about the health of the cats they sell.

There are hereditary health issues that Exotics are known for, including polycystic kidney disease, and developing stones in the urinary tract. These problems can be avoided with responsible breeding. Another issue is breathing problems, and because of their flat faces, they tend to have sinus issues.

Height and size

Exotic Shorthairs tend to have short, stubby legs, making them a fairly short cat. They tend to be about the same size and shape as Persian cats, and have many of the same physical attributes, minus the long coat.

Because they are similar to Persians, there are no known possible health problems or complications due to their size and shape.


Weight can be an issue with many cat owners. A slim cat may be seen as too skinny, and a round-shaped cat such as an Exotic may seem overweight.

Generally, Exotics should weigh up to 15 pounds as adults. If an Exotic has a larger body than most, you can expect it to weigh a couple of pounds more.


The Exotic is a rather short cat, much like the Persian. When it comes to size, they are approximately the same size as an average Persian cat. They have a similar body shape, with an athletic build, and they tend to be on the short side, but with a large head.


The Exotic Shorthair gives people the best of both worlds when it comes to activeness and cuddling.

Like their Persian ancestors, they tend to be a very cuddly, loving cat, and love nothing more than curling up in your lap for an hour or longer. But, at the same time, these are also very active cats, and you will need to find ways to ensure that they get the activity they need.


There really is no such thing as a hypoallergenic cat, although some cat breeds are better for people than others.

Obviously, the best type of cat for someone with allergies is a hairless cat. But, a shorthair, such as an Exotic, is better than a Persian, because there isn’t so much fur flying around. Even with its short coat, if you have allergies, it is important to make sure that your cat is regularly groomed and brushed to get rid of loose fur and dander.


One of the things that makes the Exotic such a popular breed is its long lifespan. Generally, they can live between 10 and 15 years.

Some will grow older than this with proper care. It is important to make sure that your cat has a proper diet, plenty of physical activity, and veterinary care to ensure the longest lifespan possible.

They love to play with toys, and you don’t need to spend a fortune, because a wadded up piece of aluminum foil will do quite nicely.

Caring Difficulty

Unlike a Persian which requires a lot of grooming, there isn’t as much care involved with an Exotic Shorthair. Sure, you still have to groom them, but not nearly as much.

They require a healthy diet, which you may want to talk to your veterinarian about. They need fresh water daily, like any cat, and they need regular veterinary checkups and care.

Where to get a Exotic Shorthair

If you want a real Exotic Shorthair, you need to look for a reputable breeder. Chances are, there may not be a breeder of these cats in your area, so you will need to spread out in your search.

The internet is a great place to find breeders, but you really do need to do your research. Before choosing a breeder, make sure that you look into them very carefully.

Don’t forget to keep checking local shelters. There are occasions when they have pedigreed cats, including Exotic Shorthairs.

How much does a Exotic Shorthair cost?

One thing to remember when considering buying an Exotic is the cost. These cats can easily cost anywhere from $1,500 to $2,000. If you find one at a lower cost, it would be wise to do some homework to make sure that it is the real thing, and that it has no health issues.

Choosing the right type of Exotic Shorthair

When it comes to choosing your new cat, you need to consider the type of cat. This doesn’t necessarily mean the breed.

For instance, do you want a cat that wants to be cuddled constantly, or one that loves to be playful? It is a good idea to visit breeders and their animals to get to know the personality types before making your purchase.

Responsibilities to consider in the care of a Exotic Shorthair

Owning a cat involves a lot more than just giving it food, water, and a litter box. This is particularly true when you are getting a pedigreed cat.

You need to make sure that your cat has the right type of food, and that you are taking it in for regular vet visits.

What do they require?

An Exotic has the same requirements as any cat. They need a comfortable place to sleep, proper nutrition, and lots of attention.

Make sure your cat has plenty of play and cuddle time. Also, they need to get exercise, as these cats can have a tendency to become overweight.

Do they need a certain level of care and attention?

All cats need attention and care. They may act like they don’t need you, but they really do, and they love the attention you give them.

If you are buying an Exotic Shorthair, make sure that you have the time needed to give your cat the attention and care it requires.

Characteristics of Exotic Shorthairs

Here are a few of the main characteristics of an Exotic Shorthair cat.


These are cuddly cats that also love to play. They make great family pets.


These cats are available in a variety of colors and patterns.


If you are looking for a lap cat, an Exotic is a great choice.


Exotics make great family pets, and get along well with other animals.


Like most cats, Exotics are highly intelligent, and can be easily trained.


Exotics have a lot of energy, so make sure that you give them ways to work it off.


This is a rather low-maintenance cat, if there really is such a thing.

Types of Exotic Shorthair

There is basically only one type of Exotic Shorthair, although they can be found with a variety of colors and patterns. Remember, if it doesn’t have the punched-in face, it isn’t an Exotic Shorthair.

Exotics vs. Persians

So, which is the better pet for you, an Exotic Shorthair or a Persian? Well, that all depends on whether you like long-haired or short-haired cats. Appearance-wise, these cats tend to resemble one another, particularly in the face and body shape.


If you love a Persian face, but want a short-haired cat, the Exotic Shorthair is the best of both worlds. It has an affectionate personality, and loves to play and cuddle. It gets along with children and other pets, although it can be a bit standoffish with strangers at first.