Exotic Longhairs, also known as Persian Longhair and Longhaired Exotics, are almost the same as Persian. However, this cat breed does not have a purebred Persian lineage. The Persians were crossbred with the American Shorthair, plus the Burmese and Russian Blues were added in the gene pool to produce the Exotic Longhairs. The Exotic Longhairs are basically the kittens of those litters that showcase the longer-haired genes. Considered as one of the oldest and most recognizable cat breeds in the feline world, Exotics are part of the Persian Breed Group, including the Himalayan and the Persian breeds. Similar to the Persian and Himalayans, they all have huge hair that needs daily grooming and maintenance. Exotic Longhairs are also known for their sweet, flat face, their large round eyes and their fat cheeks.
Exotic Longhairs are best for those who are seeking a quiet, sweet, loyal and calm feline companion; despite the daily maintenance needed for their coat, they are the ideal pet for you. They are easygoing, and nothing can disturb this cat breed as they are very relaxed. What is very endearing about this cat is they quietly ask for your attention by coming in front of you and stare at you with their adorable look. They love to snuggle in their human companion’s lap for a nap or nuzzle their wet nose to their faces. They may even jump to your shoulder or hug you when you pet them. Exotic Longhairs love to nap or lounge in cool areas like bricks or a tiled floor.
If you don’t mind the cat breed's daily maintenance, Exotic Longhairs are ideal for any home. These calm felines can give their human companion their privacy and not clingy or needy. They can also be playful, a perfect match for the kids.
- Grooming: Everyday 10/10
- Shedding: Low 2/10
- Hypoallergenic: Low 2/10
- Activity Level: Low 2/10
- Playfulness: Medium 6/10
- Friendliness to other pets: High 10/10
- Friendliness to children: High 10/10
- Affection towards it’s owners: High 10/10
- Vocality: Low 2/10
- Intelligence: Medium 6/10
- Independence: High 10/10
Exotic Longhairs came from a diverse aspiration. American Shorthair breeders bred their cats to Persian to get their stunning silver colour and green eyes. The resulting litter were so beautiful to look at; however, it did not meet the true American Shorthair type. Jane Martinke, a breeder, noticed the result of these outcrosses. She then proposed a new breed called the Sterling because of their appealing silver colour. Some breeders chose the Burmese breed because of their robust body type, medium head and their short coat. Others select the Russian Blue due to their shorthaired gene and dense double coat. After the initial outcross to acquire the short coat, the kittens were bred back to Persian. Carolyn Bussey, another breeder, outcrosses a Burmese and a red tabby Persian in order to produce a brown Persian. Brown is a receding colour, so all the resulting kittens were all black. So, Ms. Bussey had the impression to continue to develop a short-coated Persian. However, these long-coated cat breeds inserted their genetics. That’s the reason why we have the Exotic Longhair.
In 1966, the new Exotic cat breed was officially recognized by the CFA or Cat Fanciers’ Association and quickly gained popularity worldwide. Crossing the cat breed with Russian Blue and Burmese were permitted until 1987 when the CFA decided to only permit crossing with Persian. Exotic kittens with a long coat are known as Exotic Longhair cats but are also recognized by many registries as Persian cats.
These gentle giants are heavily boned. They are huge felines with lines softened by their thick, long coat. Exotic Longhairs have wide round heads with ears set low. Their big round eyes open up their short face and give them a sweet expression. Their round head is set on their robust, short and square bodies. Their short think legs are balances by their short, dense tail. Their luxurious coat made them appear soft and round, making them appear like stuff toys you want to pick up and hug. The Exotic Longhairs have a variety of colours and patterns, including the pointed version of the Himalayan.
These magnificent cats, like their shorthaired counterpart, are distinct because of their two features: being brachycephalic and pedomorphic. Brachycephalic means that their skull and face is short and broad and have a flattened muzzle. Pedomorphic, on the other hand, mean that their face maintains a kittenish expression.
Exotic Longhairs are easygoing, relaxed, loving and calm cats, combined with the quiet demeanour of the Persian. These affectionate cats demand love and attention by staring at you straight to your eye and hug you when you pick them up. Because of their loyalty and need to be with their human companion, these cats will follow you around the household just to be near you. They are lap cats and would love to snuggle while you read a book or watch a television show. Due to their shorthaired ancestry, they love to play and leap around to chase a toy or sit to observe how they can get the toy. Exotic Longhairs are easy to please as simple things amuse them. Whether it is watching the water drip out of the faucet or chasing a crumpled paper ball, it can go for hours should they want to.
While they are not very vocal, Exotic Longhairs have a soft, gentle voice and many chirping sounds. They have an intelligent curiosity combined with their sweet and peaceful nature, which made them loved and adored by many cat lovers worldwide, including families with children and other pets. Exotic Longhairs can be urban dwellers or for country living. You can make them happier and more comfortable by ensuring that you have areas in your home with tiles or bricks and uncarpeted floors as they prefer lounging and napping in cool places like such.
While their energy level ranges from low to moderate, you can still encourage these gentle giants to do tricks, commands and games. Start them with simple tasks such as using the scratching post and the litter box. As they grow older and get accustomed to a training session, you can start teaching them more complex tasks such as following commands, doing games and tricks. You can use a clicker to teach them to “sit” and to “wave”. Encourage their minds to stay active by providing interactive toys such as catnip mice, fishing-pole toys, and other puzzles toys. Remember to give them rewards like their favourite treats or kibbles when they behave during the training session or by following your commands.
When an Exotic Longhair is properly trained and familiarized with various people, pets and environments during their kittenhood, they will blossom into being a well-rounded and well-bred feline companion. These gentle and calm cats are amicable and affectionate cats that they consider each training session interaction with their human companion.
Exotic Longhair cats have a dense, multi-layered coat, just like a Persian cat. Daily brushing is best to keep their fur and skin healthy and avoid matting and accumulating furballs. The Exotic Longhairs also tend to shed more during seasonal shedding and, therefore, will benefit from more regular brushing during these times. Some Exotic Longhair cat owners favour having their beloved cat bathed and groomed professionally to support this cat breed's grooming upkeep. Their flat face needs regular cleaning to prevent infections from progressing in their skin folds. Because Exotic Longhairs are brachycephalic cats, they are less receptive to upper respiratory infections. This means that their respiratory system is already compromised, and inflammation or infection can worsen it. So, make sure to consult your vet regarding this.
Due to their long coat, it is crucial that you train your Exotic Himalayan as early as possible for daily grooming. You can start by using a very soft brush so it won’t pull their glorious kitten hairs or hurt their delicate skin. Remember to gently brush their long coat as they find unpleasant grooming experience traumatizing. This may develop a behaviour where they will find it hard to relax when they are being groomed. As they grow and mature, they will have a different need for their coat. So, it is best to upgrade your tools to a more age-appropriate brush. Grooming them daily is part of their training, so better prepare small rewards such as treats and kibbles to encourage them to behave during each grooming session. Allot some time weekly to check your cat’s ear. If there’s dirt, debris or wax buildup, you can use a vet-approved ear cleaner and clean cotton balls to eliminate it. Remember not to use cotton swabs because it can cause severe damage to their inner ear. If you notice any funny smell or inflammation, immediately contact your veterinarian for care and treatment.
For their eyes, spare some time each day to check it for discharge and stains. Exotic Longhairs are prone to tear stain, so make sure you check them regularly. You can use a clean and soft fabric to gently clean the corners of their eyes. Make sure to use a different part of the fabric to avoid the spread of eye infection. Daily dental hygiene is best, but weekly teeth brushing is already enough to keep your cat’s teeth healthy and away from tartar buildup and tooth and gum diseases. Trim your cat’s nails as needed to protect not only your skin but also your furniture. Use a vet-approved clipper to ensure that it is safe to use for your Exotic Longhair. Examine their paws as you trim their nails to make sure they are in good condition and free of injury.
Because your Exotic Longhair has a plush and long coat, you need to keep and maintain their litter box clean. Dirt and debris from a dirty litter box may cling to their long silky coats. If not monitored, they may swallow this and may cause blockage on their body. It may also lead to other health and coat issues. Like many other cat breeds, they are very picky. Soiled litter boxes will urge them to use other areas of the house to do their bathroom business. Lastly, it is recommended to keep your Exotic Longhair an indoor cat. If you want to permit them to explore the great outdoors, especially if you live in the country, make sure to oversee their activities. This way, you can prevent them from acquiring feline diseases from stray cats or animal attacks that they may encounter outdoors.
Because they were initially bred from Persian cats, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a real concern with this cat breed.
Moreover, Exotic Longhairs can suffer from respiratory issues because of their extraordinarily short faces. This cat breed is also prone to eyelids that turn in towards their eye, leading to eye drainage and ulcers. If your Exotic Longhair suffers from eyelids that rub against their eyeball, surgery is necessary to correct the issue.
Because of their playful, relax and friendly personality, Exotic Longhairs are ideal for families with children and other pets. However, interactions with these stunning cats need adult supervision as young children might pull their tail or their long coat that may lead to accidents.
Exotic Longhairs go well with other pets living under one roof. They can live harmoniously with other cats and cat-friendly dogs. Because of their gentle and calm demeanour, they can be a part of a pack as they love companionship very much. Just remember to introduce your pets slowly and in a controlled area to make sure that they learn to get along well together.