Exotic Shorthair Cat Breed

Exotic Shorthair is one of the oldest and most recognizable cat breeds in the cat world. This cat breed is part of the Persian Breed Group that includes the Persian and Himalayan breeds. These cat breeds share the same body type; however, Exotic Shorthair’s short, coarse hair varies from the Persian and Himalayan cats' huge hair. Moreover, they are best known for their flat face, sweet, large, round eyes, and fat cheeks. The sweet-natured Exotic Shorthair is a Persian cat in their pyjamas and is the perfect cat for those who love and adore the Persian cat's look but do not have the time or capability to take care of all that hair.

Oftentimes called 'the lazy man's Persian, they are like the Persian cat except with a short, thick coat instead of a long flowing one. Exotic Shorthairs have the same pansy-like sweet face and short nose together with their big eyes and the same short square body, which gives them a cuddly bear-like look. These loving cats have the Persian's calm manners but are bubblier and more curious, thanks to their shorthaired ancestry.

All in all, the Exotic Shorthairs is an ideal breed for those who are searching for a sweet, quiet, loyal and peaceful feline companion. They are laidback, and it appears that nothing can seem to bother them. Moreover, they are very affectionate as they quietly ask for your attention and affection by sitting in front of you with their irresistible look as they look straight into your eyes. They love jumping in their human companion’s lap and snuggle for a nap or nuzzle their face with their wet nose. Some Exotic Shorthairs even sit on your shoulder or hug you when you pet them. You will often see them lounging or napping in cool places like on a tiled floor or bricks, as some cats prefer it.

Exotic Shorthairs are ideal for anyone’s home. These cats give their human companion their privacy and not needy or demanding. For some fun interaction, Exotic Shorthairs are playful. They will leap until tired just to catch a toy on a stick. They are also smart to figure out how to get their toys atop a bookcase or on shelves where it was placed when their human companion left it.

Exotic Shorthair Cat Breed Information | The Pedigree Paws

Breed Information

25-30 cm
4.5-5 kg
Life Span:
12-15 years
Affectionate, Quiet, Gentle, Sweet, Sociable, Loving
Energy Level:
Country of Origin:
United States of America
Exotic Shorthair Cat Breed Information | The Pedigree Paws
  • Grooming: Twice a Week 6/10
  • 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 Shorthairs grew from a diverse original desire. American Shorthair cat breeders bred to Persian to acquire their beautiful silver colour and green eyes. Their kittens were gorgeous to look at but did not meet the true American Shorthair type. Jane Martinke noticed the outcome the outcrosses had on the American Shorthair type and coat and their kittens' attractiveness. She proposed a new cat breed, called the Sterling, due to their attractive silver colour. This new cat breed was to look just like Persian but with a short, thick plush coat. Initially, they are intended to be silver only, but the new cat breed changed the name to Exotic Shorthair and accepted all colours. Some outcrosses were made to shorthaired cats but because the gene is dominant.

In addition to the American Shorthairs, some cat breeders selected the Burmese for their solid body type, moderate head and short coat, while others went to the Russian Blue for their shorthaired gene because of their dense double coat. After the first outcross to get the short coat, the kittens were bred back to Persian. Carolyn Bussey crossed a Burmese and a red tabby Persian to produce a brown Persian during that time. Brown is receding, so all the kittens were black, and Carolyn also got the impression to develop a short-coated Persian. Early development was slow and challenging as Exotic Shorthair cat breeders tried to get Persian cat breeders to work with them. Slowly, as the type of the new cat breed improved and became more popular, there is an increasing number of Persian cat breeders were keen to help, and some decided to work with the young cat breed as well. The aim was to produce a short-coated Persian, so as the Persian type changed, so did the Exotic Shorthair type.

The Exotic Shorthair's early standard did not call for to break like the Persian because of its shorthaired ancestry, but as the type came ever closer to the Persian, this changed, and the standards are now equal except for their coat length. They have had championship status recognition in The International Cat Association since June 1979.

Exotic Shorthair Cat Breed Information | The Pedigree Paws


Exotic Shorthair Cat Breed Information | The Pedigree Paws

Exotic Shorthairs are heavily boned. They are massive cats with lines softened by their thick coat. They have broad round heads with low set ears and big round eyes opening up their short face and giving them sweet expression. Their round heads are set on strong, short, square bodies. They also have little short thick legs balanced by a short, dense tail. Their plush coat adds an idea of soft roundness to their muscular body, making them look like stuff toys you just want to pick up and cuddle. Exotic Shorthairs come in all the colours of the rainbow and various patterns, including pointed for a shorthaired cat version of the Himalayan.

Exotic Shorthairs stand out because of their two features: They are brachycephalic and have a pedomorphic appearance. This cat breed is categorized as brachycephalic. This means that their skull, and by extension, their face is short and broad with a flattened muzzle. Pedomorphic appearance is a natural trait in Exotic Shorthairs. It means that their face keeps their kittenish expression, with their big, rounded and widely set eyes, a short nose, small ears, and a large, rounded head. 


Exotic Shorthairs are easy-going, affectionate, calm cats with the quiet manners of the Persian cats. Gently endearing, Exotic Shorthairs demand attention with an appealing gaze and then tend to hug you when you pick them up. They will follow you around the house to be near you. They would also jump in your lap for a nap when you settle down to rest, watch some television show or read a book. Their shorthaired ancestors have given them their nature of loving to play and jumping to catch a toy or sit perusing how to get the toy. Simple things entertain them, whether chasing paper balls or watching the water drip out of the faucet.

While they were seen but rarely heard, the Exotic Shorthair has a soft voice and numerous chirping sounds. While sweet and peaceful, Exotic Shorthairs still have an intelligent curiosity that makes them love and adored by many. Since they are so relaxed and laidback, they get on excellent with children and other pets.

Exotic Shorthairs are ideal for urban dwellers, or for country living. Make this cat happy and comfortable by providing cool areas like bricks, tiles and uncarpeted floors where they can freely lounge and sleep on it. These beautiful cats are a low maintenance breed that doesn’t need a lot of space. They will be as happy and content in an apartment as a huge home. These amicable cats do not like being alone, so it is recommended that you provide them with a cat companion to keep them occupied and contented if you travel a lot. They also make great feline companions for the elderly as they are not as spirited as other cat breeds. Exotic Shorthairs are gentle and easy-going and they can spend many hours cuddling on your lap as they sleep.

Exotic Shorthair Cat Breed Information | The Pedigree Paws


Exotic Shorthair Cat Breed Information | The Pedigree Paws

Challenge their smart minds and keep them alert by teaching them games, commands and tricks. Exotic Shorthairs are intelligent and enjoys being clicker-trained. In fact, you can teach them to “wave” or “sit” using a clicker. Encourage them to be active by providing them with many puzzles and other interactive toys. Try playing with a fishing-pole toy or let them chase a ball as they love and enjoy these activities. Don’t forget to give them rewards like their favourite treats and kibbles when they behave during the training session or by following commands.

When an Exotic Shorthair is correctly familiarized and trained during their kittenhood, they will thrive on being a well-behaved and well-bred feline companion. These sweet-natured and friendly cats are sociable and loving cats that they treat each training session as quality time well spent with their human companion. 

Coat & Care

Exotic Shorthairs have a dense, multi-layered coat, just like a Persian. Daily brushing is best to keep their fur and skin healthy and avoid matting and accumulating furballs. The Exotic Shorthairs also tend to shed more during seasonal shedding and, therefore, will benefit from more regular brushing during these times. The Exotic Shorthair’s flat face needs regular cleaning to avoid infections from developing in their skin folds. Brachycephalic cats are less receptive to upper respiratory infections. Because of this, their respiratory system is already compromised, and infection or inflammation can worsen it.

Teach your Exotic Shorthair kittens to get used to regular brushing by using a very soft brush so it will not pull their kitten hairs or hurt their skin. You can upgrade your tools when you find no problems between you or your cat to adequately provide for their coat needs. Remember to reward your cat if they behave well during the grooming session. Keep your cat’s ears away from infection by cleaning them weekly from any dirt or buildup. Make sure to observe for any foul smell coming from their ears. This may be an indication of an ear infection that needs immediate care and treatment. See your vet and ask for tips on how to clean their ear correctly. You can start using a clean cotton ball or a soft cloth with a vet-approved ear cleaner product.

To keep their eyes clean and healthy, regularly check them for dirt and any eye discharge. You can use a clean, soft cloth to remove any stain or discharge. Use a different part of the fabric to prevent the risk of spreading eye infection. For their dental health, brushing their teeth weekly is sufficient to keep your Exotic Shorthair’s teeth in tip-top condition and away from any tooth and gum diseases. Keep their nails clean by trimming them twice a month or when it is needed.

Lastly, clean litter boxes are essential to Exotic Shorthairs. These cats, like many other cat breeds, are careful about their bathroom hygiene. Clumped litter may glue to their gorgeous coat and may result in tangles and mats. Moreover, if their litter boxes are left soiled all the time, Exotic Shorthairs may have a habit of using other areas of the house to do their business.

Exotic Shorthair Cat Breed Information | The Pedigree Paws


Exotic Shorthair Cat Breed Information | The Pedigree Paws

Because they were initially bred from Persian, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is one of the real concern with this cat breed. 

Children & Other Pets

The calm and approachable Exotic Shorthair loves playing. That’s why they are an exceptional choice for families with children. They will likely walk away than scratch someone if they don’t like how they are being held. But it is essential to teach kids the importance of handling cats properly and treat them with respect and politeness. They are also good companions for the elderly as they are very relaxed and laidback, and they are not very needy compared to other cat breeds.

Exotic Shorthairs are happy and pleased to live with other cats, especially their kind and cat-friendly dogs in the same household. It is always best to introduce pets slowly and in controlled environments to make sure they learn to get along well together.

Exotic Shorthair Cat Breed Information | The Pedigree Paws

Available Exotic Shorthair Kittens