Exotic Shorthair Cat Breed Guide: Facts, Names & Characteristics

Have you ever heard of an exotic shorthair cat? These felines may not be as well-known as their wild or domesticated counterparts, but they are just as fascinating. Developed in the 1950s, this breed was created by crossing Persian cats with American Shorthairs and other shorthaired cats. The goal was to produce a breed with the same adorable features as Persians, but without the long hair.

Exotic shorthairs were recognized as a separate breed by the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) in 1967, and since then have become increasingly popular among cat lovers. They are known for their affectionate nature, quiet demeanor, and round faces that resemble teddy bears.

As with any new breed, there were some challenges along the way. Breeders had to establish a new standard for appearance and temperament that would differentiate exotics from Persians. However, once these standards were established, it didn’t take long for these kitties to gain popularity.

So what are some other names for exotic shorthairs? Well, they’re often referred to simply as “exotics,” which is fitting given their unique appearance and origins. If you’re interested in learning more about this fascinating breed and its history, keep reading!

Alternative Names for Exotic Shorthair Cats

Exotic Cats

Exotic Shorthair cats are also known as exotic cats. They are called “exotic” because of their unique appearance, which is a result of crossbreeding between Persian cats and American shorthairs. These cats have the same body type as Persian cats but with short hair, making them easier to maintain. The breed was first developed in the 1950s and has since become popular among cat lovers.


Another name for the exotic shorthair is simply “exotics.” This term is often used by breeders and cat enthusiasts who love these adorable felines. Exotics are known for their playful personalities and affectionate nature, making them great pets for families with children or other animals.

Short-Haired Persians

Exotic Shorthair cats are sometimes referred to as short-haired Persians because they share many physical characteristics with their long-haired counterparts. Both breeds have round faces, large eyes, and a stocky build. However, while Persian cats require daily grooming to maintain their luscious coats, exotics only need occasional brushing to keep their fur looking shiny and healthy.

Lazy Man’s Persian

Finally, some people refer to exotic shorthairs as the “lazy man’s Persian.” This nickname comes from the fact that exotics have all the lovable qualities of a Persian cat without the high maintenance requirements. Unlike Persians, who need constant grooming and attention to keep their coats free from mats and tangles, exotics can get away with minimal grooming without compromising on looks or health.

Physical Characteristics of Exotic Shorthair Cats

Round Face with Chubby Cheeks and Small Ears

The most distinctive feature of the exotic shorthair cat is its round face with chubby cheeks and small ears. This breed was developed by crossing Persians with American shorthairs, resulting in a unique look that resembles a teddy bear. Their round faces give them an adorable and innocent appearance, which makes them popular pets among cat lovers.

Large, Expressive Eyes that are Usually Blue or Green

Exotic shorthair cats have large, expressive eyes that are usually blue or green. These eyes are set wide apart on their faces, giving them a sweet and gentle expression. The color of their eyes often complements the color of their coat, making them even more attractive.

Short, Plush Coat that Comes in Various Colors and Patterns

The short, plush coat of the exotic shorthair cat is another defining characteristic of this breed. Their coats come in various colors and patterns such as silver tabby, black smoke, calico, tortoiseshell, blue cream point, and many others. The texture of their fur is incredibly soft to touch.

Compact, Muscular Body with Short Legs

Exotic shorthair cats have a compact body structure that is muscular and sturdy. They have short legs that make them appear stocky but still agile enough to jump around when they want to play or explore their surroundings. Despite having a relatively heavyset body type compared to other breeds like Siamese cats or Russian Blues who tend towards leaner frames; they remain active throughout the day.

Exotic Shorthair Personality Traits

Affectionate and Loving Towards Their Owners

Exotic Shorthair cats are known for their affectionate and loving personalities. They enjoy being around people, and they will often follow their owners around the house to be close to them. These cats have a strong bond with their owners, and they love nothing more than cuddling up on the couch or bed for some quality time together.

One of the reasons why Exotic Shorthairs are so loving is because they were bred to be companion animals. They were created by crossing Persians with American Shorthairs, resulting in a cat breed that has all the best qualities of both breeds. The result is a cat that is not only beautiful but also incredibly friendly and sociable.

If you’re looking for a cat that will shower you with love and affection, then an Exotic Shorthair might be just what you need. These cats are perfect for families with children, as they are gentle and patient with kids of all ages.

Calm and Laid-Back Personality Makes Them Great Indoor Pets

Exotic Shorthairs have a calm and laid-back personality that makes them great indoor pets. They don’t require a lot of exercise or playtime, which means they’re perfectly content lounging around the house all day long.

This trait makes them ideal for apartment living or households where there isn’t much outdoor space available. They don’t mind being confined to small spaces as long as they have plenty of toys to play with and places to climb.

Their relaxed nature also makes them easy to care for since they don’t need constant attention like some other breeds do. As long as you provide them with food, water, litter box access, and occasional grooming sessions, your Exotic Shorthair will be happy as can be.

Can Be Playful at Times But Generally Prefer Lounging Around the House

While Exotic Shorthairs are generally laid back, they can be playful at times. They enjoy playing with toys and chasing after laser pointers or other interactive toys. However, they usually prefer lounging around the house over anything else.

Their love for lounging makes them great lap cats, as they’re happy to curl up on your lap and snooze for hours on end. They also enjoy sunbathing in windowsills or on balconies when the weather is nice.

If you want to keep your Exotic Shorthair entertained, try providing them with a variety of toys that will stimulate their senses. Puzzle feeders, catnip-filled mice, and feather wands are all great options that will keep your cat engaged and active.

Enjoy Being Petted and Cuddled

Exotic Shorthairs love being petted and cuddled by their owners. They have soft, plush fur that’s perfect for snuggling up against, and they’ll often nuzzle their heads against your hand or face to show affection.

This trait makes them ideal for people who want a cat that’s easy to bond with. They’re not aloof like some other breeds can be; instead, they crave attention from their owners and will seek it out whenever possible.

If you adopt an Exotic Shorthair, be prepared to spend plenty of time petting and cuddling with them. They’ll reward you with purrs and head-butts that will melt your heart.

How to Care for Your Exotic Shorthair Cat

Provide a Clean Litter Box for Your Cat to Use Regularly

One of the most important things you can do for your exotic shorthair cat is to provide them with a clean litter box. Cats are naturally clean animals, and they prefer to use a litter box that is free of waste and odors. To keep your cat happy and healthy, make sure you scoop out the litter box at least once a day. If you have multiple cats, consider having more than one litter box available in different locations around your home.

In addition to scooping out the litter box regularly, it’s also important to change the litter completely every few weeks. This will help prevent any unpleasant smells from building up and ensure that your cat has a comfortable place to do their business.

Regularly Groom Your Cat to Prevent Matting of Its Fur Coat

Exotic shorthair cats have short, dense fur coats that require regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling. Brushing your cat’s fur at least once a week will help remove any loose hair and prevent hairballs from forming in their stomachs.

It’s also important to trim your cat’s nails regularly. This will not only keep them from scratching up furniture or people, but it will also help prevent ingrown nails or other foot problems.

Keep Up-to-Date on Vaccinations and Schedule Regular Vet Check-Ups

Like all pets, exotic shorthair cats need regular vaccinations and check-ups with their veterinarian. These appointments are essential for keeping your cat healthy and preventing common illnesses or diseases.

During these visits, your vet may recommend additional treatments or procedures based on your cat’s specific needs. For example, if your cat is prone to dental problems, they may suggest regular teeth cleanings or special dental diets.

Ensure That Your Exotic Shorthair is Eating a Healthy Diet

A healthy diet is essential for your exotic shorthair cat’s overall health and well-being. Make sure to feed your cat a high-quality, nutritionally balanced cat food that is appropriate for their age and activity level.

It’s also important to provide fresh water for your cat at all times. Consider investing in a pet fountain or other water dispenser to encourage your cat to drink more water, which can help prevent urinary tract problems.

In addition to their regular meals, you may also want to consider giving your cat treats or supplements that can help support their immune system, joint health, or digestive function.

Other Names for Exotic Shorthair Cats

If you’re curious about the different names that people use to refer to exotic shorthair cats, there are several options. Some people simply call them “exotics,” while others may refer to them as “short-haired Persians” or “shorthair Persians.” Some breeders may use specific names or nicknames for their cats based on their unique features or personalities.

No matter what you choose to call your exotic shorthair cat, it’s important to give them the love and care they need to thrive. By following these tips and providing a safe and comfortable home environment, you can ensure that your furry friend stays happy and healthy for years to come.

Health Issues Common in Exotic Shorthair Cats

Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)

One of the most common health issues that exotic shorthair cats face is polycystic kidney disease (PKD). This genetic condition causes cysts to form on the kidneys, which can lead to kidney failure over time. Unfortunately, PKD is prevalent in many cat breeds, including Persians and Himalayans, but it’s especially common in exotic shorthairs.

If you’re considering adopting an exotic shorthair kitten, make sure to ask the breeder if their breeding cats have been tested for PKD. While there’s no cure for this disease, early detection and treatment can help prolong your cat’s life.

Respiratory Problems Due to Their Flat Faces

Exotic shorthairs are known for their adorable flat faces, but unfortunately, this trait can also cause respiratory problems. Because of their short snouts and compressed airways, these cats may experience difficulty breathing or noisy breathing. They may also be more prone to upper respiratory infections.

To help prevent respiratory issues in your exotic shorthair cat, make sure they maintain a healthy weight. Obesity can exacerbate breathing problems by putting extra pressure on the chest and lungs. Keep your cat’s living environment clean and free of irritants like cigarette smoke or dust.

Dental Issues Such as Gingivitis or Periodontal Disease

Like many other cat breeds, exotic shorthairs are susceptible to dental issues such as gingivitis or periodontal disease. These conditions occur when plaque builds up on the teeth and gums over time.

To keep your exotic shorthair’s teeth healthy, make sure they receive regular dental check-ups from a veterinarian. You should also brush their teeth at home using a soft-bristled toothbrush and feline-friendly toothpaste. Providing your cat with toys designed for chewing can also help keep their teeth clean.

Obesity Due to Their Sedentary Lifestyle

Exotic shorthairs are known for their laid-back, sedentary personalities. While this can make them excellent apartment pets, it also puts them at risk for obesity. Without enough exercise and activity, these cats may gain weight quickly and develop health problems as a result.

To help prevent obesity in your exotic shorthair cat, make sure they receive regular exercise and playtime. Encourage them to chase toys or use puzzle feeders to keep them mentally stimulated. Monitor their food intake carefully and avoid overfeeding.

Tips for Keeping Your Exotic Shorthair Cat Healthy

Regular Exercise Opportunities

Exotic Shorthair cats are playful and energetic animals that require regular exercise to maintain their health. As a cat owner, it’s essential to provide your pet with opportunities to play and engage in physical activities. You can keep your exotic shorthair cat healthy by providing them with toys that encourage them to move around and play. Some examples of toys that can help include feather wands, laser pointers, and interactive puzzle feeders.

Another way to keep your cat active is by creating a safe outdoor space for them to explore. If you have a backyard or garden, consider building an enclosure where your cat can safely spend time outside. This will give them the opportunity to run around, climb trees and enjoy fresh air while also ensuring their safety.

Monitor Their Diet and Provide Healthy Food Options

Diet plays a crucial role in keeping your exotic shorthair cat healthy. It’s essential to monitor what they eat and ensure they’re getting all the nutrients they need. A balanced diet should include high-quality protein sources such as chicken or fish, along with complex carbohydrates like brown rice or sweet potatoes.

It’s also important not to overfeed your cat as obesity can lead to various health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and joint issues. Instead of free-feeding your pet throughout the day, establish a feeding schedule that includes portion control.

When choosing food options for your exotic shorthair cat, avoid cheap commercial brands that contain fillers or artificial preservatives. Instead, opt for high-quality foods recommended by veterinarians or those made specifically for exotic shorthair breeds.

Regularly Groom Your Cat To Prevent Matting of Its Fur Coat

Exotic Shorthair cats have dense fur coats that require regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling. As a responsible cat owner, it’s essential to groom your cat regularly to keep their coat healthy and shiny.

Brushing your cat’s fur daily can help prevent matting and remove any loose hair that could cause hairballs. You can also use a flea comb or slicker brush to remove any debris or tangles from their coat.

Along with regular brushing, it’s important to bathe your exotic shorthair cat occasionally. Use a gentle shampoo designed for cats, and avoid getting water in their ears or eyes during the bath.

Keep Up-To-Date on Vaccinations and Schedule Regular Vet Check-Ups

Regular vet check-ups are essential for keeping your exotic shorthair cat healthy. It’s recommended to take your pet to the vet at least once a year for a comprehensive physical exam and vaccinations.

During these visits, veterinarians can detect early signs of health problems such as dental issues, heart disease, or kidney problems. They can also provide advice on how to maintain your pet’s health through diet, exercise, and other preventative measures.

Vaccinations are also crucial in preventing various diseases such as feline leukemia virus (FeLV), rabies, and feline panleukopenia virus (FPV). Make sure you keep up-to-date with all vaccinations recommended by your veterinarian.

Best Diet for Exotic Shorthair Cats

High-Quality, Protein-Rich Cat Food that is Low in Carbohydrates

It’s important to ensure that they receive a high-quality, protein-rich diet that is low in carbohydrates. This is because cats are obligate carnivores and require a diet that contains high levels of animal-based protein to maintain their health.

When selecting cat food for your exotic shorthair, look for products that list meat as the first ingredient and avoid those with fillers such as corn, wheat, or soy. Opt for foods that contain minimal amounts of carbohydrates as these can cause weight gain and other health issues.

It’s also essential to provide your cat with a balanced diet that includes all the necessary nutrients they need. This means choosing a food that contains vitamins and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, taurine, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Wet Food is Recommended over Dry Kibble to Help Maintain Hydration Levels

Exotic shorthair cats are prone to urinary tract problems due to their short urethras. To help prevent these issues from occurring, it’s crucial to ensure that your cat stays hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

One way you can help maintain hydration levels in your exotic shorthair is by feeding them wet food instead of dry kibble. Wet food has a higher moisture content than dry kibble and can help keep your cat hydrated while also providing them with the nutrients they need.

If you prefer to feed your cat dry kibble, consider adding some water or broth to their food bowl to increase their fluid intake. You can also invest in a pet fountain or leave multiple bowls of fresh water around the house so your cat always has access to clean drinking water.

Avoid Feeding Your Cat Table Scraps or Human Food as it Can Lead to Obesity

While it may be tempting to share your food with your exotic shorthair cat, it’s essential to avoid feeding them table scraps or human food. This is because many human foods are high in fat and calories and can lead to obesity and other health issues in cats.

Some foods that are safe for humans can be toxic to cats. For example, onions, garlic, chocolate, caffeine, and alcohol should never be given to cats as they can cause serious health problems.

If you want to give your cat a treat or snack, opt for a small amount of cat-safe food such as cooked chicken or fish. You can also purchase commercial cat treats that are specially formulated for feline nutrition.

Grooming Your Exotic Shorthair Cat

What Are Other Names for Exotic Shorthair?

Before diving into the grooming needs of your exotic shorthair cat, let’s first clarify what this breed is called. The exotic shorthair is also commonly referred to as the “shorthaired Persian” or simply “exotic.” This breed is known for its adorable flat face, round head, and plush coat.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk about how to properly groom your exotic shorthair cat.

Weekly Brushing Is Key

One of the most important aspects of grooming your exotic shorthair is regular brushing. These cats have a thick, dense coat that can easily become matted if not brushed regularly. Aim to brush your cat at least once a week, if not more often.

When brushing your cat’s coat, be sure to use a soft-bristled brush or comb. Start at their head and work your way down their body, being gentle around their sensitive areas like their belly and legs. If you encounter any mats or tangles while brushing, use a dematting tool or scissors (with caution) to remove them.

Pay Attention to Their Paws

Another important aspect of grooming your exotic shorthair is keeping their paws clean and trimmed. Check their paws regularly for any signs of dirt or debris and wipe them down with a damp cloth as needed.

You should also trim your cat’s nails on a regular basis to prevent them from getting too long and causing discomfort. If you’re unsure how to safely trim your cat’s nails yourself, consider taking them to a veterinarian or professional groomer for assistance.

Keep Their Eyes and Ears Clean

Exotic shorthairs are prone to eye discharge due to their flat faces and prominent eyes. To keep their eyes clean, gently wipe away any discharge with a damp cloth. If you notice excessive discharge or any signs of irritation, consult with your veterinarian.

You should also keep your cat’s ears clean by wiping them down with a damp cloth as needed. Be sure to avoid using cotton swabs or anything that could potentially damage their delicate ears.

Bathe Occasionally, but Not Too Often

While it’s important to keep your exotic shorthair’s coat clean, you don’t want to bathe them too frequently as this can strip natural oils from their skin and lead to dryness and irritation. Aim to bathe your cat every few months or as needed.

When bathing your cat, use a gentle shampoo specifically formulated for cats and be sure to rinse thoroughly. After the bath, gently towel dry your cat and allow them to air dry the rest of the way.

Exercise Needs of Exotic Shorthair Cats

Low Energy Levels Call for a Different Kind of Exercise

Exotic Shorthair cats are known for their low energy levels, which make them less active than other breeds. However, this does not mean that they do not require any form of exercise. In fact, it is essential to keep your exotic shorthair cat physically and mentally stimulated to prevent obesity and boredom-related behavioral issues.

Encourage Playtime with Interactive Toys

One way to provide exercise for your exotic shorthair cat is by encouraging playtime with interactive toys such as balls, feathers, or strings. These toys can help stimulate their natural hunting instincts while also providing an opportunity for physical activity.

When choosing toys for your exotic shorthair cat, consider their age and personality. Kittens may prefer smaller toys that they can easily bat around, while older cats may enjoy larger toys that they can pounce on. Some cats may prefer soft plush toys over hard plastic ones.

Provide Climbing Structures or Perches

Another way to provide exercise for your exotic shorthair cat is by providing climbing structures or perches. These structures allow them to climb and jump, which helps improve their overall muscle tone and agility.

Cats love high places where they can perch and observe their surroundings from a safe distance. Consider installing shelves or perches near windows so that your cat can watch birds outside. You could also invest in a multi-level cat tree with scratching posts and hiding spots.

Keep in mind that these structures should be sturdy enough to support your cat’s weight and designed with safety in mind.

Socializing Your Exotic Shorthair Cat

Introduce your exotic shorthair kitten to new people slowly and gradually

Exotic Shorthairs are known for their laid-back temperament, but that doesn’t mean they’re automatically going to be comfortable around new people. As cat fanciers know, cats can be finicky creatures who don’t always take kindly to strangers. That’s why it’s important to introduce your exotic shorthair kitten to new people slowly and gradually.

Start by inviting one or two trusted friends over at a time. Let your kitten sniff them out from a safe distance before allowing any interaction. If your kitten seems nervous or skittish, don’t force the issue – give them time to adjust at their own pace. Over time, as your kitten becomes more comfortable with these visitors, you can start introducing them to larger groups of people.

It’s also important to remember that not all humans are cat lovers. Some may be allergic or simply uncomfortable around felines. Be mindful of this when introducing your kitten to new people and always give them an escape route if they feel overwhelmed.

Make sure they have a safe space where they can retreat if feeling overwhelmed

Speaking of escape routes, it’s crucial that your exotic shorthair has a safe space where they can retreat if feeling overwhelmed. This could be something as simple as a cardboard box with a hole cut in the side or a cozy cat bed tucked away in a quiet corner of the house.

When introducing your kitten to new people or situations, make sure this safe space is easily accessible and well-stocked with familiar toys and blankets. Encourage your kitten to use this space whenever they feel anxious or stressed out.

Consider adopting another pet for companionship if you are unable to be home often

Exotic Shorthairs are known for being lap cats who love nothing more than curling up next to their human parents for a good nap. However, if you’re unable to be home often due to work or other commitments, your cat may become lonely and bored.

Consider adopting another pet for companionship. While dogs are the most obvious choice, there are plenty of other felines who get along famously with exotic shorthairs. Burmese cats, for example, have a similar laid-back temperament and make great playmates for these fluffy kitties.

If you do decide to adopt another pet, be sure to introduce them slowly and carefully. Keep them separated at first and gradually allow supervised interactions until they become comfortable with each other.

Why Exotic Shorthair Cats Make Great Pets

Exotic Shorthair cats are known for their adorable looks and friendly personalities, making them great pets for families and individuals alike.

Alternative Names for Exotic Shorthair Cats

Before we dive into the reasons why Exotic Shorthair cats make great pets, let’s first address the main keyword of this article: what are other names for exotic shorthair? Some people may refer to these cats as “shorthaired Persians” or “lazy man’s Persian,” due to their similar appearance to Persian cats but with less grooming requirements.

Physical Characteristics of Exotic Shorthair Cats

One of the reasons why Exotic Shorthair cats are so beloved is their unique physical characteristics. These cats have a round face, short snout, and big eyes that give them an adorable and almost cartoon-like appearance. They also have a thick, plush coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns.

Personality Traits of Exotic Shorthair Cats

In addition to their cute looks, Exotic Shorthair cats are known for their friendly and affectionate personalities. They love attention from their owners but are also content to curl up on a cozy spot and nap for hours. These cats are also very adaptable and can do well in various living situations.

How to Care for Your Exotic Shorthair Cat

To keep your Exotic Shorthair cat healthy and happy, it’s important to provide proper care. This includes feeding them a healthy diet, grooming them regularly, providing plenty of exercise opportunities, and taking them to the vet for regular check-ups.

Health Issues Common in Exotic Shorthair Cats

Like all cat breeds, there are some health issues that are more common in Exotic Shorthairs than others. These can include respiratory problems, eye issues, and urinary tract problems. It’s important to be aware of these potential health concerns and take steps to prevent or treat them as necessary.

Tips for Keeping Your Exotic Shorthair Cat Healthy

To keep your Exotic Shorthair cat healthy and happy, there are several tips you can follow. These include providing a high-quality diet, keeping their living space clean, providing plenty of exercise opportunities, and scheduling regular vet check-ups.

Best Diet for Exotic Shorthair Cats

A high-quality diet is essential for keeping your Exotic Shorthair cat healthy. Look for cat food that is specifically formulated for their breed and age group, and avoid giving them too many treats or table scraps.

Grooming Your Exotic Shorthair Cat

While Exotic Shorthair cats require less grooming than Persian cats, they still need some maintenance to keep their coat looking shiny and healthy. This includes brushing them regularly, trimming their nails as needed, and cleaning their ears.

Exercise Needs of Exotic Shorthair Cats

Exotic Shorthair cats are generally not very active but still need some form of exercise to stay healthy. Providing toys for them to play with or setting up climbing structures can help keep them entertained while also getting some physical activity.

Socializing Your Exotic Shorthair Cat

Exotic Shorthairs are known for being friendly and social with both humans and other pets. However, it’s still important to properly socialize them from a young age by exposing them to different people and situations.

In summary, if you’re looking for a friendly companion that requires less grooming than a Persian cat but has similar looks, an Exotic Shorthair may be the perfect pet for you. Just remember to provide proper care including feeding a high-quality diet, grooming regularly, providing exercise opportunities, and taking them to the vet as needed.


Q: Are Exotic Shorthair cats good for families with children?

A: Yes, Exotic Shorthair cats are known for their friendly and social personalities and can do well in households with children. However, it’s important to teach children how to properly interact with cats and supervise them when playing together.

Q: Do Exotic Shorthair cats shed a lot?

A: While Exotic Shorthair cats have a thick coat, they typically do not shed as much as other cat breeds. Regular brushing can help keep shedding under control.

Q: How often should I take my Exotic Shorthair cat to the vet?

A: It’s recommended to take your Exotic Shorthair cat to the vet at least once a year for regular check-ups and vaccinations. If you notice any concerning symptoms or changes in behavior, schedule an appointment right away.

Q: Can Exotic Shorthair cats be left alone for long periods of time?

A: While these cats are adaptable and can do well in various living situations, they still require attention and interaction from their owners. It’s best not to leave them alone for extended periods of time without proper care or entertainment.

Q: How much exercise do Exotic Shorthair cats need?