Exotic Shorthair Cat Colors: Complete Guide

Exotic Shorthair Cat Colors:

Have you ever wondered what colors are available for exotic shorthair cats? These felines have become increasingly popular among cat fanciers due to their unique look and personality. The exotic shorthair is a relatively new breed that was created by crossing the American Shorthair with Persian cats, resulting in a distinctive appearance.

One of the most fascinating aspects of these cats is the wide variety of colors and patterns they can come in. From solid black or white to tabby stripes and tortoiseshell, there’s an exotic shorthair cat for everyone. But did you know that their coat color is determined by genetics?

Whether you’re a seasoned cat owner or considering adopting an exotic shorthair for the first time, understanding their coat colors can help you choose the perfect feline companion.

So if you’re ready to learn more about these fascinating colored cats, let’s dive into the world of exotic shorthair colors!

Shell, Shades, and Smoke Division

What are the Shell, Shades, and Smoke Divisions?

Exotic Shorthair cats come in different colors and patterns. One way to categorize them is through their coat color and pattern. The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) recognizes several divisions for Exotic Shorthairs based on their coat color and pattern. These include the Shell, Shades, and Smoke Divisions.

The Shell Division includes cats with a solid white coat or those with a white undercoat. They have black-tipped hairs on a white background that give them a striking appearance. The black tips create a shell-like effect that gives this division its name.

The Shades Division includes cats with coats that have one or more shades of a particular color. For example, an Exotic Shorthair cat in the blue shade has fur that ranges from light gray to deep slate blue.

Finally, the Smoke Division includes cats with a solid colored undercoat and silver-tipped fur. When viewed from different angles or in different lighting conditions, these cats appear either solid-colored or silvery-gray.

What Colors Are Exotic Shorthairs in the Shell Division?

Exotic Shorthairs in the Shell Division have black-tipped hairs on a white background that create a shell-like effect. This division includes several colors:

  • Black: Black Exotic Shorthairs have shiny black fur with black tips.

  • Blue: Blue Exotic Shorthairs have light gray to deep slate blue fur with dark blue tips.

  • Chocolate: Chocolate Exotic Shorthairs have rich brown fur with chocolate-brown tips.

  • Lilac: Lilac Exotic Shorthairs have pale pinkish-gray fur with lavender-pink tips.

  • Red: Red Exotic Shorthairs have bright orange-red fur with red tips.

  • Cream: Cream Exotic Shorthairs have creamy white fur with pale cream tips.

  • White: White Exotic Shorthairs have pure white fur with black tips on the ears and tail.

What Colors Are Exotic Shorthairs in the Shades Division?

Exotic Shorthairs in the Shades Division have coats that have one or more shades of a particular color. The CFA recognizes several colors in this division:

  • Blue-Cream: Blue-Cream Exotic Shorthairs have a combination of blue and cream shades.

  • Cameo: Cameo Exotic Shorthairs have ivory to fawn-colored fur with red shading on the points (ears, face, legs, and tail).

  • Chinchilla: Chinchilla Exotic Shorthairs have silver-white fur with black tipping on the ears, tail, and feet.

  • Cream: Cream Exotic Shorthairs have creamy white fur without any tipping or shading.

  • Dilute Calico: Dilute Calico Exotic Shorthairs have white fur with patches of gray and peachy-orange (diluted calico) instead of black and red (regular calico).

  • Red Tabby: Red Tabby Exotic Shorthairs have orange-red fur with darker red stripes (tabby markings) on their forehead, back, and legs.

  • Tortoiseshell: Tortoiseshell Exotic Shorthairs have a mix of black, orange/red, and sometimes cream/white colors in their coat.

What Colors Are Exotic Shorthairs in the Smoke Division?

Exotic Shorthairs in the Smoke Division are solid-colored cats with silver-tipped fur. They appear either solid-colored or silvery-gray depending on lighting conditions. The CFA recognizes several colors in this division:

  • Black Smoke: Black Smoke Exotic Shorthairs have jet-black undercoat with silver-tipped hairs that create a smoky appearance when viewed from different angles.

  • Blue Smoke: Blue Smoke Exotic Shorthairs have light gray undercoat with silver-tipped hairs that create a bluish-gray smoky appearance.

  • Cream Smoke: Cream Smoke Exotic Shorthairs have pale cream undercoat with silver-tipped hairs that create a silvery-cream smoky appearance.

  • Red Smoke: Red Smoke Exotic Shorthairs have bright orange-red undercoat with red-silver tipping that creates a fiery smoky appearance.


What is tortoiseshell coloring?

Tortoiseshell cats are known for their unique and beautiful mix of black, orange, and sometimes white fur. The name “tortoiseshell” comes from the resemblance of their coat to the shell of a tortoise. This color pattern is caused by a genetic trait that results in the combination of two colors on each hair shaft.

Are all tortoiseshell cats female?

It’s almost always the case that tortoiseshell cats are female. This is because the genes responsible for this coloring are linked to the X chromosome, which means that males only have one copy of these genes, while females have two. For a male cat to be tortoiseshell, it would need to have an extra X chromosome (XXY), which is rare.

Can other breeds have tortoiseshell coloring?

Yes! While tortoiseshell coloring is often associated with shorthair cats, it can actually be found in many different breeds. Some examples include Persians (both traditional and exotic), tabbies (including silver tabbies), and even kittens.

They can come in many different colors and patterns – including solid colors like white or lilac as well as more complex patterns like bicolor or calico. However, one of the most striking variations is definitely the tortoiseshell Persian. These cats often have fluffy coats and adorable flat faces – but they do require quite a bit of grooming to keep their fur in good condition.

If you’re considering getting a tortie cat – whether it’s an exotic shorthair or another breed – there are a few things you should know about caring for them. Firstly, they tend to shed quite a bit, so regular brushing is essential if you want to keep your home free from cat hair. Since these cats often have flat faces, they can be prone to respiratory issues – so it’s important to keep them indoors and in a well-ventilated space.

Solid Color Division

What is the Solid Color Division?

The Solid Color Division is a category of exotic shorthair cats that have one solid color throughout their coat. These cats are known for their unique and striking appearance, making them a popular choice for families looking for a fun and colorful pet.

What Colors are Included in the Solid Color Division?

There are many colors included in the Solid Color Division of exotic shorthair cats. Some of the most common colors include black, blue, cream, red, and more. Each of these colors has its own unique characteristics that make it stand out from the others.

  • Black: Black exotic shorthairs have a sleek and shiny coat that is completely black. They often have bright yellow or green eyes that contrast beautifully with their dark fur.

  • Blue: Blue exotic shorthairs have a soft and plush coat that is light grayish-blue in color. Their eyes are typically large and round, with shades ranging from green to gold.

  • Cream: Cream exotic shorthairs have a warm and inviting coat that ranges from pale ivory to deep golden cream. Their eyes are usually large and expressive, with shades ranging from blue to green.

  • Red: Red exotic shorthairs have a vibrant and eye-catching coat that ranges from pale orange to deep coppery red. They often have bright green or gold eyes that complement their fiery fur.

  • And More: Other colors in the Solid Color Division include chocolate, lilac, cinnamon, fawn, silver tabby, smoke tabby, tortoiseshell, calico (tortoiseshell-and-white), bluecream (dilute calico), as well as other variations.

How Do I Choose the Right Exotic Shorthair Cat?

Choosing an exotic shorthair cat can be a difficult decision because there are so many different colors to choose from! However, there are some things you can consider to help you make the right choice.

First, think about your lifestyle and what kind of cat would fit best with your family. Do you have young children or other pets? If so, you may want to choose a cat that is friendly and outgoing. On the other hand, if you live alone and are looking for a companion, you may want to choose a cat that is more independent.

Next, consider your personal preferences. Do you prefer bright and bold colors like red or black? Or do you prefer softer and more muted colors like cream or blue?

Finally, don’t forget to consider the personality of the individual cat you are considering. Even within the same color division, each cat will have its own unique personality and temperament. Spend some time getting to know different cats before making your final decision.

Particolor Division

What are Particolor Cats?

Particolor cats, also known as tortoiseshell or calico cats, have a unique coat pattern that consists of two or more distinct colors. This is different from solid-colored cats, which have only one color in their coat pattern. The colors on a particolor cat’s coat can be arranged in various patterns and combinations.

Common Coat Patterns

There are several common coat patterns for particolor cats, including:

1. Calico

Calico cats have white fur with patches of orange and black. These patches can be small or large and may cover different areas of the cat’s body. The orange and black patches on a calico cat’s coat can be arranged in various ways, creating unique patterns.

2. Tabby

Tabby cats have stripes on their coats that can be thick or thin, straight or wavy. The stripes on a tabby cat’s coat can be arranged in various patterns, such as circular or blotched.

3. Bi-color

Bi-color cats have white fur with another color (such as black) on certain parts of their body. This creates a striking contrast between the two colors and gives bi-color cats a distinctive look.

Characteristics of Each Color Variation

Different Coat Colors and Their Associations with Personality Traits and Health Issues

Exotic Shorthairs come in a variety of colors, each with its own unique characteristics. While the color of a cat’s coat does not necessarily determine its personality or health, there are certain associations that have been observed over time.

White Exotic Shorthairs

White cats are often associated with purity, innocence, and grace. However, they may also be prone to certain health issues such as deafness. It has been found that white cats with blue eyes have a higher likelihood of being deaf than those with other eye colors. This is due to a genetic mutation that affects the development of the inner ear.

Despite these potential health concerns, white Exotic Shorthairs are known for their calm and gentle demeanor. They make great companions for families with children or other pets.

Black Exotic Shorthairs

Black cats have long been associated with superstition and bad luck. However, in many cultures, they are also seen as symbols of protection and good fortune.

In terms of personality traits, black cats are often considered mysterious and independent. They may be more reserved than other colors but can form strong bonds with their owners over time.

Health-wise, black cats do not seem to be predisposed to any specific conditions more than others. However, it is important to note that black cats may be more difficult to adopt due to lingering superstitions surrounding their color.

Red/Orange Exotic Shorthairs

Red or orange tabby cats are often considered friendly and outgoing. They tend to be quite social and enjoy spending time around people.

In terms of appearance, red/orange tabbies typically have distinctive patterns on their coats such as stripes or spots. These patterns can vary greatly from cat to cat but add an extra level of visual interest.

While there do not appear to be any specific health concerns associated with red/orange Exotic Shorthairs, it is important to note that male cats of this color are more likely to develop urinary tract issues than other colors.

Blue/Grey Exotic Shorthairs

Blue or grey cats are often associated with calmness and serenity. They may be more laid-back than other colors but can still be very affectionate towards their owners.

In terms of health concerns, blue/grey cats may be more prone to certain respiratory issues such as asthma or bronchitis. This is due to a genetic predisposition towards these conditions.

Other Color Variations

Exotic Shorthairs also come in a variety of other colors such as cream, chocolate, and lilac. While there may not be specific personality traits or health concerns associated with these colors, they each offer their own unique visual appeal.

How to Identify Different Colors of Exotic Shorthair Kittens

Wait Until the Kitten is Fully Grown

One of the most important things to keep in mind when identifying the color of an exotic shorthair kitten is that their coat color can change as they grow older. Therefore, it’s essential to wait until they are fully grown before determining their true coloration. This will prevent any confusion or misidentification down the line.

Look for Spots and Markings

When examining a kitten, it’s crucial to look for any spots or markings that could indicate what kind of adult coat they will develop. For example, if a kitten has small spots on its fur, it may develop a tabby pattern as an adult. Similarly, if there are white patches on the kitten’s fur, it may have a bicolor or calico coat as an adult.

Understand Common Exotic Shorthair Coat Colors

Exotic shorthairs come in a variety of colors and patterns. Here are some of the most common:

  • Black: A solid black coat with no other colors or markings.

  • Blue: A grayish-blue coat that can range from light to dark.

  • White: A pure white coat with no other colors or markings.

  • Red: An orange-red coat with no other colors or markings.

  • Cream: A pale yellowish-brown coat with no other colors or markings.

  • Tortoiseshell: A mix of black, red, and sometimes cream patches on a brownish background.

  • Calico: A mix of white, black, and red patches on a brownish background.

  • Tabby: Striped patterns in various shades and combinations.

Take Note of Eye Color

Another factor to consider when identifying an exotic shorthair’s color is eye color. Most exotic shorthairs have gold or green eyes, but some can have blue eyes or odd eyes (one eye is a different color than the other). Eye color can sometimes be an indicator of coat color, as some colors are more likely to have certain eye colors.

Seek Professional Help

If you’re having trouble identifying your exotic shorthair’s coat color, it may be helpful to seek professional help. A veterinarian or breeder can often provide valuable insight into what kind of coat your kitten will develop and what colors and patterns are most common in the breed.

Common Diseases & Conditions: Feline Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)


Feline Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)

Feline Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) is a genetic condition that can affect Exotic Shorthairs. This disease causes multiple fluid-filled cysts to form on the kidneys, which can lead to kidney failure. PKD is an inherited disease, and it’s caused by a mutation in the PKD1 gene.

Testing for PKD

Testing for PKD is recommended before breeding Exotic Shorthairs. A DNA test can be performed to detect the presence of the mutated gene responsible for this disease. This test can be done at any age, and it’s important to identify affected cats early so that they can receive appropriate treatment.

It’s also important to note that not all cats with the mutated gene will develop PKD. However, if both parents carry the mutation, their offspring have a higher chance of developing this disease.

Symptoms of PKD

The symptoms of PKD may not appear until later in life when significant damage has already been done to the kidneys. Some common signs include:

  • Increased thirst and urination

  • Loss of appetite

  • Vomiting

  • Weight loss

  • Lethargy

If you notice any of these symptoms in your Exotic Shorthair cat, it’s essential to take them to a veterinarian as soon as possible for examination and testing.

Treatment Options for PKD

Unfortunately, there is no cure for feline polycystic kidney disease. However, there are several treatment options available that can help manage the symptoms and slow down the progression of this disease.

Some common treatments include:

  1. Medications – Your veterinarian may prescribe medications like ACE inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) to help control blood pressure and proteinuria.

  2. Dietary Changes – Feeding your cat a special diet that is low in protein and phosphorus can help reduce the workload on the kidneys.

  3. Fluid Therapy – Providing your cat with subcutaneous fluids can help keep them hydrated and flush out toxins from their body.

In severe cases, kidney transplantation may be an option for some cats. However, this is an expensive and complicated procedure that requires a lot of preparation and post-operative care.

Personality and Temperament of Exotic Shorthair Breed

Laid-Back and Affectionate Personalities

Exotic Shorthairs are a breed of Persian cats that have been bred to have short hair. They are known for their laid-back, affectionate personalities. These cats love nothing more than cuddling with their owners and spending time lounging around the house. They are often referred to as “lap cats” because they enjoy being close to their humans.

One of the reasons why Exotic Shorthairs make such great pets is because they are very calm and relaxed. Unlike some other cat breeds, they don’t tend to get overly excited or hyperactive. Instead, they prefer to take things slow and enjoy life at their own pace. This makes them an excellent choice for people who want a low-maintenance pet that is easy to care for.

Good with Children and Other Pets

Another great thing about Exotic Shorthairs is that they are generally good with children and other pets. Because they have such a laid-back personality, they tend to be very tolerant of kids and can handle a lot of rough play without getting upset or aggressive.

They also tend to get along well with other animals in the household, including dogs and other cats. Of course, it’s always important to introduce any new pets slowly and carefully, but in general, Exotic Shorthairs are very adaptable creatures who can adjust well to new situations.

Similarities with Persian Cats

As mentioned earlier, Exotic Shorthairs are actually a type of Persian cat. In fact, they share many similarities with Persians.

For example, both breeds tend to be very docile and calm by nature. They also both have long fur (although the Exotic has shorter fur) that requires regular grooming in order to stay healthy.

However, there are some differences between the two breeds as well. For instance, Exotic Shorthairs tend to be a bit more active and playful than Persians. They also have a broader face and a more compact body shape.

History of the Exotic Shorthair Cat: Breed Origin & History

Development of the Breed

The exotic shorthair cat breed is a relatively new breed that was developed in the 1950s by crossing Persians with American Shorthairs. The intent behind this crossbreeding was to create a Persian cat with shorter hair, making them easier to groom and care for. The first attempts at crossbreeding were not successful, but eventually, breeders managed to produce cats with the desired traits.

Renaming to Exotic Shorthair

Originally called Sterling, the breed was later renamed to Exotic Shorthair. This name change was due to the fact that these cats were no longer being bred solely from American Shorthairs but also from other breeds such as British Shorthairs and Burmese cats. This resulted in a wider range of coat colors and patterns than originally seen in Sterling cats.

Popularity of Exotic Shorthairs

Exotic shorthairs quickly gained popularity due to their unique appearance and easy-to-care-for coat. They have a stocky build, round face, short nose, and large eyes that give them an adorable teddy bear-like appearance. Their coats are plush and soft, requiring minimal grooming compared to their long-haired Persian counterparts.

Today, exotic shorthairs are recognized as their own distinct breed by major cat organizations such as The International Cat Association (TICA) and The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA). They come in a variety of colors including black, white, blue cream, silver tabby and many more.

Finding an Exotic Shorthair Breeder

If you’re interested in getting an exotic shorthair cat as a pet or show animal, it’s important to find a reputable breeder who follows ethical breeding practices. Look for breeders who prioritize the health and well-being of their cats over profit, and who are willing to provide you with information about the cat’s lineage and health history.

You can find exotic shorthair breeders by searching online or contacting local cat clubs. It’s also a good idea to attend cat shows where you can meet breeders in person and see their cats up close. Remember that adopting an exotic shorthair is a long-term commitment, so take the time to find a breeder who will provide you with a healthy, happy, and well-socialized kitten.

Exotic Shorthair Breed Care: Physical Characteristics and Coat Variations

Respiratory Issues and Dental Problems of Shorthair Cats

Exotic Shorthairs are a popular cat breed due to their adorable flat faces, but this unique feature comes with some health risks. These cats may be prone to respiratory issues because of their short snouts, which can cause breathing difficulties, especially during hot weather or exercise. Their facial structure makes them more susceptible to dental problems like tooth decay and gum disease.

As a responsible pet owner, it is crucial to keep an eye on your Exotic Shorthair’s breathing patterns and dental hygiene. Regular visits to the vet for check-ups are essential in preventing or managing any respiratory or dental issues. You can also help by providing a cool environment during hot weather and maintaining good oral hygiene through frequent brushing.

Grooming Needs for Long-Haired Cats

Some Exotic Shorthairs have longer hair than others, which means they require more grooming care. Regular brushing helps prevent matting and tangling of the coat while removing loose hairs that could create hairballs when ingested. It also promotes healthy skin and coat by distributing natural oils throughout the fur.

When grooming your long-haired Exotic Shorthair cat, use a soft bristle brush or comb designed for cats’ sensitive skin. Start at the head and work your way down the body until you reach the tail. Be gentle when brushing around sensitive areas like the face, ears, belly, and legs.

Special Care for Coat Colors

Exotic Shorthairs come in various colors and patterns such as white, black, blue cream tabby, calico, tortoiseshell among others. Some coat colors may require special care to maintain their appearance or avoid health concerns related to sunlight exposure.

For instance, white cats have a higher risk of developing skin cancer due to sun exposure; hence they should avoid direct sunlight. You can provide shade or use pet-safe sunscreen to protect your cat’s skin from the sun’s harmful rays.

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Exotic Shorthair Cat Colors: Complete Guide


Exotic Shorthairs and Children

Exotic shorthair cats are known for their affectionate nature and love for people, which makes them great pets for families with children. They are generally patient and tolerant of kids’ playful behavior, making them an excellent choice for households with young ones. However, like any other pet, they should be supervised during playtime to ensure that both the cat and the child are safe.

It’s essential to teach children how to handle exotic shorthair cats properly. For example, they should learn not to pull on their paws or tails or pick them up roughly. It’s crucial to teach children how to read a cat’s body language so they can tell when the cat is feeling stressed or uncomfortable.

Introducing Exotic Shorthairs into Homes with Other Pets

Proper introductions are critical when introducing an exotic shorthair cat into a household with other pets. The introduction process should be gradual and controlled to prevent any aggressive behaviors between pets.

One way to introduce new pets is by using scent association. This involves swapping bedding or toys between the two animals so that they can become accustomed to each other’s smell before meeting face-to-face. Another way is by keeping the new pet in a separate room initially, allowing them time to adjust before being introduced gradually in short sessions.

Pet Talk provides helpful tips on how to introduce new pets into your home successfully. They recommend consulting with a veterinarian beforehand and taking things slowly while supervising all interactions between pets until everyone gets along.

What Colors Are Exotic Shorthairs?

Exotic Shorthair cats come in a variety of colors and patterns. The breed has two main divisions: the Shell, Shades, and Smoke Division and the Solid Color Division.

The Shell, Shades, and Smoke Division includes colors such as black smoke, blue smoke, cream smoke, cameo shell, shaded silver, and more. On the other hand, the Solid Color Division includes shades like white, black, blue, red (also known as flame), cream, chocolate (also known as Havana), lilac (also known as lavender), and cinnamon.

Each color variation has its own unique characteristics that make it stand out from the others. For example, tortoiseshell Exotic Shorthairs have a mix of black or brown with red or orange patches on their fur.

Identifying different colors of Exotic Shorthair kittens can be challenging for beginners. However, with practice and guidance from an experienced breeder or veterinarian, you can learn to identify each color variation accurately.

It is important to be aware of common diseases and conditions that affect this breed. Feline Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) is one such condition that affects many Exotic Shorthairs.

In terms of personality and temperament traits of this breed are friendly and affectionate towards their owners but can be reserved around strangers. They are also great with children and other pets if socialized properly.

If you’re considering bringing an Exotic Shorthair into your home as a pet then there are several things you should keep in mind when caring for them physically. This includes maintaining their coat variations by regularly brushing them according to their coat type.

Overall if you’re looking for a loving companion who will provide endless entertainment then an exotic shorthair may just be what you need!


Q: Are Exotic Shorthairs good with children?

A: Yes, Exotic Shorthairs are generally good with children if they are socialized properly and introduced to them at a young age.

Q: What is the average lifespan of an Exotic Shorthair cat?

A: The average lifespan of an Exotic Shorthair cat is around 12-15 years.

Q: Do Exotic Shorthairs shed a lot?

A: Yes, like most cats, Exotic Shorthairs do shed. However, their short hair makes it easier to manage than some other breeds.

Q: Can I keep an Exotic Shorthair as an outdoor cat?

A: It is not recommended to keep an Exotic Shorthair as an outdoor cat due to their friendly nature and potential health risks such as exposure to diseases or predators.

Q: How often should I groom my Exotic Shorthair’s coat?

A: The frequency of grooming your Exotic Shorthair’s coat depends on its length and type. Short-haired varieties require less frequent grooming, while long-haired varieties require more frequent grooming. A general rule of thumb is to brush your cat once or twice a week.