Interesting facts about Exotic Shorthairs

exotic shorthair

The Exotic Shorthair is a breed of cat developed as a short-haired version of the Persian.

It is similar to the Persian in many ways, including temperament and conformation, a flat nose and face with the exceptions of the short dense coat.

The Exotic Shorthair cat is from the United States.

In the late 1950s, the Persian was used as an outcross by some American Shorthair breeders. This was done in secret in order to improve their body type, and crosses were also made with the Russian Blue and the Burmese. The crossbreed look gained recognition in the show ring, but unhappy American Shorthair breeders successfully produced a new breed standard that would disqualify American Shorthairs that showed signs of crossbreeding.


One American Shorthair breeder who saw the potential of the Persian/American Shorthair cross proposed and eventually got the Cat Fanciers’ Association judge and American Shorthair breeder Jane Martinke to recognize them as a new breed in 1966, under the name Exotic Shorthair.

In 1987, the Cat Fanciers’ Association closed the Exotic to shorthair outcrosses, leaving Persian as the only allowable outcross breed.

Today, the Exotic Shorthair is one of the most popular, purebred shorthair cats.

The Exotic Shorthair cat has a lifespan of 10 to 15 years.


It is a medium sized, stocky cat breed. The typical Exotic Shorthair cat has an overall height of 25 to 30 cm (10 to 12 in) and body length of 30.5 to 45.5 cm (12 to 18 in). It weighs between 3 and 7 kg (7 and 15 lb).

The head is round and broad with small wide set ears and a short open face. The eyes are large and pure, deep color corresponding to that of the coat. The legs are short, thick and strong with large round paws and tufted toes. The tail is short and bushy. The coat is short, thick and luxuriant with a dense, soft undercoat.

Their beautiful plush coats are soft and come in an impressive 140 colours with coat patterns including smoke, tabby, tortie tabby, bi-colour, shaded, tipped, colour-pointed and spotted.


Exotic Shorthairs have a gentle and calm personality reminiscent of the Persian, but are generally livelier than their longhaired ancestors.

Curious and playful, they are friendly to other cats and dogs, but they don’t like being left alone and need the presence of their owner.

The exotic has been dubbed “the lazy man’s Persian” because it’s similar to the Persian cat in its sweet looks but has a coat that requires much less maintenance. Brushing or combing once a week is typically all it takes to keep the coat free of tangles.

exotic shorthair kitten

Common pedigree Exotic Shorthair, from lesser-known breeding farms cost from $1200 to $2200 – which is a reasonable price range for a lovely and docile kitten. Excellent pedigree Exotic Shorthair, from well-known breeding farms, with nice coat and appearance, is much more expensive – their prices range from $1600 – $5000.

Exotic shorthair kittens tend to adapt very quickly to their new environment. They are not as timid as they may appear, and will definitely do some exploring, but, in general, these are rather mellow and easy-going kittens.


Because of the regular use of Persian as outcrosses, some Exotics may carry a copy of the recessive longhair gene. When two such cats mate, there is a 1 in 4 chance of each offspring being longhaired. Longhaired Exotics are not considered Persians by the Cat Fanciers’ Association, although The International Cat Association accepts them as Persians. Other associations like the American Cat Fanciers Association register them as a separate Exotic Longhair breed.