Cat Breeds

Exotic Shorthair

Isabel Hartley

The Exotic Shorthair cat breed is beloved for its charming personality and plush appearance. Often referred to as the short-haired version of the Persian, this feline offers a mix of the Persian’s sweet, tranquil nature with a more manageable coat.

The result is a cat that has a distinctive round face, large set eyes, and a stout, muscular body. They exude a calm and affectionate demeanor, making them excellent companions.

They typically weigh between 8-15 pounds and have a life expectancy of around 12-16 years.

The Exotic Shorthair’s coat is short and dense, coming in a variety of colors and patterns, which contributes to their popularity among cat enthusiasts.

Their moderate activity levels mean they may enjoy interactive play sessions, although they appreciate lounging around just as much.

Exotic Shorthairs are well-suited for indoor living and tend to form strong bonds with their human families. They are generally good with children and other pets, making them a versatile pet for various households.

Their affectionate nature means they thrive on attention, yet they’re not overly demanding, striking a good balance for owners who enjoy closeness but also value their own time.

Breed Origins

The Exotic Shorthair has a distinct tale of inception, rooted in the desire for a shorthaired variant of the Persian cat.


The Exotic Shorthair breed emerged in the United States during the 1950s. Breeders initially aimed to create an American Shorthair with the same silver color and green eyes as the Persian.

They mixed Persians with American Shorthairs and, in time, incorporated Russian Blues and Burmese into the blend, which ultimately led to the Exotic Shorthair’s birth.


Selection and breeding over the years have cemented the characteristics of Exotic Shorthairs. They’ve progressed to being nearly indistinguishable from Persians, except for their short, plush coat.

The modern Exotic Shorthair boasts the same stocky frame and broad face as its Persian cousins. The American Cat Fanciers Association officially recognized the breed in 1967, and since then, it has gained popularity for its easier grooming requirements.


The Exotic Shorthair breed offers a blend of affectionate temperament and easy-care appearance, making them a favorite for those who admire the Persian’s traits but seek a more low-maintenance companion.


Exotic Shorthairs possess a distinctive look characterized by their short, plush coat, striking large, round eyes, and a sweet, open expression.

A typical adult Exotic Shorthair’s body is medium to large, showing good musculature. Their weight ranges from 8 to 15 pounds, with males usually being larger than females.

They feature a round head with a strong chin, and their short, broad nose contributes to their characteristic ‘teddy bear’ look.


They are known for their endearing and quiet nature. Exotic Shorthairs are gentle, affectionate cats that form strong bonds with their owners.

They tend to be playful but not overly energetic, often showing their lively spirit in brief bursts of kitten-like activity. Their temperament makes them adaptable companions, content to be in the presence of their human family or enjoying a peaceful nap.

Care and Health

The Exotic Shorthair’s care is straightforward, focusing primarily on regular grooming and monitoring for common health issues. This cat’s plush coat and laid-back lifestyle warrant attention to avoid complications.


The Exotic Shorthair cat’s short, dense coat needs less maintenance than that of a Persian but should still be brushed weekly to remove loose hairs and prevent mats.

Frequent eye cleaning is also essential due to their brachycephalic facial structure, which can lead to tear stains.

  • Brushing: Once a week with a soft-bristled brush.
  • Eyes: Clean regularly with a damp cloth to avoid staining.

Health Concerns

They’re generally a healthy breed but prone to hereditary health issues like other purebreds.

Obesity can be a concern, so maintaining a well-balanced diet is crucial.

  • Dental Disease: Routine dental care is important.
  • Respiratory Issues: Their flat faces can lead to breathing difficulties.
  • Heart Conditions: Regular veterinary check-ups can help detect common issues like hypertrophic cardiomyopathy early on.

Adoption and Ownership

When considering adopting an Exotic Shorthair, prospective owners should look for a reputable rescue group or a breeder.

These cats are known for their sweet and friendly demeanor, making them a great choice for families and individuals alike.

Adopting from a Rescue:

  • Check for available cats at local shelters or breed-specific rescues.
  • Expect an adoption fee which often covers initial medical costs.
  • Interaction before adoption is key to assess compatibility.

Buying from a Breeder:

  • Search for breeders who conduct health screenings.
  • Breeders should offer pedigree information and health guarantees.
  • Plan to visit the cattery to see the kitten’s living conditions.

Care and understanding:

  • Exotic Shorthairs have a lifespan of 10-15 years.
  • They weigh between 7-12 pounds and require minimal grooming.
  • Owners should be prepared for regular veterinary check-ups and vaccinations.

When bringing an Exotic Shorthair into your home, they’ll need a comfortable and safe environment.

This breed enjoys playtime but also appreciates relaxing alongside their humans. They’re adaptable and often get along well with other pets when properly introduced.

Frequently Asked Questions

This section covers common queries about Exotic Shorthair cats, from ownership costs to their suitability as family pets.

What’s the average cost of an Exotic Shorthair kitten?

The average price for an Exotic Shorthair kitten ranges from $1,000 to $5,000, depending on the breeder’s reputation, location, and the cat’s lineage.

Can you recommend tips for adopting an exotic shorthair cat?

When adopting an exotic shorthair, research reputable shelters or breeders, inquire about the cat’s health history, and ensure they have had necessary vaccinations and screenings.

Is the Exotic Shorthair breed considered a good pet for most households?

Yes, exotic shorthairs make excellent pets for most households since they are friendly, affectionate, and adapt well to various living situations, including homes with children and other pets.

Do Exotic Shorthairs have any special care requirements?

Exotic Shorthairs have a dense coat that requires regular grooming, and they may inherit some of the health issues common to Persians, so regular vet check-ups are important.

What physical characteristics define an exotic shorthair’s size and appearance?

An Exotic Shorthair cat has a medium-to-large build, a round face, a short nose, and large eyes. Their short, plush coat comes in various colors and patterns.

How affectionate are Exotic Shorthair cats compared to other breeds?

Exotic shorthairs are typically very affectionate. They are often described as “puppy-like” in their devotion to their owners and desire for attention. This makes them comparably affectionate to other breeds known for their loving nature.