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Exotic Shorthair Cat: Profile, Traits, Behavior, Care, Training

(Last Updated On: September 1, 2023)

Although their fur is shorter than the Persian standard, Exotic Shorthair cat isn’t as abbreviated as that of some other short-haired breeds. What truly sets the Exotic Shorthair apart is their remarkably large, round head, creating a captivating contrast with the rest of their body. Exotic Shorthair cats bear a striking resemblance to Persian cats, yet they possess a distinctive feature – their fur is delightfully short.

Exotic Shorthair Cat: Profile

The Exotic Shorthair, often affectionately referred to as the “lazy man’s Persian,” possesses the same elegant body and charming personality as the Persian cat, but with a shorter, more manageable coat. Dive into the world of this gentle and easygoing feline breed, and discover all there is to know.

A Tale of Origins

The Exotic Shorthair owes its existence to deliberate crossbreeding. Originally, breeders paired Persians and Burmese cats, aiming to produce a breed with a luxurious, short coat. Some enthusiasts even introduced British and American Shorthair cats into the mix. However, today, the only recognized and accepted cross is with the Persian breed.

A Stylish Appearance

Exotic Shorthair cats boast medium-sized frames adorned with exquisitely round heads, eyes, and bodies. Their weight typically hovers between 10 to 12 pounds. These cats, while sharing kinship with Persians, possess a distinct feature – plush, dense coats. Yet, they maintain the same flat faces and round heads.

Intriguingly, Exotic Shorthairs exhibit a mesmerizing array of colors and patterns, spanning from the purity of white to the depths of blue, black, red, and lilac. The hue of their eyes can range from the cool blues and blue greens to the fiery glint of copper, a palette uniquely intertwined with their coat shades. Their appearance, characterized by a compact, solid physique, features large paws and short, robust tails.

A Temperament of Delights

Living alongside an Exotic Shorthair is truly delightful. These warm, affectionate creatures make for effortlessly content pets, a true joy to be around.

“Exotic Shorthairs possess a personality that artfully blends the traits of Persians and American Shorthairs,” notes Chyrle Bonk, DVM at Pet Keen. “They are playful without overexertion, affectionate and loyal to their families, and thrive on active participation in their human companions’ activities. They exude a laid-back demeanor, harmonizing well with children and other pets. However, they also cherish one-on-one moments with their human family members.”

While Persians are often tagged as couch potatoes, Exotic Shorthairs add a touch of playfulness to the mix, enthusiastically joining in games of “chase the ball.” Nevertheless, they easily transition to sharing a quiet evening on the couch for movie night. Known for their soft-spoken nature, they reserve their voices for essential moments, such as reminding you of dinner time.

With early training and socialization, Exotic Shorthairs accommodate other cats or dogs in their space. They remain loyal to their family but may be reserved around unfamiliar faces. This combination of traits makes them ideal companions for families with older children who understand how to interact with pets and for seniors seeking a devoted friend.

A Kaleidoscope of Colors

The Exotic Shorthair cat boasts a vibrant palette of coat colors, many of which are also cherished in the Persian breed. These hues encompass solid shades, shimmering silvers and golds, the artful play of shaded and smoke patterns, lively tabby designs, charming particolored variations, elegant bicolor combinations, and the captivating Himalayan blend. The Himalayan coat, characterized by shades like chocolate, seal, lilac, and blue, often steals the spotlight.

Nurturing Their Unique Beauty

Despite sporting less fur than their Persian counterparts, Exotic Shorthairs require regular grooming to stay in optimal condition. As seasons change and warmth envelops them, they will shed their coat.

Unveiling the Numbers

In the realm of weight, male Exotic Shorthairs tip the scales at a minimum of 5.5 kilograms, while their female counterparts exhibit a weight range from 3.5 to 5.5 kilograms.

The Gift of Time

The average lifespan of an Exotic Shorthair stretches between 12 to 14 years, offering ample time for shared adventures and cherished moments.

Personality and Disposition

Exotic Shorthairs are renowned for their gentle and amiable disposition, sharing personality traits with their Persian kin. They revel in playfulness, embracing the company of fellow cats and even amiable dogs. These feline friends find solace in peaceful slumbers, often seeking cozy corners for a restful nap. While they may exhibit some caution around unfamiliar visitors, they can warm up with time.

Guardians of Their Happiness

Exotic Shorthairs prefer not to be left alone for extended durations. If your schedule keeps you away, consider providing some companionship, perhaps by leaving the TV or radio on to soothe their solitude.

While they’re not the most athletic among feline brethren, these cats do enjoy occasional playtime. They’re not particularly vocal, blending harmoniously with families of all kinds, including those with young children.

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Minimal Living Requirements

Exotic Shorthair cats are versatile when it comes to living arrangements, showing more concern for their owners than for square footage. Their low-maintenance nature enables them to thrive in apartments or spacious homes alike. These social cats prefer not to be left alone for extended periods, so providing interactive toys or a feline playmate can help keep them content, especially if you travel frequently.

Given their moderate activity level, providing a cat tree can offer mental stimulation. They also relish a variety of toys, which can be rotated periodically to prevent boredom. Like most breeds, Exotic Shorthairs delight in observing the outside world from a padded window seat and may even claim a cozy spot right beside you.

A Glimpse at Common Health Issues

Breathing Challenges: Due to their distinctive facial structure, Exotic Shorthairs may face breathing difficulties, leading to shortness of breath or noisy respiration.

Cherry Eye: This ocular condition causes the third eyelid to swell, resulting in irritation. Characterized by a reddish mass near the eye’s corner, it typically necessitates surgical intervention.

Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD): This inherited ailment can manifest at a young age. PKD forms fluid-filled cysts within the kidneys, impairing their function and potentially leading to chronic renal failure. Symptoms include poor appetite, excessive drinking, vomiting, frequent urination, lethargy, and depression. Ultrasound examinations offer a reliable means of diagnosis, and some cases can be managed through dietary adjustments, medications, and hormone therapy.

Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: This hereditary condition poses a diagnostic challenge, often manifesting as sudden death. It results from the thickening of the heart’s walls, typically affecting older male cats but occasionally striking younger ones. An echocardiogram can facilitate diagnosis, and treatment options may include medication for some non-lethal cases. Indicators include loss of appetite, lethargy, breathing difficulties, coughing, fainting, and leg paralysis, although some cats may remain asymptomatic.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): PRA encompasses a group of eye disorders leading to gradual retinal degeneration. Initial symptoms involve the loss of night vision, eventually progressing to daytime vision impairment. Many cats adapt well to visual loss, provided their surroundings remain constant.

The Art of Care

Maintaining the well-being of your Exotic Shorthair is a breeze, especially when compared to the grooming requirements of Persians. Their short, dense coats merely necessitate a weekly brushing to eliminate dirt and shed hair.

“The Exotic Shorthair possesses a plush haircoat without the demanding upkeep,” Bonk remarks. “Their fur is less prone to matting and tangling than that of a Persian and typically requires only weekly brushing. Increased brushing during spring can help manage seasonal shedding.”

Ingrid Johnson, a Certified Cat Behavior Consultant, Cat Groomer, and author of Fundamentally Feline, recommends employing three grooming tools for cats:

  • A de-matting comb, featuring wide teeth of varying lengths, aids in the removal of the undercoat.
  • A slicker brush, characterized by broad bristles, excels at removing dirt and dander.
  • A flea comb helps strip away flyaway hairs.

Johnson advises initiating grooming sessions when cats are kittens. “Positive grooming experiences teach cats to embrace the practice,” she explains. Additionally, wiping their faces with a warm, damp dishcloth can reduce staining from tear buildup.

Exotic Shorthairs possess ample self-entertainment capabilities, thanks to their medium-energy disposition. You won’t catch them scaling curtains; instead, they may be found batting a ball through the hallway or indulging in a cozy couch nap.

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