The Exotic's “cuteness”, along with its ease of grooming and playful nature, make it a top choice as a pet.
The Exotic Short hair Cat meets every standard for the Persian breed, except for the coat.
Head: Oval. Rounded forehead. Round, full cheeks. Short, broad, round muzzle. Short, broad nose with pronounced stop.
Ears: Small, rounded at the tip, not too open at the base. Widely spaced and well-furnished with hair on the inside.
Eyes: Large and round. Pure, deep color corresponding to that of the coat (gold to copper in most varieties; green in the chinchilla and the golden; blue in the white and the color point).
Neck: Short and thick.
Body: Medium-sized, sturdy and low to the ground. Broad chest. Massive shoulders. Weight: 7 – 15 pounds.
Paw: Short, straight and large. Round, large paws. Tufts of hair between the toes.
Tail: Short, thick, carried low. Rounded tip.
Coat: Short haired but slightly longer than other short haired breeds. Dense, fluffy hair. Exotics are acceptable in any color and in any coat pattern, including color point (like Siamese), white, striped, and calico.
Also known as the Short Haired Persian, Exotics are a popular breed for the busy cat fancier who likes the look of a Persian but doesn’t have time for the daily grooming demands. The Exotic is plush and beautiful to look at, with the added benefit of being one of the more affectionate breeds. The Exotic is also easy to care for, with a minimal shedding but still luxurious coat.
The face of the Exotic is identical to the Persian, with the same standards in place. There are two features which particularly cause the Exotic to stand out. First, the face, is short and broad, with a flattened muzzle. Second, this breed retains its kittenish expression, with large, round, widely set eyes, small ears, a short nose, and a large, round head.
History and Background The birth of the Exotic Short hair began in earnest in the late 1950s, when American cat breeder Carolyn Bussey crossed a Persian with a brown Burmese, in the hopes of designing a brown Persian. She ended up with all black kittens, but discovered that they were super cute. She believed that cat fanciers might take to the idea of a short haired Persian, one that would be easier to groom, but that retained the beauty and easy nature of the Persian. Her precise breeding standards brought about its registration as the Exotic Short Hair. Beyond the initial crossing of the Burmese and the Persian with the American Short Hair, the Exotic has been limited to crosses with the Persian, so that the breed can maintain its pedigreed status.
By 1975, the Exotic gene pool was deemed large enough to produce vigorous and attractive cats that met the standard. This breed was granted Championship Status in 1967 by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA). The Exotic made rapid progress from there, and was soon in demand.
In 1971, the first Exotic Short Hair achieved the status of Grand Champion, and in 1991, an Exotic was the Cat Fancier's Association’s Cat of the Year.
Personality and Temperament Early Exotics were a bit more active than their Persian relatives because of crossings for the short hair gene, but over the last four decades, since the breed began, the Exotic has come to be more like the Persian in behavior as well as appearance. It is still more playful that its relative, and its easy going nature and calm attitude are ideal for families with children and without, and for both rural and urban homes.
The Exotic gets along well with other animals, but it tends toward people. Quietly, when it does have a need to speak, the Exotic greets you with a soft voice. This breed is amused by the simple pleasures of life. Lying on your lap or playing with a string, keep your Exotic pleased. They are not jumpers, nor do they dash around the house or make trouble on shelves. Their preference leans more toward lounging around and being caressed. They are among the most affectionate and loyal of cats breeds, a true companion pet.
They are friendly to other cats and dogs, and are often capable mouse hunters.
Care and Grooming
The Exotic Short hair cat does not require daily combing, nor does it shed heavily — in fact, it sheds so little as to be considered a “non-shedding” breed. Weekly combing is recommended simply for the purpose of beautifying the Exotic, and for keeping hairballs to a minimum. The fur on the Exotic is so thick, that this is one of those particular breeds of cats that looks much bigger than it truly is.
As with other flat-faced animals, the Exotic’s tear ducts are prone to overflowing which can dampen and stain the face. This can be relieved by periodically wiping the cat’s face with a moist cloth.
This breed ages slowly, as it does not reach maturity until around two years of age and enters puberty fairly late.
There may also be occasional sinus problems, or problems with tooth alignment due to the shortened jaw and the possibility of tooth crowding.
Finally, the shorter nostrils make the Exotic more sensitive to heat. High temperatures may lead to breathing problems. Add that to the heavier coat, and you have a breed that will look for ways to stay cool. Although the Exotic loves human contact, and will spend much of its time as a lap cat, it will also look for spots where it can cool down, such as hardwood floors, bricks, and tiles.