Exotic shorthair cat

A young and popular breed. It is a result of crossbreeding American Shorthair and Persian cats.

Energy level
Level of affection
Level of friendliness
female: 3—5 kg
male: 5—7 kg
female: 30 cm
male: 30 cm
requires little time
Gives birth to
Gives birth to:
3—7 kittens
United States
in 1960
Life span
Life span:
12—15 years


Exotic Shorthair cats are friendly and affectionate pets. Their personality is similar to one of Persian cats. They get very attached to people and do not easily get through loneliness. They cannot be called intrusive, though. The biggest difference between Persian and Exotic Shorthair cats is the level of activity of the latter. These pets are playful and curious. Some Exotic Shorthair cats might chase mice.

Exotic Shorthair cats are not aggressive. They get on well with other animals and will never be first to start a fight. Cats of this breed are good at finding compromises. They might show disaffection only towards strangers. Get on well with children. A child is absolutely safe when he plays with this pet. Exotic Shorthair cats are similar to dogs in the way they behave. They are more loyal than other cat breeds. This makes them perfect pets.

Exotic Shorthair cats can be trained. They remember simple commands and forbidden words. It is important not to show any aggression while training the cat. They are very emotionally vulnerable, that is why patience is so important.


Exotic Shorthair cats are of medium size. Their body is strong and massive. 
Short and thick. Feels soft and plushy
Any color is acceptable. The most common are: solid — black, gray, red, white, lilac; bicolor — mixed with red, black, or gray colors; marble, smoky, chinchilla — golden or silver tints.
Big, round, with well-developed chin, strong jaws, and big cheeks. The nose is small and flat.
Big, widely set. Their color depends on coat color. The most common are: green, yellow, brown, blue. 
Short, rounded, slightly leaned forward.
Short and muscular.
Small and strong.
Short, proportional to the body.

Basic Care

Unlike Persian, Exotic Shorthair cats do not need much time to be groomed. Their hair needs to be brushed two times a week. During the moulting time — in spring and fall — once a week. Because of the thick undercoat, these pets need to be groomed with a metal bristle brush. Then pet your cat with wet hands to take away left hairs.

An Exotic Shorthair cat needs to be given a bath only once a month. Then dry your cat with a towel so that it does not get cold. The frequency of how often eyes and a flat nose need to be cleaned with wet towels depends on how quickly they get dirty. Their claws need to be trimmed two times a month, and you should definitely get a claw-point.

The diet of Exotic Shorthair cats needs to be well-balanced. These pets can easily get overweight. They can be fed with either premium quality feed or natural food. The natural diet should consist of: not greasy meat — chicken or beef; grains — buckwheat, wheat porridge, and oatmeal; boiled vegetables; fat free dairy products —cottage cheese, sour cream and kefir. Natural ingredients can not be mixed with dry food into one portion.

Exotic Shorthair cats like comfort and coziness. A place for their rest needs to be well-planned. It should be low from the ground and close to the owner.

Health and Illnesses

Exotic Shorthair cats can live up to 15 years if treated well. Just like Persian cats, this breed was developed artificially. Hereditary health issues are similar for these two breeds.

Problems with eyes and breathing occur because of the skull structure. Their nasolacrimal canal is deformed. If eyes of your pet tear too much or it breathes too frequently — consult a vet. 

Polycystic kidney disease might lead to kidney failure and death of the cat. As prophylaxis, DNA tests should be done, and the pet should be regularly checked with ultrasound diagnostics.

Problems with teeth and gums are common for this breed. If you do not look after them, gingivitis and periodontal disease might develop. In order to have a healthy pet, it should be regularly taken to a vet, vaccinated, and dewormed.

History of the Breed

Exotic Shorthair is a young breed. In 1960, breeders of American Shorthair cats were working on getting new coat colors. For that, Persian cats of silver color were chosen. The result was unsuccessful. Kittens looked like Persian cats but with short hair.

In 1966, an American breeder Jane Martins offered CFA a new breed to register — an Exotic Shorthair cat. It took these pets long time to get accepted. Owners of Persian cats treated the new breed with skepticism and did not want to breed their cats with Exotic Shorthair cats. Doris Walkingstick and Carolyn Bussey were the first breeders to take part in the process. Their work for development of the breed was very valuable.

Later, owners of Russian Blue and Burmese cats participated in developing the breed. The aim was to preserve the gene of short hair. Having done that, owners continued crossbreeding Exotic Shorthair and Persian cats to make them look alike. It is also done nowadays.

In 1990, felinologists agreed that all changes to the standard of Persian cats will also be accepted to Exotic Shorthair cats, the only exception is length of hair.