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Exotic Shorthair Cat Breed… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

Exotic Shorthair cat breed

Now, it could just be us, but there is something a bit “unnerving” about having an Exotic Shorthair stare at you. There’s just something about their quiet stare that makes you think…

“Am I doing what I’m supposed to be doing?”


“Why is this cat just staring at me?”

Now don’t get us wrong, these cats are fantastic; it’s just that when you look at them, you get the sense that there is an “old soul” staring back at you. An “old soul” that could be a lot smarter than you, too! The good news is that this “feeling” of inferiority will quickly go away once you get to know one of these little guys because you’ll find that not only are they SUPER friendly, they’re just about impossible to upset!

But that doesn’t mean…

The Exotic Shorthair cat breed is going to be the “best” cat breed for everyone, which is why, in this article, we wanted to take a moment and discuss what it might be like to own an Exotic Shorthair, so if you ever get a chance to get your hands on one, you’ll know for sure this is going to be the “right” cat breed for you. So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.

Exotic Shorthair Cat Breed Fast Facts

Country of Origin:  United States

Size:  Medium to large

Weight:  9 to 12 pounds

Eyes:  Round eyes (blue, blue-green, or copper)

Shape of Head:  Round

Life Span:  10 to 15 years

Origin of the Exotic Shorthair Cat Breed

The Exotic Shorthair, sometimes known as the Shorthaired Persian, is a cat breed that originated in America. Which doesn’t seem all that “exotic” to us…

“There’s nothing wrong with being MADE IN AMERICA… right?”

Even if it’s “creation” was a bit of an accident. You see, originally, back in the late 1950’s, American Shorthair cat breeders and Persian cat breeders had the same idea to begin breeding these cat generates together to obtain different results.

In the case of the…

American Shorthair cat breeders (especially Jane Martinke) wanted to create American Shorthair cats with some of the unusual colors specific to the Persian cat breed. Specifically, the “silver” coated Persians. The results of these experiments were that the new kittens looked a lot like “miniature” Persians with silver hair, only now they also had short, dense coat. And… they were SUPER cute, too, boot!

These little guys…

They were named “Sterling” cats after their silver-colored coats. This name, however, didn’t “stick” for all that long because shortly afterward, others began breeding all sorts of different Persian cats with American Shorthair cats, which some made the name “Sterling” obsolete. At this same time, Persian cat breeders (especially Carolyn Bussey) were experimenting with mixing Persians with brown Burmese to “create” a brown Persian.

What she got instead was…

A litter full of little black kittens that had the “look” of a Persian and the short coat of a Burmese. Much like the kittens that the American Shorthair breeders were creating. The only real difference was that in the case of Carolyn Bussey’s kittens, strict adherence to rigorous breeding practices ensured that not only were her kittens super cute, but they were also very healthy!

As a result, over time, the combined efforts by both American Shorthair breeders and Persian breeders alike to create a “shorthaired Persian” were eventually lumped into one new breed that became known as the Exotic Shorthair. After nearly two decades of being “created,” these new cats were finally “officially” recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association in 1967 and recognized by the International Cat Association in 1979.

So now that we have an idea of “how” these little guys came to exist let’s look at “why” folks wanted to create them in the first place!

Physical Characteristics

The Exotic Shorthair looks “full.” And “full” means he doesn’t look like a skinny little cat. And even though he isn’t necessarily the LARGEST cat out there when you look at him, you’re not going to think he’s small by any meWith with their sizeable oval-shaped head, broad skull, rounded forehead, and chunky cheeks; this can isn’t going to make you think he’s missed many meals in his life. Combine these features with his strong jaws, broad chest, and thick neck; you’ll probably be surprised when you pick him up and feel how light he is compared to how he looks!

Probably the only…

The thing small about an Exotic Shorthair is his ears, which are a “bit” small and round at the tip, but even these make the rest of him look even more significant than he is! But what’s going to get your attention right away is the size of his eyes. Which are enormous and, depending on the coat, can be gold (copper), green, or blue. Now, as for their skins, we’ve established that those will be short, but it should be noted that they are a “bit” longer than other shorthaired cats.


Unlike many other shorthair cat breeds, exotic Shorthair coats are plush, soft, and thick. Their undercoats are also just as rich as their guard hairs. Their coats can also come in various colors, solid or patterned. The most common colors will be:

  • white,
  • red,
  • cream,
  • blue,
  • black,
  • chocolate or lilac,

And those are just the solid colors.

Additional colors include:

  • shaded,
  • calico,
  • smoke,
  • tabby,
  • particolored,
  • And bicolor variations as well!

Personality and Temperament

One of the “best” ways to describe this breed would probably be to tell you their “nickname,” which is…

“The lazy man’s Persian.”

Because that “sums” them up pretty nicely. You see, the Shorthaired Persian is a lovely cat that is quite popular among cat lovers. They’re pretty calm creatures. They’re quiet, sweet, and love to cuddle up to you as you scroll through your phone. They’re lap cats, but don’t let this fool you into thinking they don’t have a playful side.


Even though they’re pretty laid back, they’re interesting cats. Do you know how they’ll sit beside you as you scroll through your phone? Well, they’ll probably want to learn how to use that phone. At some point, They can also be quite active! The Exotic Shorthair is the perfect breed if you’re an explorer. They like to play with toys and their favorite people, but they can play alone. (This doesn’t mean you should abandon though; they want the attention.)

They’re also…

Very good with kids. This is probably because they are a very “patient” breed.   And unlike other species like the Burmese or an Egyptian Mau, which tend to like to show off, the Exotic Shorthair will wait for your attention. Unsurprisingly, this quiet, patient breed doesn’t speak much, but if they do, their voice is soft and almost musical, which only adds to their exterior beauty.

Exotic Shorthair grooming and care

Now, we’re not going to say that the Exotic Shorthair is super easy to care for because their shorthair is quite dense, so you’ll want to be sure and give them a good “combing” every other day or so, compared with the requirements of keeping a Persian coat in shape, which isn’t bad at all.

Potential Health Concerns

Anytime you decide to purchase a pedigree kitten or, better yet, adopt a pedigree rescue cat, you need to be aware that because they are a “pedigree,” it’s possible that they may be at risk for developing an inheritable disease due to their “selective breeding.” In the case of the Exotic Shorthair, few medical conditions are more common in this breed than in other species. This is why you will want to be very “selective” in which Exotic Shorthair breeder you choose to work with.

And be sure…

That you specifically ask your breeder about the health of their animals and ask them about whether or not any of their animals suffer from the following:

  • Polycystic kidney disease, which can lead to kidney failure.
  • Brachycephalic respiratory syndrome causes airway resistance and inflammation and strains the heart.
  • Calcium oxalate urolithiasis (AKA: kidney or bladder stones).

This brings us to the last topic we want to discuss when it comes to adopting an Exotic Shorthair: the importance of at least “considering” the possibility of purchasing a pet insurance policy. You see, we here at IndulgeYourPet always like to advise any new pet owner, particularly one who intends to spend a lot of money to purchase their new pet, to take a few moments and consider what it might cost to buy pet insurance policy for your new animal as well. If your new pet becomes sick or injured, it could be pretty expensive to provide the care they need.

Now, will a pet insurance policy be “right” for everyone? 

No, probably not. But until you know what a pet insurance policy will provide coverage for and how much it would cost, how will you determine if purchasing one might be “right” for you?

For more information about who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies in the industry, we encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Companies article.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Mangle September 20, 2020, 6:58 am

    Thank you so much for making this article! Now I know whether or not i should get one and how to take care of it. Thanks again so much!

    • indulgeyourpet September 21, 2020, 9:46 pm


      Thanks for your comment, we’re glad you enjoyed our article.



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