- Playful and curious cat
- Friendly but independent cat
- Quiet cat
- Average build cat breed
- Requires grooming every day
- Non hypoallergenic breed
- Needs some out-door space
- May require familiarisation before living with children
The Exotic Shorthair cat has the same gentle affectionate nature as it's longhaired cousins and is not as boisterous as many shorthair breeds. Exotic cats are quite happy to be left at home on their own and to lead a quiet life.
History and Origins
Country of Origin: America/Britain
The Exotic Shorthair cat breed is in every way a shorthaired Persian cat breed, so much so that it is included in the longhair section of cat shows. In America selective breeding of American Shorthair cats and Persian longhairs was undertaken to produce a cat that looked like the Persian cat in every way except for the coat. In Britain, British Shorthair cats were crossed with longhaired Persian cats in the same way. The coat, which is of medium length, is much easier to care for but still has the huge range of colours and patterns. The Exotic Shorthair cat was first seen in the 1960s and is becoming a very popular cat.
There area number of health problems associated with the Exotic Shorthair cat breed and its close relative, the Persian cat. Because the head shape has been shortened and the face flattened, there can be jaw deformities which can lead to dental disease and potential problems with eating and drinking. Small nostrils and a soft palate which is too long, can also lead to breathing problems. The tear ducts may not follow their natural path and so the eyes run and wet the face constantly – this can lead to skin rashes and sores on the face. The flat nature of face also increases the chances of eye disease. Exotic cats can carry a gene that leads to kidney failure (called autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease) through the development of cysts in the kidney. This condition was found in more than a third of all Persian and Exotic shorthaired cats in the 1990s when screening tests became available. Using screening, breeders are now working to try to eradicate the problem – always ask the breeder to show the PKD certificates for the cats used to produce your kitten.
Every cat is unique and each has their own particular likes, dislikes, and needs when it comes to food. However, cats are carnivores and every cat must obtain 41 different and specific nutrients from their food. The proportion of these nutrients will vary depending on age, lifestyle and overall health, so it's not surprising that a growing, energetic kitten needs a different balance of nutrients in her diet than a less active senior cat. Other considerations to bear in mind are feeding the right quantity of food to maintain 'ideal body condition' in accordance with feeding guidelines and catering to individual preference regarding wet or dry food recipes.
Although easy to keep in condition compared with its longhaired cousins, the Exotic Shorthair cat's coat still needs some attention. Regular grooming will keep dead hair from clogging up the coat and from being deposited on the furniture. If the cat's eyes tend to run because the face is flat, the corner of the eye and side of the nose will need regular cleaning. As with all cats, regular vaccination and parasite control is recommended.
While this breed is not widely recognised as one of the best breeds for children, all cats are different and with the proper familiarisation may still be able to live with children.