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The Exotic Shorthair Cat Breed


The Exotic Shorthair originated from American Shorthair breeders cross-breeding Persians with American Shorthairs. Their aim was to have a breed of cat with the Persian’s coloring but with a short hair gene.

The resulting kittens had the look of the Persian but not the true short haired look of the American Shorthair. After noticing the potential of the kittens, Jane Martinke proposed a new breed called the Sterling – so called because of their silver color.

Exotic Shorthair cat 7 month old cream tabby Exotic Shorthair - wiki user Ycombinator

This new breed of cat was to look like the Persian but was to have a short, plush coat. The name was changed to Exotic Shorthair and all colors were accepted. Some breeders chose to use the Burmese for cross-breeding because of the short coat and stocky body whilst other breeders used the Russian Blue for their short hair gene and dense double coat. The resulting offspring of these cross-breedings were bred back to Persians.

Carolyn Bussey crossed a red tabby Persian and a Burmese to try and create a brown Persian but because brown is recessive all the kittens were black. Carolyn also got the idea to develop a short-coated Persian.

Progress to develop the new cat breed was slow due to Persian breeders not wanting to get involved in the breeding program. However, as the breed became more popular, some Persian breeders decided to get involved. In 1979 TICA granted this different cat breed championship status.


Exotic Shorthair kitten Brown Exotic Shorthair Female Kitten photo by Charlyn Wee

This short haired cat breed is a heavily boned, large cat with a broad head and low set ears. Big round eyes in a short face give this cat a sweet expression.

The body is short and square with short thick legs and ends in a short thick tail. The dense, plush coat softens the look of these cats and gives them the appearance of a plush cuddly toy.

This beautiful big cat comes in all colors and patterns and grooming is much easier than for the long haired Persian.

A brushing once a week is required to remove loose hair and the eyes need to be wiped with damp cotton wool to get rid of dust that can cause an eye irritation.

Personality & Temperament

Exotic Shorthair cat

This is a gentle cat that is affectionate but quiet, rather attracting your attention with a stare than with its voice. This cat loves to be around you and will jump into your lap for a cuddle as soon as you sit down.

They love playing and can amuse themselves for hours with a ball of scrunched paper or a piece of fluff from the carpet.

Due to their American Shorthair genes, this cat breed is easy-going and gets along well with children and other pets.

Health Issues

Exotic Shorthair kitten Exotic Shorthair kitten photo by Rachael Bretherton

This short-faced cat breed has the same health concerns that the Persian cat breed has.

There is a high incidence of inherited polycystic kidney disease, which causes cysts in the kidneys. These cysts would have been present at birth but only enlarges and fills with fluid once the cat reaches adulthood.

The first signs of PKD can appear between the ages of three and four years of age and a lack of appetite and an increased thirst usually are the first noticeable symptoms. Kidney failure is the last stage of this disease.

Breeders screen their cats to detect the cysts but this comes at a great cost. The dominant gene that causes PKD has been identified, so DNA testing is becoming available which will allow breeders to eliminate carriers of the gene from their breeding programs.

Another health concern with this shorthair cat breed is the brachycephalic face (a brachycephalic skull is relatively broad and short). This causes eye problems and breathing problems, similar to the Persian.

Jaw abnormalities have been reported and sinus problems are a regular occurence in this different cat breed.

The flattening of the face causes kinked tear ducts that can cause persistent tearing.

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Mr Boogles Not rated yet
just another pic of mr boogles

My Mr Boogles Not rated yet
Hi, I have no story to tell, just want to show of my favorite friend, my exotic boy.

My Mr Boggles Not rated yet
This is a pic of my Mr Boggles as we call him, he is the red spotted exotic and my darling Wally the raggy who passed at the age of 10 months of the deadly …

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