It’s cute, affectionate, loyal and calm. If you’re looking for a pet that’s gorgeous, easy to take care of and good with children, take a peek at the Exotic Shorthair Cat.

The Exotic Shorthair (or Exotic) is for all intents and purposes, a shorthaired Persian cat. It originated in the United States in the 1960s, as the result of breeding between a Persian cat and an American Shorthair Cat. Exotic Shorthairs now may be bred from the mating of Persians with either an American or a British Shorthair. The initial breeding aim was to produce a cat that looked like the Persian in every way except for the coat, which is short and dense rather than long and thick. Many people love Exotic Shorthairs because like a Persian, they look gorgeous, but unlike their near twins, they are also very easy to groom.

The Exotic Shorthair is a medium sized cat with a face very like the Persian. It has full round, bright eyes, a short snub nose and small ears. In short, it’s cute. It has a round head and broad skull, full cheeks, and the ears are round tipped and set low and well apart. The Exotic Shorthair has a strong chin and jaw. It also has a robust, athletic body with large shoulders, short sturdy legs, and large paws. Its tail is short. The Exotic Shorthair’s comes in all 96 colours of the Persian, with eyes matching the coat, so there’s a lot of possible colour variations.

The Exotic weighs between 4 and 7kgs on average, and tends to live into its early teens.

Even though the Exotic Persian’s coat is much shorter than its Persian counterpart, it still does require some grooming. The Exotic does do a pretty admirable job of caring for its own coat most of the time, but just an occasional brush and wash will remove any loose hair that might still be present, and prevent it from clogging into hairballs. Regular grooming should also ensure there’s little hair being deposited around the house.

The Exotic Shorthair is a pretty healthy cat and there are no specific serious ailments particular to the breed. As with some other flat-faced animals, there can occasionally be a problem with clogged tear ducts. This can generally be prevented by wiping the cat’s face periodically with a moist cloth. You can use either a water-soaked cloth or there are commercial preparations made especially for this purpose. As any good pet owner knows, it is advisable to have an annual health check, which is especially important from about the age of eight or nine. This will keep an eye out for any problems with teeth, liver or kidney function.

The Exotic Shorthair is not particularly active so isn’t one of those cats that will need constant games and attention. It generally requires around 70 Kcals of food per kg of bodyweight per day for optimum health. Exotics can be prone to obesity so it’s best to keep an eye on their diet and weight.

The Exotic Shorthair is a gentle and affectionate cat, which can make it great for children and the elderly. It’s actually one of the most loyal of all cat breeds and as such they develop very close relationships with their owners and families. While they wouldn’t say no to some play now and again, they also love nothing better than curling up on a lap or next to you on the lounge. When it does find a spark of energy it’s often to hunt for mice. The Exotic is quite happy to be left at home on its own so they also suit working families, and will fit well into either houses or apartments.

Veterinary Surgeon, London at Blue Cross UK | + posts

A London based Veterinary surgeon, Sanja is also an avid writer and pet advocate.