Exotic Shorthair Cat Breed Information And Pictures

Russell Cargill

exotic shorthair

This flat faced Persian look-alike has quickly gone from unknown to in high demand as they’ve become one of the most popular breeds in the short time they’ve been in existence. While many of their features are highly similar to the Persian cat, the main distinction is their shorter coat length. 

As a social cat, they’re the perfect pet for both individuals and families. Their calm demeanor makes them easily adjustable to new people and animals around their home, which is one of the reasons they’ve become so popular over time. 

Exotic Shorthair Breed Overview
Height10-12 inches
Weight10-12 lbs
Lifespan8-15 years
ColorsVariety of colors include: brown, silver, gray, black, cream, white, red, or orange
Suitable forFamilies with children, other pets, and seniors
Temperament Social, affectionate, and docile
Breed Traits Overview

History Of The Exotic Shorthair Cat Breed

The Exotic Shorthair hasn’t been around very long but has gained significant popularity among cat enthusiasts. Breeding didn’t start with this breed until the 1950s when Jane Martinke crossed a Persian cat with an American Shorthair. 

After years of breeding and trying to gain awareness of the breed, Martinke finally got The American Cat Fanciers Association to recognize the Exotic Shorthair in 1967. Shortly after in 1979, the International Cat Association also recognized the Exotic Shorthair as an official cat breed. 

Later, breeders started utilizing Russian Blues and Burmese cats to contribute new genetics to the Exotic Shorthair breeding cycle.

The breed that seemed to have the most impact on developing the Exotic Shorthair’s features was the Persian cat as they heavily influenced the coat color, body type, and overall personality. 

It has become one of the world’s most popular breeds within the short period of time it has existed and is sometimes known as the “lazy man’s Persian”.

How Much Does The Exotic Shorthair Cost?

exotic shorthair kitten

The cost of an Exotic Shorthair can have a huge range based on the kind of breeder you are purchasing from. You must go for a reputable breeder known for producing high-quality, excellent pedigree kittens and well-known for their kitten quality. With a breeder like this, you’ll likely find yourself paying up to $5,000. 

If you’re buying a more common pedigree cat from a breeding farm that’s less well-known, the price range should be between $1,200 and $2,200. This averages to about £870 to £1,590, from €1,020 to €1,870, and from A$1,600 to A$2,950. 

In comparison to many other breeds with similar personalities, the price point for an Exotic Shorthair is fairly reasonable. 

Personality Traits Of The Exotic Shorthair

The personality of this breed is very similar to that of a Persian cat. They’re a quiet breed with very little vocalizations and very easy to please. They’re happy lying on the couch watching movies all day or running around the house playing with you. As long as you’re around, they’ll be satisfied. 

They do love to play and will be happy to climb on a cat tree or chase a toy around, but they’re equally as happy snuggled up with you taking a long nap. Their energy levels are naturally not as high as many breeds, you’ll want to make an effort to play with them at least once a day to ensure they’re getting some exercise. If you don’t engage in playtime, it’s likely that they won’t either and will then just sleep all day. 

By keeping them active, you’ll also be able to keep their weight in check and prevent any other health issues from arising. 

If you have kids or many other pets, you won’t need to worry about the Exotic Shorthair fitting in. This breed is considered one of the best breeds for those with an already full house. They’re incredibly docile, meaning you won’t have to worry about them around babies or younger children, and you won’t have to worry about them becoming rough or aggressive towards other pets of yours. 

If you plan on getting pets or having children but don’t yet, it’s a good idea to still expose your cat to these things as young as possible. The younger they’re when you show them how to interact with other animals and children, the easier an introduction will be later on when they’re adults. 

It’s essential before purchasing one of these cats to realize that they need a lot of attention. They don’t do well being unattended for long periods and will require some affection when you’re home. If your house is empty all day and the cat stays alone, consider leaving the radio or television on so that your cat doesn’t feel so lonely. 

This breed thrives in a home environment where either another pet or human is with them all day. 

How To Take Care Of An Exotic Shorthair

As with other flat faced breeds, the Exotic Shorthair can be prone to more health problems. In addition, their longer coat makes them not only non-hypoallergenic but also requires more grooming maintenance. 


The Exotic Shorthair is a lazy breed which puts them at higher risk of obesity. If you can keep them active, you likely won’t need a special weight management diet. This requires that you keep a close eye on their food intake from a young age to ensure they aren’t overeating and under-exercising. 

You can effectively do this by using automatic cat feeders that allow you to portion out their diet for the day properly. Automatic feeders will allow you to set meal times and make sure that your cat doesn’t have constant access to food throughout the day. 

Always consult your veterinarian before choosing a cat food to ensure you’re meeting your cat’s health needs. Veterinarians can properly assess if your cat is overweight or lacking in any vital nutrients. If you aren’t doing this often enough throughout the lifecycle of your cat, there will likely be a time that their food isn’t working for them. This could show through excessive weight gain, digestive issues, or a decrease in immune system function. 


This breed has short hair which makes them a bit lower maintenance to groom compared to similar breeds like the Persian. With that said, the Exotic Shorthair does shed quite a bit. You’ll find that you do have cat hair stuck to you after cuddling with this breed for a while and fur balls may become an issue in your cat’s digestion. 

You can significantly reduce these problems simply by brushing your cat weekly with a high-quality brush. If you get far behind on brushing them, you’ll find that their hair is more prone to knotting and shedding. With a shorter coat and attentive grooming, you won’t have to spend long periods brushing to keep their fur maintained. 

As a flat faced breed, they’re prone to overflowing tears which will cause staining under the eyes if not cleaned. Cleaning this area will keep their eyes clear and free of stains or crust. You can simply do this cleaning with a wet towel to brush away the tears gently. 

Keep a close watch on their eye health to make sure nothing is getting inside of them. With large, teary eyes, health issues can present very suddenly. A tell-tale sign that they may have a problem with fur or dust getting into the eyes is more than the usual amount of tears shed. In this case, consult your veterinarian and ask if eye drops are required. 

Other than their breed-specific grooming, be sure to start with teeth cleaning, nail clipping, and ear cleaning from a young age so that your cat will get used to having different parts of their body checked. 

You won’t have any problem getting this breed accustomed to grooming activities as long as you start from a young age while they’re still learning about what life will be like in your care. 


Since this breed is very easygoing and eager to be around their humans, they’re relatively easy to train. Your biggest obstacle here will be that sometimes this breed can be lazy and therefore unmotivated. However, if you start training from a young age, you’ll find that you have no problem training them to use their litter box or to chase after their toys. 

If you want to train for a new task, be sure to do so before any playtime or physical exertion for the day, as they can tire very quickly. You can reward a good training session with some extra play or attention to further reinforce the behavior you’re looking to teach. This will keep you from getting frustrated with your cat’s low energy and will speed up the time it takes for your cat to learn the new skill. 


As a flat faced breed, the Exotic Shorthair can have a slew of health issues. When animals have flatter noses, they have a hard time breathing, and unfortunately, this can cause additional health issues to come about in your cat. 

Before purchasing your cat, ask the breeder how the kitten parents you’re looking at have been with their breathing and if they’ve had any major health problems. If the parents of your cat have breathing problems, you can be sure your cat will too.

Since the breed is so similar to a Persian, they can have many of the same health issues. Some common diseases in the breed include heart disease (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy), and polycystic kidney disease. 

Again, these problems majorly come back to genetics. If your cat’s parents have any of these problems, it’s likely they will too. By purchasing from a high-end, reputable breeder, you can avoid many adverse health issues.

A pet owner who purchases an Exotic Shorthair should expect to spend quite a bit of money on veterinary care as the animal will likely suffer from various health issues throughout its lifetime. In addition to these common problems, be sure you get your cat sterilized, vaccinated, and take care of their weekly grooming needs to maintain optimal health. 

Physical Attributes Of The Exotic Shorthair

While their appearance is nearly identical to the Persian cat, they have some slight differences to take note of. 

  • Head: The head of the Exotic Shorthair is very large and round with short, flat snouts. Their head often looks disproportionately large when compared to body size but is smooth in bone structure.
  • Body: Can range from medium to large in size with broad chests and a stocky build. When weight is maintained, they have an athletic build.
  • Ears: Slightly tilted forward with a rounded tip, the breed’s ears complement their large head size well by sitting low on the head.
  • Eyes: Eyes are generally very large and round. When viewed from the side profile, you’ll distinctly notice their eyes bulging out. Eye color varies based on cat color; but, is usually bright. 
  • Legs and Paws: Legs are generally short and dense with large rounded paws. They sit low on their legs which can give a very disproportionate look. 
  • Tail: Their tail is usually short but not too short for the body length. The tail will also usually sit lower than the angle of the back and hold a slight curve. 
  • Coat: Medium in length with a soft glossy texture. They usually have a deep frill between their front two legs and have tufts of longer fur in their ears and between their toes. While the coat can be shorter with no extra tufts or frills, they have an undercoat giving the fur a fuller appearance.
  • Color: Coat color can vary quite a bit in this breed, ranging in different patterns. 

Conclusion On The Exotic Shorthair 

The Exotic Shorthair is an incredibly popular and lovable breed. While they’re generally a low-maintenance lap cat, they can have various health issues that can be costly and time-consuming to treat. If health isn’t your primary concern in your cat purchase, this breed makes for a fantastic pet for any household type.

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