Orange and white cat resting next to a window.

Exotic Shorthair Cat Breed

This affectionate breed, which has an endearing nature, is a low-maintenance version of the longhaired Persian cat. The first Exotics were bred in the US in the 1960s, and by the 1980s there was a popular British version as well.

These cats were created through breeding programs that crossed the Persian with the American Shorthair to improve the coat of the latter. Later, crosses were also done with the Burmese, Abyssinian, and British Shorthair.

Early breeders aimed to create a shorthaired cat with a silvery coat and green eyes, like a Persian; later, the goal was to breed cats with a Persian-type face and body but short hair.

Exotics combine the Persian’s round-faced look and quiet temperament with a thick, soft, but short coat that requires less grooming than its longhaired counterpart; for this reason they are sometimes called “the lazy man’s Persian.”

These gentle cats have the quiet, docile nature of their Persian ancestors. They are happy as indoor pets and are always pleased to have someone around to play with or offer a lap. They have soft voices and rarely make a noise, but they love attention, and many will sit in front of people and gaze up beseechingly for a hug.

With its rounded, plush-furred body, snub nose, and big eyes, the Exotic Shorthair lives up to its popular nickname of the “teddy bear cat,” and most breeders do not fail to make the comparison in their advertisements.

The extra-soft, thick double coat is quite unlike that found in any other shorthaired breed. It has an under layer of long downy hairs, inherited from the Exotic’s Persian forebears, that lifts the topcoat away from the body.

Origin: US, 1960s

Breed registries: CFA, FIFe, GCCF, TICA

Weight range: 8–15lb (3.5–7kg)

Grooming: 2–3 times a week

Colors and patterns: Almost all colors and patterns.