Do you like Garfield? Then the Cat Exotic Shorthair is for you. In reality, the big nonchalant, and lazy but very endearing tomcat that we know from TV is inspired by the cat with short and stocky legs, a big head, and a flattened nose that is the exotic shorthair.
The Persian cat for lazy people
In the United States, the Exotic Shorthair cat, resulting from a mating between a Persian and a British Shorthair or an American Shorthair, is nicknamed "the lazy man's Persian", or "the Persian cat for lazy people". Indeed, the Exotic Shorthair has all the good characteristics of a Persian cat, except that its short hair is much easier to maintain than that of its long-haired ancestors.
Besides this coat difference, there is no significant difference between the Exotic Shorthair and the Persian. This is why in some national feline associations, the shorthair is listed as a Persian cat. To this day, the breed thus shares the same standards as its peers. Since 1983, the International Feline Federation (FiFe) has recognized the Exotic Shorthair as a variant of the Persian breed.
Origins of the Cat Exotic Shorthair
Researchers estimate the first ancestors of Persians to antiquity. Without a doubt, Persians are among the oldest cat breeds. However, the story that they originated in the Persian town of Chorassan, from where Italian explorer Pietro Della Valle brought them to Europe is disputed by recent genetic studies. Although the Frenchman Nicolas Claude Fabri de Peiresc is said to have brought the first long-haired cats from Asia Minor to France in the middle of the 17th century, it could not be proven that these cats, soon called Persians, were, in fact, the ancestors of the breed we know today. A study published in 2014 by the University of Missouri (USA) demonstrated that the Persian breed we know today was rather the result of random breeding from variants of Russian Blue.
The noble long-haired cats became world-famous in 1871 when Queen Victoria of England adopted two blue cats of the breed at an exhibition in London. Thus, the British also carried out the breeding of Persian cats for a long period. The short-haired variant of Persians, however, originated in the United States in the 1950s. American Shorthair breeders crossed the popular but high-maintenance Persians with their short-haired cats.
The goal was to obtain a Persian cat with short hair, and therefore easy to maintain. The experiment was a success: the descendants of Persians and Shorthairs were just as sociable and friendly as Persians with long hair, with the only difference being that they had short hair. Many Persian breeders then continued to breed this exotic shorthair and thus spread the exotic shorthair. In 1967 it was recognized in the United States as an independent breed.
The Appearance of the Exotic Shorthair
Today, there are Exotic Shorthairs in every color known to Persian. Besides the most common colors like white, black, blue, red, cream, chocolate, and lilac, Exotic Shorthairs also come in chinchilla, colorpoint coat, and tabby, marbled and speckled patterns. Beneath his dense coat, a thick undercoat causes his upper hair to stand on end, giving him a teddy bear-like appearance.
Above all, the exotic shorthair cat conveys an image of indolence, just like the character of Garfield. The medium to a large-sized cat is quite stocky and its short, wide legs extend into large, round toes that perfectly complement its bear-like appearance. An exotic shorthair adult male can proudly carry his 19.8 pounds. As for the females, their weight is between 9 and 16 pounds. In harmony with its rather stocky body, the head is large and robust with a "crushed" nose, typical of Persian cats. The large, round head, flat face, and short, wide nose give it a unique appearance.
Unfortunately, in the past, overbreeding has repeatedly resulted in cats with extremely flat noses, impeding proper breathing and leading to the eye, nose, and throat inflammation and disorders. Thus, when adopting a cat Exotic Shorthair, be careful to contact only serious and responsible breeders who make the health of the breed, its good character, and its natural appearance their priority.
The Character of the Cat Exotic Shorthair
Proud, lazy, and charming!
An Exotic Shorthair does not need an extremely flat nose to be recognizable. Either way, its uniqueness leaves no doubt about its identity. He has a unique and proud personality, which, despite his independence, is unusually human-oriented. He enjoys his peaceful life with his masters and never seems to object to a good nap on the sofa (another point in common with the lazy but adorable Garfield character). Its relaxed and serene nature has a wonderfully soothing effect on its human companions, whom it easily charms with its large, gentle paws. Although he's less prone to pranks than Garfield, he knows how to make people smile and kindly enforce his will.
Exotic Shorthair Care and Needs
Thanks to his calm nature, he is also quite suitable for apartment life, although, like all cats, he also likes to walk in nature. But his forays never take him far from home. After all, his full bowl and cozy blanket are already waiting for him there. Just providing him suitable cat houses and beds to rest, cat towers to play is enough for your cat to be happy. The Exotic Shorthair constantly seeks closeness with its human friends. It is a very sociable and well-tolerated cat, which does not allow itself to be disturbed by restless and noisy children. Unlike many other cat breeds, he feels just as good in a turbulent family as in a calm life with a single person.
His motto: together, we are less alone
The Exotic Shorthair avoids long periods of loneliness and boredom as much as possible. Therefore, he will be open to the possibility of a new playmate, or the adoption of a second cat. This very sociable cat even gets along with dogs, once the conventional adaptation period has passed.
In keeping with its frugal nature, the cat Exotic Shorthair is not very demanding in terms of care. Its short fur does not require much care either. During molting periods only (twice a year), it is enough to comb it once or twice a week.
Feeding the Cat Exotic Shorthair
Even when it comes to food, the cat Exotic Shorthair is undemanding. However, to avoid overweight or other health problems, it is best to turn to a breed-appropriate and quality diet.
Health and breeding
As with Persian cats, however, one of the problems with the cat Exotic Shorthair breed is their very short nose which can cause several more or less serious health issues. Respiratory problems, runny eyes, feeding difficulties, and other problems are unfortunately not uncommon in these “prefaced” individuals. Another problem with the breed is the widespread inbreeding in exotic shorthair breeding. This can lead to other typical diseases of the breed and reduce its life expectancy.