The Exotic cat (or Exotic Shorthair) is like the short-haired Persian; He is a very beautiful cat with teddy bear eyes and childish air that attracts the sympathies of cat lovers. It is the ideal cat for those who like the company and the majesty of the Persian, but cannot devote much time to the care of its coat: indeed, unlike the latter, its dress has short hair.
This is undoubtedly a great advantage, especially during periods of molting: his coat will not invade every corner of the house. The Exotic Shorthair is affectionate and good-natured, but it should not be forgotten that he resents being treated and handled like a toy.
The origins of the Exotic Shorthair
The history of the Exotic Shorthair is not old and its origins are "artificial": it was created by chance, in America, in the early seventies. Breed selection took about ten years. At first, Persians and Burmese were bred, then Persians and American Shorthairs, and finally, Persians and British Shorthairs.
In any case, one chooses specimens with short hair, a round head, and a robust body, to obtain a cat with a soft expression and with the morphological characteristics of the Persian, having abundant, woolly, and very soft fur, but short. Although the journey to create the Exotic was long and difficult, today it is considered the American cat par excellence. The breed was officially recognized in 1967, thanks to the interest of Jane Martin, a CFA (Cat Fanciers' Association) judge.
The Ideal Cat
The robust and compact build of the Exotic Shorthair makes it a powerful but not very agile cat. Of robust build and moderately tall, he appears short and stocky. His frame is heavy, his muscles well developed, and his chest and broad shoulders.
The head is ample and round, with a high and round forehead. The muzzle is short and broad, with well-developed and round cheeks. The nose is short and it is placed just under the round eyes. The neck is very robust and short. The ears are small, set well apart, rounded at the tip, and rich in hair inside.
The eyes are round, very large, and spaced; the color should be intense and brilliant. The legs are short, they have a strong bone structure and end in round, stocky feet which present interdigital tufts of hair. The tail is short, even if it is in proportion to the body, and it is covered with very abundant hair. The dress is abundant, dense, and very soft.
The varieties of color and designs that characterize the dress of the Exotic Shorthair are the same as those of the Persian. The eyes are generally orange or copper, except for the white cat, in which blue eyes are allowed, the silver tabby which has green or hazel eyes, the chinchilla, and the shaded silver, which must have green eyes.
The Character of the Exotic Shorthair
Through careful selection, the character of the Exotic Shorthair has been made as domestic as possible. He is intelligent, friendly, curious, and sweet. Like the Persian, he adores comfort and tranquility, but is less indifferent and more active, alternating tranquility and moments of liveliness: always on the lookout and attentive to what is happening around him, he plays with all moving objects. rediscovering the hunting instinct most certainly inherited from its ancestor the Burmese. He is very reserved, meows little, and loves long periods of rest.
Hug: The Exotic Shorthair is very affectionate and cuddly. He won't be asked if you insist on flattering him!
Player: Its hunting instinct is a little more present than in its long-haired cousin, possibly a consequence of its short-haired ancestors.
Calm: Quiet, the Exotic has kept this trait of the Persian, but it is still a little more active than the latter.
Clever: It may not be the cat that will learn to open a door (and again!), but it is attentive and curious, and certainly has a developed emotional and social intelligence.
Fearful/wary of strangers: It greatly depends on the individual, but in general, the Exotic Shorthair is quite sociable and inquisitive.
Independent: As he can have fun on his own, provided he has left toys and a few places to climb, the Exotic will not be bored in the absence of his humans, while being happy to see them again. end of the day.
Behavior Of Exotic Shorthair
Talkative: His little voice is very little heard: the Persian short-haired prefers to speak with his eyes.
Greedy/gluttonous: This tomcat has a bit of a gluttonous reputation... and care must be taken to avoid being overweight. You can decorate your house with cat trees and towers to encourage your Exotic Shorthair to play.
Need for exercise: Daily periods of play will be greatly beneficial to him, even if they are short since they will help him fight against overweight and boredom.
Runaway: The Exotic has little tendency to run away. He prefers the comfort of his own home!
The Exotic Shorthair with the Dogs: A rather quiet feline, the dog must not be too excited in its presence and there must be a good introduction between the two.
The Exotic Shorthair with the Other cats: The secret is in the method of presentation between chats. If done right, kitties will tolerate each other and may even develop a feline friendship.
The Exotic Shorthair with Children: He generally likes the presence of children as well as playing with them, but you still have to make sure that the temperament of the cat is not too much the opposite of the style of the family. Patience always has limits! And watch out for overly rambunctious children! You can place cat areas for your cat to retreat when she fells overwhelmed. Check these cat houses that can function well for this need.
The Exotic Shorthair with the Elderly: Calm, affectionate, and low maintenance: he is the perfect cat to live indoors with a person who matches his temperament!
Grooming: Often called the "Persian of lazy people", its maintenance is minimal: just run a small comb through its hair once a week. Only his eyes need to be wiped regularly, especially if they tend to run because infection of the skin folds of the face can develop quickly with humidity.
Hair loss: Even though he sheds less hair than the long-haired version, the Short-haired Exotic still sheds relatively a lot, given the thickness of his fur and his undercoat.
Feed: He needs quality food, served in interactive bowls.
The Exotic Shorthair grows very quickly, is shy and a little shy, but has no difficulty getting used to its new master and its new home. During the first days, however, you have to keep and respect the habits, the diet, and the schedules that have punctuated your life on the farm.
Then, he will not suffer from any changes in habits or environment. You must take special care of your eyes: they must be cleaned frequently with cotton wool soaked in chamomile or water. The coat does not require special care; just brush it once or twice a week. It is only during the molting period, which occurs in the spring, that the frequency of brushing should be increased.
Life expectancy: The Exotic lives an average of 12 to 15 years.
Resistant/robust: The Exotic Shorthair is not much harder than its cousin and prefers to live in a controlled environment, such as an apartment.
Tendency to grow: Like all cobby-type cats, the Exotic is prone to gaining too much weight.
Common Illnesses of Exotic Shorthair
Polycystic kidney disease, or polycystic kidney disease: autosomal dominant genetic kidney disease, is very common in Persians. Symptoms appear around the age of 7. A screening test is available. The only way to stop the disease is to breed only healthy individuals
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: heart disease that causes heart failure
The peritoneal-pericardial hernia: the passage of abdominal organs in the pericardium, the cavity where the heart is located
Progressive retinal atrophy: hereditary, it causes vision loss from the first months of life. We are currently looking for the gene(s) responsible to develop a genetic test
Corneal sequestra: corneal pathology specific to cats, especially Persians
Cystitis and bladder stones: bladder diseases
The portosystemic shunt
Polycystic liver disease: associated with polycystic kidney disease
Skin diseases: idiopathic facial dermatitis, dermatophytosis (ringworm), primary seborrhea, certain tumors, etc.
Chédiak-Higashi syndrome: a pathology almost specific to Persian Blue Smoke which leads to a lack of melanin accumulation in the lysosomes as well as poor functioning of platelets and certain white blood cells
Nasopharyngeal polyps: benign tumors that can be found in the nose, sinuses, ears, pharynx, etc.
Cryptorchidism: testicles that do not descend to the scrotum during the maturation of the sexual organs
Periodontal diseases: the much shorter jaw of brachycephalic breeds leads to differences in gripping and chewing food as well as in the position of the teeth (the number of teeth is the same as other cats) and tartar problems, gingivitis and sometimes even digestion
Breathing problems related to his brachycephalic conformation
Exotic’s sexual maturity is a little later than the other breeds. The number of babies per litter is also slightly lower. The risk of complications at parturition is higher, due to the kittens' heads which are quite large.
Authorized crossings, besides with themselves, are only with Persian.
Good to know
The short hair gene is dominant. The Exotic Shorthair is therefore homozygous or heterozygous. This means that some offspring of the litter may come out... with long hair! These individuals will be recognized as long-haired Exotics by some feline federations, while for others they will be Persians.
Also, it is essential for the breed to keep Persian blood, otherwise the particular quality of its hair changes with the generations and becomes less dense.