Exotic Shorthair Cat: A Snapshot of the Breed

Published February 9, 2021
Beautiful Exotic Shorthair Kitten leaning on a sofa

The exotic shorthair cat is known as a low-maintenance version of the long-haired Persian kitty. This feline loves attention, is popular among cat lovers, and his round eyes are adorable. The breed lives up to his famous nickname, "teddy bear cat."

Exotic Shorthair Cat

The exotic shorthair cat's soft voice barely makes a noise, and the feline gazes at his owner when he wants attention. The nickname "teddy bear" is a perfect name for a cat with a rounded, plush body, snub nose, big eyes, and thick double coat. The cartoon character, Garfield, is an excellent example of an exotic shorthair!

Laying Exotic black and white cat with amber yellow eyes


The first exotics were bred in the U.S. in the 1960s, and by the 1980s, there was a popular British version. The original cat was a cross between the Persian and American shorthair. Later, there were crosses done with the Burmese, Abyssinian, and British shorthair breeds. The goal for early breeders was to create a short-haired cat with green eyes and a silvery coat.

Closely Related to Persian Cats

The exotic shorthair inherited its distinguishable features from the Persian breed. The cat's flat face, large eyes, and full cheeks are from the lovely long-haired Persian.

Teddy Bear Appearance

The cat's plush and dense coat gives the breed a teddy bear-like appearance. This breed may look pudgy, but this is not a fat cat. The exotic shorthair may weigh up to 15 pounds due to dense bones and a large head.

A beautiful exotic Shorthair cat lies on the brown background

Low-Key Temperament

Sometimes cat owners refer to this breed as the "lazy man's Persian." This kitty is quiet, gentle with a docile nature. Cat lovers enjoy the Persian's best traits as the exotic shorthair breed is a low-maintenance version of the beautiful long-haired cat. This cat's voice is quiet, and the breed is extremely affectionate.

Coat Colors and Patterns

The coat colors vary, and the tabby pattern is adorable. Exotic shorthairs appear in seven distinct patterns, including tortoiseshell, bicolor, tricolor, tabby, smoke, shaded, and Himalayan.

  • White
  • Red
  • Cream
  • Black
  • Blue
  • Chocolate
  • Lilac
  • Silver
  • Golden
  • Tortoiseshell
  • Blue-cream
  • Brown
  • Calico
  • Seal
Exotic kitten with big eyes

Laid-Back Grooming

The cat's coat requires less combing and grooming than a Persian's coat and does not mat or tangle. This breed is perfect for a pet parent with a busy lifestyle and no time to manage a Persian's high-maintenance coat.

Distinct Traits

This breed is known for its distinct round eyes, face, and body.

  • Broad, round head with low set ears
  • Short, square bodies with short thick legs
  • Plush coat
Cream-white exotic shorthair cat

Health Issues

There are few health issues pet parents need to be aware of before purchasing an exotic shorthair. The breed may need to be kept inside on warm days as this cat's short muzzle may cause respiratory issues. This round head shape is known as brachycephalic. Pets with a brachycephalic head structure may experience issues in warm temperatures. Watch your cat in his catio.

  • Corneal ulcers
  • Heart disease
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Upper respiratory infections

Senior Exotic Shorthairs

Cats between 12 and 14 years are considered seniors. Aging cats need to see a vet at least twice a year for wellness exams. Seniors are prone to age-related diseases, and a vet may determine whether lab work or diagnostics are needed.


The exotic shorthair is a generally healthy breed and lives between eight and 11 years. A healthy and happy exotic shorthair may live a long life. Regular vet visits ensure any diseases are caught early on as felines are stoic.

Contact TICA for Reputable Breeders

Males are more affectionate than females, so pet parents need to work with a reputable breeder when deciding on a kitty. The International Cat Association (TICA) may list excellent breeders for the exotic shorthair. The price depends on the type, markings, and bloodlines distinguished by Grand Champion, National Regional winning parentage, or Distinguished Merit parentage.

Low-Maintenance Version of the Persian Cat

This cat breed is a happy indoor kitty and wants a family member to be around for a cuddle. If this cat is not in your lap, the exotic shorthair may be gazing into your eyes for attention. This breed is like living with the best of two worlds. A low-maintenance Persian is a wonderful addition to any family.

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Exotic Shorthair Cat: A Snapshot of the Breed