Exotic Shorthair Breed Profile

They are bred to meet the Persian standard in every way with one very special exception: the coat has a thick, dense, plush, short coat. The Exotic coat is unique to the breed and gives them a soft, rounded, teddy bear look. Their wonderful coat requires much less combing than a Persian’s and will not mat or tangle. Because of the ease of grooming for this special breed, Exotics are sometimes affectionately referred to as the lazy man’s Persian.

The Exotic Shorthair is an ideal breed that produces a quiet, sweet, peaceful and loyal companion. They are easy going and not much seems to disturb them. In general, they are extremely affectionate. They quietly beg for your attention by just sitting in front of you with an irresistible look focused on your eyes. They will jump in your lap to curl up for a nap or push their wet nose right into your face. Some like to sit on your shoulder and hug you when you pet them. They may or may not sleep with you as some prefer cooler places like the bricks on the hearth or the tiled floor. An Exotic is very comfortable to have in your home. They give you privacy and are not constantly demanding attention. They will, They are just as playful and fun loving as other breeds. They will jump until exhausted trying to catch a toy on a stick, or they will sit and carefully study how to get the toy down from the top of the bookcase where it was placed when you stopped playing with them.

This same creative instinct was in place when the Exotic was first envisioned. The Exotic vision started from more than one direction. Some thirty plus years ago, American Shorthair breeders on several fronts had an idea they felt would improve the color of their breed, and perhaps give them new directions for additional colors in their cats. They began to breed their American Shorthairs to Silver Persians in an effort to get the lovely silver coat color and green eye color. The resulting kittens from these breedings were pleasing to look at, but did not resemble true American Shorthairs. Be that as it was, sufficient outcrosses were being introduced from these breedings to catch the attention of Jane Martinke. She noticed that changes were gradually taking place in the American Shorthair type and coat texture. Jane, with her vision and foresight, saw both the harm that could be done to the American Shorthair breed through the continuation of these outcrosses, and also the possibilities presented by this adorable cat. In 1966, she proposed to the CFA Board of Directors the creation of a new breed.

The name originally proposed for this new breed was to be ” Sterling,” from their beautiful silver color. These cats were to look like Persians, but with a short, plush coat. The original concept was to allow cats to transfer from American Shorthair classes to this new shorthaired class if they had been hybridized with Persians. The discussion over this new breed resulted in the development of the standard for the Exotic Shorthair. The standard was the same as that for the Persian except that, in the beginning, the cat did not need to have a nose break. Although originally the standard was intended to be written just for the silver color, all Persian colors were accepted into the new Exotic Shorthair breed right from the beginning. Also, even though the outcross was originally conceived as being a hybrid American Shorthair x Persian, the rules were broadly interpreted at first, and any CFA registered shorthair could be used as a cross. Early breeders used American Shorthair and Burmese for their excellent body and moderate head; a few breeders used outcrosses to the Russian Blue for the plush double coat. To my knowledge, no oriental-type cats were used because of the complete opposite requirements in body type. Any breeder desiring a pointed Exotic had to cross to a Himalayan to achieve that outcome. It is very important to remember that, even though the shorthair gene was initially achieved through the outcross to many different breeds, early breeders made few such outcrosses. Once the original outcross was made, the shorthair offspring were taken right back to Persians, not back to shorthaired cats of other breeds. The goal from the beginning has been to create a Persian with short hair, so once the Exotic Shorthair gene was introduced, no further outcrossing was necessary.