persian catThe Exotic Shorthair, or simply called Exotic cat, is a result of a cross breeding between the American Shorthair and Persian during the 1960s. It has the same body and head of a Persian cat, but has a short, easy-to-maintain coat. This cat breed is ideal for fanciers who love the look and personality of the Persian but not the daily grooming it requires.

Breed Origin

The origins of the Exotic Shorthair began as a secret in the late 1950s, when American breeders crossed Persians with American Shorthair cats in an effort to improve the body type and introduce a silver coat. They failed to bring out a silvery coat, and instead got an American Shorthair with Persian characteristics, with a rounder and broader face, shorter nose, smaller ears, more compact bodies, and denser hair.

At first, some cat owners did not like the idea of having the American Shorthair turned into a "pseudo-Persian." The American Shorthair standards were revised to disquality any cat with evidence of hyrbridization. In 1966, however, a proposal was made by Cat Fanciers’ Association judge Jane Martinke that this hybrid be recognized as a new breed.

Meanwhile, owners of Persians refused to accept the hybrid breed to the point that they did not sell their Persian cats to Exotic fanciers. The hybrid proponents persisted, however, and started crossing Exotics with Burmese, Russian Blue, and British Shorthair to establish a gene for short hair.

Once the dominant shorthair gene was established, the breeders switched back to breeding with Persians to achieve the preferred body and head type. In 1987, the CFA declared that the Persian as the only allowable outcross to the Exotic. Eventually, this exotic breed won over the opposition is now a popular breed in North America.

Appearance and Size

The Exotic Shorthair has a solid, rounded, and stocky body usually called "cobby," further illustrated as having broad shoulders and rump. Its appearance is what makes cat owners call it "a Persian in its pajamas." The eyes are large, round, and set far apart, while its rounded cheeks and whisker pads give its sweet expression that is so prized in this breed. Its small and rounded ears are set wide apart on the broad head.

However, the show type of Exotic Shorthair-referred to as the Extreme Exotic-has an extremely broad and flat face. It is usually subject to breathing and tear duct difficulties.


Even though the Exotic cat share similar physical traits with the Persian, its personality is slightly different because of its American Shorthair influence. It tends to be more active and livelier than the placid Persian. Despites its active temperament, the Exotic Shorthair possesses the Persian’s loyalty, sweetness, and love for affection.

Home and Relations

Because of its active lifestyle, the Exotic Shorthair is more playful and enjoys a good walkway around the living room, especially if you are there to admire its antics or join the fun. It is non-aggressive, and is easy to get along with other animals and children. The Exotic Shorthair make for perfect cats for apartments.