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This Gentle Pet Will Make You Fall in Love All Over Again

Known for its gentle, affectionate personality and its low-maintenance coat, this pet comes in second in America to its longer-haired cousin. Read on to discover 9 fascinating facts about this well-loved pet. Plus: how to know if it's right for your family.

facts exotic shorthair cats


  • Exotic shorthairs have the same gentle affectionate personalities as Persians, but with a short, easy to manage coat
  • Exotic shorthairs are the second most popular cat in America, second only to Persians
  • Exotic shorthairs love to cuddle in your lap and enjoy companionship of humans and other animals

Editor's Note: This article is a reprint. It was originally published March 27, 2015.

Persian cats, with their long soft coats and sweet personalities, are the most popular cat breed in the US – and have been for more than 30 years.1 So it's not surprising that the number twospot goes to the exotic shorthair, Persians' short-haired cousin.

Exotic shorthairs are just like Persians except for one distinction, their coat. While most everyone falls in love with Persians' personalities, not every falls in love with their high-maintenance coats. Exotics nip this problem in the bud, as they have gentle, loving dispositions and a short, easy to care for coat.

If you're considering adding an exotic to your family, Paw Nation has compiled some important (and interesting) facts you should know.2

9 Facts About Exotic Shorthair Cats

  1. They've only been around for 50 years — The exotic shorthair breed began in the 1950s when American shorthairs were bred with Persians. Burmese and Russian blues were also bred with Persians to get the short-haired gene.
  2. They can be extreme or traditional — Extreme exotic shorthairs have a very distinct appearance with flatter faces, tiny noses, and large eyes. Traditional exotic shorthairs have less flat faces and slightly longer noses.
  3. Low maintenance — Exotics are sometimes called “the lazy man's Persian,” because they require only weekly combing (while Persians require intensive grooming). They have a dense undercoat that gives them a puffy appearance, but even still they have little to no shedding.
  4. Love of lounging — If you're looking for a cat who loves to cuddle, exotics are it. They tend to follow their owners around the house and will jump into your lap as much as possible.
  5. They love companionship — Exotics love the company of others, be it from their humans or other cats (and even dogs). If you'd like more than one pet, exotics are therefore a good choice as they tend to get along well with others. Exotics are also a good choice for people who are home often … but not for those who are gone for long hours each day.
  6. They're playful — Persians are known for being lazy, but exotics enjoy playing with toys. While they're still lap cats at heart, exotics can be quite playful as well.
  7. Garfield — It's thought that the comic-strip cat Garfield is an exotic shorthair, due to his appearance. However, most exotics are far friendlier, and not as lazy, as the cartoon cat.
  8. They need to warm up to strangers — Exotics are very affectionate toward their families, but they shy away from strangers. If an exotic meets someone new, it will take a little time for him to feel comfortable around the person.
  9. A favorite cat breed — As mentioned, exotics are the second most popular cat breed in America, a title they've held for the last three years.

Are You Thinking of Adding an Exotic to Your Family?

There are a number of factors to consider when adding a cat to your family, but if you've fallen in love with a specific breed, like an exotic, a breeder isn't your only option. There are purebred cat rescues located across the US where you can find the perfect exotic for your family, at a lower cost than you'd pay straight from a breeder.

For example, one purebred cat rescue in the Midwest has adoption fees of $150-$300 for adults and $200 -$350 for kittens. A private breeder may charge $1,600 for a purebred kitten. Price is not the only factor in adopting a pet, of course, but when you adopt from a rescue organization or shelter you have the added benefit of helping out a cat in need of a home.

If you want to see an exotic kitten in action, see the video below, which shows one 2.5-month-old girl playing with her favorite toy.

Sources and References

  • Paw Nation October 9, 2014
  • 1 The Cat Fanciers’ Association February 3, 2014
  • 2 Paw Nation October 9, 2014

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