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Known as the lazy man’s Persian, the Exotic Shorthair has the body type and easygoing nature of the Persian but without the coat length and need for daily grooming.


A sweet, gentle feline, the Exotic Shorthair is also affectionate and loyal. Exotics are laid back and fun-loving, yet also quiet and sensitive, which makes them comfortable housemates and perfect family pets.

Exotics do not constantly demand attention, but will happily curl up in your lap. Bring out a toy on a stick, and they will eagerly play until they are exhausted.


Exotic Shorthairs are bred to meet the Persian standard in every way, except one. Instead of the long Persian coat, Exotics have a thick, dense, plush short coat.

This coat is unique to the Exotic breed. Combined with their flat, round faces, it gives them a soft teddy bear look.


15+ years


The Exotic Shorthair’s plush coat comes in white, black, blue, red, cream, chocolate, lilac and silver, plus various patterns and shadings.


Unlike its Persian cousins, the Exotic Shorthair is a shorthaired breed with a medium-shedding coat that does not mat or tangle. It requires only weekly combing to remove loose hair.  


Exotic Shorthairs can have hereditary health issues, so reputable breeders take steps to screen for Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) and a tendency to develop calcium oxylate stones in the urinary tract.

Because of their flat faces, Exotics may have breathing problems. This face shape may also make them prone to heat sensitivity. An air-conditioned home is recommended.

Best Cat Food for Exotic Shorthair Cats & Kittens

Exotic Shorthairs will generally thrive on the nutrition of a quality adult cat food.

Exotic Shorthair kittens should eat a kitten food for their first year of life to aid in their growth and development. 


The Exotic Shorthair was not an intentional breed. This delightful accident was the result of American Shorthair breeders trying to bring the silver color and green eyes of the Persian breed to their breed.

When they bred their cats with Persian cats, the resulting kittens didn’t look like American Shorthairs. Instead, they retained the Persian look, but with a short, plush coat.

To introduce the gene for a short coat, other breeders brought in Burmese or Russian Blue cats. Those offspring were bred back to Persians, creating the Exotic Shorthair breed.

Today the breed standards for the Persian and the Exotic Shorthair are identical, with the exception of coat length.


  • Originally the Exotic Shorthair was named Sterling due to the breed’s beautiful silver coat. They later were named Exotic Shorthair because silver wasn’t a color previously found in American Shorthairs, making it exotic.