If the Persian is a cat in a glamorous evening dress, the Exotic Persian is stripped to the limit. Exotic Shorthair, or in short Exotic, is a Persian with a different coat. The new breed was first developed in the 1950s by crossing Persians with American short hair and later with other short-haired breeds such as Burmese and Russian blue and then bred back to Persians when the short coat was achieved. The end result was a cat with the same characteristics and personality as the Persians, but wrapped in a short, soft, easy-care coat.
The cross, which was originally intended to give American shorthair the Persian striking silver color and green eyes, was initially controversial, but Persian breeders were fascinated by the new look and began to develop the so-called exotic.
The Cat Fanciers Association recognized the breed in 1967 and named it Exotic. In some other federations it is known as the exotic short hair to distinguish it from the exotic long hairs, which sometimes occur in exotic hills and which are considered by some federations as a separate breed. The International Cat Association recognized the breed as an exotic shorthair in 1979. Today, Exotics is recognized by all cat registries. Exoticism is now only crossed with the Persians and the Himalayas, not with short-haired races.
This is a medium-sized cat. Exotics usually range in weight from 7 to 12 pounds.
Like Persians, Exotic is cute, compliant and calm, but you do not get the impression that it is just an ornament for the home. She loves to play when she is not sitting on her lap or being patted. Exotics have a reputation for being more active and curious than their Persian siblings, and they are better suited for an active family. Males are described by some as sweeter and more loving than females, who are sometimes described as separated.
Exotics like to play with toys as long as you play with them, but can have fun when their people are busy or away. They faithfully follow family members and patiently wait for attention. Exoticism is rarely heard, but when they speak it is with a soft, pleasant and musical voice. The needs of an exotic are simple: regular meals, some playing time with a cat nipple mouse or feathers and a lot of love that is returned many times.
Both pedigree and mixed breed cats have different frequencies of health problems that can be genetic. While beautiful and sweet, exotic species are prone to a number of potential health problems, most commonly related to their facial structure:
- Difficulty breathing or breathing loudly through narrow nostrils
- Faulty teeth, i.e. the teeth do not fit well
- Excessive tearing
- Eye conditions such as cherry eyes and entropy
- Heat sensitivity
- Polycystic kidney disease for which genetic testing is available
- Predisposition to ringworm, a fungal infection
- Oleosa seborrhea, a skin condition that causes itching, redness and hair loss
The exotic is often called "the lazy man's Persian". Comb Exotic twice a week to remove dead hair and keep the coat shiny and healthy. A bath every month is a good idea. Be sure to blow-dry the cat properly.
Excessive tearing can be a problem with this breed. So wipe the corner of the eye every day to prevent blemishes from forming under the eyes. Brush their teeth to prevent periodontal disease. Daily dental hygiene is best, but weekly brushing is better than nothing.
It is a good idea to have only one exotic as an indoor cat. He is no scrapper and would feel bad towards other cats, dogs, coyotes and the other dangers cats face when they go outdoors. Exotics who go outdoors also risk being stolen by someone who wants such a beautiful cat without paying for it.
Fur color and grooming
In every way, except for the length of the coat, Exotic shares the Persian sweet expression and soft rounded lines. It has a large, round head; large, round eyes; a short nose; full children; and small ears with rounded tips. The head is supported by a short, thick neck and a deceptively strong, muscular body - a type called "Cobby". An exotic animal's legs are short, thick and strong with large, round, firm paws. The tail is short but proportional to the length of the cat's body.
A medium, soft, thick plush fur with a rich, thick undercoat completes the exotic look. It has neither the ruff nor the springy tail on the press.
Exotics come in various "looks" that are known to be extreme and traditional. "Extreme" exotic species that can be seen in the show ring have a flatter face, which can be associated with breathing problems. Cats with the traditional look have a more old-fashioned look, with a not so flat face and a lower nose with a more "pause" that makes it easier to breathe. They are registered with the Traditional Cat Association.
Exoticism of all stripes is characterized by an infinite amount of fur colors and patterns. Think, if you will, seven solid subdivisions - white, blue, black, red, cream, chocolate and purple - plus silver and gold division colors of chinchilla and shaded silver or gold and blue chinchilla and blue shaded silver or gold; and then there are the subdivisions Shaded, Smoke, Tabby, Calico, Particolor and Bicolor. It does not count among the various pointed patterns in the Himalayas.
The color of the eyes is related to the color of the coat. White exotic has, for example, deep blue or glowing copper eyes or strange eyes - one copper and one blue; other monochrome exotic species have glowing copper eyes; silver and gold the Persians have green or blue-green eyes; and so on.
Children and other pets
Exotics are adaptable and can work well in households with children who treat them well. They also get along with cat-friendly dogs.
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