The Exotic (also, Exotic Shorthair)

Breed Basics

  • Distinctive characteristics: soft, round “teddy-bear” appearance; quiet meow
  • Coat: medium length; rich and soft—stands out from body due to thick undercoat
  • Color: a variety, including solids (white, blue, black, red, cream, lilac, chocolate, silver, golden), tortoiseshell, and tabby 
  • Body: sturdy, with muscular legs
  • Head: broad, rounded
  • Eyes: large, round, and of a color that complements the cat’s dominant coat color (however, white exotics have blue eyes; black exotics have copper ones) 
  • Average weight: 7–14 pounds
  • Temperament: easygoing, gentle, affectionate

What’s to Love?

Almost as popular as their Persian cousins, exotics have one very distinct difference, and it’s one of the main reasons people are attracted to them:
  • Shorter, denser coats mean less grooming
  • Quiet demeanor and vocalization 
  • Easily adapts to people as well as to other pets—preferably gentle ones
  • Want to be with their people as much as possible 
  • Playfulness
  • Intelligence

What to Watch For

  • Should be indoor-only cats (because of docile temperament)
  • Prefer peaceful environments to boisterous ones
  • Congenital issues, such as asymmetrical jaw, leading to eating and/or dental issues
  • Epiphora, or excessive tearing, and other eye issues (also congenital)
  • Sinusitis, and other sinus issues (congenital)

The Exotic is a relatively new breed, having first been bred in the U.S. in the 1950s by crossing Persians with American shorthairs.

The breed’s popularity grew quickly, and it was recognized as a distinct breed just a decade after its first appearance.

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian – they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.