The Exotic Shorthair is a charming, amiable and quite cat, which was developed by crossing the Persian with various short-haired breeds. It shares the Persian’s pleasant bear-like appearance with the exception of its plush short and easy-to-groom coat. This moderately active and robust breed will make a perfect four-legged friend for both a family and an individual.
Photo: © cattery Fayna Kisya (fayna-kisya.jimdo.com)
The creation of the Exotic Shorthair was the result of failed breeding experiment. In the 50s of the XX century breeders of the American Shorthair wanted to introduce delightful silver colour and green eyes of the Persian into this breed. To achieve this goal they crossed these two breeds and received fascinatingly beautiful kittens, which were not a bit similar to the typical American Shorthair.
Jane Martine was infatuated with the cuteness of the kittens and hit upon an idea of developing a new feline variety. Initially she planned to breed cats only with silver coats but gradually specimens of all colours began to appear. The new breed was granted with the name of the Exotic Shorthair. Apart from the American Shorthair the Russian Blue and the Burmese were used in its breeding program. Since the shorthaired gene is referred to the dominant type, few outcrosses were sufficient in order to firmly insert it into genetic code of the breed. That’s why after primary outcrosses to acquire the short coat, the scions were bred back to the Persian.
The development of the Exotic Shorthair was greatly slowed down by the unwillingness of Persian breeders to cooperate. Little by little as the young breed made good progress and earned more and more fanciers lots of Persian breeders changed their opinion and agreed to contribute to its enhancement and promotion. Nowadays the Exotic Shorthair and the Persian have the uniform standard except for the coat length.
The Cat Fanciers Association gave its recognition to the breed in 1967. It was granted with recognition of the International Cat Association in 1979. Presently it’s permissible to outcross the Exotic Shorthair only to the Persian and the Hymalayan.
The Exotic Shorthair is a mellow, obedient and out-going cat, which adapts well to all housing conditions. The breed is known to be noticeably more energetic and inquisitive than its closely related Persian so it will perfectly suit an active family. It’s reported that the male specimen usually has more biddable and tender temperament than the female, who tends to be slightly reserved.
This cat is good with other household pets and can live peacefully with a friendly dog. The Exotic Shorthair can play with toys for endless hours so it is able to amuse itself when you are out at work. Of course, it will be grateful for every minute spent in your company and will always stay by your side whether you are resting on the couch or doing your household chores. The breed is generally quiet but when it feels like talking it will communicate with you in a soft and melodious voice.
The Exotic Shorthair is usually affectionate with familiar people but breed members are somewhat suspicious around strangers. Appropriate socialisation usually makes this cat more adaptable to unpredictable situations and sudden noises. Being a well-mannered and sweet household cat the Exotic Shorthair still needs an occasional opportunity to satisfy its natural curiosity. Challenge its brain with puzzled toys or teach it some tricks, for example “Sit” or “Give a paw”. It can make an even-tempered and peaceable household pet on condition that it’s always surrounded by your love and attention.
The most common problems for the breed include:
· breathing difficulty;
· dental malocclusions;
· excessive tearing;
· eye problems;
· heat sensitivity;
· polycystic kidney disease;
· predisposition to ringworm, a fungal infection;
· seborrhea oleosa.
The Exotic Shorthair’s grooming requires insignificant amount of efforts. Its short and soft coat should be combed once or twice a week with a stainless comb to maintain its natural beauty.
This breed is a seasonal shedder and will demand extra bathing and combing during these periods to get rid of loose hair. After each bath the cats’ plush fur should be carefully dried with a hand-held blow dryer or with a professional stand dryer, but set the temperature on minimum to avoid burns.Because of its flattened face the Exotic is highly prone to tears. That’s why it’s essential to daily wipe the areas beneath its eyes with a soft tissue. The rest includes such basic care as nail trimming, ears cleaning and teeth brushing.