Cat breeds – Exotic Shorthair
Is Garfield an Exotic Shorthair?
Exotic Shorthair has Persian’s docile temperament and American Shorthair’s coat. Its appearance and behavior are most likely taken from Persians though. However, it can as well be a brisk, joyful companion, as its American ancestors tend to be. Let us learn more about this extraordinarily devoted animal.
- Category I: Exotic Shorthair and Persian cats
- EMS Code: EXO
- Full name of the breed: Exotic Shorthair
- Country of origin: The United States of America
The history of the breed
In 1950s, American breeders crossbred secretly the Persian cats with the American Shorthair cats in order to improve Persians’ body type as well as to obtain Persians’ silver coloration. As a result, a cat with a completely new appearance was born. It was heavier, its head was more rounded, its muzzle shortened and the fur was thicker and longer.
This hybrid of purebred cats and Persian cats gained recognition (owing to the fact that Persian cat was back then and is still today one of the most popular cat breeds), although it was not recognized as a separate breed. Finally, the American Shorthair breeders demanded that the hybrid would not have been allowed to cat shows.
It was not until 1967 when a crossbreed of the Persian and the American Shorthair was allowed for the first time to the purebred cats show organized by CFA (The Cat Fancier’s Association). The cats were supposed to constitute a new breed, however due to the breeders’ attitude, the breed were introduced gradually.
In the beginning, Persian cats were crossbred as well with Burmese and Russian Blue cats. The aim of this crossbreed was to achieve a gene responsible for short hair.
Exotic Shorthair meets standards for the Persian breed, except for the long hair. Its head is massive, wide and rounded and its cheeks are pronounced and chubby. Its muzzle is short and flat. It has a wide nose with marked nostrils. Its chin is solid, jaws are big and wide.
Its ears are relatively small, round at tips, prominent and widely spaced. Its eyes are large and round. Their color corresponds to the coat coloration: copper cats have golden eyes, chinchilla and golden cats have green eyes and colorpoint cats have blue eyes.
It has a medium-sized, low to the ground cobby body. Its body is muscular and broad so it achieves from 3.5 to 6 kg (7.7 to 13 lb). Although its hair is short, it is longer in comparison to other short-haired breeds. Its fur is soft and dense.
It resembles the Persian with its appearance and temperament. It is then calm and docile. It seems to be brisker than Persian cat though. It likes playing, is very curious and friendly towards dogs and other cats. It does not like to be left alone, it requires a constant presence of its owner or at least his or her voice or smell. When it has to stay alone for a couple of hours, it is recommended to leave the radio on so it will not feel alone.
It is much more loyal and affectionate in comparison to other cat breeds, so it likes lying on its owner’s laps quite often. It is calm and sedate, therefore a small apartment in the city would be a comfortable home for it. However, many of the Exotic Shorthair cats tend to be as brisk as their American ancestors are. As a result, it may be keen of chasing the mice and playing with the toys.
It may sleep together with its owner although not necessarily. It is prone to overheat when it is warm, so it would rather sleep on the cold tiles. It may nap for hours. It may follow its owner, but not in an intrusive way. According to some breeders, males are calmer than females although it is not a rule.
It is recommended that its coat be brushed once a week, in order to remove loose hair and to keep a fur tidy. It prevents the shedding, which consist in production of hairballs that may stick in the gastrointestinal tract.
Flat muzzle structure contributes to the excessive lacrimation due to an overflown nasolacrimal duct. As a result, a cat that suffers from it may have constantly teary eyes and stains on the cheeks. It is recommended that the cat’s face be periodically wiped with a moistened cloth. A commercial preparation may help as well.
Detailed information / size
- Height at shoulders: 25 to 30 cm (10 to 12 in)
- Weight: 3.5 to 6 kg (7.7 to 13 lb)
- Lifespan: 12 to 14 years
Exotic Shorthair – curiosities
- Exotic Shorthair is sometimes called “a Persian for the lazy people” as its short hair does not require such extensive grooming, although these cats are very similar – hence the humorous definition of Exotics.
- Some Exotics may carry a copy of the recessive longhair gene. The crossbreed of those cats may in one fourth of the cases lead to the birth of long-haired kittens, which are called by CFA Exotic Longhairs. This variety is recognized by other felinology organizations as well. Exotic Longhair looks almost exactly like Persian.
- Due to the shape of the head and short and flat muzzle, a popular, lazy cat Garfield might be an Exotic Shorthair. However, Garfield has extended lips, which in case of Exotic Shorthair are short.