Exotic Shorthair Cat Breed Guide

Relaxed | Quiet | Cuddler. The exotic shorthair, sometimes referred to as a low-maintenance Persian, is an adorable cross-breed of cat that was first developed in the U.S. They’re easily recognisable by their upturned muzzle which makes them look like furry little grumpy-grandads and are adored by their owners due to their affectionate and loyal purrsonalities. Let’s take a closer look at this lovable breed. 

Exotic Shorthair Cat lying down


Average Lifespan: 10 - 15 years

Average Weight: 3 - 7kg 

Coat Length: Short

Colouring: All colours and patterns. 

Shedding: Moderate


The development of the exotic shorthair breed first came about by pure luck in America in the 1960s. American shorthair breeders wanted to introduce a new eye colour to the breed by cross-breeding their floofs with silver and green-eyed Persians. The result was a litter of smudgy-faced Persian-looking cats but with a short, dense coat. 

They were first named “sterlings” due to their silver colour, but gradually as more of these kitties were bred in all sorts of wonderful colours, the name was switched to the exotic shorthair. 

Not long later, exotic shorthairs started to be bred in the UK by crossing Persians and British shorthairs. Over time the gene pool of these cats has diversified enough that nowadays exotics can bred with other exotics, producing a pure breed of this floofy kitty.

Exotic Shorthair Kitten


Exotic shorthairs essentially look just like Persian cats but with a short coat. So if you want a Persian but can’t be bothered with the excessive brushing, the exotic shorthair may just be the floof for you. 

These dudes are big, all the better for cuddling, with a short but dense coat that can range in a whopping 140 colours officially recognised by the GCCF. They have thick tails and of course a flat smudgy face like their Persian cousins. 

They have a short nose and muzzle that gives them a grumpy grandad-looking expression that's juxtaposed with short dainty legs that they trot around on inquisitively. 


Exotic shorthairs are gentle and relaxed which they can thank their Persian lineage for. They make excellent lapcats and love nothing more than cozying up into their pawrent’s lap. They’re loyal, often following their mummy or daddy around the house, patiently waiting for their next cuddling session. They’re not always couch potatoes though, as they have inherited a certain child-like playfulness from their British shorthair parentage. Fortunately, they’re easily amused with ping pong balls or even an empty cardboard box from the week’s online shopping. 


Exotic shorthairs thrive on affection and generally love being held. However, all cats are uniquely their own with some preferring handling than others. It’s impawtent to always handle your cat with care by picking them up gently and holding them securely against your body. If they’re running away from you don’t chase after them as they might be wanting some me time. Just wait until they’re feeling ready for a cuddle, it’ll make it more enjoyable for them and save you a scratch or two. 

Exotic shorthair cat lying down


Like Persians, exotic shorthairs have been linked to an inherited health condition called Polycystic Kidney Disease. If you’re adopting from a reputable breeder they should have DNA tested their cats and kittens for this disorder so always check for a record of this before adopting an exotic shorthair.

Other than this, these smudgy-faced kitties are generally healthy and require the same diet as other cat breeds. Look for a cat food with high levels of animal meat to provide your floof with the high-protein diet they need to sustain their energy and general health. 

They also need a careful balance of 41 essential nutrients to keep them in ideal floofy shape. The best way to do this is by choosing a cat food from a trusted pet food brand (hint Scrumbles) that specifically labels their recipes as complete. This way you know that it has been carefully formulated to include all of the essential levels of protein, fats, vitamins, minerals and carbs to keep your cat purring. 


Scrumbles cat foodExotic Shorthairs love our gut friendly cat food. Here’s why:

  1. Meat, Meat and More Meat - We load our recipes with up to 77% human-grade fish or meat to provide exotic shorthairs with the protein-rich food they need to keep them thriving. 
  2. Happy Tummies - We throw in powerful prebiotics or probiotics to our cat food and some of our nutritious cat treats to improve digestibility and keep tummy upsets at bay, purrfect for those sensitive kitties that need a little extra TLC!
  3. Hypoallergenic - We’ve skipped the common allergens like dairy, soy, gluten and egg so even the most sensitive of kitties can chow down with no worries.
  4. Built-in Feeding Calculators To Keep Exotics Floofy Not Fat - We have built-in feeding calculators on our cat food pages so you can tailor their portions to their activity level, helping to prevent obesity from overfeeding. 
  5. Nutritionally Complete Recipes - All of our wet and dry cat food recipes are nutritionally balanced and complete. They’re designed by expert nutritionists and approved by vets so your cat can enjoy them day in and day out with the confidence of a purrfectly balanced diet. 
  6. Pawsitevely Yummy - Even the most finicky felines can’t get enough of our delicious cat food. But don’t just take our word for it, read the thousands of rave reviews from satisfied cats across the UK.
  7. Eco-Friendly Pawprint: We use eco-friendly packaging and are proud to be the second ever pet food brand in the world to be certified B-Corp with a commitment to feeding your cat and your climate-conscious soul.

Whilst you're here why, why not read:

  1. Russian Blue Cat
  2. Snowshoe Cat
  3. Cornish Rex Cat

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