Relaxed but lively and with deadly looks, this cat will snuggle into your good graces with a slow blink of her expressive eyes, a quick glance at her cute smile and a quick touch of her plush coat.
What’s in a name?
Just the exotic. A name like Madonna. Sometimes known as the Exotic Shorthair or, our personal favorite, “Lazy Man’s Persian”.
Not quite a Persian
While these exotic kittens born with long hair (rare but possible) can be registered as long-haired exotics or Persians, the standard short-haired exotic is a breed in itself – and a charming one.
An unexpected breed
The Exotic came about by mistake (always a fun origin story!) When American shorthair breeders decided to add green eyes and silver coats to their kittens. For this they had to breed their cats to be Persians. The result was unexpected. Unlike offspring that resembled American shorthairs, breeders had kittens that were beautiful but looked like Persians with soft, short coats. To cement the shorthair gene, Russian blues and Burmese were added to the American shorthair mix, with the offspring being bred back to Persians to establish a new breed: the exotic.
Who is the exotic?
The exotic was originally supposed to be called sterling and was only offered in silver. But when breeding didn’t go as planned, she was nicknamed Exotic and can now be found in all color combinations like the Persian – from solid, tabby and Himalayas to silver, gold, black and white and tortoiseshell.
A little teddy bear
The short, soft, dense fur only found on Exotic creates a soft, rounded, bear-cube-like effect that makes them extremely crushable, while their small size (sticks to the 6-13 pound category by weight) makes them is the cutest cuddle package.
A little difference
The breed standards for exotic and Persian are nearly identical (both cite big eyes, a cute expression, and a short, boop-worthy nose as trademarks), with coat length being the only difference between the two!
The exotic has a peaceful personality
Relaxed, loyal, calm … the exotic disposition does not differ significantly from that of the Persian. In fact, the two are almost indistinguishable, what with their preference to look lovingly into your eyes; Worship for hugs or pressing your wet nose into your face during cuddle time; and the habit of sitting on your shoulder or curling up on your lap at lunchtime.
The main place where Exotic and Persian differ is game time. Persians who want to have a good time on occasion are more inclined to laze around and hang around or attend a kids’ tea party (as a guest of honor, of course) while the Exotic is ready and ready to go! A simple toilet roll or wadded piece of paper will get it moving, but pull out a magic wand or puzzle toy and frolic until it drops!
Boys against girls
Although exotic males are equally devoted to their humans, they tend to be extremely in love, while women tend to embrace their independent side.
The flat dilemma
While the exotic’s flat, squishy face is charming to look at, it does pose a problem: breathing. It’s not a problem for everyone, but many exotic species suffer from breathing problems and are sensitive to heat. To keep both problems at bay, exotics need to live in a house that is well ventilated and air-conditioned from childhood through their golden years (from age 15!).
Why the exotic makes the perfect family member
Exotics are pretty quiet, emitting a melodious meow every now and then, and giving you the privacy you need (as they spread out on a tile floor and take a nap). The only quirk (albeit a cute one) is their penchant for planning when their toys are taken away. That feather stick with bells that you put on the fridge after playing (out of the reach of your paw)? Yes, she will spend hours looking at it from the ground trying to figure out how to get it off. Choose your hiding spots carefully.
Continue reading: 20 of the most popular cat breeds