The Persian was used as an outcross secretly by some American Shorthair (ASH) breeders in the late 1950s to ''improve'' their breed. The crossbreed look gained recognition in the show ring, but other breeders unhappy with the changes successfully pushed for new breed standards that would disqualify ASH that showed signs of crossbreeding.
One ASH breeder who saw the potential of the Persian/ASH cross proposed, and eventually managed, to get the CFA to recognize them as a new breed in 1966, under the name Exotic Shorthair. Regular outcrossing to the Persian has made present-day Exotic Shorthair similar to the Persian in every way, including temperament and conformation, with the exception of the short dense coat. It has even inherited much of the Persian's health problems. The easier to manage coat has made some label the Exotic Shorthair ''the lazy man's Persian''.
Because of the regular use of Persians as outcrosses, some Exotics may carry a copy of the recessive longhair gene. When two such cats mate, there is a one in four chance of each offspring being longhaired. Longhaired Exotics are not considered Persians by CFA, although The International Cat Association accepts them as Persians. Other associations register them as a separate Exotic Longhair breed.
The Exotic Shorthair is a gentle friendly cat that has the same personality as the Persian. They love having fun, don’t mind the company of other cats and dogs, also love to curl up for a sleep in a safe place. They may be a bit wary of strangers that come to house. These cats don’t like to be left alone all day so if you aren’t around much it might be a good idea to get your Exotic Shorthair a bit of company. It has been reported that some owners leave the TV and radio on while they are gone to keep their Exotic Shorthair company.
While these cats are the most athletic of the feline breed they don’t mind a game every now and then. They are not very vocal cats and fit in well with all types of families, even families with young children.
This breed comes in a wide variety of colours that are recognised for the Persian breed including solid colours, silver and gold, shaded and smoke, tabby, particoloured, bicoloured and Himalayan.
Even though the Exotic Shorthair has a lot less fur than the Persian it’s still important to regularly groom this cat to keep them in top shape. They will shed when the weather turns warmer.
The male Exotic Shorthair weighs more 5.5 kgand females weigh 3.5 to 5.5 kg. The average lifespan of an Exotic Shorthair Persian cat is 12 to 14 years.