Origin: United States
Colour: 96 different colour forms
The short-haired version of the Persian Cat, first developed in the 1950s. The name 'Exotic' was introduced by American breeders in 1966.
Domestic Breed: The short-haired version of the Persian Cat, first developed in the 1950s. The name 'Exotic' was introduced by American breeders in 1966.
Many people wished to own a cat with the docile, serene personality of the Persian, but without having to suffer the endless grooming problems created by their exceptionally long fur. The solution was to shorten the hair genetically, but without altering the character of the cat. Once this had been done, the new breed quickly became immensely popular. It has sometimes been referred to as the 'Easy-care Persian'.
Appearance: A 'chunky' cat, it retains the heavy head, the flat face, the stocky body and the short legs and tail of the Persian, but it has a thick, soft, plush, luxuriant, short coat, giving it an appealing 'teddy bear' look.
History: The breed originally arose because of attempts to strengthen the quality of the American Shorthair Cat. This was done by introducing Persians into Shorthair breeding programmes in the United States. This soon gave rise to a new, 'improved' American Shorthair which was so different from the traditional Shorthair that it was decided to give them two separate breed names. It was then, in 1966, that Jane Martinke, suggested the title 'Exotic Shorthair' for the newer type. The first 'Exotic' was shown under that name in 1967. Two years later, two Americans, Bob and Nancy Lane, started the first Exotic Breed Club, and began more carefully orchestrated breeding programmes.
Other short-haired breeds were occasionally involved in the crosses in the early days, including Abyssinians, Burmese and Russian Blues, but once the Exotic breed had been firmly established, only out-crosses using American Shorthairs and Persians were permitted.
Similar crosses were made in Britain, using British Shorthairs, where the results were sometimes referred to as 'British Exotics' to distinguish them for their American counterparts. Two clubs were formed: the 'Exotic Cat Club' in 1983 and then the 'Exotic Shorthair Breeders Society' in 1984.
The arrival of this breed has caused some controversy, since some cat organizations classify them as short-haired cats (because of their fur) and others as long-haired (because they are Persian in every other respect.). This difference of opinion serves to underline the unfortunate state in which pedigree cat classifications find themselves today.
Personality: Terms used to describe this breed include: quiet, placid, tranquil, home-loving, hardy, intelligent, alert, bright, inquisitive and playful.
Colour forms: Almost all colours are known in this breed. In fact, no fewer than 96 different colour forms are listed by the Exotic Shorthair Breeders Association.
1993. Green, J. What is an Exotic? In: Cat World Annual 1993. p.62-63.
Exotic Cat Club. Address: 6 Oakwell Crescent, Ilkeston, Derbyshire, DE7 5GX, England.
Exotic Shorthair Breeders Society. Founded in 1984. Issues a half-yearly Journal. Address: The Cottage Cattery, Mill Road, West Walton, Nr. Wisbech, Cambs. PE14 7EU, England.
Note: There is an additional breed publication: Exotic Thoughts. Address: P.O. BOX 52, Verona, PA 15147, USA.
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