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Friday, May 4
Breed Introduction

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The Exotic Shorthair Cat
By Omer Ashraf

A shorthair house cat, the Exotic Shorthair was developed in the United States during the middle of twentieth century by mating longhair Persian cats with certain shorthair breeds. The idea was to create a cat that had all the adorable external features of the Persian apart from its long hair. For this purpose American and British Shorthairs, Burmese and even Russian Blues were used to create the perfect shorthaired Persian. The resulting cat had a distinct exotic look about it and owing to its short hair, was named thus. Formal recognition came in the sixties when it was accepted by major registration bodies. Today the Exotics resemble Persians more than the shorthair breeds that were used in their initial creation, in temperament and appearance. Indeed the Persian is the only breed with which occasional outcrosses of the Exotic are currently permitted.

A shorthaired feline, the Exotic is a muscular cobby cat that mimics the Persian in its heavily built musculoskeletal frame. Body is low-set with strong chest and shoulders and short powerful legs. Head is broad with well developed jaws and chin. Ears are short and widely set. Big bright eyes occur in a number of colors, varying with the coat. The coat itself is short and plush, not requiring frequent grooming and combing. For this reason, Exotic Shorthairs are often referred to as the 'lazy man's persian'. The tail is short and thick and paws are big and round.

Like their ancestor Persians, the Exotic are subject to similar health problems owing to their short flat nose and overly broad jaws. Nasolacrimal duct, that allows tear drainage, gets compressed leading to watery eyes that require daily wiping. There are ensuing eye and sinus problems. Disproportionate jaws lead to biting trouble, hindering the cat's eating ability and leading to frequent dental problems in some lines.

Exotic Shorthairs have a very calm, pleasant temperament. They are quiet and peaceful like the Persians and yet are lively and playful like the shorthairs. They are not overly demanding and express themselves in occasional shrill meows.

About the Author: The author is a blogger about cats and an expert on Exotic Shorthair cat.
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