In the hopes of producing a brown-colored Persian cat, the American cat breeder, Carolyn Bussey, crossed a Persian with a brown Burmese cat in the late 1950s. Instead of creating what she had planned, Miss Bussey ended up with black kittens which, to her surprise, were breathtakingly cute. She then assumed that perhaps cat fanciers would love the idea of an easy-to-groom shorter-haired Persian cat but that kept its same exquisiteness and easy nature.
Due to the fact that Exotic Shorthairs meet every standard characteristic of the Persian cat (except for the coat), they can be very easily described as short-haired Persians. While Persian cats have long, thick coat that needs daily brushing to prevent mat and tangle formation, the Exotic Shorthair cats have a medium-length coat which is dense and plush, and has a thick undercoat. Exotics have an identical face to Persians, although there are 2 main features that make the former stand-out: (1) brachycephalic, meaning their skull and face are short and broad with a flattened muzzle; and (2) pedomorphic, meaning their face keeps its kittenish expression as brought about by their large, round head, big, round and widely-set eyes, and small ears. In addition, Exotics have a cobby look with short, solid legs that hold up its round, brawny physique. It is compact (although not fat) with the cat’s weight attributed to its bone density. Exotics, or Zots, have an athletic build and are acceptable in any color and pattern, including white, calico, striped, and colorpoint.
Like their lineage, Exotics have an exceptionally kind and gentle disposition. They are generally quiet, placid and dignified, although can be fun-loving and curious at times, too. The breed is very friendly to humans and to other animals. Zots like to show their affection without becoming inconveniently demanding. Although the breed does not like to be left unattended for too long, they generally have an adaptable nature; making them ideal for apartment living and city life. Easy-going, calm, and sweet, Exotics are particularly patient when it comes to children. Easily amused by the simple pleasures of life, this adorable breed finds paper balls and strings entertaining enough to keep them happy. The breed is not a jumper, and they hardly ever rush and dash around the house or make trouble on shelves and cupboards. The breed’s preference seems to lean more toward merely lounging around and being cuddled. Exotics enjoy human interaction and will love to spend much of their time as endearing lap cats.
Exotics have a very easy-to-groom coat. Their fur doesn’t mat or tangle, and combing them at least once a week will be enough to keep their hair beautiful. Since the breed sheds seasonally, you will have to provide additional grooming and bathing during this period in order to get rid of dead hair. Also, because of the Exotic cat’s pushed-in face, their eyes are prone to tear. To ward off unsightly staining, try washing your pet’s face every day, especially beneath his eyes. The breed has shorter nostrils which make them more sensitive to heat. Just keep them away from high temperatures to avoid breathing problems.
Exotics are not generally at risk of genetic abnormalities and diseases. However, due to their being a brachycephalous, they are prone to staining and occasional sinus problems. Because of the Exotic’s shortened jaw, they are also predisposed to tooth crowding and alignment issues. Health concerns like polycystic kidney disease and of development of calcium oxalate stones in their urinary tract have also been reported to be a health risk.