Though we may not be certain where the phrase “the cat’s pajamas” originated, we do know that there is a certain cat breed that looks like he is wearing pajamas. The Exotic Shorthair cat is described by some as the “Persian in pjs” because of the fluffy face and trim coat on the rest of the body. These quiet kitties are a combination of the most lovable qualities of two popular cat breeds, creating an ideal house pet and companion. With their large eyes and fuzzy coats, it is easy to see why the world has fallen for these dreamy felines.

Facts About Exotic Shorthair Cats

  • Exotic Shorthairs continue to be one of the most popular cat breeds in America. For the last few years these cats have perpetually ranked in the top 5 favorite cat breeds. They are also considered one of the friendliest cats (though they are not particularly enamored with children). Older kids have a better chance with bonding with an Exotic Shorthair.
  • Measuring up to the breed’s name, there are a wide variety of exotic coat color variations this felines can sport. With base colors of black, red, cream, white, chocolate/liver and lilac, the cats also come in mixed patterns such as calico, bi-colored, shaded, tabby, smoky, pointed patterns (similar to the Himalayans), etc.
  • Exotic Shorthair cats’ eye color strongly corresponds to the shade of their coat. For example, a white or cream colored Exotic would have blue eyes, brown/copper eyes, or one of each! Whereas other single-colored Exotics would have coppery brown eyes.
  • Exotic Shorthair cats are a younger breed, created in the 1950’s. Derived from breeding a Persian with the classic American Shorthair cat, the Exotics were a successful combination of the mellow, lounge-happy and affection-seeking of Persian cats, and the playful curiosity of American Shorthair cats.
  • Exotics are lower maintenance than Persians, only needing to be brushed about once a week as they do not shed very much. However, this breed typically only lives between 8-14 years, while Persians consistently live from 12-15 years or even longer.
  • The famous cat Garfield is believed to have been modeled after an Exotic Shorthair cat. A number of privately owned Exotic Shorthairs have also become internet sensations, with their own social media followings.
  • Like many other cats, there are two types of the breed: the extreme and the traditional. Traditional Exotics have subtle, more “natural” features, including a more prominent, lower-set nose that makes for easier breathing.  Extreme Exotics sacrifice respiratory ease for a more show-worthy look, which includes a flatter face and smaller nose.
  • Exotics tend to have a number of health issues because of their unique physique and facial structure. They have noisy breathing, snoring, and wheeziness from their constricted nasal cavity, their well-exposed large eyes often get particles of dust in them, causing eye infections or habitual tearing, and tear staining. Exotics are temperature sensitive due to their dense coats, and they prefer to be in cooler climates.
  • These felines enjoy company, or (when they are left alone) they like to hear the sound of a human voice such as the TV or radio so they won’t get lonely. They are not “talkers” themselves, as they’d much rather putter around peacefully, but they love companionship. If they are left to their own devices too long, Exotic Shorthair cats can suffer from separation anxiety and act out in destructive behaviors. Getting another dog or cat would work nicely for the Exotics, since they tend to coexist well with other animals.