orange and white Exotic Shorthair cat with bell collar
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How Long Do Exotic Shorthair Cats Live?

Est. read time: 8 min.

Now, don’t mistake these flat-faced cats for Persians. Despite their similar looks and features, they are not the same breed. The Exotic Shorthair cat is very similar to the Persian, but without the high-maintenance long coat.

From their personality to their body type, the Exotic Shorthair cat greatly resembles a Persian cat—but their short, dense fur makes it easier to keep up with grooming.

When it comes to how long your cat will live, there are many factors that impact their lifespan, including nutrition, exercise needs, genetic conditions, and proper grooming. Taking the best care of your pet can help ensure they live a long and healthy life.

You should be prepared for all of an Exotic Shorthair cat's needs before you adopt one. Learning about their care requirements can prolong their time spent as your greatest companion.

The lifespan of an Exotic Shorthair cat

tabby Exotic Shorthair cat in grass

An Exotic Shorthair cat that is in good health can typically live for up to 15 years. They are a loving and affectionate breed that is very low maintenance—they really just require you to meet their basic needs and keep them happy. They want to be around their family and spend quality time with you.

The Exotic Shorthair isn’t overly active, but they do love to play. Keeping them in good shape can help prolong their life. Unfortunately, like many other cats, there are medical conditions that could impact their health, so it’s essential to take your cat to the vet regularly. 

What is an Exotic Shorthair cat?

The Exotic Shorthair might look very familiar to you, and that’s because they are very similar to Persian cats. The Persian cat is known for their snubbed noses and long, elegant coats, whereas the Exotic Shorthairs look like Persians but without the long fur.

The personality of the Exotic Shorthair is very similar to a Persian’s. People have suggested that if you want a cat that has the look of the Persian but without the need for high-maintenance grooming, the Exotic Shorthair is the cat for you. 


Knowing just how beautiful and popular the Persian cat was, breeders began working them into their American Shorthair family trees. The first litter from an American Shorthair and a Persian cat didn’t exactly look like Persians, but they did hold some similar characteristics. These kittens had round faces and eyes and short, snubbed noses. 

The cats from this litter that retained some of the Persians’ characteristics were then bred with Persian cats to enhance the new litter’s features. This resulted in the Exotic Shorthair cat breed and facilitated their rise to fame. 

The Cat Fanciers Association accepted them with recognition for the breed and set restrictions on who purebred Exotic Shorthair cats could breed with, eliminating Russian Blues and Burmese cats. They only allowed these cats to be bred with Persians, if not their own breed. 

Today, the Exotic Shorthair is a well-loved cat and very popular worldwide.

tabby Exotic Shorthair cat lying on side


The Exotic Shorthair cat is most easily recognized for their snubbed noses and large wide eyes that sit apart on their round faces. They have short, dense fur that feels very plush. Their coat comes in various patterns and can range from solid colors to tabby, pointed, or bicolor. 

Their big, round eyes seem to speak volumes as they quietly peer at you. Their eyes are usually a beautiful golden or copper color but can also be a lovely shade of green or blue. 


If you are looking for an extremely friendly and affectionate cat that enjoys napping, then the Exotic Shorthair should be on your list. While these cats do love to play, they are more than happy to pause and curl up next to you on the couch.

They are very calm cats and never seem to be in a rush. They truly take life easy. 

The Exotic Shorthair is an extremely adaptable feline that does well in most environments. They can survive well in an apartment, on a farm, or even traveling on the road. However you spend your days, your Exotic Shorthair will just be happy to be there with you. 

These cats are very quiet. They won’t have conversations with you frequently, and they won’t make a lot of noise as they follow you from room to room. It’s likely that if you stop hearing your Exotic Shorthair make noise, it’s because they are somewhere around you watching… and waiting… for you to give them attention in the form of pets or treats. 

Potential health-related concerns

There are certain medical conditions for which your Exotic Shorthair cat might be more at risk, so knowing what to look out for can help improve your response rate to any abnormalities.

Your Exotic Shorthair might experience Brachycephalic Respiratory Syndrome, which impacts animals that have short snouts and flat faces. Though arguably their most prominent feature, their facial structure can cause serious problems for them.

The Exotic Shorthair's shortened face profile can displace their teeth and nose cartilage. This leads to difficulty breathing, dental issues, and poor draining of the sinuses. Sometimes shedding excess weight can help your cat with this problem. If you notice that your cat is having issues and weight loss isn’t helping, contact your veterinarian. 

Additionally, your Exotic Shorthair might have a condition called Calcium Oxalate Urolithiasis, which is when calcium oxalate and magnesium ammonium phosphate crystalize in the bladder and uroliths (small stones) accumulate in their bladder.

If your cat cannot pass these little stones and they block the urethra, it could be fatal. However, this condition is treatable with expedient care. 

white and grey exotic shorthair cat

Giving your Exotic Shorthair the best life

Luckily for you, the Exotic Shorthair cat is a very easily maintained cat breed. They don’t need much to keep them satisfied, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need your attention. They actually crave your attention, and if they get bored or feel lonely, they can easily get depressed.

These cats love to be with their humans—so if you aren’t going to be around or have the time to spend with your Exotic Shorthair, it might not be the best fit. 

These cats are going to want to cuddle up next to you after a long day of lounging around, but they will become active if you initiate play. You need to be prepared to stay active and entertaining while interacting with your Exotic Shorthair. They will only play with you for so long before giving up and finding somewhere to sunbathe. 

Available interactive toys

Just because these cats are known to be on the lazier side doesn’t mean they don’t like to play with a good toy. Keeping enrichment activities in your house allows your cat to play sporadically while you are gone. They can stay stimulated and burn some energy just from entertaining themselves. 

Exotic Shorthairs also love to watch the house and see people from a higher angle. This is an easy task with the help of a cat tower. Climbing burns energy and helps keep your cat agile.

Proper nutrition

If your Exotic Shorthair becomes overweight, they do risk developing breathing difficulties. To combat this, try to maintain a healthy weight through feeding smaller meal portions

Grooming needs met

You should trim your Exotic Shorthair's nails frequently and groom them about once a week. These cats are not known for shedding, making them ideal for people tired of vacuuming every day (just to find more fur).

A good brushing can be therapeutic and comforting for some cats. However, it may take some dedication and many treats to get them to trust you. 

An Exotic Shorthair's eyes are more likely to tear up (called epiphora), which means you will need to clean their face daily to ensure no staining occurs. If this doesn’t seem to go away, contact your veterinarian. 

Exotic Shorthair cat on ramp of Litter-Robot

Taking care of your kitty can help prolong their life while giving them a home where they feel loved. It’s also essential that you keep their litter box clean so they can comfortably use the bathroom freely.

With a self-cleaning litter box like Litter-Robot, you don’t have to worry about scooping the litter box! This is especially helpful when you need to leave your cat behind for a short time.

Veterinarian check-ups

Annual vet check-ups are a must for your Exotic Shorthair. Your vet may advise you to bring your cat in more than once a year, especially after a certain age. 

Welcoming an Exotic Shorthair

The Exotic Shorthair is a friendly feline that wants to spend time with their beloved family. They are more likely to cuddle up next to you than bounce off the walls with energy, but they will be sure to give you lots of laughter and fond memories. This kitty can live a long, happy life when properly cared for, and will end up being a companion that you remember for the rest of your days. 


Photo credits:

  • Meowing Mick

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