orange and white Exotic Shorthair cat lying upside down
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Exotic Shorthair Personality: How Do Exotic Shorthairs Act?

Est. read time: 11 min.

So, you’re looking to adopt a cat, but you aren’t sure if they will be a match for you. This is normal! Even if you’ve had cats before, each breed and individual cat will have different personalities and needs. Learning how certain cat breeds behave can help you better navigate the adoption process. 

Chances are if you’ve come across the Exotic Shorthair cat in your searches, you’ve heard they are one of the best family-friendly, people-loving, and mellow cats to live with. Bringing an Exotic Shorthair into your life will add humor and joy daily, guaranteed.

These cats are incredibly adaptable to new environments, people, and routines. They don’t get upset very often; instead, they are relaxed and easygoing felines. 

If these few sentences haven’t already convinced you to bring home an Exotic Shorthair, keep reading! 

Introduction to the Exotic Shorthair cat

tabby Exotic Shorthair cat

The Exotic Shorthair cat stands out among other breeds because of their similar appearance to Persian cats. Make no mistake—these two breeds aren’t actually the same, despite their snub-nosed faces and wide-set round eyes. The main characteristic that separates these two breeds is the length of their hair. 

Purebred Persian cats are known for their elegant, silky, and fine coats. These long-haired beauties have daily grooming needs and require a high level of maintenance to prevent tangles and matting. Exotic Shorthairs have all the great qualities and breed standards of a Persian cat but with a much more manageable shorter coat. A weekly brushing session should be enough to satisfy the needs of this shorthair cat breed

If you don't want to groom your cat every day, constantly detangling their long fur and picking out pieces of debris that build up and get knotted in, consider the Exotic Shorthair. Their short coats stay pretty clean on their own, and they only need to be groomed once or twice a week.

The personality of an Exotic Shorthair

Exotic Shorthair cat lying upside down

Sure, the Exotic Shorthair kind of looks like they are plotting vengeance against you at any given moment—but they can’t help it! This breed has a flat or squished-in face (also called brachycephalic), but we can promise they aren’t shunning you from afar. They're most likely admiring you, wondering what you're doing, and figuring out how to get involved. 

The Exotic Shorthair cat mimics a lot of the traits of the Persian breed, which is known for their laid-back and easygoing nature. However, the Exotic Shorthair is regarded as slightly more active than the Persian and truly loves to play with their family members.

Otherwise, these fluffy felines will curl right up next to you while you read a book or watch a movie, happy to just be in your company. 

Cool, calm, and collected

One of the things that makes the Exotic Shorthair a lovely companion is their relaxed and easygoing attitude. They’re fairly low maintenance and will entertain themselves with cat toys around the house or be happy to chase a mouse on a string. 

They are not considered overly rambunctious—it’s unlikely you’ll see them jumping off the walls with energy. They’re more likely to curl up in the sunlight for a nap. These cats value their alone time and are capable of being independent for a few hours, but they prefer to spend time with other people and pets.

If introduced properly, the Exotic Shorthair will take very well to children, other pets (cats and dogs), and people outside their family. It may take them a little bit of time to warm up, but that’s perfectly normal.  

Daily cuddles

The Exotic Shorthair probably won’t love being picked up and carried around the house, but they will gladly spend time curled up on your lap. They are more comfortable receiving affection with their feet firmly planted and will loudly purr as you pet them, encouraging you to continue. 

They get along well with kids and are very tolerant, so don’t be surprised when you see them hanging around your children, soaking up all possible affection. Despite their calm demeanor, they enjoy gentle play with children and can even tolerate the energetic antics of toddlers. It’s important to teach your children the best ways to interact with these cats to create mutual respect and understanding. 


The Exotic Shorthair can be happy in a variety of environments. They are perfect for apartment living because they don’t need a ton of space to feel at home. As long as they are with their family, they will be content. This even extends to four-legged family members; with a proper introduction, Exotic Shorthairs can get along well with dogs.

These cats also adapt well to meeting new people. It might not be instantaneous—but over the span of a few hours, you will likely see your Exotic Shorthair blossom and open up to new individuals in your home. While these cats do usually have a favorite person, they will be happy to get attention from anyone. 


These cats are so easygoing that they tend to enjoy all company. They are tolerant and laid-back, ideal for families and social people. This cat will not be overwhelmed if there are people they don’t know in their space.

However, they will take a little bit of time to open up. It’s not like an Exotic Shorthair to become agitated or annoyed. If anything, they will just remove themselves and find someplace quiet to relax. 

They love to play with their family members and spend time with them. While they enjoy their relaxation periods, they also have a playful side. They enjoy interactive games and will actively engage in playtime. Your Exotic Shorthair will follow you around from room to room, just wondering what you are up to, enjoying watching you. 

Separation anxiety

With friendliness sometimes comes separation anxiety. The Exotic Shorthair is used to being in the presence of their pet parents. They don’t take well to being left alone for a long stretch of time.

A recent study has revealed that cats bond to their humans like babies do to parents. Getting your cat their own furry friend can help ease separation anxiety when you are away. Exotic Shorthairs do well with other cats and dogs, but just having that additional support can subdue their anxiety. 

History of the Exotic Shorthair

grey Exotic Shorthair cat sleeping

The Exotic Shorthair cat is considered a newer breed. They were bred in the U.S. in the 1950s and 60s with the hopes that they would have the same sweet and easygoing Persian demeanor, but with shorter and more manageable hair.  

Breeding Persian cats with American Shorthairs resulted in kittens with round faces, short snouts, and large eyes. Breeders then bred the kittens in that litter that held some of the characteristics of the Persian, with Persian cats, and what resulted was a Persian-looking cat with short, dense fur. This became the Exotic Shorthair cat that we know and love today. 

Possible health issues and special needs

Due to their flat faces and short noses, your Exotic Shorthair is more likely to develop Brachycephalic Respiratory Syndrome. Exotic Shorthairs’ teeth and cartilage are displaced due to their lack of snout, sometimes resulting in breathing difficulties and dental issues. This is why it's especially important to monitor their oral health and ensure regular dental check-ups. 

Take note of how your Exotic Shorthair is breathing. Cats that suffer from this can breathe easier through their mouths, so you may notice a lot of mouth breathing from your cat. The increased strain on your cat’s ability to breathe can also put a strain on their heart. This can potentially lead to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a condition where the heart muscle becomes thickened. 

This breed is also predisposed to polycystic kidney disease (PKD), a genetic condition that causes multiple cysts to form in the kidneys and can lead to kidney failure if left untreated. Regular vet check-ups can help detect this disease early.

Exotic Shorthairs are also prone to obesity due to their relatively sedentary lifestyle. With a somewhat stocky body type and deceptive coat colors, it can be easy to spot when they’re gaining weight. Make sure to monitor their diet (using special cat food as needed) and include interactive toys and games to encourage regular physical activity to keep their weight in a healthy range. 

In addition to addressing these health problems, Exotic Shorthairs may also have specific behavioral needs. Remember that these cats are naturally very curious and playful, which means they really benefit from a stimulating environment. Providing them with a variety of toys, scratching posts, and climbing structures can help prevent potential behavioral issues such as destructive scratching or boredom-induced overeating.

When it comes to their litter needs, Exotic Shorthairs, like most cats, prefer a clean environment. Regular cleaning of the litter box is essential. Some Exotic Shorthairs might also prefer certain types of litter over others, so you might need to experiment a bit to find what your cat likes best.

Comparing Exotic Shorthairs to other breeds 

When you're deciding on the right cat for your family, it's helpful to compare different breeds. Here's how the Exotic Shorthair breed stacks up against other popular cat breeds:

  • Persian cats: Like the Exotic Shorthair, Persian cats are known for their laid-back demeanor, but they tend to be more reserved. While Persians are fond of quiet environments, Exotic Shorthairs are slightly more sociable and adaptable.
  • Oriental Shorthairs: Oriental Shorthairs are notably more active and vocal than Exotic Shorthairs. If you're looking for a quiet, calm companion that enjoys lounging around, an Exotic Shorthair may be more suitable for you.
  • British Shorthairs: British Shorthairs and Exotic Shorthairs share a similar love for playtime and relaxation. However, British Shorthairs are typically more independent, while Exotic Shorthairs thrive on social interaction and companionship.
  • European Shorthairs: European Shorthairs are known for their hunting skills and active nature. In contrast, Exotic Shorthairs are more mellow and prefer a balance of play and relaxation.
  • American Shorthairs: American Shorthairs are friendly, easygoing cats that are great with families, much like the Exotic Shorthair. However, American Shorthairs are often more energetic and curious, while Exotic Shorthairs are content with a more relaxed lifestyle.

Loving an Exotic Shorthair

white and brown tabby Exotic Shorthair cat lying on floor with toys

The Exotic Shorthair is a great cat to have in your life. Not only are they friendly and affectionate, they genuinely want to spend time with you!  

Assessing your own needs…

It’s vital that before you get a cat, you figure out what kind of companion you need. Do you want a cat that loves chasing the laser pointer? Do you want a cat that adores people and other animals? Do you want a lap cat? Will you be home all the time or away at work often? Are you willing to get a second pet if your cat gets lonely? 

You should answer some of these questions before adopting any cat so that you can match your own personality to theirs. This will give you a better idea if a certain cat could be your companion for life. 

…And fulfilling theirs

Understanding what a cat specifically needs will also make your decision easier. The Exotic Shorthair is a cat that enjoys playtime but likes to nap. You should have plenty of toys available and spaces for your cat to climb or sleep on.

Like all cats, Exotic Shorthairs prefer a clean litter box. If you aren’t able to clean the litter box every day, you might want to try Litter-Robot 4. This self-cleaning litter box is perfect for cats that enjoy a tidy bathroom space, and your Exotic Shorthair will love you for it. 

These lovable, friendly, and mellow cats are an excellent pet to have in your life. If you are considering adopting an Exotic Shorthair cat, just be prepared to have a new best friend following you around all day long!


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