Persian History

The Persian is an old breed. To those who love this elegant cat, it will come as no surprise that the longhaired beauty originated in the cradle of civilization: Mesopotamia, which was later known as Persia and is now modern-day Iran. The breed’s long hair was probably the result of a natural mutation, and its striking appearance attracted the attention of 17th-century Italian nobleman and world traveller Pietro Della Valle, who is credited with bringing the first longhaired cats to Europe in 1626. At that time, the cats had shiny, silky grey fur, but thanks to selective breeding Persians are now found in a kaleidoscope of colours, including bi-colour (a colour plus white).
Until the late 19th century, when breeding and showing cats became popular, longhaired cats from Persia, Turkey, Afghanistan and other exotic locales were known simply as “Asiatic” cats and were often bred together. At the Crystal Palace cat show in 1871, Persian-type cats were among the breeds exhibited. They were popular pets of the time and had a special cachet because of Queen Victoria’s fondness for the breed. Even in the Victoria era, association with a “celebrity” ensured an animal’s desirability.
Through selective breeding, cat fanciers began to mould the Persian to its present-day appearance. They bred cats to have a round head, short face, snub nose, chubby cheeks, small, rounded ears, big eyes, and a sturdy body. Their fur was longer than that of the Angora cat, and they had shorter legs. Soon, the Persians surpassed the Angoras in popularity.
In the United States, where they were first imported in the late 19th century, they also became favourites, edging out the longhaired Maine Coon cat, which had once held pride of place as an American sweetheart. In the little more than a century since, the Persian has become the most beloved cat breed in the world, prized for its beautiful appearance and sweet personality.

Exotic History

The Exotic Shorthair is a relative newcomer to the cat fancy originating in the United States in the 1960's. It is basically a shorthaired Persian. The breed is the result of crossing American Shorthairs with Persian cats. Later other breeds were used as outcrosses including Burmese and Abyssinians. The only allowable outcross for the Exotic Shorthair now is the Persian. Due to the fact that they are outcrossed to Persians, most litters will contain both short haired and long haired kittens.
In the UK a similar breeding programme was underway crossing Persians with British Shorthairs.  The breed received official recognition with the CFA in 1966.

Persian / Exotic Appearance

Exotics are identical to Persians in every respect, except for coat length. 
They are unusually robust cats with short legs and a cobby build. They are heavily boned whose body is well proportioned and balanced. They should be round when viewed from virtually any angle, with heads that are the size and shape of a softball. Their eyes are also rounded with a sweet, inquisitive expression. The eyes are docile, but intelligent and engaged. The short snub nose is clearly visible and they are prone to eye staining. An Exotic Shorthair’s tail is typically of the “bottlebrush” variety and is not especially long.
Persians and Exotics are often referred to as “Teddy bears,” these cats are both soft, hefty, well-contoured and welcomes attention and lots of cuddling.

Persian / Exotic Temperament

Most everyone is familiar with the quiet nature of the Persian cat. Because the Exotics have been bred with Persians for so many years, their personality has become much like that of a Persian, no longer resembling their ancient shorthair ancestors.
In general, Persians and Exotics are quiet, docile, and affectionate. When introduced as kittens to an environment with dogs or children they adjust with ease and quickly become loving playmates. Persian and Exotic kittens are not destructive. They do not climb curtains or chew blankets, and they rarely use their claws. They can easily be trained not to jump on the kitchen counter or dining room table. With just the right dose of independence, they respect your privacy and do not constantly demand attention. Yet they want to be close to you at all time, and quietly follow you from room to room. They are content to sit in a window and watch the world go by and meditate, or doze while you are away from home. Even though they are outgoing and friendly, they generally do not approach strangers without caution. Once they decide that you are "safe," they will unobtrusively mould themselves into the couch, right next to you and purr contentedly. Although they sleep during most of the day, Persian and Exotic are prompted by their biological clock. Nocturnal animals in nature, they are most active in the evening and in the early morning. During these wake hours they are very playful and extremely busy. It is always a surprise to discover what amuses them. One of the most pleasant attributes of the Persian and Exotic is that they have the ability to entertain themselves for hours with a simple toy like a paper ball. Yet, as soon as they hear or smell a can of food being opened, they sit on the kitchen floor, their feet neatly tucked under, patiently waiting. Well-padded and sufficiently insulated, they prefer to sleep in the coolest place in the house. The designer cat bed just purchased at the local pet store, or the cosy warmth of a down comforter is usually shunned. Instead, they prefer a porcelain basin or the tiles on the bathroom floor.
Exotics, like Persians, mature slower than most other breeds. Therefore, it is not necessary to have a male neutered when he is six months old. Neither males nor females spray. Occasionally an entire male (or stud male) may spray during mating season, but in general, they are fastidiously clean and tidy. The males are exceptionally gentle and loving. When neutered they make the most desirable pets. The females not only are loyal to their owner; they also are attentive and protective mothers. They raise their babies with ease and care, and total devotion.



​​Height: 25 - 31 cm
Weight: 3 - 6 kilos
Physique: solid body, flat face
Best suited for: Families and singles with or without children and other pets
Temperament: Affectionate, intelligent, involved, but not insistent
Energy: Medium
Noise: Low
Child Suitability: High
Compatibility with Cats: Medium
Other Animal Compatibility: Medium
Lifespan: 12 - 15 years