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Breed Profile


Breed: Exotic (Persian) Shorthair

By Sue Martin 2004


Body type: Cobby


History of the breed:

The history of the Exotic started with American breeders when in the 1920’s they began to cross the American Shorthair with the Persian in an attempt to give the American Shorthair a more Persian look.

The breeding program resumed after the 2nd World War and in Britain, breeders used the British Shorthair to restore the Persian breed, which had almost been wiped out.

Breed status was gained 1966 but not with controversy – American Shorthaired breeders wanted to keep their breed true and not have the texture of the coat changed to plush and the Persian breeders didn’t want this “easy-care” Persian type in their group and it was from these two origins that the Exotic breed emerged.


Coat texture and length, colour and pattern:

The Exotic is basically a shorthaired Persian with the same distinctive head and cobby body.

The coat is where the two breeds differ, dense (stands out from the body), plush and soft. Slightly longer than that of the British Shorthair but fuller than is usual in shorthairs (having the Persian long down hairs), the coat is not long enough to flow but must be of uniform length.

Colours and patterns are that of the Persian longhair.


Breed profile review:

Entire Male Black Exotic Shorthair

It was a pleasure to handle an exhibit where show presentation had been a priority; bright yellow show curtains were chosen to enhance the black coat. What a pleasure it is to walk up to a cage and see clean/ironed curtains, no smells and no kitty litter sticking to an exhibit’s coat.

The first thing you noticed about this exhibit is the condition of the coat, dense coal black coat, that sparkles and the massive round head, tiny ears and eyes not fully opened, just slits that show you a hint of deep copper eyes.

Taking the exhibit from the cage to the judging table, you are able to feel a body of good substance, slightly heavier than its looks and in good body condition/spine well padded.  A broad deep chest that is in proportion to size of his cobby body; his legs are thick, indicating a heavy bone structure.

With your hand supporting the rear end of the cat, you are able to assess the length of body and the roundness of the rump; body length – in proportion to leg length and rump has roundness, doesn’t appear to be rangy or too high on the leg.

And yes he’s a “male”.

This photograph shows the short, thick legs/large round paws.

Placed on the judging table for further assessment, the “box-like” appearance of the cobby body is evident, again quick assessment of the body confirms a body of good substance and the tail is short/round tip (in proportion to the length of the body), no faults.

The head, broad, round and massive and small round tipped ears that sit wide not taking away from the round shape of the head. Eyes appear to be rounded but this exhibit is not inclined to open his eyes fully  - colour a deep golden.

Palpating gently the skull area, from the nose stop, over forehead and through to the back of the head – no incorrect depressions or bumps and an ideal Persian “dome”, round and smooth with good depth. Smooth, semi-circular arc.                                                            

In profile:  alignment of the chin, nose tip and forehead curve is apparent in profile – equal not protruding further than the other.


Assessing the face:

Round, good breadth, full cheeks and the jaw line with good width and round shape continues to the chin that is firm.

Nose dead centre, eyes – level, equal distant from nose. Centre of the bottom jaw is directly below the nose leather. Equal distant from the nose leather to top of head and equal distant from the nose leather to the bottom of the chin.

The nose- short and broad, nose leather - I would have liked to see it slightly broader to give a little more flare to the nostrils (this does not distract from the exhibits breed features).

This exhibit would nearly have the perfect show head.


Coat and colour:

A good quality jet-black coat – shiny, plush, soft in texture and standing out from the body. The coat length was slightly more than finger length.    

The colour was sound to the roots, no rust or white hairs.

The final assessment of this exhibit is that he meets the standard both in type and colour, and excels in condition and show presentation