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All you need to know about the short hair Persian cat

Persian cats are known for their long, luscious coats that contribute to their striking looks but often entail heavy shedding, hairballs, and a rigorous daily grooming routine. 

The short hair Persian, aka Exotic Shorthair cat, has all the loveable attributes of classic Persians without the demanding care regimen

Untamed covers this breed’s physical and psychological traits, hereditary diseases, and grooming requirements. We also offer advice on how to take care of your short-haired Persian with a proper diet for health and longevity

The history of the Exotic Shorthair

The Exotic Shorthair cat wasn’t a planned hybrid. Their origins date back to the 1950s when American Shorthair breeders wanted to mix them with Persians to create a feline that looked exactly like an American Shorthair, but with Persian’s silver colour and green eyes. This attempt failed, resulting in an attractive-looking kitty with all Persian traits except for the long coat. Crosses were also made with Burmese and Russian Blue cats.

The Cat Fanciers' Association recognised the Exotic Shorthair as a new breed in 1966. Today, they are the second most popular breed in the world, according to this association, following only the Persian cat.

Since Persians are regularly used as outcrosses for this breed, Exotic Shorthairs sometimes carry a copy of the recessive longhair gene. If two such kitties mate, there’s a 25% chance their offspring will have the signature Persian long coat. 

Short-haired Persian cat’s temperament

Exotics share most of their psychological traits with Persians—they’re equally sweet, gentle, and affectionate. They’re also not the most motivated learners but can be taught some tricks, such as “sit” or “spin”, with the help of clickers and treats.

The key differences in these two breeds’ temperaments are:

  • Playfulness—While Persians mostly enjoy long naps, Exotics have inherited their playfulness from American Shorthairs
  • Activity—Compared to highly active breeds, such as Bengals, Siamese, and Maine Coons, both types of Persians are genuine lap cats, but Exotics love playtime and teasing their cat parents by bringing them toys and asking for scratchies
  • Communication—Exotics are more expressive communicators than Persians, showing affection and irritation with their melodious voices

Exotic males are calmer, more loving, and tend to quietly follow you around, while females are more independent but equally affectionate and cuddly. 

Let’s play, hooman! I have a nap to get to!

Source: Dan Wayman

Physical traits of Exotic Shorthairs 

Exotics take after classic Persians in every aspect, except for the fur length. Check out the table below for more details:




Big, oval heads with a rounded forehead, full cheeks, and a flat face


Small, rounded and forward-facing 


Large and round in beautiful colours, including blue, blue-green, and copper


Short and thick


Medium- to large-sized and cobby with broad chest and shoulders 


Round and large with tufts of hair between the toes


Short, thick, and rounded


Shorter than Persians but longer than most other short-haired breeds, dense and fluffy


Various colours, including cream, smoke, tabby, tortoiseshell, lilac, chocolate, and blue

What do you mean I have a flat face? I’m as beautiful as they come!

Source: Sinason

Common health issues in Exotic Shorthairs

Like other purebreds, Exotic cats are prone to some genetic health problems, such as:

  • Polycystic kidney disease (PKD)—All Persian-derived felines have higher chances of getting PKD. This serious condition causes the formation of multiple cysts in the kidneys, often resulting in renal failure. DNA screening and monitoring of kidney function can help detect the disease, while spaying or neutering can make the symptoms in PKD-positive cats milder
  • Respiratory problems—Due to their brachycephalic (square and flat) skulls and flat faces, Exotics are prone to congenital obstructive upper airway disease, which can cause abnormalities or inflammation in the upper airways and heart problems. Treatment consists of spending time in fresh and cool rooms, weight loss, and surgery (in severe cases)
  • Eye problems, such as progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)—The degenerative disorder of the retina is common in Exotic Shorthairs, usually resulting in blindness during kittenhood (by 16-17 weeks of age). There’s no effective treatment for this disease
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy—HCM is the most common cardiac disease in felines. The condition causes the heart walls to thicken, which decreases the amount of blood the organ can pump. You can prevent the disease or alleviate the symptoms with a healthy diet and plenty of exercise

Grooming requirements for short-haired Persian cats

Exotics are nicknamed “the lazy man’s Persian” because of their low-maintenance grooming needs. Since their short coats don’t mat or tangle, they need minimal care consisting of:

  • Brushing—Use a steel comb to brush your Exotic kitty’s coat once a week
  • Bathing—Short-haired Persian cats shed seasonally, leaving dander around your home. Since they’re not hypoallergenic, bathe them more frequently during this time to remove dead hair and skin flakes, especially if you have cat allergies 
  • Eye cleaning—Because of their flat faces, Exotics have sensitive eyes prone to tearing. To prevent stains, clean their eyes daily using warm water and cotton swabs
  • Nail trimming—Trim their nails as needed, but the more time your cat spends outdoors, the more filed their nails will be 
  • Teeth cleaning—Because of their unique head shape, Persians are prone to various dental issues. Brush their teeth frequently and feed them dental cat food to prevent tooth loss and gum disease

      A steady grooming routine won’t only maintain your kitty’s healthy and glossy coat, but it’ll also strengthen the bond between you.

      Other ways to maintain your feline’s fur

      Besides a steady grooming routine, Persians also need:

      1. Hairball control
      2. Well–balanced meals

      Hairball control

      Exotic cats don’t struggle with excessive shedding and hairballs as much as Persians, but if you’re busy and don’t groom them weekly, they will have to do the job themselves. As they groom, they’ll likely ingest a lot of hair that’ll clump together and potentially cause intestinal blockages, leading to mild or severe stomach problems.

      To prevent gastrointestinal discomfort, their diet must contain: 

      1. Moisture—Water helps felines get rid of hairballs more easily. Since Persians are not avid water drinkers, they need to get it from their meals
      2. Fibre—Even though cats don’t need a lot of fibre, a small amount will do wonders for hairball control. When fed in moderation, fibre-rich veggies, such as cucumbers, pumpkins, and broccoli, can help with digestion 
      3. Exercise—Physical activity is known to support healthy bowel movements. Considering their playful nature, it shouldn’t be too hard to get your Exotic kitty to exercise 
      4. Cat grass—You’ve probably noticed your cat eating grass occasionally. They do so to alleviate nausea, calm their tummies, and throw up anything that’s bothering them, including hairballs

      Well-balanced meals

      Your cat’s dietary habits will affect their coat and overall health. Inadequate nutrition can cause obesity and lead to related health issues, such as diabetes, which will significantly lower their quality of life. 

      All felines, regardless of the breed, need a balanced diet consisting of:

      • Animal protein—Cats need large quantities of animal protein for energy and a functioning immune system. Since they’re obligate carnivores, they cannot get the essential amino acids, such as taurine and arginine, from plant-based proteins
      • Fatty acids—The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in chicken, turkey, mackerel, salmon, tuna, shrimp, etc. help kitties stay nourished, reduce inflammation, and promote wound regeneration

      Infamous for their picky eating habits, Exotics usually choose their favourites and stick with them. Opt for wet food to keep your short-haired Persian hydrated. Recommended amounts of animal fat (not more than 20%) in their diet will make any meal taste fantastic, so even felines who dislike wet food won't be able to resist it.

      Dry food fails to meet your cat’s hydration needs and is typically high in calories and filled with grains and other starchy ingredients. It contains a lot of carbs, which cats don’t need. The filler ingredients could cause allergies, tummy sensitivity, and weight gain. 

      What’s on today’s menu? 

      Source: jessiefeross

      Untamed - the perfect choice for your short-haired Persian

      Untamed understands your Exotic Shorthair needs, so we make sure they get all the essential nutrients in our delicious gravy and jelly dishes. No matter which recipe your picky kitty deems their favourite—Chocka Chicken, Tuck-in Tuna, or Full-on Fishy—each meal features:

      1. Plenty of animal protein
      2. Vet-formulated recipes
      3. Ethical production methods

      Plenty of animal protein

      Untamed products are filled with high-quality meat or fish, with no traces of:

      • Artificial flavourings
      • Added colourants
      • Known allergens
      • Meat derivatives 

      Instead of overcooking and leaving food raw, we gently steam our meals to destroy the pathogens and preserve the vitamins and taste. 

      Vet-formulated recipes

      Vets have developed our recipes to give your Exotic Shorthair all the nutrients they need to develop and stay healthy and happy, while we’ve made sure that the taste is irresistible. Untamed helps felines enjoy life to the fullest, from kittenhood to the golden years.

      Ethical production methods

      Untamed operates under the following environmentally friendly standards:

      • 100% recyclable packaging
      • Ethically-reared meat
      • Sustainably caught and dolphin-safe seafood

      Don’t wait—offer your Exotic Shorthair the best food by ordering Untamed today!

      Untamed offers monthly supplies of health and happiness!

      Image (c) Untamed

      Where can you get Untamed for your Exotic Shorthair?

      Getting the healthiest and tastiest food for your Exotic Persian is super easy. To get a trial pack online, you should:

      1. Tell us about your Persian
      2. Create a customised meal plan
      3. Order your taster pack

      The goods will be delivered in a day, and your Exotic kitty can choose their favourite products. We can replenish your stock every month with no additional shipping costs.

      According to our clients, switching to Untamed entails the following positive changes:


      The Untamed effect

      After seven days

      • Regular bowel movement 
      • Better digestion

      After two months

      • Improved muscle tone
      • More verve and playfulness

      After four months

      • Shinier coat and fewer hairballs
      • Stable gastrointestinal health

      For life