Having an exotic shorthair in our family has been such a positive experience in our lives! But you should always remember that adopting a pet is a huge long term responsibility, so if you're interested in getting an exotic shorthair, just keep reading to find out if this is the right breed for you too!
Let's begin with the basics!
Lola is a cream and white exotic shorthair kitten. Which means she's basically a persian, but with shorter hair. In fact, her daddy was a gorgeous cream persian cat. Exotic shorthair cats have fluffy fur, chubby bodies, rounded eyes and a flat face.
What is their personality like?
This is a very frequent question we all want to ask before getting a pet. From previous experiences owning different breeds of dogs and Siamese cats, I have to say that without doubt... EVERY single one has their own personality. For example, I've had 3 siamese cats during my life and each one of them had a completely different character than the other one. That said, my particular experience with Lola so far is pretty much what every book and cat blog says about the exotic shorthair breed. They're very sweet, calm, docile, silent, patient and moderately active. Bare in mind, Lola is still a kitten, and she is still very playful, as you can see in the video below.
She also likes to run around the apartment once or twice a day, and I believe many times she's actually trying to play hide and seek with us. Yes, I said the apartment! Exotic shorthair cats are great apartment dwellers, mostly because of their gentle personality. As any other kitten she also takes very long naps and when she sleeps, she sleeps deeply... you can barely wake her up! Lola is also very flexible and adapts very easily to changes, as long as we're around. We take her to my parent's house for brunch, or she goes away with us during weekends, and, to my surprise, she enjoys it very much... even the car ride!
How much care and grooming does an exotic shorthair require?
Not too much... BUT not too little either! I could sum it up in Hair, Eyes and Nails :)
Exotic shorthair cats are also known as the lazy man's persian :D And the reason for that is that of course long haired cats require a lot more of your time in maintenance and grooming. So, I guess my choice makes me lazy! Exotic shorthair cats like Lolita, do a great job keeping their fur groomed, and very rarely need any help with that. Even though I do brush her fur once a week, there's actually no need for me to do it. What I'm trying to say, is that if you forget or prefer not to do so, your exotic shorthair will still look perfectly the same, even without your assistance. What I would recommend, as an experienced cat owner is that you do brush your cat's fur, no matter the breed, during the shedding season. And I suggest this for 2 reasons: 1) This helps prevent hairballs from forming on their tummies and 2) This keeps your home tidier and as hair free as possible during this particular time of the year. Besides, even though their hair is short it is still quite thick, which gives them that cute fluffy toy bear look.
Do you need to bathe them? Well.... Lola's breeder told me she bathed her exotic shorthair cats once a month and then her vet told me there's no need to bathe them at all :) I guess the answer is, you can bathe them if you feel it's necessary. Just use your common sense. But remember that your kitten should not get used to you doing too much grooming for them, unless it's something they can't do for themselves.
THIS is this breed's weakest point or Aquiles heel! Due to their flat faces, with almost no snout, their eyes tear up a lot. So you need to clean their tear stains almost every single day, with a cotton ball and a special eye solution. I might do a quick video tutorial showing you the products I use and how I clean Lolita's eyes every morning, if you're interested. When I do so, I'll come back and link it right here... But to sum up the eye care is very important, but shouldn't take you more than 5 minutes a day. I don't know about other exotic shorthair cats, but Lolita actually enjoys this process very much and even purrs while I do it!
Clipping your cat's nails is actually necessary if your cat lives with you inside your house or apartment and is in contact with your furniture. Cats don't scratch on things because they're mean, they feel the urge to "file" their nails in some way, so it's an instinct for them to scratch on things. Clipping a kitten's nails is a lot easier than it sounds. You can buy a special clipper at your pet shop and learn how to do it the right way so that your cat won't get accidentally hurt. If you do this from a young age, your kitten will get used to it, and it will be an easy thing for both of you! I clip my exotic shorthair's nails every 10 days approximately, and it takes me 5-10 minutes. Again, Lolita is very docile and doesn't really care. I also try to do this in such a way that she feels pampered and not stressed out or punished. I've already filmed a short video showing you guys how to do this, as soon as I get a moment to edit it, I'll link it right here.
Any health issues to watch out for?
Exotic shorthair cats are prone to eye infections and respiratory problems. But if you keep your little one's eyes clean and her environment warm, he/she should be just fine. According to my vet warning signs are excessive tearing and eye secretions and excessive sneezing. Yes, I said excessive because this breed tends to sneeze a little bit from time to time, and that's normal if it doesn't happen too frequently.
How long is an exotic shorthair expected to live?
If your exotic shorthair kitten comes from a responsible and serious PKD - FREE (Feline polycystic kidney disease) breeder and received proper vaccines, vet care and food throughout its life, their life expectancy should be between 10 and 15 years... And between you and me, I hope Lolita lives forever! I just love her so much :)
Phew! That was a long post... Was it helpful? Please, let me know in the comments below :)