As spectators at the show walk by the cage they look quizzically at the cat and say “It looks like a Persian but it has short hair. The sign says Exotic. Exotic what?!”
With today’s busy lifestyles the cat has become a popular pet. Cats are best kept indoors and do well in an apartment or a house. The popularity of the Persian has been evident for many years. The Persian represents the largest class in shows and boasts the largest number of cats registered each year in CFA. However, Persians require daily grooming to maintain their beautiful coat. For busy people who like the look of a Persian but don’t have time for the daily grooming demands, the Exotics are the best kept secret of the cat fancy.
They are bred to meet the Persian standard in every way with one very special exception: the coat has a thick, dense, plush, short coat. The Exotic coat is unique to the breed and gives them a soft, rounded, teddy bear look. Their wonderful coat requires much less combing than a Persian’s and will not mat or tangle. Because of the ease of grooming for this special breed, Exotics are sometimes affectionately referred to as the lazy man’s Persian.
What is it like living with an Exotic? Are they like Persians, or do they resemble their short haired ancestors? Over the years, as the type and coat have changed, so has the personality of the Exotic. As the Exotic’s line of Persian ancestors became longer and longer, their temperament has become more and more Persian like. Indeed, there is no longer much difference in the temperament of the two breeds. Exotics have a quiet, endearing nature. Their voices are seldom heard.
The Exotic is an ideal breed that produces a quiet, sweet, peaceful and loyal companion. They are easy going and not much seems to disturb them. In general, they are extremely affectionate. They quietly beg for your attention by just sitting in front of you with an irresistible look focused on your eyes. They will jump in your lap to curl up for a nap or push their wet nose right into your face. Some like to sit on your shoulder and hug you when you pet them. They may or may not sleep with you as some prefer cooler places like the bricks on the hearth or the tiled floor.
An Exotic is very comfortable to have in your home. They give you privacy and are not constantly demanding attention. They will, however, quietly follow you from room to room just to be nearby. They are just as playful and fun loving as other breeds. They will jump until exhausted trying to catch a toy on a stick, or they will sit and carefully study how to get the toy down from the top of the bookcase where it was placed when you stopped playing with them.
When people call for a pet kitten, they almost always ask for a female, thinking that a girl will be sweeter and more loving. Many also believe that males will be more aggressive and prone to spray. However, neither assumption is correct. Male Exotics are, in general, more affectionate than females. Females can be somewhat more aloof. They always seem to have more important things to do than cuddle with their owner. Exotics mature later than most other breeds, and since all pets should be neutered and spayed at an early age, problems related to spraying and other adult urges need never be a concern. Exotic kittens exhibit the same level of activity as do Persian kittens. Some breeders say that the Exotic kittens do everything first: open their eyes, climb out of the box, start eating, etc. Adult Exotics enjoy simple pleasures, like watching water drip from a faucet or chasing paper balls around the house.
The easy going nature of the Exotic allows it to fit into your home at any age. Exotics stay playful as adults and bring pleasure for many years. All things considered, the Exotic is a wonderful addition to any family. Adorable to look at, peaceful and clean, what more could you ask for the perfect pet. The Exotic is really the “best of two worlds.”
Pricing on Exotics usually depends on type, applicable markings and bloodlines distinguished by Grand Champion (GC), National or Regional winning parentage (NW or RW) or of Distinguished Merit parentage (DM). The DM title is achieved by the dam (mother) having produced five CFA grand champion/premier (alter) or DM offspring, or sire (father) having produced fifteen CFA grand champion/premier or DM offspring. Usually breeders make available kittens between twelve and sixteen weeks of age. After twelve weeks, kittens have had their basic inoculations and developed the physical and social stability needed for a new environment, showing, or being transported by air. Keeping such a rare treasure indoors, neutering or spaying and providing acceptable surfaces (e.g. scratching posts) for the natural behavior of scratching (CFA disapproves of declawing or tendonectomy surgery) are essential elements for maintaining a healthy, long and joyful life.
There are CFA clubs devoted to the promotion, protection and preservation of the Exotic breed. For more information, please send inquiries to CFA, PO Box 1005, Manasquan NJ 08736-0805.