Exotic Shorthair Cats in Southern Africa


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This same creative instinct was in place when the Exotic was first envisioned The Exotic vision started from more than one direction. Some thirty plus years ago, American Short hair breeders on several fronts had an idea they felt would improve the color of their breed, and perhaps give them new directions for additional colors in their cats. They began to breed their American Short hairs to Silver Persians in an effort to get the lovely silver coat color and green eye color. The resulting kittens from these breedings were pleasing to look at, but did not resemble true American Short hairs be that as it was, suffcient out crosses were being introduced from these breedings to catch the attention of Jean Martinke. She noticed that changes were gradually taking place in the American Shorthair type and coat texture. Jean, with her vision and foresight, saw both the harm that could be done to the American Shorthair breed through the continuation of these out crosses and also the possibilities presented by this adorable cat, In 1966, she proposed to the CFA Board of Directors the creation of a new breed.

The name originally proposed for this new breed was to be "Sterling," from their beautiful silver color. These cats were to look like Persians, but with a short, plush coat. The original concept was to allow cats to transfer from American Shorthair classes to this new shorthaired class if they had been hybridized with Persians. The discussion over this new breed resulted in the development of the standard for the Exotic Shorthair. The standard was the same as that for the Persian except that, in the beginning, the cat did not need to have a nose break. Although originally the standard was intended to be written just for the silver color, all Persian colors were accepted into the new Exotic Shorthair breed right from the beginning. Also, even though the outcross was originally conceived as being a hybrid American Shorthair x Persian, the rules were broadly interpreted at first, and any CFA-registered shorthair could be used as a cross. Early breeders used American Shorthair and Burmese for their excellent body and moderate head; a few breeders used outcrosses to the Russian Blue for the plush double coat. As far as can be ascertained, no oriental-type cats were used because of the complete opposite requirements in body type. Any breeder desiring a pointed Exotic had to cross to a Himalayan to achieve that outcome. It is very important to remember that even though the shorthair gene was initially achieved through the outcross to many different breeds, early breeders made few such out crosses. Once the original outcrops was made, the shorttail offspring were taken right back to Persians, not back to shorthaired cats of other breeds. The goal from the beginning bas been to create a Persian with short hair, so once the shorthair gene was introduced no further outcrossing.

In the early days of the Exotic, the breed was met with resistance from many Persian breeders. It was very difficult to get good Persian lines to work with. Many Persian breeders would not hear of having their lines being used to breed Exotics. This made early process slow and difficult. Established Persian breeders who wanted to press the advancement of the Exotic found progress easier


Once your breeding is done and the kittens arrive, then comes the wait to see which are longhairs and which are shorthairs. Here are some tips gathered from Exotic breeders on how to make an educated guess. While the kittens are still wet the longhair coat may have a wavy appearance. After the kittens are dry, rub the hair backward on the back of the cat. The shorthair kittens will have a more bristly feel to the coat. Hold the kitten up to the light and look at the hair on the top of its head. The shorthair kittens will have a halolike appearance with guard hair sticking slightly above the other hair. Now that your predictions have been made it is time to sit back and wait to see if you are right. For the first two to three weeks, as the hair grows, sometimes it is bard to tell. At about three weeks, when they all look fuzzy and you wonder what is going on, don’t get discouraged. A good rule of thumb is to watch the tails on the kittens. The longhair kittens will have tails that resemble little Christmas trees. The hair on the tails of the shorthairs will stay short. As the kittens reach eight or nine weeks and you are sure you know which is which, you may look one day at your favorite shorthair kitten and it looks like someone stuck its tail in a light socket. The guard hairs are sticking out all over giving the kitten a spiky appearance. No, it is not time to get the stripping comb; it is time to be patient. Kittens that go through this stage usually end up having excellent thick, plush coats. This is seldom seen in the judging ring because it is usually gone by the time the kitten is four months old. The strange thing about this spiky coat is that it seems to disappear overnight. One day you look at the kitten and realize that the coat is all evened out as if by magic.

Thanks to the Persian Breeders Group who supplied this breed description and history.
Please contact Su Jacobs at 0823735976 for further information about the breed and availability of kittens.