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Exotic Shorthair Cat vs Persian Cat: What’s the Difference? (With Pictures)

Exotic Shorthairs and Persians are often confused with one another. The reason for this is that the breed standards for both cats are identical, except for the coat length. Exotic Shorthairs have short coats, whereas Persians have long, glamorous coats.

In addition to the different coat lengths, Exotic Shorthairs are a bit feistier and more social, whereas Persians enjoy quiet, relaxing environments. Understanding the differences between these breeds can help you determine whether an Exotic Shorthair or Persian is right for your home.

To learn more about these two similar breeds, keep reading. This article fully explains the differences between the breeds so that you can determine which cat is best suited for your home and family.

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Visual Differences

exotic shorthair vs persian sideby side 2

Image Credit: Left – Exotic Shorthair cat (Wutlufaipy, Shutterstock); Right – Persian Cat (Piqsels)

At a Glance

Exotic Shorthair Cat
  • Average height (adult): 10–12 inches
  • Average weight (adult): 10–12 pounds
  • Lifespan: 8–15 years
  • Exercise: Less than 1 hour a day
  • Grooming needs: Moderate
  • Family-friendly: Yes
  • Other pet-friendly: Yes
  • Personality: Social, affectionate, playful
Persian Cat
  • Average height (adult): 10–15 inches
  • Average weight (adult): 7–13 pounds
  • Lifespan: 10–15 years
  • Exercise: Less than 1 hour a day
  • Grooming needs: Extensive grooming; daily
  • Family-friendly: Yes, ideal for quiet households
  • Other pet-friendly: Sometimes
  • Personality: Affectionate, quiet, able to be alone

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Exotic Shorthair Cat Overview

Exotic shorthair cat sitting in grass
Image Credit: Ewa Studio, Shutterstock

The Exotic Shorthair was developed by breeding Persians with American Shorthairs, as well as Burmese and Russian Blues. The result is an adorable cat that looks like a Persian, but it has a more laid-back nature and fewer grooming requirements.

Exotic Shorthairs are best for families that want a loving and affectionate companion cat. The cat will fit in best in homes where someone is always home. They also make good cats for individuals who do not want to groom their pets daily.

Personality

Exotic Shorthairs are known for being easygoing and peaceful companions. They love to follow you around, and they will sit in your lap whenever given a chance. Males make especially loving companions, though females are loving too. Females are just a bit more independent than males.

Even though Exotic Shorthairs are incredibly loving and affectionate to their owners, they are known to be a bit cautious at first. Luckily, they warm up to visitors. Especially if the visitor tries to play with the cat, you can expect your Exotic Shorthair to warm up quickly.

Grooming

Persians and Exotic Shorthairs look nearly identical. In fact, these two cats have all the same standards. The only difference is the coat length. Exotic Shorthairs have short hair, whereas Persians have long hair that requires daily grooming.

Since Exotic Shorthairs have much shorter hair than Persians, they are sometimes called the “Lazy Man’s Persian.” To keep it beautiful and untangled, you will only need to comb out the fur once or twice a week. While your cat is shedding, groom a few more times than usual just to keep your home clean.

exotic shorthair colorpoint cat
Image Credit: speakingtomato, Shutterstock

Health

Exotic Shorthairs can have several hereditary health issues if bred by irresponsible breeders. The most common illness is polycystic kidney disease. Talking to your vet and selecting a reputable breeder will help to decrease the chances of your cat developing these illnesses. If cared for properly, you can expect your Exotic Shorthair to live about 15 years.

Suitable for:

Exotic Shorthairs are suitable for many cat owners and families. Because the cat is so easygoing and affectionate, it is a great cat if you want a companion. Its short hair also makes it an option for individuals who don’t want to groom their cats daily.

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Persian Cat Overview

persian cat with a lion haircut style
Image Credit: Santi Nanta, Shutterstock

Persians are one of the most glamorous cats around. They have an adorable face with a flowing coat, making it a popular cat breed. Unfortunately, the breed has intense grooming requirements and some health issues, only making it an option for individuals willing to put in a lot of effort for their cat.

Overall, Persians are best for quiet households and households that know how to treat a cat with respect. They can tolerate being alone well, but make sure you have the time to groom their coat once a day.

Personality

Persians are known to be quiet, gentle, and peaceful. They enjoy lying around quiet and serene environments. The cat will quickly become attached to people who treat it kindly and are not too loud or rambunctious around it.

Because of how quiet Persians are, they are best for households with no children. However, they can be paired with children as long as your children know how to properly respect this cat. Persians also make good companions for individuals who aren’t home all day since the cat does not get lonely easily.

Grooming

Persians are high maintenance. Their long coat requires you to use a stainless-steel comb daily. This comb will help remove any mats, tangles, and loose hair. This grooming will keep your cat beautiful and healthy, but it will also minimize shedding around your home.

Unlike many other cats, Persians need to be bathed once a week. You will also need to wipe the Persian’s face daily, especially around the eyes, to prevent tear stains. The cat may fight you during bath time at first, but it will quickly become accustomed to the routine.

Red Point Himalayan persian cat
Image Credit By: Zoo Design, Shutterstock

Health

Just like any other purebred cat, Persians have hereditary diseases. These diseases can include polycystic kidney disease, progressive retinal atrophy, bladder stones, and many other problems. Select a responsible breeder to avoid these hereditary diseases. Also, work closely with your vet to provide your Persian the care it deserves.

Suitable for:

Persians are best suited for adult households that are quiet and serene. Whether you are at home frequently or are gone the entire day, the Persian will fit in fine if the environment is peaceful, relaxing, and cozy. If you have children, a Persian is still an option, but make sure you talk to your children about how to behave around the cat.

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How to Choose Between an Exotic Shorthair and Persian

Because Exotic Shorthairs and Persians are similar in so many ways, it may feel difficult to make your final selection between the two. However, there are two factors you need to consider when deciding whether an Exotic Shorthair or Persian is right for you: your home environment and ideal grooming requirements.

Your Home Environment

Because Exotic Shorthairs and Persians have different personalities, you need to consider what sort of a home environment you have.

If you have a loud household that always has people coming and going, an Exotic Shorthair will be the better option. It won’t be overwhelmed by the noise and will love all the attention. In contrast, this sort of environment will be overwhelming to a Persian.

Instead, Persians are better suited for quiet households. If you live alone or only have older children and adults in the house, the Persian will love the serene environment. Exotic Shorthairs can enjoy serene environments too, but they can’t be left alone as often as the Persian.

Ideal Grooming Requirements

Exotic Shorthairs and Persians have very different grooming requirements. If you do not want to groom your cat daily, select the Exotic Shorthair. Since Persians require grooming every single day, they are better for individuals who don’t care to dedicate large amounts of time to the cat’s care.

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Which Breed Is Right for You?

Both Exotic Shorthair cats and Persian cats are lovely breeds. They have adorable faces and loving personalities known for their loyalty and affection to their owners. Despite all their similarities, Persians and Exotic Shorthairs are not identical.

An Exotic Shorthair is better for you if you have a rambunctious home and don’t want to groom your cat daily. The cat will not be overwhelmed and will love the attention it gets. Most Persians will be overwhelmed with this sort of environment.

You might want a Persian instead if you have a quiet home, are not home during the day, and don’t mind grooming the cat at night. The Persian will appreciate the quiet environment and won’t get lonely while you are at work.

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Featured Image Credit: Left – Exotic Shorthair cat (Mos Kosalakorn, Shutterstock); Right – Persian Cat (Linn Currie, Shutterstock)

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