Many small animals are jittery or aggressive, which might make humans intimated by or scared of adopting and taking care of small balls of fur — but that’s not true for Exotic Shorthair Cats, little bundles of fur known for their friendliness and chill personality.
A LAZY MAN’S PERSIAN
Exotic Shorthairs are known as a “lazy man’s Persian” because they have the same body type and personality as a Persian Cat but with a shorter coat, so a weekly brushing is enough to keep their fur in top form.
According to Daily Paws, Exotic Shorthairs are low maintenance. However, as social Cats, it’s best to provide them with interactive toys, a cat tree, and even a playmate to keep them happy if you aren’t home often.
Like other cats, Exotic Shorthairs will love at least a one-padded window seat where they can see the outside world and chit-chat with other animals. You may also provide them with a bed, but as cuddle-loving animals, they would most likely sleep next to you.
DID YOU KNOW?
The lasagna-loving cartoon Cat Garfield is one of the most famous Exotic Shorthair Cats. Another famous Exotic Shorthair cat is Ferguson, Winston’s furbaby in the TV series New Girl.
Chyrle Bonk, a veterinarian, said Exotic Shorthairs are active and love a good game of “chase the ball.” When playtime ends, they are content to join their human companions and other companion animals for a movie night as they are quiet fur-babies with soft voices that they use only when they need to.
Animal Scene had a little chat with Royalty of Popoy Cattery’s Gennica Capuchino, the human companion of an Exotic Shorthair named Chunky. Chunky is the kitten of Gennica’s first cat.
Born less than a year ago, you might think Chunky is finicky and hard to deal with. However, Gennica described Chunky as sweet and playful, a Cat who doesn’t even bite her when they play together. This furbaby is also always sleepy and has a huge appetite despite being small.
AS SWEET AS A COOKIE
Dr. Bonk explained that Exotic Shorthairs have a combined personality of Persian and American Shorthair Cats.
“They are playful but are not going to run themselves ragged. They are affectionate, loyal to their family, and like to be involved in everything they do. They are also laid- back and will handle children and other [animal companions], but will also want one-on-one time with their people,” Bonk told Daily Paws.
Gennica shared with Animal Scene that Chunky gets along with adult humans, children, and her three Dogs.
“Okay naman [yung relationship nila] kasi yung Dogs ko ay sanay sa Cats since nauna yung Cats bago dumating yung Dogs, so magkakalaro sila,” Gennica said. “Magkakasama sila sa room, sa bed. Magkakatabi sila.”
When it comes to Chunky’s approach to humans, Gennica said: “Sanay naman siya sa humans, kahit sa kids. Sanay naman siya kasi lagi ko siyang hawak, laging pinang-gigigilan.”
HOW TO TAKE CARE OF EXOTIC SHORTHAIRS
Grooming an Exotic Shorthair is easy because they are low maintenance.
Ingrid Johnson, a certified Cat behavior consultant through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, uses three grooming tools for Cats.
DE-MATTING COMB: This is also called a shedding comb, with wide teeth of varied length to remove undercoat.
SLICKER BRUSH: This is a wide-bristled brush that removes dirt and dander.
FLEA COMB: This is used to strip away the flyaway hairs.
Johnson recommends starting grooming Cats when they’re still Kittens.
“Pleasure brushing teaches a cat to learn to love grooming,” she said. “Plus, since they like to spend a lot of time in your lap, you can brush them as you watch TV. You also should wipe their faces regularly with a warm, damp dishcloth to minimize staining from the build-up of tears.”
Of course, dental health is part of taking care of your companion animals. Gennica said a human companion may brush their Cat’s teeth, although it’s best to go to the vet for a dental checkup from time to time.
“Kasi Exotic [Shorthair] is prone . . . na magkasakit sa gums. Dahil yung face nila is flat. So dapat nililinis talaga yung ngipin,” Gennica said, further recommending blood tests to ensure Exotic Shorthairs are completely healthy.
Gennica said that Chunky’s diet consists of Royal Canin as dry food and boiled chicken as wet food.
“Di ako masyadong ma-wet food pero minsan binibigyan ko ‘pag wala akong available na chicken, pero bihira,” she said. “Magastos, pero bawing-bawi naman kapag nilalambing ka ng pusa.”
However, Gennica warned that Exotic Shorthairs are not allowed to eat chocolates, almonds, caffeine, and some fruits like grapes. Therefore, human companions must thoroughly research before adopting one.
When asked about Chunky’s toilet situation, Gennica said her furbaby doesn’t smell, which might be due to their diet. She also immediately cleans the litter box.
CAN INEXPERIENCED CAT PARENTS HANDLE THEM?
As low-maintenance Cats, it’s not surprising that Exotic Shorthairs are beginner-friendly. However, Gennica advised human guardians to take the time everyday to clean their face, provide a proper diet, and go to the vet from time to time to check their overall health, because Exotic Shorthairs often hide their sickness.
“Unlike Dogs na kaunting may nararamdaman, talagang tatamlay, ang Cats, hindi. So kailangan i-monitor din talaga, especially sa poop nila. Sa poop kasi nakikita kung gaano ka– healthy yung Cat,” Gennica said.