What are the differences between these two cat breeds?
In all respects but coat length, the Exotic shares the Persian’s sweet expression and soft round lines. It has a large, round head, large, round eyes; a short nose; full cheeks; and small ears with rounded tips. The head is supported by a short, thick neck and a deceptively sturdy, muscular body, a type known as cobby. An Exotic’s legs are short, thick, and strong with large, round, firm paws. The tail is short but proportional to the length of the cat’s body. A mediumlength soft, thick, plush coat with a rich, thick undercoat completes the Exotic’s look. It does not have the ruff or the plumelike tail of the Persian.
Exotics come in different looks, known as extreme and traditional. Extreme Exotics, those seen in the show ring, have a flatter face, which may come with breathing problems. Cats with the traditional look have a more oldfashioned appearance, with a face that is not as flat and a nose that is set lower on the face with more of a break, permitting easier breathing. They are registered by the Traditional Cat Association.
Exotics of all stripes stand out for their infinite variety of coat colors and patterns. Imagine, if you will, seven solid color divisions, white, blue, black, red, cream, chocolate, and lilac, plus silver and golden division colors of chinchilla, shaded silver or golden, blue chinchilla and blue shaded silver or golden, and then there are the shaded, smoke, tabby, calico, particolor and bicolor divisions. That’s not counting the various pointed patterns of the Himalayan.
Eye color is related to coat color. For instance, white Exotics have deep blue or brilliant copper eyes, or odd eyes, one copper and one blue; other solidcolored Exotics have brilliant copper eyes; silver and golden Persians have green or bluegreen eyes; and so on.
With his short, thick coat, round head and cheeks, big round eyes, and rounded body, the British Shorthair resembles nothing so much as a cuddly teddy bear. His body is compact but powerful with a broad chest, strong legs with rounded paws, and a thick tail with a rounded tip. The coat comes in just about any color or pattern you could wish for, including lilac, chocolate, black, white, pointed, tabby, and many more. The bestknown color is blue (gray) and the cats are sometimes referred to as British Blues. The shorthair does not reach full physical maturity until he is 3 to 5 years old.
Like the Persian, the Exotic is sweet, docile, and quiet, but don’t get the idea that she is merely an adornment for the home. She loves to play when she’s not sitting in a lap or being petted. Exotics have a reputation for being more active and curious than their Persian siblings, and they are more suited to an active family. Males are said by some to be sweeter and more affectionate than females, who are sometimes described as aloof.
Exotics enjoy batting at toys for as long as you will play with them but are capable of entertaining themselves when their people are busy or away. They follow faithfully after family members and wait patiently for any attention to come their way. Exotics are little heard, but when they do speak it is in a soft, pleasant, and musical voice. An Exotic’s needs are simple: regular meals, a little playtime with a catnip mouse or feather teaser, and lots of love, which is returned many times over.
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