Exotic (Exotic Shorthair)
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In the 1960s, breeders of what were then called Domestic Shorthairs (their name was later changed to American Shorthairs) wanted to improve the breed. They began outcrossing the Domestic Shorthair with silver Persians to obtain the same shaded silver coat for their own cats. The resulting felines, with their flatter faces, larger and rounder eyes, and plusher, fuller coats, became very popular with both show judges and breeders. In fact, the new cats on the block were more successful in competition with other Domestic Shorthairs that did not have Persian in their bloodlines, even though they did not meet the Domestic Shorthair breed standard. Breeders of both Domestic Shorthairs and Persians objected to the new hybrid being shown in the Domestic Shorthair class, and in 1966, they requested that the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) establish a new breed category. The new breed, called the Exotic Shorthair, was established in 1967. The breed was further developed by outcrossing to Burmese, Russian Blues, and Himalayans - all to help establish the Exotic's plush coat. The practice of outcrossing continued until the mid-1970s, when the CFA closed the registry to permit only American Shorthair and Persian outcrosses. In 1987, the CFA revised the rules again, permitting only outcrosses to Persians. In 1990, the CFA changed the name of the Exotic Shorthair to simply the Exotic.
Exotics have been called the "lazy man's Persian;" because caring for their shorter coat is less time consuming than that of their Persian cousins.