Difference between Exotic Longhair and Persian cats

At first sight, you might scratch your head and be mystified when trying to detect the difference between the Exotic Longhair and the Persian purebred cats. After all, they look identical.

The difference, as I understand it, is in their character. And the difference in character is because the Exotic Longhair is a product of outcrossing the Persian with American Shorthair cats, a distinct and popular breed, in the 1950s. So, the Exotic Longhair has some American Shorthair personality characteristics in them. The same applies to the Exotic Shorthair.

Exotic Longhair by Channan
Exotic Longhair by Channan. Channan is a professional cat photographer who has been around for a long time. I hope he does not mind me publishing his photo here. It comes from Pinterest.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats
Persian cat
Persian cat “Gino” or more formally: GC, NW Velvetkist Designer Genes, CFA’s Cat of the Year 2016-17. Bred by Noralayn Heisig of Velvetkist Persians. A well-groomed cat ;). Picture in the public domain.


So, what are these differences? They are both equally affectionate according to my research. However, the Exotic Longhair might tend to be more active than the Persian but less vocal. One website dedicated to the Persian states that the Exotic is more comfortable on the ground than the Persian. In other words, they are less inclined to climb and rest in high places.

As to life expectancy, they’re going to be very similar. It is said that they can live upwards of 15 years which will be slightly less than a typical non-purebred cat.

As to inherited diseases, on my understanding, the Exotic Longhair will have similar issues to the Persian namely a predisposition to inherit polycystic kidney disease (PKD), respiratory problems, progressive retinal atrophy and have tear duct overflow due to their flat face. There is a high prevalence of PKD in Persians at around 35%, please note.


The underlying differences are to do with genetics and those genetics, it seems to me, affect the character of the Exotic Longhair but not the appearance.

Major cat associations

The CFA (Cat Fanciers’ Association) does not recognise the Exotic Longhair as a separate, distinct breed. They register the “Exotic” which includes both the shorthaired the longhaired varieties.

The other major American cat Association, TICA (The International Cat Association), recognises the Exotic Shorthair. It does not recognise the Exotic Longhair but of course recognises the Persian. On this basis, it would seem that they accept that the Exotic Longhair is the same as the Persian.

Both these premier cat associations highlight the great similarity between these two breeds.

In the UK, the GCCF (Governing Council of the Cat Fancy) registers the Exotic Shorthair but not the Exotic Longhair. Once again this supports what I’ve said.

You could argue that the difference is too fine to warrant the existence of the Exotic Longhair.

Below are some more articles on the ‘Exotic’

Please search using the search box at the top of the site. You are bound to find what you are looking for.

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior
follow it link and logo

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

I welcome and value comments. Please share your thoughts. All comments are currently unmoderated.

This blog is seen in 199 of the world's country's according to Google Analytics which is pretty much the entire world.

Scroll to Top