Pictures of cats: A chubby-cheeked bicolor Exotic Shorthair cat

This is a very interesting looking Exotic Shorthair cat. The standout feature other than the classic flat-face is the extraordinarily large chubby cheeks. They remind me of the cheeks of Russian bred British Shorthair cats. Why are the cheeks of this cat so large and rounded? We have to read the breed standard to try and find out. I’ll start with the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) breed standard for the Exotic Shorthair.

Picture of a chubby-cheeked bicolor Exotic Shorthair cat
Picture of a chubby-cheeked bicolor Exotic Shorthair cat. Photo in the public domain.
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Having skimmed the breed standard I can immediately see why the breeder of this cat created this disappearance. The standard guides breeders to produce a head which is ’round and massive’. The face should be round with round underlying bone structure. The skull structure is to be smooth and round to the touch. And the forehead, nose and chin appear to be in vertical alignment (as per the Persian). The cheeks should be full. The word “full” is a very strong encouragement to breed a cat with this appearance. And the word ’round’ is sprinkled around like confetti in the breed standard.

Interestingly, the standard says that the muzzle should be full. I cannot see a muzzle at all on this cat but perhaps I am missing something. Another feature of the Exotic Shorthair is that the eyes should be “large, round, and full’. This is to ensure that the cat has a “sweet expression”. Another use of the word ’round’. This cat should definitely have a rounded appearance 🙂 .

The cat is a bicolour because she is largely white with some dark markings on the head (and perhaps some on the tail too). These markings are, incidentally, what I would call “Van” markings. I’m referring to the Turkish Van which typically has an inverted ‘V’ shaped marking on the forehead as this cat has. You will see the Van marking in Mediterranean random bred cats quite often.

As usual, I will speculate that this Exotic Shorthair was bred in Europe or Russia because they tend to breed to extreme by which I mean create cats with extreme anatomical features to their appearance by pushing the boundaries of the breed standard to its limit. They will be governed by the WCF but their standard will be similar.

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