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In both appearance and personality, the Exotic Shorthair cat is easy to love. Her traits include:. You'll love sharing your home with your Exotic Shorthair. Playful, affectionate, and social, she makes an excellent family companion.

Wishing to create a shorthaired variant of the Persian, breeders crossed Persians with British Shorthairs and other shorthaired breeds to create the Exotic Shorthair.

First recognized as its own breed inthe Exotic retains the affectionate, easy going attitude of the Persian and gained the easier coat maintenance and higher energy levels of her shorthaired cousins. The Exotic Shorthair won't demand a lot of attention, but she is a playful entertainer which makes her an excellent companion for families with multiple pets and children.

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We know that because you care so much about your catyou want to take great care of her. That is why we have summarized the health concerns we will be discussing with you over the life of your Exotic. By knowing about the health concerns common among Exotic Shorthairs, we can help you tailor an individual preventive health plan and hopefully prevent some predictable risks in your pet. The conditions we will describe here have a ificant rate of incidence or a strong impact upon this breed particularly, according to a general consensus among feline genetic researchers and veterinary practitioners.

This does not mean your cat will have these problems, only that she may be more at risk than other cats. We will describe the most common issues seen in Exotic Shorthairs to give you an idea of what may come up in her future. This guide contains general health information important to all felines as well as information on genetic predispositions for Exotic Shorthairs. At the end of the article, we have also included a description of what you can do at home to keep your Exotic Shorthair looking and feeling her best.

Obesity is a major disease that contributes to a surprisingly large of illnesses and deaths in cats. This revelation is more well-known and well-understood today than in the last few decades, but too many owners are Exotic shorthair kittens virginia ignoring the dangers of extra weight on their pets. Excess weight is one of the most influential factors in the development of arthritis, diabetes, and other life-threatening diseases. Everyone knows—many firsthand from personal experience—how even shedding just a few pounds can result in improved mobility and increased overall motivation to be active.

Exotic shorthair

And the same is true for your pet. Diabetes, an inherited disease, has a much higher chance of developing in overweight pets, and may never become a problem for a healthy-weight cat. The more obese a cat becomes, the more likely it will become diabetic. Hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver, is another potentially fatal disease in overweight pets; hepatic lipidosis can develop in as few as 48 hours when an overweight cat stops eating for any reason.

So how can we help our pets stay trim? Understanding your cat's dietary habits is key. The average cat prefers to eat about times a day, just a few nibbles at a time. This method, free-feeding, works well for most cats, but boredom may increase the of trips your cat makes to the food bowl.

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By keeping your cat playfully active and engaged, you'll help your pet stay healthy and have some fun at the same time! A string tied to a stick with something crinkly or fuzzy on the other end of the string, and a little imagination—you and your cat will both be entertained.

Food puzzles, like kibbles put in a paper bag or under an overturned basket or box, may help to motivate cats with more food-based interests to romp and tumble. Replace your cat's habits of eating when bored with extra playtime and affection. Cats typically adjust their desires for personal interaction by the amount of affection offered to them, so in other words, ignoring your cat means your cat will ignore you. By the same token, loving on and playing with your cat a lot will cause your cat to desire that time with you.

A more active cat means a healthier, happier pet—and owner! Without extra help and care from you, your cat is likely to develop potentially serious dental problems. Dental disease starts with food residue, which hardens into tartar that builds up on the visible parts of the teeth, and eventually le to infection of the gums and tooth roots. Protecting your cat against dental disease from the start by removing food residue regularly may help prevent or delay the need for advanced treatment of dental disease.

This treatment can be stressful for your cat and expensive for you, so preventive care is beneficial all around.

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In severe cases of chronic dental infection, your pet may even lose teeth or sustain damage to internal organs. And, if nothing else, your cat will be a more pleasant companion not knocking everyone over with stinky cat breath! Like all cats, Exotic Shorthairs are susceptible to bacterial and viral infections such as panleukopenia, calicivirus, rhinotracheitis, and rabies, which are preventable through vaccination.

In addition, vaccines are available to offer protection from other dangerous diseases like feline leukemia virus FeLV.

Your exotic shorthair's health

All kinds of worms and bugs can invade your Exotic Shorthair's body, inside and out. Everything from fleas and ticks to ear mites can infest her skin and ears. Hookworms, roundworms, heartwormsand whipworms can get into her system in a of ways: drinking unclean water, walking on contaminated soil, or being bitten by an infected mosquito.

Some of these parasites can be transmitted to you or a family member and are a serious concern for everyone. One of the best things you can do for your Exotic is to have her spayed neutered for males. In females, this procedure includes surgically removing the ovaries and usually the uterus; in males, the testicles are surgically removed.

Spaying or neutering your pet decreases the likelihood of certain types of cancers and eliminates the possibility of your pet becoming pregnant or fathering unwanted litters. Both sexes usually become less territorial and less likely to roam, and neutering particularly decreases the occurrence of urine spraying and marking behaviors in males.

Performing this surgery also gives us a chance, while your pet is under anesthesia, to identify and address some of the diseases your cat is likely to develop. For example, if your pet needs hip X-rays to check for dysplasia or a thorough dental exam to look for stomatitis, these procedures can be conveniently performed at the same time as the spay or neuter to minimize the stress on your cat.

Routine blood testing prior to surgery also helps us to identify and take precautions against common problems that increase anesthetic or surgical risk.

General health information for your exotic shorthair

Cardiomyopathy is the medical term for heart muscle diseaseeither a primary inherited condition or secondary to other diseases that damage the heart. The most common form, called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or HCM, is a thickening of the heart muscle often caused by an overactive thyroid gland. Another example is dilated cardiomyopathy, or DCM, which can be caused by a dietary deficiency of the amino acid taurine. While DCM was a big problem in the past, all major cat food producers now add taurine to cat food, so DCM is rarely seen in cats with high-quality diets today.

Catching s of cardiomyopathy early is important, but a cat's normal tendency to hide illness can make symptoms difficult to spot. The first thing a pet parent usually notices is rapid breathing, lethargy, and a poor appetite. These symptoms may appear to come on suddenly, often between a few hours to a few days, but in most cases, the cat has actually been suffering quietly for weeks to months and is now in serious trouble. In addition, HCM can cause blood clots to form inside the heart. These clots can then leave the heart and become lodged in the major arteries that transport blood to the rear legs.

If this happens, the cat will suddenly lose the use of both rear legs and the tail—the legs will become cold to the touch and will Exotic shorthair kittens virginia extremely painful.

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In either case, whether rapid breathing or painful paralysis, the cat is experiencing a medical emergencyand needs immediate veterinary care. For a few breeds of cats, genetic testing is available for a specific gene abnormality that causes HCM. Most cats with cardiomyopathy have a heart murmur that can be detected during a wellness physical exam, but a specific diagnosis requires more advanced medical imaging.

Finding this problem early, when treatment is most effective, is another important reason Exotic shorthair kittens virginia have your pet evaluated twice a year for life. Brachycephalic syndrome, or respiratory distress syndrome, is a disease that affects brachycephalic cats — those with a short nose and flat face—such as your Exotic Shorthair. Although these cats have the same amount of tissue in their noses and throats as other breeds of cats, the flattened features provide less space for the tissue to grow. Consequently, the soft palate, the soft area in the back of the roof of the mouth, grows too long for the mouth and hangs down into the airway.

The nostrils are also often too small, and sometimes the trachea, or windpipe, is narrow and undersized. All of these elements contribute to a narrow and obstructed airway in cats with brachycephalic syndrome.

Many affected cats can barely breathe normally; many have sleep apnea and snore, have chronic respiratory infections, and develop swelling and congestion in their throats, which only worsens the problem. Brachycephalic syndrome cats are also more prone to heat stroke and have a higher risk for anesthetic complications.

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Many cats with this syndrome die at an early age, but correcting the defects through surgery as soon as possible, ideally at the time of spaying or neutering, can help your pet live a long and normal life. With surgery, the long soft palate can be shortened, the nostrils can be snipped open, and more regular breathing can be restored. Some brachycephalic syndrome cats are not severely affected early on, but may develop more serious problems as they get older, in which case surgery can be done at that time.

Cataracts are a common cause of blindness in older Exotics. Onset of the disease presents with the lenses of the eyes becoming more opaque, or more cloudy than clear. Surgery to remove cataracts and restore the cat's sight may be an option, although most cats adjust well to gradually losing their vision and still get along well in life. We will always examine your cat's eyes closely at each biannual exam and will discuss treatment options with you if your cat develops cataracts.