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Exotic Shorthair Cat: 5 Common Health Problems

Even though respectable breeders take efforts to produce healthy cats, there is still a chance that your Exotic Shorthair cat will have some health difficulties in the future.

This is why it's vital to know the most prevalent health issues your cat could have, as well as the signs and symptoms associated with these frequent health issues.

In "Exotic Shorthair Cat: 5 Common Health Problems" by BestForPets (bestforpets.org), you'll find a few of the most prevalent health issues to look out for in your Exotic Shorthair, along with their symptoms.

If you see any of the following symptoms in your cat, it's recommended to bring them to a veterinarian as soon as possible for treatment.

Top 5 Exotic Shorthair Cat Health Problems:

1. Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)

  • Lethargy
  • Excessive elimination of urine
  • Excessive thirst
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Poor hair coat

Polycystic Kidney Disease is one of the most common health conditions you need to watch out for in Exotic Shorthair cats (PKD). These are only a few of the indicators you should be on the lookout for. This illness is caused by abnormal kidney function and enlarged kidneys in your cat.

While this disease’s cysts are typically seen in kittens before 12 months of age, the kidney failure itself can manifest years later.

There are DNA tests that can detect PKD, so be sure your breeder can provide evidence that the mother and father of the kitten have been cleared of the disease. Observe your Exotic Shorthair closely, and if you observe any signs or symptoms of this condition, contact your veterinarian immediately.

2. Eye Tearing

  • Lethargy
  • Excessive elimination of urine
  • Excessive thirst
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Poor hair coat

Tearing of the eyes is rather common in this cat breed. But, if it becomes too severe, it can lead to infections and other complications. There are numerous causes for a cat’s watery eyes, including allergies and eye damage.

Because of the form of their heads, round eyes, small noses, and flat features, Exotic Shorthairs are inclined to have watery eyes. If you keep your cat’s eyes clean, you usually do not need to worry about this condition.

Nevertheless, if it worsens, you should call your veterinarian for diagnosis and potential treatment.

3. Respiratory Issues/Breathing Problems

  • Snoring
  • Loud breathing when inhaling
  • Panting often
  • Hard time eating or swallowing
  • Gagging and coughing
  • Hard to participate in physical activity

Due to their flat features and short noses, your Exotic Shorthair may experience respiratory disorders and breathing difficulties.

Your cat may have difficulty breathing in extremely hot and humid weather. Your Exotic Shorthair should be kept in a climate-controlled environment to prevent breathing difficulties and respiratory illnesses.

Unfortunately, there is not much more that can be done because the cat’s genetics guarantee they will have a small nose and flat face.

Observe your Shorthair, and if the issues seem severe, take them to the veterinarian immediately.

4. Progressive Retinal Degeneration (PRA, PRD)

  • Night blindness
  • Dilated pupils
  • Retinal structure appears abnormal

Progressive Retinal Degeneration, often known as PRA or PRD, is an additional genetic disorder that may affect your Exotic Shorthair cat. This is one of the eye conditions that your Exotic Shorthair may have.

As with any of these situations, prompt action and early discovery can go a long way toward solving the problem. In addition, many disorders appear to be easier to treat when diagnosed early.

If you observe any indications of this disease in your cat, you should schedule an appointment with your veterinarian immediately.

5. Skin Issues

  • Red, flaky, itchy skin
  • Constant scratching

Skin issues are quite common in cats, but they can be more prevalent in Exotic Shorthair cats. Due of its thick, fluffy coat, it is prone to overheating, which can result in a variety of skin disorders.

If you suspect that your cat has a skin condition, you should consult a veterinarian. To prevent skin concerns from occurring, ensure that your cat is groomed weekly and combed frequently.


Exotic Shorthair Cat: 5 Common Health Problems” by BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has listed some of the most common problems you should watch out for with your Exotic Shorthair cat. Note that just because a cat could be genetically prone to one of these health conditions does not mean that it will.

To avoid unpleasant surprises in the future, it’s important to find a reliable breeder who will tell you about any problems the parents of your little Exotic Shorthair may have. 

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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