Welcome to our guide to Exotic Shorthair food and feeding options.
We’re going to explore the best shorthair cat food products and explain the dietary needs of this rare breed.
The Exotic Shorthair cat is a short haired version of the Persian.
Defining characteristics include their short, soft coat, and their flat, broad face.
Exotic Shorthairs are not particularly common, but they are beginning to gain popularity.
We covered this interesting breed in detail in our full guide.
But what do they eat? What is the best food for exotic shorthair cats?
Dietary Needs of the Exotic Shorthair
The Exotic Shorthair is a brachycephalic breed – meaning it has a relatively broad, short skull and a somewhat flat face.
Other examples brachycephalic pets include the Pug dog and French Bulldog.
There are not many brachycephalic cat breeds, but the Exotic Shorthair is one of them.
We have a full guide to flat faced cats, which includes details of the health problems that tend to accompany their exaggerated facial features.
Due to these unique health issues, Exotic Shorthair food needs can vary a bit from the average cat.
For the most part, the actual dietary needs of Exotic Shorthairs are identical to the standard nutritional needs of most cat breeds.
The big difference, however, is in the form of food best suited to them. That is, how easy it is to chew and swallow.
This is because Exotic Shorthairs, and other brachycephalic breeds, may have dental issues that can lead to trouble with chewing and swallowing.
This difficulty does not affect all Exotic Shorthairs, but it does change the dietary needs of a good portion of these cats, and it is likely to affect more and more of them if the fashion for excessively flat-faced pets doesn’t end soon.
Exotic Shorthair Food Requirements
The best food for Exotic Shorthair cats should be:
- rich in protein from animal sources
- grain free
- low in carbohydrates
- made with clearly named meats/fats
- free of artificial colors, flavors and preservatives
- and easy to chew.
Additionally, Exotic Shorthair food should ideally be wet food instead of dry kibble.
Wet food is typically easier for cats to chew and swallow.
You don’t have to feed you cat solely wet food, but many Exotic Shorthair owners have success with a primarily wet food diet.
In addition to being easier to chew, wet food also has the benefit of more moisture.
Adequate hydration is of course important for all types of cats, but it may be particularly important for Exotic Shorthairs.
This is because Exotic Shorthairs are more prone to calcium oxalate urolithiasis, a form of bladder or kidney stones
Increasing the amount of liquids in your cat’s diet (through the use of wet foods, or otherwise), can help to reduce the risk of developing these stones.
Because of these unique needs, some people recommend specialist foods for Exotic Shorthairs.
The section below will detail some of the more popular options.
Exotic Shorthair Cat Food Recommendations
There are lots of different options for Exotic Shorthair food, but here are some popular choices:
Tiki Cat Gourmet Whole Food
This is a high quality food that’s grain free, carbohydrate free, and certified human-grade.
It’s a high-moisture blend with plenty of protein and fat.
Stella & Chewy’s Freeze Dried Food for Cats
Stella & Chewy’s product is unique in that it’s freeze-dried.
To serve it you simply add water.
By weight, it’s 98% meat, organs and ground bones, so it’s a very simple and protein-rich formula.
It’s also free or grains, colorings and artificial preservatives.
Purina ONE Grain Free Formula
Purina is a popular brand, and they make a grain-free formula that’s mostly fish and animal protein.
It’s a high-moisture blend, as well, which should be easier to chew for cats with dental issues.
Pros and Cons of Specialist Foods
Many of the Exotic Shorthair food options that come highly recommended are so-called “specialist foods”.
Some of these are designed for specific types of cats, or certain dietary restrictions.
Many of these foods are high quality options.
As long as you know what you’re looking for, you can find an excellent, Exotic Shorthair food option for your cat.
These foods make it easier to avoid certain ingredients that are commonly used in cat foods (like grains and fillers).
However, they are also typically more expensive. In some cases, they can be significantly more pricey.
Some options may not appeal to your cat, as well. Thus, it’s best to buy smaller quantities to begin with to ensure your cat will actually eat it.
Best Food for Exotic Shorthair Cats
Exotic Shorthair cats need the same high animal protein diet as all cats.
However their unique face shape can result in dental problems which mean that a wet food diet is easier to chew and swallow.
If you have any questions about your cat’s ideal diet, it’s best to talk with your vet.
Avoid falling for fancy marketing, and look for professional advice whenever possible.
What Does Your Exotic Shorthair Cat Like To Eat?
Have they struggled with any foods? Do you have a tried and tested diet you keep coming back to?
Please share your recommendations in the comments box!
Malik, R., Sparkes, A., & Bessant, C. Brachycephalia-a bastardisation of what makes cats special. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, 2009.
MacDonald, M. L., Rogers, Q. R., & Morris, J. G. Nutrition of the domestic cat, a mammalian carnivore. Annual review of nutrition, 1984.
Kirk, C. A., Ling, G. V., Franti, C. E., & Scarlett, J. M. Evaluation of factors associated with development of calcium oxalate urolithiasis in cats. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 1995.
American College of Veterinary Surgeons, Brachycephalic Syndrome, 2006.
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