The Society, first known as the Exotic Shorthair Breeders Society, was established in May 1984 and has worked hard over the years to further the Exotic breed and take them to Championship status, which was achieved in June 1995.
It is now a real pleasure for the Society to see our Exotics gaining the title of Champion, Grand Champion, Imperial Grand Champion and even United Kingdom Grand Champion, and in the neuter section, Premiers, Grand Premiers, Imperial Grand Premiers and even UK Grand Premiers.
They are also winning top Best in Show awards competing against the Persians.
Early Exotic Shorthairs
The Exotic Shorthair has been a recognised breed in countries such as the U.S.A., Germany, Sweeden, France and Belgium for many years. The first Exotics in this country however, started to emerge in the early 1980's and thus the Exotic Shorthair Cat Society was created in 1984 (to be changed to the Exotic Cat Society in 2011).
In the beginning, to breed an Exotic you mated a British Shorthair to a Persian Longhair, but now the gene pool is large enough to mate Exotic to Exotic, or Exotic to Persian Longhair. Occasionally we will mate back to the original type of matings, if we want to bring in fresh bloodlines or colours.
Gaining Championship Status
The first aim for the Society was to gain Championship Status for the breed.
Preliminary recognition was granted by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (G.C.C.F.) in 1986 and was the first stepping stone. After much hard work by the members of the two Exotic cat clubs collating information (show results, etc.) and breeding to the correct Show Standard, Exotics were granted second stage Provisional Status in 1992.
Finally, it took us a further two and a half years of hard graft to attain full Championship Status for the Exotic.
The Status of Our Show
The Society also wanted to have Championship Status for it's shows.
We were able to prove to our governing body (G.C.C.F.) that we could run cat shows in an appropriate manner. We staged six successful shows (three Exemption and three Sanction) and then we were granted our first Championship Show Licence for our 2002 Show. This meant that Exotic adults and neuters winning their Open classes could win certificates (C.C's and P.C's) to count towards becoming Champions or Premiers.
Extending Show Open Classes
At first Open classes at Championship Shows were only split into Any Colour Male and Any Colour Female Adult, Kitten and Neuter classes.
To warrant a split of colours we had to collate information from the many Championship shows taking place every year around the country to prove to the G.C.C.F. that enough Exotics were being shown.
Thankfully, by June 2000 we had done enough to obtain the first split of colours, and the G.C.C.F. granted us a split into Any Colour Self Male and AC Self Female, Kitten and Neuter, Any Colour Non-Self Male and AC Non-Self Female Adult, Kitten and Neuter.
It wasn't until June 2009, a full nine years later, that we achieved another Open class split into Self colours (same colour), Any Other Colour Non-Self (two or more colours) and Tabby or Tabby & White, and we are hoping for further splits in the future.
Our work is certainly not over yet as we now have to strive towards getting the Non-Self Open classes at Championship Shows split further.
And of course the ultimate goal, in many years to come, is for Exotics to have their own section, like the British Shorthairs and Persians.