Categories: Persian cat

Flat-faced Persians banned from flying with Virgin Australia

The airline company Virgin Australia has banned flat-faced cats (and dogs) due to a spike in ‘issues across the industry’. Qantas suspended their animal service to flat-faced breeds in December 2019, as I understand it.

Virgin Australia bans flat faced Persians. Picture of Persian: copyright Helmi Flick. Aircraft: as stated on photo.

They cite well known health issues with these cat and dogs breeds: breathing problems due to their distorted anatomy because of extreme selective breeding resulting in a flat face which for Persians is specified in the breed standard as published by the cat associations. The associations know that flat-faced Persians are inherently unhealthy and they know their breed standard goes against their policies on health but they have done nothing about it.

About 60 years ago the Persian was a normal cat until the breeders decided they’d ‘improve it’. Yes, well done. Karma has befallen the cat associations.

The Persian is one of the world’s most inherently unhealthy cats, second in line to the equally extreme modern Siamese. The Persian also has a diabolical propensity to develop polycystic kidney disease (30+ percent develop it). And there is teat duct overflow.

The RSPCA agree with these airline companies in deciding to ban the breeds. They agree that they can struggle to breath and regulate their body temperature effectively.

I’ll presume that the Virgin Australia ban (and not Virgin elsewhere) is due to the elevated ambient temperatures on the Australian continent.

There is a huge list of breeds banned by Virgin:


  • American Burmese
  • British Shorthair
  • Burmilla
  • Exotic Shorthair
  • Himalayan cat
  • Munchkin
  • Persian cat
  • Scottish Fold
  • Selkirk Rex

Comment: I don’t why the Burmese, Brit SH, Burmilla, Scot Fold, Selkirk are banned. They are all fairly normal. The Munchkin, a dwarf cat, does have potential health issues. The Exotic SH is the same as the modern Siamese but why is it banned and not the modern Siamese? The Himalayan is a pointed Persian. The Persian comes in a non-extreme version too; the doll face Persian should not be banned as they do not have breathing problems. This list is incomplete in terms of being justified.

Dogs and rabbits banned:


  • Affenpinscher
  • American Bulldog
  • American Cocker Spaniel
  • American Staffordshire Bull Terrier (Staffies)
  • Australian Bulldog
  • Bishon Frise
  • Boston Terrier
  • Boxer
  • Brussels Griffon
  • Bullmastiff
  • Cane Corso
  • Chihuahua (apple-headed)
  • Chinese Charpels
  • Chow Chow
  • Dogue de Bordeaux
  • Dutch Bulldog
  • English Mastiff
  • French Bulldog
  • Japanese Chin (Japanese Spaniel)
  • English Bulldog
  • King Charles Cavalier Spaniel
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Maltese
  • Neapolitan Mastiff
  • Newfoundland
  • Old English Mastiff
  • Olde English Bulldogge
  • Pekingese
  • Pug
  • Shar-Pei
  • Shih Tzu
  • Tibetan Spaniel
  • Valley Bulldog
  • Yorkshire Terrier


  • Jersey Woolly
  • Lion Head
  • Lop

Source: Daily Mail. Note – this is an opinion/news article.


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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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