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.


Picture of Flat-Faced Tortie Smoke Persian Female Cat

This is a classic Helmi Flick studio photograph of SC Surreal's Trick of Treat 'Fruit Loops'. She was 8-months-of-age at ...
Read More

Rapaport complains bitterly about the removal of his famous cat video

Instagram have removed Michael Rapaport's video commentary on Wilfred the inbred Persian and he is livid. Wilfred has taken the ...
Read More

1930s Persian cat compared with 2000 variant (picture)

The difference that 80 or more years of selective breeding makes to the Persian cat can be seen in the ...
Read More

Types of Persian Cat

There are five types of Persian cat which I discuss on this illustrated page. Despite congenital health issues the flat-faced ...
Read More

Are Persian Cats Healthy?

Some Persian cats have eyes that protrude so much that their eyeballs fall out under minor trauma. Others suffer brain ...
Read More

Scientists criticise cat breed standards which promote flat faced cats leading to breathing problems

We know it and now scientists have confirmed it: snub-nosed cats (heavily shortened muzzles) are vulnerable to breathing problems. Cat ...
Read More

Persian Cat Facts

Persian cat facts, delivered in summary form are on this page. See narrative pages: Persian cats or pictures of Persian ...
Read More
Please comment here using either Facebook or WordPress (when available).
Michael Broad

Hi, I am 70-years-of-age at 2019. For 14 years before I retired at 57, I worked as a solicitor in general law specialising in family law. Before that I worked in a number of different jobs including professional photography. I have a longstanding girlfriend, Michelle. We like to walk in Richmond Park which is near my home because I love nature and the landscape (as well as cats and all animals).

Recent Posts

Second domestic cat tests positive for Covid-19

Currently there is no evidence that companion animals can be a source of the virus.…

54 mins ago

Picture of a Chinese desert cat a.k.a. Chinese mountain cat

This cat should be called the Chinese steppe cat (an area of flat, unforested grassland).…

1 hour ago

How a nursing home cat had the unusual ability of predicting death within the next hours

You may remember Oscar. He is quite famous (actually very famous). He's a fluffy, grey-and-white…

6 hours ago

Netflix film about the battle between Big Cat Rescue and Joe Exotic is a big hit

It's been reported that the feud over big cats between Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin,…

7 hours ago

Are cheetahs solitary?

The social organisation of cheetahs is unique among the wild cat species. Females are solitary…

11 hours ago

Talking about a cat at a distance because of social isolation

LEEDS, UK: Pictures of a conversation, posted on Twitter, between neighbours at a distance through…

12 hours ago