Friday 17 June 2011

Are Persian Cats Bad Flyers?

The flat faced, ultra Persian, may be a poor candidate for air travel due to the cat's restricted breathing on account of the brachycephalic head.

Flat Faced Persian - Photo by semarr (Flickr)

The contemporary Persian that has been bred to an extreme appearance with a face that is meant to be flat from top to bottom in accordance with the breed standard (guidelines for show cat appearance).

This creates some health problems specific to the modern Persian cat. One of which is potential respiratory problems due to the shape of the flattened nose.

The pug is the dog equivalent. There are other unnaturally flat faced dogs such as the bulldog.

Apparently, for this dog breed there are a higher than average number of deaths while flying in the hold of the aircraft. One reason is presumed to be the breathing issues and the other the excitability of the pug.

The Persian, however, is not known as an excitable cat. In fact it is known as the opposite but it is known as a potentially (at least) nervous cat. They have a higher than average record of litter misuse as well.

So, there would seem to be at least the potential for problems when flying. The answer is to carry the cat in the cabin if that is permitted. There will be rules and as far as I can make out the rules are quite complicated and vary between airlines.

As far as I know there are no statistics available that support the supposition that the ultra Persian is a less good flyer.

This is just a thought. In the US pet air travel may be more commonplace within the country and the ultra flat faced Persian is the Persian cat. The traditional Persian has been pushed to a secondary role.

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