Cats Club|Health|What Is a Primordial Pouch and Why Does My Cat Have a Pouch Belly

What Is a Primordial Pouch and Why Does My Cat Have a Pouch Belly

Dec.22.2021 75
cat belly flap

If you have an adult cat, or you pay attention to other cats outside, you may have noticed that many have a primordial pouch that hangs slightly toward the hind legs and can move from side to side. However, this does not necessarily mean that your pet has too rounded edges or a large belly. In fact, all adult cats have this physical characteristic, although in some cases it is more visible than in others. The primordial pouch in cats can also be one of the areas where its body first stores fat when it is overweight. However, the ability to determine the excess weight is important for maintaining a healthy cat weight. It is ok if you don’t know about it earlier. In this article, we will discuss everything that we know about it and its role, etc.

What Is a Primordial Pouch?

primordial pouch

A cat belly flap is not a sign of obesity. All adult cats have it, and it plays a very important role in the physiology of your pet. Initially, it serves to protect the abdominal cavity during a fight, when the enemy wields its hind legs strongly, and also stores fat in it for hungry times, which is important for feral cats in conditions when they do not have enough food. In addition, an additional flap of skin on the abdomen gives the pet the ability to fully extend and unbend the hind legs when running or jumping quickly. All felines have this flap, including lions and tigers. When do cats develop a primordial pouch? Regardless of the sex of the animal, it begins to form at the age of 6 months.

Why Does My Cat Have a Hanging Belly?

primordial pouch cat

The scientists cannot come to an unambiguous opinion about the functionality and reasons of the hanging belly. Several versions seem to be the most logical.

Protective Function

Cat pouch belly protects the most vulnerable part of the body from injuries and damage – the abdomen and the organs located inside it. In the wild, cats have to break through low shrubs, thorns, branches in pursuit of game. So it also protects from scratches, punctures, and wounds. In addition, it protects the delicate abdomen from the teeth of large predators. Even turning on its back, the wild cat continues to defend itself, striking with strong hind legs with long strong claws. The dense but mobile fold of the skin does not damage the internal organs. In this case, it works as a fold on the skin around the neck in fighting animals – does not allow to damage muscles and large blood vessels.

Source of Energy

The primordial pouch in a cat is an accumulation of adipose tissue. It especially works for wild animals. After all, they do not have hosts who regularly provide high-calorie food. The predator is full if the hunt is successful and uses fat reserves when the time of hunger comes. If the cat has a good appetite, then you can see that the size of the fat tail increases, it becomes denser and thicker. Reduce the portion and the folds would be smaller too.

Extra Skin

The primordial pouch facilitates movement. In a rapid run, the animal stretches almost into a string or jumps up sharply, changes the direction of movement – for all these manipulations, it is necessary that the skin does not limit the rotation of the joints and does not stretch. In addition, females may develop excess skin after pregnancy. Over time, the plumb line would decrease, and the skin would tighten. It can also form after the animal has lost weight. In both cases, this phenomenon is reversible. Stretched skin is also different by palpation. It is flabby, looser in structure, less thick. It takes some time for the skin to return to its normal state.

Breeds of Cats with Primordial Pouch

cat primordial pouch

As we mentioned above, you should not attribute this feature to some kind of disadvantage, since absolutely all breeds can have it, without exception. And if before your cat did not have a primordial pouch visible, but after 6-8 years it became more noticeable, then you should not be afraid, it is quite possible. However, we in no way discourage you from visiting a veterinarian, especially since older cats need more frequent examinations. Below we have provided the top three breeds that Google will surely give you when you request “primordial pouch cats”.


cat pouch belly

The Bengal cat has a stomach pouch, and it even looks like a wild cat. But we can assure you that it is a 100% domestic breed. Such a cat has a well-developed hunting instinct and a big love for active games. Therefore, you would not be able to lock such a pet at home. So, if the pouch does perform a defensive function, then this is a great bonus to such an active breed. Of course, Bengal would not get into a fight, but rather find a common language with another cat or dog, but in pursuit of rodents, it may get hurt.

Egyptian Mau

primordial pouch cats

Another breed on our list is the Egyptian Mau cat. An abdominal fat pad in this breed helps to jump and run up to 30 mph. This exotic breed is known for its playful demeanor, but at the same time, all breeders unanimously declare its poise. Therefore, you should not be afraid that your pet would run into conflict situations with other animals. However, devoting enough time to its physical and mental activity, otherwise, depression would be extremely difficult to avoid.


cat stomach pouch

Pixie-Bob may not be quite popular around the world but in the USA, especially in the western part, it is a popular cat. Primordial pouch, swollen in this breed, is noticeable from the beginning. Such a pet would not try to find the highest place in the house, because usually this breed is not attracted to height. However, these are rather proud pets and if they do not like something, they can resist. Therefore, the main thing is to establish contact with the cat so that your opinion is authoritative for it. This is a smart breed, so there should be no problems during training. We hope that our article helped you answer the question: “Why does my cat have a pouch”? If you still have doubts that your cat has an exactly fat pouch, and is not overweight, then we advise you to contact your veterinarian. The specialist would conduct an examination, analyze the pet’s nutrition and be able to say for sure whether you should put your pet on a diet or if everything is within the normal range. Remember, excessive panic can only confuse you more!

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