Have you ever seen a cat that has a big belly hanging, but she is not overweight or chubby? If you were wondering, that belly is actually called the primordial pouch. And that’s not even the cat’s tummy at all.
Keep on reading to find out what this is and why do cats have it.
What is Primordial Pouch?
The loose slap of skin that can often be seen hanging from a cat’s belly is called a primordial pouch. This belly pouch also sways from side to side when the cat is walking. Many pet owners believe that this excess skin is a result of their cat gaining weight. However, many cats who are really slim can have this primordial pouch too.
Most importantly, it is not something to be worried about. This type of belly is healthy and doesn’t cause any problems. Some people can’t even notice them because of their size. You can notice it only when the cat is walking.
When do Domestic Cats Develop a Primordial Pouch?
Even though kittens have it, it’s not noticeable until they are at least 2 years old. In other words, the primordial pouch is not developed yet in the early years of cats. Once they reach adulthood this is when it shows. Furthermore, it’s worth pointing out that this “belly” can be different in every cat depending on their weight. It goes without saying that heavier cats will have a bigger pouch as opposed to the cats that have a lower weight.
Learn to Differentiate it from Fat
Still, it’s important to understand the difference between this normal loose skin and fat. Some cats may have excess fat due to being overweight. You can easily notice what is fat and what is the primordial pouch thanks to its movement. If your cat has excess fat this part of the belly won’t sway and move from side to side when your cat does.
In addition, it’s a common misconception that primordial pouch can develop only in female cats as a result of pregnancy. Of course, this is not true. There are many male cats that have it as it is not related to pregnancy.
Why Do Cats Have Primordial Pouches?
- Protection of the vital organs. The primary role of the primordial pouch in cats is protection. Particularly it protects the cat’s internal organs, especially during fights and attacks. Cats usually fight with their hind legs and use their sharp claws which can cause serious injuries. This “belly” has the purpose to guard their vital organs.
- Helps them to stretch their stomach. Another function that this pouch has for cats is to allow them to stretch out during running. And even expand their stomachs when they are having large meals.
- Food storage. Cats use their primordial pouches to store some of their meals as a reserve. This theory originates from the wild cats which don’t get fed by humans regularly. For example, lions store a large kill in their pouches for days when they can’t catch prey.
Finally, you can be at ease that the primordial pouch is not usually a health concern. As a matter of fact, it can even help your cat in some cases as we mentioned earlier. It protects them, helps them run and jump easier. However, if you notice something is wrong with this part of your cat’s belly or you simply want to be reassured that it’s not another health problem you should make a visit to the vet. This will be good for your own peace of mind and simply to be aware of your cat’s wellbeing.