As your cat walks by, you can’t help but notice what looks like a flabby belly that seems to sway with every step he takes. Does all that loose skin mean he’s fat or out of shape? Has your mighty feline hunter gone soft? Not at all. That loose flap of skin and fat on his belly is called the primordial pouch and it actually serves important functions.
Protection During Cat Fights
The abdomen is a very vulnerable area because injury can cause severe damage to the delicate organs located there. Having that loose skin provides extra protection during a fight in case the opponent engages in bunny kicking by raking his hind claws down the other cat’s stomach.
Primordial Pouch Helps with Stretching
The loose skin of the pouch may help the cat stretch out his limbs to the max when in full stride. Cats are extremely flexible and the looseness of the skin may enable them to have more extension.
The primordial pouch may have been crucial to your cat’s ancestors when consuming prey after a hunt. The pouch’s ability to expand may have enabled the feline hunters to stuff their stomachs to maximum capacity since they wouldn’t know when they’d eat again.
Watch Your Cat’s Weight
The primordial pouch is seen on even slender, active cats. This pouch is not the same as a cat having too much fat. It’s important to not confuse this flap with feline obesity. Your cat may have a large belly that is actually due to being overweight. If you’re in doubt about whether your cat is at a healthy weight, have him examined by the veterinarian.
Please note that Pam is unable to answer questions posted in the comment section. If you have a question about your cat’s behavior, you can find information in the articles on our website as well as in Pam’s books. If you have a question regarding your cat’s health, please contact your veterinarian.