I can’t tell you how many times we get questions about the saggy layer of skin under cat bellies. You may think your cat is getting fat, but this is actually a purposeful part of your cat’s anatomy called, the primordial pouch.
The primordial pouch is flabby skin that stretches the length of the stomach but it’s more visible near the rear. Every cat (including lions and tigers) have this pouch, but some are more noticeable than others. You can barely recognize the pouch in our younger cats while it’s super recognizable on our older kitties.
This abdominal flap helps protect your cat’s vital organs from attacks by predators or other cats. If under attack, this layer of skin will help shield their bodies from fangs and claws puncturing the crucial body parts. Think of that cute, but shredder weapon, called ‘the bunny kick‘.
Some experts believe that this pouch also provides extra storage space for food in wild cats. In certain seasons cats may not be able to hunt their prey several times per day, so this extra space would allow them to store food until the next meal.
The primordial pouch is meant to be saggy and kind of swing when cats walk. If the belly flap is harder and not quite ‘flappy’ your kitty could be overweight. Check with your vet, if so, and implement a healthy diet and exercise program for overweight cats.
While the size of the pouch may vary from cat to cat, this is completely normal and it’s there for an important reason!