do all cats have a primordial pouch

Cats are born with this sagging belly, and all cats, both male and female, have primordial pouches. Some pouches are more prominent than others. Even non-domestic big cats have them! The pouch is an abdominal flap along their belly made up of extra loose skin and some fatty tissue.

Why Do Cats Have Primordial Pouches?

Although they’re cute and silly, primordial pouches probably weren’t created just to amuse us cat lovers. So, what purpose do they serve?.

Veterinarians aren’t exactly sure why cats have stomach pouches, says Dr. Jamie Whittenburg, DVM, owner and director of Kingsgate Animal Hospital in Lubbock, Texas, but there are some theories about why this cat belly came to be:

  • According to one theory, the pouch and its fatty cushion protect the internal abdominal organs of the cat, which would be especially advantageous for wild cats. “This defense could be helpful for wounds as well as combat scenarios,” says Dr. Whittenburg.
  • Flexibility: According to a different theory, the cat can run farther with each stride because the pouch gives it more flexibility. This adaptability may also help a cat swiftly cut from side to side while pursuing prey or fleeing from predators.
  • Energy: It’s also possible that in times of food scarcity, the primordial pouch comes in handy. “Another theory suggests that the pouch could function as a fat reserve, holding fat that can be utilized as fuel in the event that dependable meals are not available,” says Dr. Whittenburg.

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So, what is a primordial pouch, anyway?

It’s simpler than it sounds. “Primordial pouch” is just a fancy name for the soft, saggy flap of skin under a cat’s belly, explains Dr. Chyrle Bonk, DVM, an associate veterinarian at Clearwater Valley Veterinary Clinic in Orofino, Idaho. It runs the length of the cat’s underside, but is typically more pronounced near the back legs.

According to Dr., “the primordial pouch is a mixture of fat, skin, and fur.” Bonk. Primordial pouches are found in all cats; the size varies depending on the individual cat. ”.

Around six months of age, cats start to develop stomach pouches during their kittenhood. And the feature isn’t unique to house cats, she notes. Big cats, including lions and tigers, have them as well.

What Causes a Cat-Hanging Belly?

It’s crucial to identify whether your cat’s protruding belly is a primordial pouch or an indication of obesity if you see it. Here are some ways to tell the difference:

  • Feel the belly: A primordial pouch is most likely present if it is soft and squishy. A firm, round stomach could indicate that there is too much fat on it.
  • Check the weight: A cat’s ideal weight varies depending on its size, age, and breed. To prevent health issues, it’s crucial to deal with your cat’s obesity, though.
  • Look out for additional symptoms: An overweight cat may have a round face, a thick neck, and trouble moving around in addition to a hanging belly.


At what age do cats get their primordial pouch?

Cats typically develop primordial pouches at six months of age and will have them for the rest of their lives. However, you may notice your cat’s belly pouch changing over time. Older cats have more pronounced pouches, and so do obese and pregnant cats.

What breeds of cats have a primordial pouch?

There are three registered breeds that specify a primordial pouch as part of the breed standard; Bengal, Pixie Bob and Egyptian Mau. Any cat may have one, they are quite common to see in randomly bred moggies of all sorts.

Do some cats not have a primordial pouch?

All cats have primordial pouches as part of their species’ genetic makeup, though some are barely detectable while others are obvious. Because of this, there is a common misconception that hanging bellies are a common trait that doesn’t occur in all cats.

Can you get rid of a cats primordial pouch?

You cannot remove a primordial pouch or make it go away as it is part of your cat’s anatomy. Experts say the reasons why cats have this mysterious feature might be more than just a cute belly sway. In fact, theory has it that the primordial pouch may play a role in your cat’s survival.