The Reason Why Some Cats Have Saggy Bellies


Why DO cats have saggy bellies?

Is my cat a just a fat cat? Or is there another reason for cat walks with a saggy belly?

The primordial pouch is the technical term for a cat's saggy belly. This belly flap was designed to help protect vital organs when cats get into a fight with predators!

Dr. Travis Foster explains in detail below. This pouch of saggy skin is just in front of the hind legs and fairly common in cats. Cats will "bunny kick" with their back legs during a fight, and this extra skin on your cat's stomach gives your cat's ribs and internal organs an extra layer of protection.

Why Do Cats Have a Saggy Belly?

Small cat laying on its back


"This bit of loose skin and padding at the belly provides extra protection and insulation to your cat during fights when a cat's practice of "bunny kicking" with the rear paws could result in severe abdominal injury to their opponent. In fact, cats have excess skin covering the entire body which helps them squirm out of the grasp of other predators." - Dr. Travis Foster, via Mactaggart Veterinary Clinic's Facebook

Now cat owners should always be watching to ensure your cat remains at a healthy weight too but don't panic when you see this hanging belly as it has a very specific purpose. Talk to your vet if you think that pouch is storing some extra fat in your cat's saggy belly!

Playful cat shows its tells us that this flap of skin and fat often feels like a half-full water balloon and you can also observe this feature on some big cats or wild cats like lions and tigers.

"It's also theorized that in our cats' wild ancestors, the flap allowed the stomach to stretch to hold extra food when necessary, such as when gorging after a large kill in the wild."

During my time as a certified vet tech, I learned that another function of the cat's primordial pouch is to allow the domestic cat the ability to fully stretch into those yoga poses you often see them do throughout the day.

Did you know this about a cat saggy belly? Let us know on the Wide Open Pets Facebook page!


This post was originally published on September 11, 2019.

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