Why Do Cats Have Saggy Bellies?

Posted by Christy Caplan
Primordial Pouch
Facebook/Dr. Travis Foster - Mactaggart Veterinary Clinic

This is one of the best 'fun facts' about cats we've seen in our vet forums! Why DO cats have saggy bellies?

The 'primordial pouch' is the term for this loose skin. This was designed to help cats if they get into a fight with predators!

Dr. Travis Foster explains it below. This pouch of saggy skin is just in front of the rear legs and fairly common in cats. 

"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."

Now you should always be watching your cat's weight too but don't panic when you see this as it has a very specific purpose. Talk to your vet if you think that pouch is storing some extra fat that shouldn't be there!

Fun Fact Friday!Do you know why many cats have a saggy belly? Below is the technical explanation, and we'd like to...

Posted by Dr. Travis Foster - Mactaggart Veterinary Clinic on Friday, August 23, 2019

What does it feel like?

Petmeds.com 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 like lions and tigers. 

When I was in school to be a certified vet tech I learned that another function of the abdominal flap is to allow the cat the ability to fully stretch into those yoga poses you often see them do throughout the day. 

"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."

Did you know this about cats? Leave a comment below with your story.

This post was originally published on September 11, 2019.

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Why Do Cats Have Saggy Bellies?