The primordial pouch in cats; what is it and what is it for?

The primordial pouch in cats; what is it and what is it for?

19 September, 2019

Have you ever noticed that some cats have a hanging belly that swings when they walk? Some people think that this flaccidity is due to an overweight feline, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. This is the primordial pouch, and it is common in some cat breeds.

The primordial pouch usually appears in adulthood, it looks like excess skin, regardless of whether the cat is or has been overweight.

We will tell you about all the curiosities of it, so you can also identify it in your cat.

What is the primordial pouch?

If your cat is an adult, it may already have a primordial pouch under its belly. It is right in front of the cat’s hind legs, forming an excess of skin and fat. Although sometimes to the naked eye it is hard to see because of the fur, when you see a cat walking it becomes more noticeable, by its constant movement from side to side.

What is the purpose of the primordial pouch in cats?

The primordial pouch in cats is a genetic characteristic that has been maintained from the first breeds of wild cats. Nowadays it doesn’t have a key function, but it can still be useful sometimes.

  • Storing food. Given its fat content, it is a way to store energy in case the cat has to face a long period without food.
  • Facilitates movement. Since it is excess skin, the cat can stretch more easily, with a more elastic abdomen.
  • Protection. This extra layer of skin and fat serves as protection for the abdomen in case of fights with other cats or animals.

Breeds that tend to have primordial pouches

Due to the evolution of current cat breeds, in some felines the primordial pouch is more evident than in others. It can especially be better seen in pure-bred cats, although this physical characteristic is being lost due to evolution.

The breeds that have the most evident pouches are the Egyptian Mau, Japanese Bobtail, Pixie Bob and the Bengal cat. As well as the mix of these and other breeds, it being more common in male cats than in females.

Does your cat also have a primordial pouch under its belly?

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