You may have seen the piece of skin that hangs down under your cat’s belly. When your cat walks or runs, that piece of skin will sway from side to side. Some people may think that’s a paunch. Actually, it’s not fat. That piece of skin is called the Primordial Pouch.

What Is A Primordial Pouch?

The primordial pouch is a sagging layer of skin that runs alongside the entirety of a cat’s underside. It can be seen in both males and females. All cats have one primordial pouch, and the size and visibility will usually vary from cat to cat. A Primordial pouch typically becomes more obvious in a cat’s adulthood. And it becomes more obvious when a cat walks, jumps and runs.

Why Do Cats Have Primordial Pouches?

Experts have offered a number of theories to explain these abdominal bulges. Below are the three convincing theories that people mostly agree with.

  • Primordial Pouches Help Cats To More Freely. One theory posits that the Primordial Pouch, or belly flap, helps cats to stretch farther, move easily when cats are running, jumping or twisting around. Both house cats and wild cats have Primordial Pouches for the same reason.
  • Primordial Pouches Protect Cats’ Organs During A Fight. Another possible explanation is that Primordial Pouches protect cats’ vulnerable visceral organs from injury. Cats kick each other in the belly with their hind legs during a fight. A cat’s belly is very fragile and it can be badly injured if it suffers a cat’s kicking. A cat’s Primordial Pouch acts as extra padding and protection to the cat’s organs.
  • Primordial Pouches Help Cats to Store Food. The primordial pouch is an additional food reserve that prevents cats from starving. Unlike domesticated cats who receive daily meals at set times from their doting pet parents, wild cats don’t know when they will get their next meal. So, these additional food stores are essential to a cat’s survival.


Primordial Pouches also have these cute names, such as “Jelly Belly”, “Puddin’ Belly”, “Cookie Pouch”, “Tum-Tum”. Those are very cute and accurate. However, we must be careful not to let our pet cat gorge and store food in her pouch and become obese. 



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