You know that piece of skin that hangs down under your cat’s belly? The one that sways from side to side when he walks or runs? Well, it’s not fat and it’s not because he/she has been spayed or neutered. It’s called the Primordial Pouch and can be seen in both males and females.
People make fun of the pouch, which is just excess skin and fat and seems to be empty and flabby when you feel it. However, the Primordial Pouch does serve an important purpose not only for our tame cats but for the larger predator cats in the wild.
FIGHTING The pouch acts as extra padding and protection during a fight. Cats kick each other in the belly with their hind legs during a fight and the pouch protects their organs. People are always saying how cats can twist around and get out of small spaces. This is because they also have loose skin on the rest of their bodies to help them wiggle free when grabbed by a predator.
MOVING FREELY The Primordial Pouch, or belly flap, allows the cat to stretch and move easily when running, jumping, or twisting around. Wild cats also have Primordial Pouches for the same reason.
STORING FOOD Biologists think these pouches allow extra room to expand when gorging on their kills, since they do not always eat daily. However, we must be careful not to let our pet cat gorge and store food in her pouch and become obese.
Debrah Regal Founder, Valley Cats, Inc. www.valleycatsinc.org