Why Does Your Cat Have a Flabby Belly?

Why Does Your Cat Have a Flabby Belly? along with a picture of a fat cat


If you’ve ever noticed a cat’s belly hanging down, you may have pondered why. You may have even been a little concerned, but don’t be as it’s completely natural.

If you’ve ever stood there asking “why does my cat have a flabby belly?” while you stare into the distance thinking you’ve been putting too much wet food into the cat bowl, we’ve got the answer right here for you. It’s called the primordial pouch and it isn’t necessarily linked to whether you have a fat cat or not.

In fact, it’s so harmless, it’s an extra layer of protection that us humans could probably do with as we only have the one life rather than our “mew-mew” friends who have nine!

Here at Hiputee, we don’t want to leave you hanging like a primordial pouch, yourself. So, here’s everything you need to know about your cat’s stomach hanging down:

  1. Why Is Your Cat’s Stomach Hanging Down?

Ok, so we’ve already touched on this but, having a hanging belly can be for one of three reasons. For one, if your cat is pregnant, she’ll have a rather large belly to carry around her kittens.

Another reason would be if you really did leave too much to munch on in the cat bowl. However, the most common answer to this question is simply the primordial pouch.

To be able to identify the primordial pouch, it might help to hear how it’s most commonly referred to: a saggy bag, a primordial flap, an abdominal fold, a hanging tummy and a loose pouch. It typically hangs down from the mid-belly through to between the back legs and will sway when the cat walks.

Whereas a fat cat and a pregnant cat will look far more rotund and won’t carry the same ‘wobble’ when they walk. And, instead of feeling firm, a primordial pouch has been likened to feeling of a water balloon.


  1. Does Every Cats Tummy Hang Down From their Belly?

Not every cat shares the same primordial pouch. For example, it’s more commonly seen in male cats than females, it’s often seen after a large cat has cut down the pounds and they also don’t typically appear until a cat has reached maturity.

While every cat has one, a primordial pouch cat breed may have a much more prominent pouch hanging down below.

Of course, there are other reasons that would link why a cat would have a more prominent hang than others, but some breeds have their special cat tummy hanging down more than others.

Here are some of the cat breeds more likely to have a prominent primordial pouch:

  • Bengal
  • Maine Coon
  • Egyptian Mau
  • Japanese Bobtail
  • Pixie Bob
  • Tabby



  1. What is the Primordial Pouch on Cats for?

The primordial pouch is an evolutionary feature for all cats and kittens out there. It’s even a very prominent feature on your cat’s distant cousins in the wild. Yes, we mean the lions, the tigers, the leopards, the bobcats and all the other big cat breeds. Be sure to have a look next time you’re out on a safari! Luckily, it’s not just there for the sake of it, either.

6 Reasons & Advantages To Your Cat’s Stomach Hanging Down:

  • Fight Protection

When your cats play fight (or even get into a real fight) and begin to kick their belly in an effort to get the other cat off them, it’s called ‘bunny kicking’. Luckily, the primordial pouch is made of a thicker skin layer as well as a layer of fat to protect your cat’s organs.

  • Bloating

When your cat is slightly bloated, they have the ability to store food in the abdominal fold to help avoid any unwanted throwing up. However, in these instances, the excess food can also be laid as fat when it becomes a regular eating habit.

  • Storing Food

In the same sense as storing food for temporary bloating, a primordial pouch cat evolved to store big dinners after a hunt without knowing when the next meal will come around. This is why you’ll see very prominent abdominal folds on a wild cast such as a lion.

  • Pregnancy

Despite being more common in male cats, when a female cat has a little saggy belly, it does help with their route in pregnancy as the skin doesn’t need to stretch as far. It also hangs more after the litter has been born.

  • Stretching 

If you’ve ever noticed your cat to be like an accordion with the ability to go from a cute and small fluff ball saying “mew-mew” to a suddenly long fluff tube, it’s because they have the skin to allow it. This stretching ability also helps your cat get some fast pace when running off into the distance with long leaps.

  • Insulation

The final benefit to having the primordial pouch on your cat is the insulation the extra skin and fatty layer provides. With this insulation, it makes it easier for our furry friends to stay warm in colder weather and heal after a cat fight.

And that concludes our info-fantastic introduction to the primordial pouch. If you do have any concerns with your cat and their primordial pouch, we advise taking them to the vet for a quick check-up.

While we have a lot of answers here at Hiputee, we’ll always recommend a visit to the vet in order to rule-out any illnesses, pregnancies, fat stores, parasites and so on because it’s always better to have a happy and healthy family member!


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