Ever wonder just what is that “wiggly bit” under a cat’s belly? Technically, it is called a “Primordial Pouch”. Some people say the primordial pouch is simply a loose flap of skin, or abdominal fold, that might occur as if the cat had once been overweight and then lost the weight. It can be compared to a deflated balloon that swings slightly as a cat walks. Others suggest it naturally appears just after spaying or neutering, and coin the pouch as the “spay sway”. However, such surgery is not necessary for the pouch to become noticeable, nor is excessive weight gain or loss.
There are actually three theories about the existence of the primordial pouch. The first, is that it provides extra protection for vital organs which are more vulnerable during cat fights, as cats are known to rake with their back claws. Second, the pouch of loose skin gives more flexibility and bend to the body, allowing the cat to extend further when running and jumping. Third, it can provide extra room after a large feeding, which is important for wild and feral cats alike who do not know when they will eat their next meal.
Far from being a defect, the primordial pouch is actually required as a breed standard for certain types of cats. Cat breeds such as the Bengal, the Egyptian Mau and the Serengeti must all have primordial pouches as proof of their close ties to the wild history of felines, to earn the name of their breed.
There are some misconceptions concerning the primordial pouch and various owners may be concerned that something might be wrong with their cat. If they think there is a medical issue, they should consult with a veterinarian to determine the state of their pet’s health. However, the pouch does not indicate an issue with the cat being over or under weight, or that anything is wrong with it at all. The pouch is simply your feline friend’s tie to his ancient lineage.
We don’t know about you, but from now on we’ll be sure to tell people our ‘wiggly bellies’ help keep us in touch with our ancestors too 😉 Now on to more serious matters – keep an ‘eye’ out for our next interesting entry, as we delve into the mysteries of cat sight.