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Have you ever noticed that your cat has a loose pocket of skin that tends to wobble as it walks? You might wonder if your cat has gained weight or if its hanging belly is a sign of a problem, but there’s no reason to worry! So why does a cat have a hanging belly?
Cats naturally develop a hanging belly over time, usually around the age when they reach full maturity. This loose skin is just a natural part of your cat’s anatomy, and it’s officially called the primordial pouch.
This pocket of hanging skin and fat serves many purposes for cats. More importantly, it’s completely normal and nothing to worry about.
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Is it normal for a cat to have a drooping belly?
While there are always exceptions, for the most part, a droopy belly is completely reasonable for both male and female cats, and there’s a scientific reason why they’re built that way! Cats have been biologically equipped with these pouches for thousands of years, and you may notice that some of your cat’s larger feline relatives, such as the cheetah and puma, are built similarly.
Cats have always been hunters and their stomach pouches are built-in protection against predators. The loose pocket of skin protects their internal organs if they find themselves in a dangerous fight.
Another theory scientists have is that the extra sagging belly area is there in case your cat needs a little extra space. We have all witnessed the insane flexibility of cats. One idea is that this excess skin allows them to bend, jump and twist in all sorts of crazy ways!
How can I get rid of my cat’s drooping belly?
If you feel your cat is overweight or you are worried something is wrong with your cat, the best thing to do would be to ask your veterinarian. They will be able to examine your cat and better tell you if further action needs to be taken.
You can usually tell if your cat’s flabby belly is indeed correlated to a weight problem by observing the way your cat moves. Make a note of the next time you see your cat cross the room.
If their flabby belly rocks from side to side, it’s probably their primordial pouch. If he’s overweight, you won’t see as much movement and your cat will generally look solid and thick in the middle.
The truth is, there really is no way to get rid of your cat’s flabby belly. Once you’ve taken steps to make sure your cat’s primordial pouch is normal and there are no other underlying conditions, it’s best to accept the extra belly skin as whatever. something to love about your cat!
When do cats develop the primordial pouch?
Cat owners often comment that their cat hasn’t always had a hanging belly, which is why they worry when they start to notice it changing. It is acceptable! It’s true that the primordial pouch might not have been prominent when your cat was a baby, but expect it to grow as it reaches adulthood.
You should also know that the primordial pocket will be more pronounced for certain breeds of cat. Specific cat breeds such as the Bengal that descended from feral cats must have a primordial pouch to be officially considered part of the breed.
How should a cat’s belly feel?
When a cat is healthy and within a normal weight range, their stomach is usually soft, malleable, and spongy. A cat’s belly area is often thought of as a water-filled balloon. A cat’s stomach should not be hard to the touch, and there should be no hard protrusions or bumps on its belly area.
You want the exact opposite for your cat’s belly. There’s no reason to worry if your cat has loose skin or things are soft in their abdominal area.
Cats love to scratch their tummy, so the next time your cat comes for a tummy rub, take a second to assess if their stomach feels normal.
How do I know if my cat is swollen?
Like humans, some cats have trouble controlling themselves when it comes to food! If you have a very food-motivated cat, you may be concerned that she has eaten too much and is now bloated or sick.
Bloating or enlargement of the abdomen can be linked to many different problems, ranging from very mild to too serious. Before you panic, ask yourself if it could be any of the following.
Cats can tend to overeat or eat foods that aren’t right for them. Please note if he is vomiting or trying to get sick. It could indicate that they ate too much or ate something they shouldn’t have eaten.
Is your cat a female and could she be pregnant? This bloated stomach could be a growing belly in female cats. Another option to consider is whether your cat has contracted a parasite. It sounds serious, but is easily treatable with medication.
Apart from these lesser reasons, your cat could have an enlarged abdomen due to a tumor or a problem with one of its serious organs. Sometimes inflammation can cause the abdominal cavity in cats to swell.
Before jumping to the worst conclusions, look for changes in your cat’s behavior. If they act differently or feel unwell for a few days in a row, it’s wise to call the vet.
How to Treat Bloating for Your Cat
The next question is how to help your cat feel more comfortable and deal with the bloat if you have identified the cause of your cat’s bloat as being food-related. One way to do this is to make sure your cat doesn’t overeat during meals by giving only a set portion of food at a time.
Make sure your cat always has fresh water available and drinks enough water to stay well hydrated throughout the day. If you find that your cat continues to bloat after eating, consider whether you’ve changed food recently, which could be causing an upset stomach.
For some cats, it’s also best to avoid vigorous play or high-energy activity after meals, as this can cause some cats to bloat or vomit. To avoid this, wait a few hours after feeding your cat to play with him.
If you’ve identified that your cat’s bloating isn’t related to dietary issues, you’ll likely need to call your veterinarian to recommend treatment options.
What are the symptoms of abdominal distension in cats?
Typically, the term abdominal distention is used to refer to more extreme cases of bloating. The main symptom of abdominal distention is that your cat’s abdominal area sticks out much more than the rest of his body.
Also note how that area of their body feels. Is it firm to the touch or much harder than the rest of their body? These are also other indicators that your cat has an abdominal problem.
Cats are unique creatures, and their bodies have adapted and evolved over centuries. When people notice soft bellies and loose skin in cats, they often assume it’s a sign of a weight problem, and we know that’s not true! The Primordial Pouch is nothing to worry about and is just there to keep your cat healthy and safe.