Pot Belly in Cats: is it Dangerous?

A lot of cats have a real saggy belly. Here you can find out why the animals have so much excess skin on their bellies and when you should take your cat to the vet because of a big belly.

If your cat has a saggy belly, you don’t have to worry immediately. All cats naturally have some excess skin between their hind legs. This fanny pack wobbles back and forth when you walk and is normally not a problem. However, if the sagging belly becomes too large or other symptoms appear at the same time, it can be dangerous for the cat.

That’s Why Cats Have a Saggy Belly

A small sagging belly is perfectly normal for cats when

  • it feels like a half-empty water balloon.
  • the cat is fit and agile.
  • the cat is slim, i.e. not overweight.

The hanging belly fulfills two important functions: it protects the cat and makes it more mobile. In fights with other cats, the big belly prevents the cat from being seriously injured. Because if she is wounded in the stomach area, it can be life-threatening.

The fanny pack also ensures that the cat can jump higher and further. Thanks to the excess skin, the cat can stretch out even further and is more mobile.

Some cat breeds have a particularly pronounced potbelly, such as the Egyptian Mau or the Bengal cat.

Hanging Belly Becomes a Problem

However, a belly that is too big can be dangerous. Obesity could be the reason for this, but other diseases are also conceivable as a cause. Especially if the cat shows other symptoms.

Obesity and Castration

If the bum bag is very thick, too much fat is probably to blame. The cat is overweight and therefore has an oversized sagging belly. Cats often gain a lot of weight after castration.

This is mainly due to the fact that the cat’s metabolism changes after castration. Her body stops producing sex hormones and she burns fewer calories. Important: After castration, cats must therefore be fed a lower-calorie diet.

Diet food with lots of fiber, vitamins, and minerals can be a solution for overweight. Ask your veterinarian about this.

As cats age, their connective tissue weakens. Neutered cats in particular get a large sagging belly as they get older.

Sagging Belly and Diseases

If the cat’s stomach swells up despite being fed as needed, diseases and parasites can be the cause. This includes:

  • worms
  • tumors
  • hepatic insufficiency
  • heart problems
  • internal bleeding
  • Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP)
  • Cat ate something intolerant

That’s why you should have your cat examined by the vet as soon as possible if the belly seems to be growing for no reason. Your cat should also be examined if it has a sagging abdomen and is exhibiting the following symptoms:

  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • apathy
  • loss of appetite
  • hard stomach

As a rule, a sagging belly in cats is harmless. However, an excessively large fanny pack can indicate obesity or dangerous diseases. Feel your cat’s excess skin to determine whether or not your cat should be examined.

But be careful: many cats don’t like being touched on their stomachs because they are very sensitive to touch there.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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