Skip to Content

Do Maine Coons have a primordial pouch?

The primordial pouch is a fatty pouch that swings from a cat’s belly. It’s more pronounced on some cats and doesn’t seem to feature on others.

You may have heard that not all cats possess this saggy sack which begs the question, “Do Maine Coons have a primordial pouch?”

All Maine Coons have a primordial pouch but it’s often well-concealed by their belly fur. A Maine Coon’s primordial pouch is not a sign that it’s overweight and no one knows for certain why cats have them. However, there are several plausible explanations.

A tortoiseshell Maine Coon stretching up a scratching post to expose her primordial pouch.
My Maine Coon Rosie

Why do Maine Coon cats have a primordial pouch?

According to experts, Maine Coons (and other cats) have a primordial pouch for three possible reasons:

  1. To offer a layer of protection to their internal organs during a fight or attack
  2. To allow for extra stretch and flexibility as they run or jump
  3. To make room for excess fat storage after a large meal

The one thing we know for certain is Maine Coons have a primordial pouch because it’s a genetic characteristic passed down from the first cats to have walked our planet.

What is a cat’s primordial pouch made of?

The primordial pouch is a fur-coated, abdominal pocket made up of loose skin and fatty tissue. It’s similar to the excess skin on a cat’s neck known as the scruff.

It can vary in size depending on the elasticity of the cat’s skin and the amount of fat it’s storing. On some cat, it’s barely visible whilst on others, it’s hard to miss.

Oscar’s primordial pouch allows a big stretch

Where is a Maine Coon’s primordial pouch?

A Maine Coons primordial pouch is positioned on the underside of its lower belly. On some cats, it can actually feel like two pouches – one on each side.

If your Maine Coon will let you feel it, the primordial pouch starts at the point where each thigh joins the lower abdomen and joins together a couple of inches up towards the ribs making a short U shape.

It feels like an empty pouch of very loose skin on most cats and can be swinging to and fro as they run.

On slim Maine Coons, you’ll also be able to feel a taut tummy in the middle of the primordial pouch.

Do Maine Coon cats have large primordial pouches?

Primordial pouch size varies from one Maine Coon to the next.

On some cats, they are so small that it’s easy to miss them. On others, the primordial pouch is much more pronounced.

The size of a Maine Coon’s primordial pouch is not necessarily related to its weight. I have a very slim female, Rosie, and her pouch is very pronounced yet there isn’t an ounce of fat on her.

Don’t assume a Maine Coon’s large belly is all primordial pouch though! If a Maine Coon is overweight you can tell by looking at its silhouette from above.

If its stomach is round and protrudes more than its rib cage, your Maine Coon might be overweight.

Because weight gain can be an issue in Maine Coons, I’ve dedicated a whole article to the subject which you can read by clicking here.

A re d smoke Maine Coon showing off his primordial pouch.
Fred lets it all hang out

Do female and male cats have primordial pouches?

Both male and female Maine Coons have primordial pouches. Many people associate this pouch with female cats and think it’s an aftereffect of pregnancy.

But the primordial pouch serves the same function in males and females. It might become more noticeable in a female cat during and after pregnancy because the whole of her abdomen has expanded and lowered.

Is it normal for Maine Coons to have a primordial pouch?

It is perfectly normal for Maine Coons to have a primordial pouch but not all will have a pronounced one.

Maine Coons may no longer need a primordial pouch as a layer of protection or to make room for large meal storage but they do need the extra stretch and flexibility as they run or jump.

One thing’s for sure: a Maine Coons primordial pouch is not a sign of illness or obesity.

A tortoiseshell Maine Coon shows off her belly.
Mona a few weeks after giving birth

At what age do Maine Coons develop primordial pouches?

Whilst all Maine Coons are born with tiny primordial pouches, they don’t tend to develop into noticeable swinging pouches until the cat 2 years old.

Of course, there are always exceptions and occasionally it is possible to see signs of a primordial pouch on Maine Coons as young as 6 months.

Why doesn’t my Maine Coon have a primordial pouch?

A Maine Coon doesn’t always have an obvious primordial pouch. If you can’t see one on your cat, don’t worry!

The lack of a primordial pouch could be due to your cat’s age. If it’s under 2, its primordial pouch will probably not show yet. If your Maine Coon is long and lean, its primordial pouch may be long and lean too.

You shouldn’t worry if you can’t see your Maine Coons primordial pouch – this isn’t a sign of a medical issue.

A Maine Coon sat on a crate.
Rosie posing in the sun

Why does my Maine Coon have a big primordial pouch?

Though their ancestors in the early 19th Century may have had a requirement for the protection and storage space offered by a big primordial pouch, today’s Maine Coons are more likely to have a larger-than-average one for the following five reasons:

  1. They are overweight
  2. Genetics
  3. Post pregnancy
  4. As an aftereffect of being spayed or neutered
  5. Due to aging skin losing elasticity

Of course, Maine coons tend to be large cats and so they can just have big primordial pouches to match.


Do Maine Coons have a primordial pouch? Yes they do but some are so small you can’t see them amongst the belly fluff whilst others are so large, they swing near the ground.

No one knows for certain why Maine Coons and other cats have primordial pouches but educated guesses suggest they protect internal organs, store excess fat and allow extra stretching of the back legs during running and jumping

I can say for certain, my four Maine Coons definitely make ue of their primordial pouched on a daily basis for that last reason!

This article may contain affiliate links; if you click on a shopping link and make a purchase I may receive a commission. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.