Cat lovers tuned in to a viral TikTok that a groomer posted to listen to some theories of the purpose that a cat’s pouch serves.
Posted by Whitney Bullock, the video amassed more than 500,000 views and prompted viewers to chime in with their thoughts about what a cat’s primordial pouch is for. Bullock said that no one knows what the pouch’s function is.
“Maybe one of our favorite parts on any cat,” read the caption of Bullock’s video. “Who can resist that floppy belly?”
Dr. Chyrle Bonk, DVM told Be Chewy that a primordial pouch is the soft and saggy skin under a cat’s stomach.
“The primordial pouch is a mix of fat, skin and fur,” Dr. Bonk explained. “All cats have primordial pouches—they are just different sizes depending on your kitty.”
Dr. Jamie Whittenburg, DVM, also told the organization that it is unclear what the pouch’s purpose is, but some theories that were outlined included protecting a cat’s abdominal organs, providing additional flexibility when running and acting as a reserve for energy if food is scarce.
“Nobody really knows why cats have it,” Bullock said in her video. “Even big cats have it—tigers, lions in the wild.”
She echoed the theories that were outlined in the Be Chewy article, noting that the pouch may serve as protection to cats if they were to get into a fight.
“Some people think it’s for energy storage, and some people think it gives them more flexibility like when they stretch out, they have extra stuff right here that can stretch,” Bullock continued, as she showed a cat’s stomach.
She encouraged viewers to chime in with what they believe the pouches are for, and while there is not yet a definitive answer, people were intrigued.
“Thousands of years of known written civilization and the mystery about a cat pouch [is] still not revealed,” a comment read.
Some provided some outlandish guesses as a joke in the comments section.
“It’s a signal booster to better contact the mothership,” a viewer wrote.
“Parachute for when they call from a high place the 9 lives store,” commented another.
One suggested the pouch was where cats stored treats, while a viewer commented it was where cats kept loose change.
Though many joked about its purpose, others weighed in with what they guessed was the pouch’s actual use.
Some viewers agreed with the theory that the pouch was there for additional protection.
“Their bellies [are] The most vulnerable area so the pouch is basically extra skin to protect their vital organs in case of attacks and bites to that area,” they commented.
“I heard it was to protect their innards,” wrote another.
Others, however, were more convinced by the theory that it is allowed for flexibility.
“I would go with the stretch theory,” one TikTok user wrote.
“Flexibility 100% there is no way they could move like they do without them,” a viewer commented.
Newsweek reached out to Whitney Bullock for comment.
Plenty of cat-related content has previously gone viral online.
A maggot-infested cat went viral on TikTok after he was found, though he has since recovered.
Veterinarians cautioned against a viral trend on TikTok that involves placing an ice cube on a cat.
One cat’s hilarious reaction to meeting a new kitten delighted viewers after it went viral on TikTok.