Do Cats Have Belly Buttons?

Do cats have belly buttons?

Yes, cats have belly buttons! All mammals, including cats, have belly buttons. The technical name for a belly button is Umbilicus, meaning “navel, middle, center.”

Why have I never seen or felt my cat’s belly button?

You must be wondering why haven’t you seen your cat’s belly button or any cats belly button for that matter. It is a little bit harder to locate a cat’s belly button because it is a lot smaller, and usually covered in a thick flurry fur coat. 

Cats belly buttons look a lot different to ours. You are probably curious to know if your kitty has an or innie or an outie, but a cat’s belly button is flush to their skin. 

If your cat is slightly on the chunky side, it may be even harder to locate as the belly button may be hidden by excess skin or stretched into a thin scar.

Some of our feline friends hate having their tummies touched. If your companion prefers head rubs to tummy rubs, then I do not suggest you go digging around for their belly button, they will not thank you for it.

Owlie absolutely loves tummy rubs, and yet I have only been able to find her belly button once.

What does a cats belly button look like?

The cat’s belly button is located just under the ribs. It looks like a small round scar and is around 5mm long. 

A female cat’s spayed scar can often be mistaken for their belly buttons as they look similar and are both located on the cat’s abdomen.

What is the belly button for?

During pregnancy, the belly button is what connects a queen with her kittens via an umbilical cord and a placenta. 

Each kitten will have its own placenta. The only exception to this would be with twins or triplets who share a placenta. The umbilical cord is a tube-like structure that provides nutrients and oxygen to the unborn kittens. It also removes waste products from the unborn kitties back to the mother cat. Essentially the umbilical cord is a lifeline for the cat fetuses.

What happens after a kitten is born

Once a kitten is born, it remains attached to the queen by the umbilical cord. A short while later, the queen will then deliver the placenta. During this time, the kitten will continue to receive nutrients and oxygen from the umbilical cord and placenta. 

When the kitten can breathe on their own, they will make their first mini meow. When the kitten cries, it notifies the queen that its time to remove the placenta and umbilical cord, she will achieve this by licking and eating it, once the kitten has is detached a small portion of the umbilical cord will remain attached to the kitten. 

Do cats have belly button?

Should I remove the umbilical cord from a kitten?

You should not remove the umbilical cord from a kitten. In time the cord will become dry, shrivel up, and fall off the kitten. The scar that is left once the cord falls off will eventually form the belly button.  

Manually removing the cord will increase the chances of the kitten getting an infection in the area, and it can also cause an umbilical hernia. The best thing to do so to let nature take its course!

If you have concerns about the cord or the belly button, you should speak to your vet as soon as possible.

If you do not remove the umbilical cord in time or do not care for it then bacterial, viral or parasitic infections may occur. Myiasis is the most common in umbilical cords in tropical areas if you do not care for it. Here we share with you “A Case of Auricular, Anal and Umbilical Myiasis Caused by the Larvae of Phormia Regina (Meigen) (Diptera: Calliphoridae) in Neonatal Kittens.”

Umbilical hernia in cats:

 What is an umbilical hernia?

An umbilical hernia is a genetic defect when a cat is born. It is caused when the muscle layer that closes the abdomen does not fully close around the belly button. 

If the lump is small, it is usually fat cells that are pushing through the hole. However, if the hole is large enough, the organs found in the abdomen can move through the hole in the muscle. 

How to identify an umbilical hernia in cats

An umbilical hernia leaves a lump by the cat’s belly button. The lump can be tiny, sometimes they cannot be seen, but you will be able to feel the lump if the cat has an umbilical hernia. 

How dangerous are umbilical hernias in cats?

Umbilical hernias can be very dangerous for the cat. The bigger the hernia, the greater the chances are of complications. 

Large hernias will need to be surgically removed by a qualified vet as soon as they are discovered. Smaller hernias are usually treated when the cat undergoes spaying or neutering surgery.

A recent study proves that Umbilical hernia may be congenital in kittens along with abdominal and inguinal hernias. So always take care of that when your kitten is born. And consult a veterinarian in any abnormal condition.

Summary:

Yes, all cats have belly buttons! They are there, they are just difficult to locate.

If you can feel a lump or bump around a kittens belly button it is most likely an umbilical hernia which you will need to seek advice from your veterinarian immediately.

Rochelle

Rochelle is a self-claimed crazy cat lady and proud cat mum to Owlie! She has owned, rescued, and fostered cats throughout her whole life. Rochelle created Cats On My Mind as a hub for likeminded cat parents to get all the information they will ever need to give their fur babies their best life!

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