Do Cats Have a Belly Button?
Do cats have a belly button?
Yes, all cats have a belly button. Like all placental mammals including sheep, dogs, and humans, cats have a belly button on their abdomen. Also known as the navel or umbilicus, the belly button is a circular scar from where the umbilical cord was attached to the kitten’s abdomen. It is located midway down the abdomen and is approximately 5 mm wide.
What does a cat’s belly button look like?
The cat’s belly button doesn’t look the same as ours. A human’s belly button can be an innie or an outie. The cat’s belly button is smooth with a slight indentation and can be difficult to find beneath the thick layer of fur. Dark cats have a more visible belly button than light-colored cats, which tends to blend in with the pale skin color.
How to find your cat’s belly button
Unless your cat is a hairless cat breed, you won’t be able to see your cat’s belly button. Instead, while your cat is enjoying a belly rub, feel around for a small, circular scar. It will be located about halfway down a cat’s abdomen. Because a cat’s belly button is smooth, it can be very difficult to feel beneath a cat’s fur. In older cats, the belly button scar could be completely healed.
What is the belly button for?
All mammals except the platypus and echidna (who are monotremes) are viviparous. Viviparous mammals are animals in which the fertilized egg develops inside the body and the offspring are born live. Viviparous mammals rely on the placenta which attaches to the uterine wall of the mother cat (queen).
The umbilical cord forms a connection between the queen and her kittens, providing the unborn kittens with everything they need to grow. The umbilical cord contains two arteries and one vein. The arteries transport blood from the baby kitten to the placenta. The vein delivers nutrient-rich, oxygenated blood from the placenta to the kitten.
Each fetus has their own placenta and umbilical cord. So, if there are four fetuses, there will be four placentas and four umbilical cords. The only exception to this rule is if two of the fetuses are identical twins. Twins share a placenta, but each has their own umbilical cord.
Shortly after the kitten is born, the queen’s uterus will begin to contract again and the placenta will be delivered. At this point, the kitten is still attached to the placenta and may still be receiving blood and oxygen. Once the kitten takes its first breath, the mother cat severs the umbilical cord with her teeth and eats the placenta. A short umbilical stump remains attached to the kitten, and will slowly dry and shrivel up. By the third day, this stump will fall off.
Do not attempt to pull the umbilical cord stump, it will fall off when it is ready. If you notice any redness, swelling, or an unpleasant odor, call your veterinarian for care.
Can cats have outie belly buttons?
Cats don’t have outie or innie belly buttons like humans do. If a cat does appear to have an innie or outie belly button, the cat may have an umbilical hernia—an opening in the abdominal muscles that allows the contents of the abdomen to pass through the opening and cut off blood flow.
Signs of an umbilical hernia include umbilical swelling, pain, vomiting, loss of appetite, and depression. Surgery is required to correct umbilical hernias.
Umbilical infections can also develop in newborn kittens. Signs of an infected umbilical infection include redness, swelling, and oozing pus. This is a potentially life-threatening situation and needs to be treated by a veterinarian urgently.
Do other animals have a belly button?
Yes, all placental mammals have belly buttons. This includes our pets like cats and dogs and farm animals like sheep, horses, and cows. Even whales have belly buttons. Unlike a human belly button, most mammals have a small scar that isn’t easily seen or felt.
Frequently asked questions
Can you feel a cat’s belly button?
You can feel your cat’s belly button by rubbing your fingers against their skin about halfway down their abdomen. A cat’s belly button is a small circular scar and not an innie or outie like a human’s belly button, making it difficult to feel or see. The belly button scar of older cats may be healed and not able to be felt.
Is it really a belly button?
Yes, cats have belly buttons. While their belly button doesn’t look the same as a human innie or outie, it serves the same purpose of umbilical cord connection during kitten development.
Do male cats have belly buttons?
Yes, all cats (male and female) have a belly button.