Like puppies and other animals, kittens also have belly buttons.
Although they are not as visible as a human’s belly button, cats have a very small scar on their tummy that is their belly button.
Where Is A Cat’s Belly Button?
The location of the belly button can vary from one cat to the next, but it is usually located in the lower part of the abdomen, similar to where the belly button can be found in humans.
The reason it is there is that it is the ideal part of the umbilical cord, through which the mother passes previous nutrients to her offspring during pregnancy.
What Do Cats Belly Buttons Look Like?
Cats’ belly buttons don’t go through the same scarring process that’s typical to other animals, including people.
This happens because unless there is a vet doing the delivery (which might happen if it is complicated and the cat can’t deliver the kittens herself), they might tie a knot to cut the communication between the little one’s body and the outside world.
However, if the pregnancy and delivery are entirely normal, the cat will sever the tie using her teeth.
Then, the umbilical cord dries up in a matter of several days (usually two to four) and it takes up to a week or two for it to turn into dead tissue and simply fall off the kitten’s body.
This scarring process is typically more effective than that in other species, which is also why it might be very challenging for you to find your cat’s belly button and have a look at it.
If you manage to do this, you’ll see it in the form of a very tiny scar.
How Are Cat Belly Buttons Different To Human Ones?
First of all, they do not have the same appearance for the reasons we have already described above.
Instead of being protruding or hollow, as it is in people, a cat’s belly button will simply be a smooth, flat scar.
In long-haired or medium-haired breeds, it might be impossible for pet owners to tell where their belly button actually is.
However, in some short-haired breeds, particularly those such as the Egyptian Mau, the remaining scar of the umbilical cord might be a little more obvious.
If your cat’s belly button is quite apparent, it could be a sign of a health condition that goes by the name of ‘umbilical hernia’.
This complication is caused by the umbilical ring not closing completely after the kitten was born and their mother severed the tie between them.
The only good thing about an umbilical hernia in cats, if there is one, is the fact it typically resolves by itself by the time the kitten reaches the age of three to four months.
On the other hand, an umbilical hernia can also be risky, especially if the cat makes very sudden, sharp movements and manages to widen the opening that’s present in their abdominal muscle so that more of the intestines reach the peritoneum.
The same applies to cases where the kittens undergo trauma.
When a larger portion of the internal organs pass through that opening, the blood flow to and from them could be blocked, which can be life-threatening to the animal.
Those organs might accumulate blood in them or might suffer from necrosis in a matter of fewer than 24 hours. None of these outcomes is positive for the kitten.
Do Cats Have Multiple Umbilical Cords?
Of course, cats can have various genetic issues or other complications during their pregnancies that might lead to their kittens developing a variety of malformations.
For example, if they are exposed to certain toxic substances, they get into an accident, or they are given some types of medications while being pregnant, some cats might give birth to kittens that are slightly different from normal.
However, in most cases, kittens should have just one umbilical cord.
Since it is essential for maintaining communication between the mother and the offspring during the pregnancy, any trauma to the umbilical cord can lead to a miscarriage or the fetuses dying inside the queen’s womb.
No kitten can continue to be viable if the link between itself and its mother is severed.
What Happens if You Pull Off a Kitten’s Umbilical Cord?
There could be several consequences to this action.
If you pull it off right after the kitten is born, before the mother has the chance of cutting it with her teeth, you might be causing severe damage to it.
Not only will you be hurting the umbilical cord itself, but you might also pull on some of the kitten’s organs, particularly a part of their intestines.
As you can imagine, a kitten’s gut should never come in contact with the exterior of their body, so if this happens, you should take the animal to the veterinary clinic as soon as possible.
How Long Can a Kitten Stay Attached to the Umbilical Cord?
During pregnancy, the kitten should remain attached to the umbilical cord and, subsequently, their mother all the time.
After the offspring is born, they can remain attached to it for a period of up to several hours, depending on how long it takes for the mother to complete the delivery.
Some queens are very nurturing with their kittens right after they’ve given birth to them, while others will wait for them to deliver the entire litter before tending to each in part.
During this time, interference from humans should be minimal.
The cat needs to clean her offspring and while doing so, she will mark them as her own.
There have been cases where their pet owners, in an attempt to care for them, managed to mark them with their scent, so the cats later did not recognize them as their own and refused to care for them or feed them.
So, if possible, leave your cat to deliver while, of course, keeping an eye on her just to make sure that everything is going as it is supposed to.
Newborn Kitten Umbilical Cord Bleeding
Some light bleeding is to be expected, so you shouldn’t panic if you see that the kittens are experiencing this right after their mother cut the umbilical cord with her teeth.
However, if a larger quantity of blood seems to be coming out of the opening and it doesn’t seem to be stopping, you should get veterinary assistance right away.
While you call your vet and ask them what you are supposed to do, you could apply light pressure on whatever’s left of the umbilical cord.
Use a cotton ball and some disinfectant, whether that be rubbing alcohol with a concentration of at least 70% or a tincture of iodine.
If the bleeding is light, it usually stops in a matter of several minutes while you apply pressure. Count to at least 100 before checking whether the bleeding continues or not.
Do keep in mind that kittens, unlike other cat categories, cannot afford to lose a lot of blood as their general health can quickly suffer because of this.
Why Do Some Cats Not Have Belly Buttons?
All cats have some type of belly button, whether it is visible or not.
Since it does not look like the belly buttons that humans are equipped with, you may think that your cat doesn’t have one.
This is impossible. Even if there’s no noticeable scar, your cat is alive, which means that at some point they were in their mother’s uterus and were attached by an umbilical cord, so they will have a belly button somewhere…even if it is very small and almost unnoticeable.