So, you’ve had your cat for several weeks and have looked at every square inch of its little, furry body. Why? Because, like most cat fanciers, you’re curious to know if cats have belly buttons! Like almost all mammals, yes, cats do have belly buttons! On cats, the belly button is located near the base of the ribcage, much like it is on dogs. It’s tiny, too, and quite a bit different than the button you have on your belly.
Are you curious to learn more about cat belly buttons, including what they look like and if cats have umbilical cords? We have answers to those questions and several more below.
Why Do Cats Have Belly Buttons?
Like humans, cats are attached to their mothers in the womb via the umbilical cord. The umbilical cord is like a lifeline between a mother and her babies. It provides nutrients, vitamins, blood, and immunity factors. When kittens are born, they’re still attached to their mom’s umbilical cord, just like humans.
However, whereas humans cut the umbilical cord with scissors and tie it in a neat knot, mother cats sever it by biting through it. While tiny, the scar left behind when they do that is a belly button, and all cats have them. That difference in how it’s cut, and the fact that cats let the remaining cord fall off naturally, means that cats have a much smaller and almost imperceptible belly button compared to humans.
Are Cat Belly Buttons True Belly Buttons?
Since they’re hardly detectable, many argue that cats don’t have belly buttons. However, that is untrue if you go by the definition of a belly button. The definition states that a belly button is where the umbilical cord was attached to the body. So, even though it’s small and hard to see under all their fur, cats have a true belly button.
Can You Find a Cat’s Belly Button?
Finding a cat’s belly button isn’t easy and demands that your cat trust you implicitly. You’ll need to pick up your cat and flip it over gently onto its back to expose its belly. Then, you’ll find the tiny belly button scar under what might be a lot of hair. Usually, the belly button is located in a central spot about ⅔ of the way down a cat’s abdomen.
If you have a long-haired cat, finding its belly button might be tough. Also, with older cats, the scar from the belly button might be completely healed and thus impossible to see. In short, you can try to find your cat’s belly button but don’t be disappointed if you can’t (or your cat won’t let you look).
Which Animals Have Belly Buttons?
Most mammals have belly buttons because they have placentas with umbilical cords that attach to their babies, no matter how many babies they conceive. That includes animals like dogs, rabbits, gorillas, tigers, whales, and rats, among many others. Since all of these animals use a placenta to nourish their unborn young and that placenta is attached to an umbilical cord, they all have belly buttons.
Birds don’t have a belly button because they’re hatched from eggs. Neither do reptiles, frogs, and fish. Marsupials are born without belly buttons, including kangaroos, and the platypus doesn’t have a belly button either because it lays eggs.
Can You Touch a Cat’s Belly Button?
While you can certainly try, many cats might not like it if you try to find, let alone touch, their belly button. Some cats will get defensive and bite you when you touch their belly buttons. Others might let you try, but very few cats will be completely OK with you touching their navel.
In the wild, the belly is the most vulnerable place for small mammals like cats and one that predators try to access when they attack. Unless your cat trusts you 100%, it might react as if it’s being attacked when you look for or touch its belly button, which is why it might bite or scratch.
Like humans and most other mammals, cats indeed have belly buttons. Cat belly buttons are smaller, don’t create an “innie” or an “outie,” and are almost undetectable under all the fur most cats have, especially long-haired cats.
Small as they are, belly buttons are found on all cats. That’s because, like you, your cat had an umbilical cord attached to its belly when it was born. Its mom then chewed it neatly off, and it healed nicely, leaving behind a tiny scar on their cute cat belly.
Featured Image Credit: Jim Black, Pixabay