Do cats have belly buttons?

A loving cat owner would notice everything about the pet. Even the littlest scar or the slightest difference to the pet’s appearance will be detected. A cat owner would enjoy cuddling and petting the pet. In doing so, some things will be noticed in the cat’s body. One of the things that will be noticed is the absence of belly button. A cat parent would wonder if the pet has belly button given the fact the nothing would be seen on the pet’s abdomen. Cats are born in a sac thus it is generally believed that these animals have no belly button. Cats do have belly buttons but because of the hair covering the body, it is not easily visible.

If you are one of the cat parents wondering if the pet has belly button, wouldn’t it be a good idea to simply inspect the area where the navel should be? Human belly buttons can be easily seen more so because of the current fads to wear low slung pants and tops that bare the midriff. Humans can have an “innie” or an “outie” navel. The belly buttons of animals look different from what humans have. In humans, the appearance of the navel actually depends on the layers of fat, of muscles and connective tissues of the abdomen. A cat’s belly button on the other hand is hidden by hair but if the hair is shaved, what will be seen is a small elongated scar on the mid section of the belly. The scarring is almost complete so that the navel is almost non-existent. It is located in the spot where the umbilical cord has been. The belly button is actually the scar of the umbilical cord.

Cats are one of the over 5000 species of placental mammals. Placental mammals are characterized by hair covering, by having a cortex or an extra brain layer and a slightly higher body temperature as compared to marsupials and monotremes. All placental mammals have umbilical cords. Consequently, placental mammals have belly buttons. The umbilical cord or the funiculus umbilicalis has an important function in the development of the embryo as it serves as the connecting cord between the developing embryo and the placenta. Oxygenated and nutrient rich blood is delivered from the placenta to the developing embryo. The waste product from the fetus is returned to the placenta through the umbilical cord as well.

Kittens are born inside a birth sac. The queen’s raspy tongue will break the sac and once the newborn is exposed it will be thoroughly licked to stimulate breathing. The queen will also sever the umbilical cord with its teeth. The placenta will then be eaten. The stump of the umbilical cord generally drops 2 to 3 days after the birth of the cat and what will remain will be the scar that will later on become the belly button.

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