Umbilical Hernia in Cats: A Detailed Overview Recognizing and Treating Umbilical Hernia in Cats

Umbilical Hernia in Cats: A Detailed Overview

Umbilical hernias in cats are somewhat frequent abdominal ailments that can affect cats of all ages and breeds. In this article, we explore this disease in depth.

Umbilical hernias in cats are a relatively common condition that can occur in felines of all ages and breeds. This type of cat hernia is caused by a weakness in the abdominal wall at the site where the umbilical cord is joined to the belly button during the kitten's development in the womb. While some kitten umbilical hernia is small and harmless, others can be more significant and require surgical intervention to avoid complications. 

In this article, we will go through the causes, signs, treatment, and prevention of umbilical hernias in cats, as well as provide tips on how to care for a cat who has undergone surgery for this condition.


The causes of cat umbilical hernia are largely genetic. Some cats are predisposed to getting a hernia because of a weakening in their abdominal wall where the umbilical cord was attached at birth. Injuries or damage to the region around the belly button, as well as increased abdominal pressure brought on by pregnancy or obesity, are some other causes. While most hernias in kittens are not serious, they can once in a while become large enough to trap tissue or organs, leading to potentially life-threatening complications.


The signs of umbilical hernias in cats can change depending on the size and gravity of the hernia. Some cats with small hernias may not exhibit any symptoms at all. However, larger hernias can cause the following:

  • A noticeable protrusion or bulging at the belly button

  • Swelling or discomfort near the hernia

  • Nausea or diarrhea (in severe cases where the hernia is trapping organs)

  • Becoming more lethargic or less active

  • A lack of appetite or trouble eating

  • When the hernia is touched or moved, it may be painful.

  • Excessive grooming or licking of the hernia site

Treatment and Management Options

Treatment options for cat umbilical hernia depend on the size of the hernia and whether it is reducible or not. Here are a few of the treatment and management options for umbilical hernias in cats: 

  • Observation: Tiny, reducible hernias may not require treatment, but the cat should be observed for increases in size or signs of strangulation.

  • Surgery: Surgery is necessary to treat large, non-reducible hernias as well as those that are infected or causing other issues. During surgery, the abdominal wall defect is repaired, and the projecting abdominal contents are returned to the abdomen.

  • Postoperative Care: To avoid putting any strain on the surgical site, the cat will need to be kept calm and quiet after the procedure. Any indications of bleeding or infection should be reported right away to the vet.

  • Pain Management: The cat may require pain medication post-surgery to manage discomfort and pain. Meloxicam and Onsior may be prescribed by your vet.

Prevention Tips

When a section of the intestine pokes through the abdominal muscles at the location of the umbilicus, it is known as an umbilical hernia (belly button). Genetics may be a factor even if the precise origins of umbilical hernias in cats are not totally established.

Here are some tips to help prevent cat hernia after spaying:

  • Avoid breeding cats with umbilical hernias: If you breed cats, you should steer clear of breeding cats with umbilical hernias since doing so might increase the probability that their progeny will have the ailment.

  • Proper nutrition: Feeding your cat a healthy and balanced diet can help maintain good general health and reduce the risk of developing a hernia.

  • Exercise: Encourage your cat to be active and engage in regular exercise to help maintain strong abdominal muscles.

  • Preventing trauma to the abdomen: Prevent your cat from suffering from blunt force trauma to the abdomen by avoiding activities like roughhousing with other animals or falling.

  • Routine vet visits: Routine visits to your veterinarian can assist in detecting any potential health problems, such as umbilical hernias before they worsen.

Although umbilical hernias can be surgically repaired if they become serious, prevention is always preferable to cure. See your veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis and treatment if you see a protrusion or lump close to your cat's belly button.

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