Cats sometimes exhibit strange behavior such as rolling around on the ground.
Why do cats roll around on concrete?
Cats roll around in concrete for the following reasons:
- Your cat is trying to catch your attention
- Your cat is marking his territory
- Your cat is in heat
- Your cat is trying to cool himself
- Your cat is itchy
- Your cat is trying to collect bacteria
- You have just given your pet catnip
1. Your cat feels safe and secure.
Although cats are predators, their small size can make them appealing to larger predators. As such, it is not easy for a feline to feel relaxed, especially in a new and unfamiliar environment.
Furthermore, cats know innately that their bellies are one of their most vulnerable body parts. A strong blow or cut in the area can lead to fatal results.
If your cat rolls on the concrete, especially when he is around you, you should take it as a compliment. It simply means that he feels safe and secure around you and that he can let his guard down.
2. Your cat is trying to catch your attention.
Another possible reason why your cat is rolling on the floor is that he is trying to get your attention. Maybe he is hungry or perhaps he just wants to play with you.
Consider the circumstance as well as your cat’s vocalization and body language. These will give you a clue of what your pet specifically needs at the moment.
Like other cat behaviors, this case of rolling on the floor is a learned behavior. If your cat gets what he wants after rolling on the floor, in due time, he learns that performing this action gets him a reward, whether in the form of a treat or pets.
3. Your cat is marking his territory.
Domestic cats are not the only felines that exhibit the behavior of rolling on the ground. Even big cats have been seen performing this seemingly odd behavior.
One possible reason why your cat is rolling on the concrete is that he is trying to mark his territory.
Like other creatures, cats emit pheromones which they use to mark their territories. When your pet rolls on the floor, he is trying to transfer his scent on the ground to ward off other cats that may pass by or even the other felines in your home.
4. Your cat is in heat.
Is your pet an intact queen? The reason why your cat is rolling on the floor is that she is in heat.
Female cats in heat exhibit a few behaviors that they do not usually do, including rolling on concrete. This particular action allows your cat to attract the attention of male cats and announce that she is ready and willing to mate.
When your queen is in heat, you will also notice a few other behaviors. These include rubbing herself against objects, attention-seeking, and more frequent vocalization.
5. Your cat is trying to cool himself.
Your cat descended from desert-dwelling wild cats. As such, he prefers lounging around warm places in your home. Additionally, domestic cats have a higher body temperature compared to people, allowing them to tolerate warmer climates.
That, however, does not mean that felines do not feel hot, especially during the warmer months.
If your cat is rolling his body on the floor, he might be trying to find some respite from the heat. And a cold floor can provide a good measure of relief.
Aside from that, observe your cat. If he is drinking more water than usual, it might be a sign that he is feeling too warm. Pay close attention to your pet and help him cool down to prevent heatstroke.
6. Your cat is itchy.
Have you ever got an itch in a spot that you cannot scratch because of its inaccessible location? Your cat might be experiencing the same when he is rolling on the floor.
Although cats are flexible and can groom their bodies exceptionally well, there are some areas in their bodies that they cannot reach with their tongues or paws. One good example of that is the spot between their shoulder blades.
Your pet might be rolling on the floor to reach that particularly itchy spot.
Some cats might also roll on the dirt, if available, for the same reasons. Rolling in the dirt can help a cat get rid of parasites and plant debris that have attached to their coats.
7. Your cat is trying to collect bacteria.
Some people think that all bacteria and other microorganisms can make you sick. However, there are some bacteria that are beneficial to the body.
For example, some bacteria can aid in digestion. And if your cat is rolling on the floor, he might be trying to get more bacteria into his tummy to help him break down the protein in his diet.
Initially, the bacteria attach to your cat’s fur. And once your cat licks his coat, he then ingests these microorganisms.
8. You have just given your pet catnip.
If it is your first time to give your pet catnip, you can expect a few odd behaviors from him, including rolling on the floor.
Catnip contains an oil called nepetalactone. Once inhaled, nepetalactone acts like the sex hormones released by cats, making your cat behave the same way as getting a whiff of real feline sex hormones.
Apart from rolling on the floor, you might notice your cat becoming more playful or relaxed. However, some cats become more aggressive when they smell catnip. The reaction can vary from one cat to another.
Should you give your cat a belly rub when he is rolling on the floor?
That depends. Does your cat love belly rubs? If you are unsure, err on the side of caution and give him a scratch elsewhere, like the area behind his ears.
Even if your cat is rolling on the floor as an invitation to play, you have to understand that some cats hate getting belly rubs. As previously mentioned, cats instinctively know that their tummies are vulnerable spots.
Dogs, in contrast, welcome belly rubs and will expose their tummies as a sign of submission.
Do cats love hard surfaces?
You are starting to get frustrated with your cat’s habit of sleeping on the floor. You have bought him a couple of cat beds and yet he ignores those and lies on the floor instead. Is lying on the floor even good for him?
First, you have to understand that cats will seek comfort over everything else. To you, the floor might be the most uncomfortable surface to sleep on. But to your cat, it is just perfectly fine, whether he just wants to lounge around or sleep.
In the wild, cats can sleep on hard and uneven surfaces like tree branches. Second, lying on the floor offers a few benefits to cats. Hard surfaces like the floor or shelves can provide cats some help when stretching. These surfaces can also help your pet relieve muscle soreness.
The floor may seem uncomfortable to you, but to your cat, it is not. Just leave your cat alone. When he feels uncomfortable sleeping on the floor, he will move elsewhere that he finds more comfy for him.
Cat behaviors, including rolling on concrete, can be baffling to people. And one reason behind that is because one action can mean a lot of things.
If you are unsure why your pet is showing one behavior, look at the context to decipher the message your cat is trying to send you.
Image: istockphoto.com / krblokhin