Your cat has probably been amusingly rolling around on concrete for several minutes or even hours at a time. It’s an adorable behavior, to be sure.
But why do cats have such a strong urge to roll around on such rough, textured surfaces?
Cats roll on concrete for a variety of reasons, such as to regulate their body temperature, relax their muscles, scratch their itches, and mark their territory.
Continue reading to find out more about this peculiar behavior of cats. Generally, the reasons why your cat rolls around on concrete are normal and not a cause for concern.
7 Reasons Your Cat Rolls on the Ground
The behavior of cats is mysterious. It can be challenging to identify the specific reason as to why your cat rolls on to its back at any given time. The cause may change based on the surrounding circumstances, your cat’s mood, and the environment.
On warm days, cats frequently roll around in the dirt or the grass to cool off. Surprisingly, they’ll also walk over to concrete areas on hot days to soak up the rays.
Just make sure to keep your kitty away from concrete on a hot summer day (generally above 85 degrees), as it could burn its paws while walking across it.
Here’s an interesting article that talks about the ideal temperature for cats. In the summer, if you see your cat lying on concrete, it’s likely that they are too cold and need to warm up. You’ll probably see a change in their behavior if you adjust your thermostat.
Cats in Heat
Pheromones are released by a female cat in heat as she rolls around on a surface. This is her way of signaling to males that she’s ready to mate.
If your cat isn’t spayed, your concrete driveway may be the closest spot to all the neighborhood male kitties. Cats have powerful scent glands, and as a result, they might be attracted to that area.
If you notice that your cat is in heat, you should move her inside or get her spayed—too many kittens are born every year with not enough homes to take them in.
See if the behavior changes after the spaying.
Tending to Their Coat
Cats prefer dirt and dust baths over water and soap. They sometimes find it more pleasing to get under the fur in a rougher way.
Every night, my outdoor cats enter the house covered in dirt and vegetation. One of them is entirely white, but by the time the day is over, she has a dusty reddish-brown appearance.
In order to relieve itchy skin, remove parasites, and plant material like foxtails, cats roll in the dirt. Concrete drives work even better because they are smoother and less likely to irritate your cat’s skin.
Marking Their Territory
While rolling around, cats release scent markers from its paws, head, and cheeks, leaving their scent on the ground. They are delineating their territory by spreading their scent around your yard and house.
By rolling on your concrete driveway, your cat would be merely claiming it as its own. The neighbor’s cat shouldn’t be stepping all over your cat.
You can tell when your cat is ready for a belly rub when it rolls over occasionally. They typically chirp, meow, and slowly blink at you.
Approach slowly if this is your cat’s belly you’re petting for the first time. Your hand may become defensive by biting and scratching if you move it too quickly.
Cats lying on concrete with their bellies exposed are enjoying the best of both worlds: warmth and belly rubs from their favorite person.
When a cat rolls on its back from side to side, it’s saying: “come play with me!” Your cat is likely ready for some playtime and exercise, so get the feathers and catnip ready.
Cats love to run and jump on concrete because it is a hard surface. Just keep in mind to put your cat on a harness if it isn’t an outdoor cat.
Stretching and Massaging
Concrete, grass, and dirt all provide your cat with scratchy, irregular, and simulating surfaces on which to stretch and massage its muscles. If your cat spends all of its time outdoors or spends time indoors and outdoors, it is likely engaging in serious running and pouncing, and its muscles could use some TLC.
Why Do Cats Roll on Their Backs When They See You
Contrary to popular belief, cats are incredibly affectionate and social animals (okay, maybe just dog people). Your cat is at ease around you if it rolls onto its back when it sees you.
Whether you’re a kitty’s favorite person or simply non-threatening to it, it might show you its belly. Cats only expose their bellies when they are confident they won’t be attacked.
Just because a cat is belly-up doesn’t mean you have the “OK” to rub it. My oldest cat taught me this the hard way. The eldest becomes instantly agitated whenever someone touches her stomach, while the younger one practically lives for belly rubs.
She’ll meow sweetly and roll onto her back, seemingly asking for a belly rub. I mistakenly patted her stomach the first time she did this, which I quickly realized was inappropriate. She unwrapped her claws, grabbed my arm firmly, and began to kick and bite violently.
Surprisingly, I soon realized that this reaction was all in good fun. Just playing around, she bit me. But it still hurt, and she’s still forbidden from getting belly rubbed.
Possibly too adorable to be dangerous, a cat on its belly. If you don’t know the cat or its personality, you should still make an effort to maintain your distance.
Can Cats Cool Themselves on Concrete?
Cats do not possess sweat glands, according to Washington State University. They cool themselves by panting or finding cool surfaces to rest on.
Although most cats prefer softer areas, some cats with longer or thicker coats may find a surface that cools to the extent that concrete does more comfortable. Owners should be aware that this could indicate a heat issue with their cat.
If your cat is outdoors during a hot spell, make sure they have access to fresh water at all times. You might want to think about keeping your cat’s coat trimmed in hotter weather depending on the type of coat your cat has. A shorter cut may keep your cat considerably cooler.
If your cat is showing signs of discomfort, bring it inside. If cats spend too much time outside in the heat, they may experience heat exhaustion or heat stroke. In the hottest weather, bringing your cat inside is still preferable to using external cooling.
Where Are a Cat’s Scent Glands?
There are nine unique scent glands located throughout your cat’s body. These include:
- Cheek glands (near the whiskers)
- Perioral glands (around the nose and mouth)
- Submandibular gland (under the chin)
- Interdigital glands (around and between the paw pads)
- Caudal glands (up and down the length of the tail)
- Supracaudal glands (at the base of the tail)
- Pinna glands (across the forehead)
- Temporal glands (just above the eyes)
- Anal glands (surrounding the rectum)
Cats rub their faces against objects and knead their paws among other methods to disperse their scent. To do this, though, rolling on their backs might be the most effective move.
When rolling on their backs, cats primarily use their caudal, supra caudal, and anal glands to mark their territory.
Your cat probably will also be rubbing its face against the concrete, which you will probably also notice. This is done in an effort to utilize the numerous scent glands that are located around their eyes, cheeks, and forehead.
Do Cats Like Hard Surfaces
Cats prefer hard surfaces. Cats can adjust their posture, get a good stretch, and relieve any muscle aches by moving around on hard surfaces.
It is extremely difficult for cat owners, myself included, to believe that cats occasionally prefer a cold, hard floor to a warm, soft bed.
I have a strong urge to move my cat to a pillow, a couch, or anything soft whenever I see them relaxing on the hardwood floor. Simply put, we all have this urge. We’d rather lie in a bed, so we assume that our cat babies would, too.
It’s natural for cats to like hard surfaces, given their wild instincts. Instead of soft, open meadows, their early ancestors slept high up in rough, lumpy trees.
I’m pretty sure everyone has looked at a kitten and felt the overwhelming urge to wrap it up in the softest blanket on earth. Your kitten’s true desires are to curl up on a shelf in your closet or burrow in a cardboard box. My cat, who is one year old, snoozes on the hardwood floor, right in a confined space between the dresser and the wall.
You don’t need to move your cat if you see it relaxing on concrete or another hard surface. If the weather is mild and sunny, they are probably soaking up the heat and will move if it becomes too hot.
One thing to keep in mind about cats is that they tend to gravitate toward comfort—or at least what they define as comfort. They’ll do whatever they want, and frequently, the ground is their preferred sleeping location.
Cats will frequently seek out a patch of dark-colored concrete in direct sunlight if the weather is a little chilly. Concrete with darker patches generates a lot of heat.
This makes the surface ideal to stretch and roll around on to absorb more warmth.
Their body temperature will rise as a result of the added heat from the environment. Up until they feel warm and cozy again, cats will sunbathe in these areas.
Why Do Cats Roll in Dry Soil?
For a variety of reasons, cats roll in the dirt. Perhaps they want to cool off because they are itchy or feeling a little warm. To entice a mate or mark their territory, they may be interacting with other cats. Alternatively, they might just be having fun, happy, or wanting to share a special occasion with you. There are many potential causes for this typical cat behavior, and they are typically unimportant.
Why is My Male Cat Rolling Around on the Floor?
A male cat rolling around on the ground won’t be in season, of course. It might still be a method of cat communication, like territory marking. The fact that your cat is exposing his stomach could also be a sign of his trust for you and desire for a pet. You might find that he is feeling affectionate if you try to pay him some attention.