Sure, cats are known for their quirky behaviors and love of throwing themselves down in sunny spots indoors or out. But have you ever wondered why your cat enjoys rolling around on rough, scratchy surfaces like concrete?
As it turns out, there are a few reasons for this behavior. For one, concrete is cool to the touch, which can be refreshing for cats on hot days. Additionally, the hard surface helps remove loose fur and dirt from their coats. And rolling around on concrete gives cats a chance to stretch their muscles and work out any kinks. Cats roll on concrete for a variety of reasons that are normal and not cause for concern, and we’ve got them all covered.
So, next time you see your cat rolling around on the ground outside, don’t be alarmed. They’re most likely enjoying a little self-care session courtesy of Mother Nature. Find out more about this strange feline behavior by reading on.
The 10 Reasons Why Cats Roll on Concrete
1. Marking Their Territory
When your cat rubs their body on concrete, they are leaving their scent behind. Cats have scent glands in their cheeks, paws, and tails. When they roll on concrete, they are able to transfer some of that scent onto the ground. This is their way of marking their territory. As you might expect, other cats will take notice of this scent mark. If they happen to be in the same area, they will know that another cat has already claimed it as their own. So, if you see your cat rolling around on the ground, don’t worry—they’re just doing what comes naturally to them.
2. Scratching an Itch
Scratching hard-to-reach spots is another reason cats love rolling around on concrete and asphalt. Cats often get creative when scratching their backs since they can’t reach their paws around with their paws. In order to satisfy this urge, many cats rub themselves against walls or the ground. The surface of concrete is perfect for scratching by cats. They can rub their backs vigorously against it because it is solid, flat, and has a rough texture.
The concrete is coarse, but it’s not so abrasive that it can cause injuries. Most neighborhoods also have a lot of concrete. Concrete is bound to be nearby no matter where you and your cat live: rural, urban, or suburban.
3. Keeping Cool
Your cat may be rolling on concrete to keep cool. Cats are heat seekers, and they love to lounge in the sun. But when the temperatures get too hot, they’ll start looking for cooler spots to hang out. One of their favorite places to cool off is concrete. Concrete conducts heat better than most materials, so it’s the perfect place for your cat to relax on a hot day. Plus, it’s usually smooth and cool to the touch, which feels good on their warm fur.
If your notice your feline friend is sprawled out on concrete, just make sure your kitty has access to shady areas and plenty of water so they don’t overheat.
4. Heating Up
When it’s cold outside, your cat may look for warmer surfaces to lie on. If you notice your cat rolling around on the concrete, they’re likely trying to warm up. Cats are attracted to warmth, so it’s not uncommon for them to lie on sun-warmed concrete or asphalt. If you see your cat rolling on the ground, don’t worry—they’re just trying to stay warm. However, you should make sure that they have access to a warm, comfortable bed inside so that they can rest when they need to. If your cat is an outdoor cat you might want to provide them with an outdoor heating pad.
5. Acting Submissive to You
Your cat isn’t just accidentally showing you their tummy when they roll on concrete. They’re actually displaying a very natural behavior that indicates submission to you as their owner. When your cat shows their tummy to you it is a sign of submission. This is their way of saying that they trust you and feel comfortable around you. Cats will only show their stomachs to people that they feel safe with. If your cat is showing you their tummy then you should feel honored.
By rolling on concrete, your cat is sending a message that they are submitting to you as the leader of the kitty pack. If you see your cat engaging in this behavior, it’s a good idea to give them some attention and affection. This will help reinforce the bond between you and your feline friend.
6. Showing Submission to Other Cats
Your cat might be rolling on concrete to show submission to other cats. While this behavior may seem odd to us, it’s perfectly natural for our feline friends. When a cat rolls over on their back and exposes their stomach, they are sending a submissive message to other cats, too. This behavior is often seen during friendly interactions between cats, as they are trying to avoid any potential conflict. Your cat is signaling that they are not interested in fighting and are submitting to the other cats.
This behavior is sometimes seen when two unfamiliar cats meet for the first time. The exposed tummy is a sign of trust and vulnerability, and by showing this vulnerability, your cat is telling the other cat that they mean no harm. If you see your cat exposing their tummy to another cat, don’t worry—they’re just trying to make friends. Rolling on concrete is just one way that cats communicate with each other. If you see your kitty doing this, it’s a good sign that they feel comfortable around the other cats in their environment.
7. Catnip High
Cats love catnip. When they smell it, they can’t help but roll around in it. But why do they do this? Catnip is a member of the mint family. It contains a chemical called nepetalactone, which is similar to a compound found in valerian root. When some cats smell this compound, it causes them to feel relaxed and happy. They may also experience a sense of euphoria, which is why they seem to be “high” when they’re rolling around in catnip. Additionally, nepetalactone causes cats’ bodies to produce more pheromones. As a result, cats tend to like large, flat areas to roll around on, such as concrete which is the perfect surface for them to spread their pheromones.
So, if your cat is rolling around on the concrete after you’ve given them catnip, don’t worry—they’re just enjoying their catnip high!
Your cat is rolling on concrete partly because of the instincts of their ancestors. Domestic cats are descendants of big cats that used to roam the flat savannahs. Their forefathers in Africa still roll on the ground to mark their territory with scent. While your cat may not be consciously aware of this, the instinct to roll around on the ground is still present and transmitted to them in their genetics from beasts that roamed the earth hundreds of thousands of years ago.
9. Your Cat is in Heat
A cat rolling on concrete can also be a sign that they are in heat. This is because they are trying to spread their scent to attract mates. Cats in heat will also yowl and call out for mates. They may also seem more affectionate toward you than usual. If you have an unneutered male or female cat, it’s best to keep them indoors. Better yet, unless you intend to breed your cat, have them spayed or neutered. There are many benefits to spaying or neutering your cat, for example, it can help to reduce their risk of certain health issues, such as cancer of the reproductive organs.
Not only is it good for your cat’s health but spaying or neutering can also help to reduce the number of homeless animals. Every year, millions of cats end up in shelters because there are simply too many animals and not enough homes. Spaying or neutering your cat helps to prevent this from happening.
10. Coat Care
Rather than taking a bath in water and soap, cats enjoy taking a bath in dirt and dust. In addition to soothing itchy skin, cats roll on concrete to remove parasites and plant matter. Since concrete driveways are uneven and scratchy, they work well, and cats prefer them to raw earth because they won’t leave your kitty covered in dirt. Rolling around is a great way to dislodge built-up fur also, and it helps to distribute natural oils evenly throughout your cat’s coat, keeping it healthy and looking shiny.
If you see your cat indulging in this sort of grooming regularly, you may want to give them a good brushing once or twice a day.
In conclusion, there are a few reasons why your cat might enjoy rolling around on concrete. Maybe they like the feeling of the cool surface on their fur, or they could be trying to mark their territory with their scent. Whatever the reason, it’s important to provide them with a safe space to do so and to keep an eye on them to make sure they’re not getting too dirty!
Featured Image Credit: Burhan Oral GUDU, Shutterstock