Last updated on October 23rd, 2022
Why do cats roll around on concrete? This is one of the questions on every cat owner’s mind.
Picture this: you’re walking down the sidewalk on your way home and you see a cat trotting along up ahead. Suddenly the cat flops to the ground and starts rolling around, flipping back and forth. What is he doing? Isn’t that super uncomfortable, rolling around on the concrete?
Cats roll around on concrete to mark their territory because another method of marking territory involves clawing objects around their space but this can hurt their paw pads since the friction can cause small punctures, however, they’ll also roll around on concrete to scratch an itch that they’re unable to reach.
Well, despite what you may be thinking, there are surprisingly a few different reasons that cats might decide to roll around on the concrete. Let’s look into a few of these below from most probable to least probable!
Why do cats roll on concrete?
1. They are marking their territory!
Let’s face it, rolling around on concrete seems like one of the least fun things anyone or any animal can do. It’s got to be uncomfortable and maybe even painful. So why do cats do it?
Well, the first and most probable reason that you might spot a cat rolling around on concrete is that the cat is marking its territory.
Cats are very territorial animals, and they do not like it when other animals, especially other cats, enter their territory.
When a cat enters another cat’s territory a fight will usually break out.
To avoid this, cats will mark their territory and they will do so in a few different ways.
One of the most common ways of marking is called spraying. This is when a cat sprays a concentrated bit of its urine around its territory.
Another way cats mark their territory is by scratching at different things in their territory.
When a cat uses their claws on something like a tree, it is releasing pheromones and hormones from its paws into the air that tell other animals that this space belongs to that cat.
Cats also have these pheromones and hormones in their fur and glands. They can release these and mark their territory by rubbing up against something. This is why you might see a cat rolling around on concrete.
2. The cat may be ready to mate!
Many cats that you might see roaming out and about in the neighborhood have never been domesticated, meaning they have never been tamed or been part of a family.
This also means that there is a good chance that they are intact. An intact animal is one that has the ability, the will, and the need to mate with another in order to have babies.
When a female cat is ready to mate, she is going to be in heat. This means that it is the perfect time for her to get with a male. When a female cat is in heat, the desire to mate is typically the first thing on her mind.
In order to find a mate, the female cat will cry out and release her pheromones and hormones in a similar manner to how another will mark its territory: by spraying on things, scratching things, or rubbing up against things. This might be one of the reasons you see a cat rolling around on concrete.
3. The cat might be regulating its body temperature!
Another reason you might see a cat rolling around on concrete is to help regulate its body temperature.
You see, while cats may be warm-blooded animals, they still occasionally need help from outside sources to maintain an ideal body temperature. Cats, just like people, dogs, and horses, can become overheated if left outside in the sun for too long.
To cool off, they will sometimes roll around in the dirt, the grass, or even on concrete.
Cats can also get too cold, and when the sun has been beating down on the concrete all day it can get nice and toasty. Sometimes a cat will roll around on the warm concrete in an effort to warm up a little bit!
4. The cat might have a hard-to-reach itch!
You know you’ve been there. The hard-to-reach itch gets more and more annoying the longer you leave it alone, and no matter how hard you try to get it, you just can’t seem to find the right angle to reach it. Well, cats can get that feeling too!
Instead of scratching away with their back or front claws, it’s quite easier to just roll around while trying to scratch that itch.
And while grass or dirt might seem better because it’s softer than concrete, it might be a little too soft to perfectly get rid of an itchy back like concrete can!
5. The cat might be trying to get your attention!
While many cats that you see roaming the neighborhood are strays that don’t like to be around people, some used to be house cats with family.
Some might also just find the company of a person more appealing than the rest. No matter why, some outdoor cats like it when people pet and give them attention, which is why you might see one rolling around on concrete.
You might be thinking: how does that get people’s attention? Well, if you see your cat rolling around in the middle of your house, you might think it is begging for attention, right? The same goes for cats that are outside, too!
6. The cat might want to play!
Sometimes cats get in goofy moods where they are ready to play with anyone and anything. You can see this with house cats and their toy mice, hair ties, and catnip-filled balls.
Occasionally a cat might even bring you their toys when they are ready to play. But how is a cat that doesn’t have toys supposed to signal that it is playtime?
By rolling around like a goofball, of course! This can happen in all kinds of places, like dirt, grass, sand, and even concrete! If you see a cat rolling around and you think that it might be wanting to play, try getting its attention to see if this is the reason!