Cat Behavior

Why Do Cats Roll on Concrete? Do You Need to Be Concerned?

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Anyone who has had a cat allowed outside has probably seen it rolling on concrete at some point. The choice of concrete likely seems unusual to us. After all, concrete is a hard surface that can feel uncomfortable underfoot, and lie on.

Why Do Cats Roll on Concrete?

Cats roll-on concrete to cool or warm themselves, soothe achy muscles, get rid of itchiness in their skin, mark their territory, or get your attention. These are all typical behaviors for a cat.

This video shows a cat rolling on concrete. As you can see, this is fairly normal behavior for a cat. You might witness your cat taking a roll on the concrete fairly often.

How Do Cats Warm Themselves on Concrete?

Cats will often roll on the ground when the weather is hot to cool off. Rolling on concrete during the summer happens for a reason that may surprise many. The reason for a cat rolling on concrete may be because your cat is too cool!

How can it be that your cat might feel cool on a summer day? According to Cielo, your air conditioning may be responsible.

A rule of thumb is that if the temperature feels too cool for you in the house, it may be too cool for your cat. Your cat might be rolling on the concrete to warm up. Consider checking the settings on your thermostat in the house.

When the temperature outside is over 85 degrees, consider keeping your cat indoors or off concrete areas. This temperature is hot enough to burn your cat’s paws. These burns could seriously damage your cat’s paw pads if you are not careful.

Surfaces like concrete that can absorb or reflect heat will often attract cats feeling too much of a chill. However, many owners may wonder if cats seeking cooling will be attracted to concrete.

Can Cats Cool Themselves on Concrete?

According to Washington State University, cats have no sweat glands. 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. However, owners should be aware that this may signal that your cat is having heat issues.

Always make sure your cat has access to fresh water if allowed out in hot weather. Depending on your cat’s coat type, you may need to consider keeping the coat trimmed during hotter weather. A shorter cut may keep your cat considerably cooler.

If your cat is showing signs of discomfort, bring it inside. Cats can get heat exhaustion or heat stroke if outside in hot weather for too long. External cooling is not a substitute for bringing your cat in during the hottest weather.

Why Do Cats Use Concrete to Soothe Muscle Aches?

Many cat owners don’t realize that cats need to massage and stretch their muscles. Cats that spend a lot of time pouncing and running probably feel the effects of their activity and need some relief.

Uneven surfaces, such as those found on concrete, provide the massaging motion that cats need for effective massaging and stretching. Because cats are so active, they have the perfect opportunity to put all their muscle systems to work.

According to The Cat’s Inn, cats have more flexible spines than many other species. This flexibility allows cats to have the impressive range of motion that they are most famous for.

This flexibility comes at the cost of the cat using more of its muscle systems every day. The more active a cat is, the more they will want to seek relief when their muscles hurt. That roll on the concrete is an effective form of self-massage.

Do Cats Prefer Concrete to Get Rid of Itches?

According to PetFirst, cats seldom require bathing. Cats prefer to rid their coats of bothersome debris by rolling on the ground, often in the dust.

Cats can get itchy skin due to allergies or sensitivities. The concrete surface helps efficiently resolve a lot of problems with itching. If you think your cat may have allergies or a sensitivity causing itching, a vet follow-up is helpful.

Parasites, such as fleas, can cause itching. These pests are not only contagious but can cause other problems. The scratching that many cats do because of the itching may cause skin irritations that become infected.

Some cats get plant matter in their coats, such as foxtails or sand burrs. These plant-based pests are hard to remove and may cause injury if swallowed. Sometimes, cats will roll on harder surfaces like concrete to get rid of them.

Your cat’s coat may require attention if you notice extra rolling on concrete or similar surfaces. Consider a thorough brushing while checking for pests. Also, watch for signs of skin irritation.

How Do Cats Mark Their Territory on Concrete?

According to journalist Josie Turner, rolling on the ground is one of the methods that cats use to mark their territory.

Even though we may be more likely to associate behavior like spraying or scratching with scent marking, rolling transfers a cat’s scent just as much as these other two behaviors do.

Cats who roll on a driveway or sidewalk are sending a message to other neighborhood cats that the yard is theirs. Males and females, regardless of their spay or neuter status, will mark their territory.

If you have an unspayed female cat allowed outside, she may be rolling to mark territory because she is in heat. Rolling releases hormones known as pheromones. These hormones tell males that she is ready to mate.

A female in heat may attract multiple males, leading to nuisance behavior like fighting. Females in heat should stay indoors to prevent this annoying behavior. Spaying will permanently prevent unwanted litters.

Why Do Cats Roll to Get Your Attention?

Cats may also roll-on concrete because they are trying to get their owner’s attention. Kitties that enjoy a lot of human interaction may roll, while chirping or meowing. Cats that are used to such attention may be signaling their desire for a belly rub.

Use caution if you have not given your cat a belly rub before. Moving your hand too quickly can make your cat act defensively by biting or clawing. Make sure you approach and extend your hand slowly.

A side-to-side rolling motion with the back can show that your cat is ready to play. If you don’t have other cats, you will want to bring your cat one of their favorite toys. , As long as it won’t roll into the street, a wand-based toy or a ball is great.

Cats that have a playful nature or a strong attachment to their owners will often try hard to get attention. Owners need to respect their cat’s space and watch for cues that show how much they want to play, and when the cat is done playing.

Cats Roll on Concrete for Many Reasons

Cats roll-on concrete for many reasons that include temperature regulation, soothe their muscles, relieve itches, and mark their territory. A cat may also roll on the concrete to get your attention.

Although most of these reasons are unrelated to discomfort, you want to make sure this is not a factor for your cat. Always check your cat’s skin and coat for any problems. Make sure the temperature outside is comfortable for your cat

Stacy Reed is a writer who lives with three cats who never miss a chance to teach her more about life and, of course, cats. She has been a cat parent since her teens, having had cats ranging from domestic shorthairs to Siamese mixes. Some of what she specializes in writing about includes general cat care, as well as health and behavior.

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