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If you own a cat, you to know cats are weird. They do things that you can’t always explain. Rolling on concrete is just one such behavior – cat lovers can’t entirely rationalize it, but we try anyway! So why do cats roll on concrete?
Cats roll on concrete because the surface warms or cools their bodies. Concrete is rough and dirty, and your cat may roll over it to groom its coat or soothe its muscles.
A cat rolling on its back can be communicating something to you and meeting its own needs at the same time.
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Why Do Cats Roll On Their Backs When They See You
Contrary to what many people think (okay, maybe just dogs), cats are incredibly affectionate and social creatures. If your cat rolls onto its back when it sees you, it means it feels comfortable around you.
Whether you’re a cat’s favorite person or just not threatening it, it might show you its belly. Cats only show their bellies when they know they won’t be attacked.
Just because a cat is on its stomach doesn’t mean you have the right to rub it. I learned this the hard way from my oldest kitten. While the youngest practically lives for belly rubs, the eldest immediately gets agitated as soon as someone touches her belly.
She will meow softly and roll onto her back, apparently ask for a belly massage. The first time she did this, I patted her stomach, which I quickly dismissed as a mistake. She unsheathed her claws and squeezed my arm while biting and kicking furiously.
I soon realized that this reaction was, surprisingly, quite amusing. She was just playing at biting me. While it still hurts, and belly rubs are forbidden for her.
A prone cat may look too cute to be threatening. However, you should always try to keep your distance if you are unfamiliar with the cat and its personality.
Do cats like hard surfaces
Cats like hard surfaces. Hard surfaces allow cats to readjust their bodies, stretch and eliminate any muscle soreness they may have.
It’s so hard for cat owners – myself included – to believe that cats prefer a cold, hard floor to a warm, soft bed, but sometimes they do.
Every time I see my cat lounging on the hardwood floor, I feel an irresistible urge to move it to a pillow, couch; anything sweet. This craving is just human nature. We prefer to lie in a bed, so we assume our baby cats would too.
It’s natural for cats to like hard surfaces, given their wild instincts. Their ancestors glide high in rough, lumpy trees, not lush, exposed grasslands.
I’m pretty sure everyone has looked at a kitten and felt the overwhelming urge to wrap her in the softest blanket in the world. In reality, your kitten wants to burrow in a box or curl up on a shelf in your closet. My one year old kitten sleeps in a tight corner between the dresser and the wall, directly on the hardwood floor.
If you see your cat lounging on a hard surface like concrete, there is no need to move it. If it’s a temperate, sunny day, they’re probably absorbing the heat and will move if they get too hot.
One thing to remember about cats is that they are drawn to comfort (or what they classify as comfort, that is). They’ll do whatever they want, and most of the time their favorite place to sleep is right on the ground.
7 reasons why your cat is rolling on the floor
Feline behavior is confusing. It can be difficult to pinpoint the specific reason why your cat is rolling onto its back at any given time. The reason may change depending on your cat’s environment, situation, and mood.
Cats often roll around in dirt or grass to cool off on hot days. Funnily enough, they will also roam on concrete surfaces on hot days to absorb heat.
Just be sure to keep your cat away from concrete on a hot summer day (usually above 85 degrees) as they could burn their paws stepping on it.
Here is an interesting article that talks about the ideal temperature for cats. If you notice your cat lying on concrete in the summer, chances are she’s too cold and needs to warm up. Adjust your thermostat and I think you’ll notice a change in their behavior.
Cats in heat
When a female cat in heat rolls on a surface, she releases pheromones. This is her way of signaling to males that she is ready to mate.
If your cat isn’t neutered, your concrete driveway may be the closest place to all the male kittens in the neighborhood. Cats have strong scent glands, so they can get to this place.
If you notice your cat is in heat, you should move her indoors or have her neutered – too many kittens are born each year with not enough homes to accommodate them.
After sterilization, see if the behavior changes.
Take care of their coat
Instead of soap and water baths, cats love dirt and dust baths. Going under the fur in a rougher way is sometimes more pleasant for them.
My outdoor kittens run around the house every night covered in dust and plants. One of them is pure white; it looks a dusty reddish brown at the end of the day.
Cats roll in dirt to soothe itchy skin or remove parasites and plant matter such as foxtails. Concrete walkways, being uneven and rough, work even better and won’t leave your cat covered in dirt.
mark your territory
While rolling, cats release scent markers from its paws, head, and cheeks, leaving their scent on the floor. By leaving their scent around your yard and home, they mark their territory.
Your cat would simply claim your concrete driveway by rolling over it. Your cat doesn’t want the neighbor’s cat walking around on it.
Sometimes your cat rolls over and you know it’s time for a belly rub. Usually they chirp and slowly blink at you.
If this is your first time petting your cat on its stomach, approach it slowly. If you move your hand too quickly, you can cause a defensive bite and scratch reaction.
Cats showing their bellies on concrete get the best of both worlds: they enjoy the warmth and get belly massages from their favorite person.
When a cat rolls on its back from side to side, it says, “Come play with me!” You’ll probably want to smash the feathers and catnip because your cat is ready to play and exercise.
Concrete, being a hard surface, is a great place for cats to run and jump. Remember to attach your cat to a harness if it is not an outdoor cat.
Stretching and massage
Dirt, grass, and concrete are all rough, uneven, simulating surfaces for your cat to stretch and massage their muscles on. If your cat is outside-only or indoors/outdoors, she’s probably running and bouncing seriously, and her muscles probably need a little TLC.
A cat on its stomach is one of the cutest things ever. It’s natural for us to want to understand this adorable quirk.
As humans, we may never fully understand cats and their behaviors no matter how badly we want to. For now, we’ll have to keep guessing at the motives for their kindness.