Cats are charismatic animals with peculiar habits. I’ve had dogs, cats, fish, birds, and a couple of turtles. In addition to dealing with a few larger and smaller mammals. Among all these, I can say with all fairness that cats are highly interesting animals!
Why do cats like to roll on cement floors? This is one of many FAQs about cat behavior. The answer isn’t that simple though. Several reasons could be behind this gesture. A cat could be marking her territory, asking for affection, attending to an itch, ingesting bacteria, or cooling off.
Read on to find out the rest of the reasons, plus the answers to some more FAQs.
Why Do Cats Like To Roll On Cement Floors
There are many reasons behind any behavior cats do. That’s part of their mystique and charm. Still, we try to make sense of their little oddities and quirks. Mainly, to know whether we should be doing something our kitty needs. But also, because it’s so amusing to demystify a cat’s brain!
Here are the top reasons why cats like to roll on cement and other floors.
They Are Marking Their Territory
Animals in general are big on territories and boundaries. Humans are a bit like that too. The difference lies primarily in how each animal chooses to claim what is his.
Cats and lions do this through leaving their individual scent on as many spots as they can. Flines have special glands that secrete their distinctive scent in their cheeks, flanks, and paws. By rolling and rubbing on the floor, they make their presence known to other cats.
The message isn’t just ‘this is my area’. It’s a hostile signpost to intruders, as much as a welcome banner for friends. Also, a beacon of sorts for possible mates.
Some big and small felines resort to urinating around their territory to mark it effectively. That kind of behavior might be acceptable in a jungle, and follows the general decorum over there. Yet in the confines of your house, this should not be condoned.
They Want To Cool Off
Cats tend to cuddle up in warm places. They could take their coziness a bit too far at times, and as they overheat, they’ll look for a cool surface to absorb their excess heat. Concrete surfaces could be that antidote to their hot flashes.
Unlike dogs, cats can’t cool off by sticking sizable tongues out, and releasing some of the internal heating. They also don’t appreciate splashing in water, so that leaves few other options.
Rolling over a cool surface actually seems pretty smart when you think about it. We do some of that too whenever we go into bed on cool sheets. We even change the side of the pillow when it warms up.
They’re Showing You That They Need Some Love
Cats and dogs could share the exact same gesture of rolling on the floor and exposing their tummies. In both cases it’s a sign of trust and affection. But that’s where the similarities end.
Dogs roll around to show you that they love you, and would be grateful to get a tummy rub. This exchange is often followed by a long spree of playing and more cuddling. Cats aren’t like that.
For a cat, rolling over is a show of trust, in addition to signaling that they need you to show them affection. If you had pet dogs before, you might be tempted to rub your cat’s tummy the same way. Don’t.
Cats aren’t fond of having their bodies touched that way, and chances are, they’ll scratch you with all four paws. Maybe they’ll bite you a little too. Just scratch the area behind their ears and everybody will be happy.
They Are Grabbing A Bunch Of Bacteria
Because of the high protein content in a carnivore’s diet, bacteria is a welcome diet in the animal’s digestive system. Felines make good use of numerous microorganisms to breakdown their food properly. Also to keep the pathogens at bay by proving a sufficient amount of good bacteria.
To increase the bacterial count and variety, cats often roll on the ground.[Source] Their fur catches a host of such creatures. And as the cat licks itself, for its regular cleanup, it ingests the day’s catch of bacteria. This is how the street creatures are introduced to your cat’s digestive system.
They Have An Itch Somewhere
Cats could itch for a variety of reasons. Look at that fur coat, and imagine wearing one all day everyday. It’s bound to get itchy at times.
A quick scratch in furniture, tree trunks, or a concrete floor, is quite normal. The rolling action on the floor grants access to the area between the cat’s shoulder blades. This is a completely inaccessible point with regular paw scratching. So we totally get this one.
The Catnip Effect
Catnip is like an energy drink for cats. Cats take a bite, and behave like a twenty-year-old athlete, after the fifth cup of coffee, or a kid on a candy diet. You get the drift.
Rolling on concrete can be their way of expending the energy spike they get after munching on the plant. They get back to normal within a couple of hours, no need for alarm.
Why Do Cats Knead
Kittens do this more frequently than adult cats. In both cases, it’s an endearing sight to see or experience. Here’s the scoop behind the cat’s kneading. [Source]
Nursing baby kittens often knead their mother’s belly to stimulate milk production. Often you’ll find a full rack of 4-6 kittens latched to mommy cat and nursing. They could be doing that kneading action to increase their milk rations, and maybe it’s just pure affection.
Cats would continue kneading blankets, cushions, their soft toys, or even you. When they share that sentiment with you, be sure it’s a sign of closeness and bliss. Their nails might dig deep into your skin though.
To decrease the inconvenience, you can put a piece of thick cloth between your skin and her claws. This is much better than withdrawing. Always reward the cat by not showing discontent, and letting her continue kneading.
Why Do Cats Purr
Animals make different sounds as a way to communicate different states, needs, and emotions. The deep purring sound is completely different from the melodic mewing, or shrill mating calls. [Source] Cats can purr as they exhale or inhale, that’s why their purring seems to be ongoing.
So what do cats mean when they purr?
Purring is often associated with contentment. When you hold a cat and stroke its hair, it’ll start purring right away. Cats also purr as a form of self-healing. They do that to decrease their anxiety levels or manage their pain.
There’s another interesting use of purring, and that’s for guiding newborn kittens back to their mom’s bosom. They can’t see well at that point, so they depend on this continuous mellow signal to find their way.
Why Do Cats Chew On Things
Chewing is a natural activity for any wild cat. As opposed to house pets, feral cats have to hunt and forage for themselves. They don’t eat soft foods as the type pet cats feed on, and their meals often involve plenty of vigorous chewing.
These primal traits stay with cats, even if they’re domesticated. In the absence of prey, a house pet would resort to chewing anything at all.[Source] From clothes, plastic wraps, to your favorite cashmere sweater. Not all cats show that tendency though.
Sometimes chewing is a sign of a cat’s anxiety. Giving the cat a soft toy to sink her teeth into is usually sufficient. On rare occasions vets recommend giving the cat anti-anxiety meds. In most cases, cats just chew on a cardboard box or cheese plastic wrapping.
Long Story Short
Some cats love to take long naps by stretching over a two-inch wide banister. They could chase flies for hours. And if they found an empty shopping bag, it could be their favorite hiding spot for a week.
So in short, cats are quirky, and half the time we’re completely clueless to why they do what they do. Luckily, animal behavior scientists solved many cat riddles for us.
Hopefully, by now you know your cat a little more. And in case you were wondering why do cats like to roll on cement floors, that was our full answer. In addition to a few more FAQs that might’ve crossed your mind.