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Why Do Cats Roll In Dirt?

Why Do Cats Roll In Dirt?

If you are a cat owner, you might have seen your cat rolling in the dirt quite a few times. Cats are not only treated like royalty, but they are the type that like making their decisions based on whatever they feel. Rolling in the mud or hot sand is one of them but does it bring them happiness? This article will help you find that out.

The guide compares the eight primary reasons for sand or dirt bathing. Whether your cat is doing this to gain some attention or feeling severe itching, this article will clarify why. So, keep reading below to discover and understand what message your cat is trying to convey.

8 Reasons That Explain This Behavior

1. Needs Attention

Have you been keeping yourself busy at work and unavailable most times? Well, your cat misses you and wants your attention, and one way of showing this is rolling in the dirt. Your cat is trying to please you and get your concentration.

You should get your fur baby and pet them for some time. However, doing so might spoil the cat as they would roll back again when they require love. Hence, if you do not want to see them do it again, try ignoring them and see how they react.

Two striped cats

2. Marking Territory

Animals, especially mammals, have the habit of feeling ownership around them. They often do this by marking areas they think are under their control. This way, they ensure that no one else enters or roams around in their marked area.

The same is the case with cats. Cats roll on the ground to leave their scents from flanks and furry cheeks, and females use this technique often. At the same time, a male cat might pee on the area to keep rivals informed that it belongs to them. This rolling method is one of the ways animals communicate with one another.

3. Getting Nature’s Medicine

Although it might sound a bit confusing and weird at the same time, cats do need natural and friendly bacteria. They roll around in the sand to coat up their fur and use this coat to ingest the necessary bacteria. 

They often lick it up to clean themselves, and that is how it goes into their digestive system, but it is healthy. A cat might even eat grass when it is feeling sick. The cats’ bodies are flexible enough to guide them and fulfill the intake of probiotics when needed.

4. Cooling Down

Another reason a cat is rolling in the dirt is that it needs to cool down its body. There is a soft and fresh layer underneath the hot upper surface of the earth that brings comfort to animals. It may be more frequent in hot weather or sunny days if you see your kitty rolling whenever given a chance. Try other methods to cool them down.

Cat walking

5. Catnip Effects

Well, if you are not already aware, catnip drives cats crazy. And this craziness is nothing else but a high effect caused by a plant that kitties highly love. If your cat has sniffed a bit of catnip or played around with catnip, then this seemingly unusual behavior is pretty standard.

Your cat might not just roll on the dirt but even need some back rubs. Moreover, you would see its head shaking or licking more than it usually does. Hence, if you see it rolling or playing in the muddy areas of your garden, do not worry. It is due to catnip, and the cat is feeling calm.

6. Cat on Heat

Cats on their heating cycles often act clumsy. Especially if you own a female cat and have not mated yet, it might show such characteristics. A cat on heat would roll and want you to pet it for much longer than the daily routine, and it might even move every few minutes and then lick itself.

This behavior is related to their hormones. Similarly, male cats even roll when other male cats are around. Moreover, they often move on the floor or dirt to spread their scents to attract the opposite sex.

7. Feeling Itchy

If you are sure enough that none of those reasons mentioned above suit your cat’s behavior, then this might be the one. Your cat might be feeling itchy and wants to rub its fur on the grassy areas to feel relief. However, if it does this a bit too much, make sure to check for the ticks.

Apart from ticks, mites or other parasites could disturb your kitty and make it uncomfortable. Hence, make sure to keep your cat clean and comb it regularly to ensure nothing is upsetting.

Outdoor cat

8. Rolling is Fun!

In contrast, if you have been an indoor person or your cat is spending most of its time indoors, then it needs the playground. Like we are all humans, animals can also be playful at times. If your cat has been taken outside after a long time, it wants to play around, and they do it by rolling.

It is a kind of entertainment that brings them pleasure and comfort. It is better to get your cat a few toys or balls to play with them. Cats even expose their belly when they need belly rubs, which signifies happiness.

Wrapping It Up

Rolling in the sand is quite common for cats, and they enjoy it. So, you see that there are several valid reasons why your cat may want to get a roll. Hence, the next time you visit your furball doing the same, adore and cherish the moment. Since it is not something dangerous or alarming, you should let your cat have fun now and then.

Apart from the reasons mentioned above, you might notice an increase or decrease in this behavior. If that is the case, do not worry. All you need to do is check the diet and bathing routine. You might be overdoing something or missing out on a few daily necessities that lead them to get a roll in the dirt. However, make sure the area is safe to play in and give them a comb afterward.