Q:

Why do cats roll around in the dirt?

A:

Quick Answer

One reason that cats roll around in the dirt is to coat themselves with bacteria that is needed for digestion. Cats lose a significant amount of bacteria during the grooming process. Rolling is also a side effect of catnip.

Continue Reading
Why do cats roll around in the dirt?
Credit: Melissa Wiese CC-BY 2.0

Full Answer

Female cats also roll around in front of male cats when they are in heat, as it is a signal that they are ready to mate. A cat in heat rolls around in the dirt, in grassy areas and on flat surfaces. If a cat has fleas or dry skin, they tend to roll around in dirt or grass to relieve itching and irritation. Dirt is also a safe way for cats to dry off after a bath or being caught in the rain. Cats do not enjoy being wet, and the dirt quickly soaks up excess moisture.

Dirt and small rocks provide a massage sensation as well, stimulating the cat's muscles and circulatory system. This sensation is quite pleasurable for cats, and it is extremely common for cats to roll around in the same spot each time in order to recapture the pleasant sensation.

It is important for pet owners to allow their cats to bathe and roll around in the dirt, as this is a completely natural habit. If a cat is not allowed to roll around in the dirt, they can develop anxious behavior traits.

Learn more about Cats

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What does catnip do?

    A: While there is no concrete neurological reason for why cats react the way they do to catnip, researchers find that catnip mimics pheromones that stimulate ... Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why do kittens purr?

    A: The most common reason that cats purr is to show happiness or contentment. However, research has shown that purring also appears to have a calming or heali... Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a Mackerel tabby cat?

    A: A mackerel tabby is a domestic cat with a coat pattern consisting of a background of gray or orange banded hairs and darker vertical stripes running down t... Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a calico Persian?

    A: A calico Persian is a Persian cat with a coat of three colors, such as red, black and white or chocolate, red and white. Because of the genetics involved, ... Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore