Why Do Cats Roll in Dirt image

Top 9 Reasons Why Cats Roll Around In The Dirt? – How to Stop it?

Cats always known for their calm and elegant behavior, and finding them rolling in the dirt and meowing a little may seem cute but also is sometimes troublesome. The feline behavior is known as dirt bathing, directly contradicting the cat’s otherwise meticulous methods. Here are some reasons for this Why do cats roll in dirt and its peculiar behavior.

Why Do Cats Roll in Dirt?

When They Want Your Attention

Cats are generally sleepy pets, and sometimes they might want to play with you to stretch their body. To get the master’s attention, they tend to roll on the ground. While cats roll around on their back it indicates the kitten needs your attention and wants to play. If you happen to be outdoors, they may roll around in the dirt or grass as a way to initiate play. When owners get quite busy with their life, the cats may feel neglected and try to grab your attention by rolling on the ground. If you haven’t given enough attention and pampering as they wanted, they will likely continue to do so to get the same results.

To Mark Their Territory

Some animals tend to leave their mark or either sent to show ownership on that piece of land. Felines are one of them, and they show their ownership by rolling on the ground so that they can mark the land in their name so that no other animal interrupts or claims their land. They also sometimes try to overpower other cats by marking territories by rolling and scenting the place. Also, felines are sensitive to smell, and because the soil traps scents around it, your cat can get an assumption for what’s happening in the neighborhood by inhaling the scents left by any other cats in the area. Amazing right!

Cool Down In Heat

Cats are furry buddies and have layers of skin and fur to keep them warm. But in summers, they experience heat which leads them to try something to cool them down. Rolling on the newly dug or watered terrain provides them moisture on their fur and body. Inside the home, they roll on the floor, generally of materials like granite, marble, or wood, which are usually cool to the touch.

When Feeling Scratchy And Unable To Reach

That irritating feeling of itching makes us jolt up and leave us uneasy without scratching that area, so do cats and other animals. Cats grasp and prick the itchy part or area and tend to roll down on the floor to ease the sensation. Frequent rolling of cats to ease itching can signal that they have fleas or some other parasite. You can opt for a cat scratching post or consulting your veterinarian would be best to get rid of it.

To Communicate

Cats have scent glands on the top of their head, cheeks, paws, tail, and the salivary gland secrete a type of pheromone that serves as a way to communicate or a signal to that animal.

To Get Rid Of Smell

Who wants a smelly body, let alone a cat. So to get off the smell cats tend to roll on the ground. Animals are bound to get smelly due to a lack of enough knowledge about cleanliness and, hence after that they find ways to get rid of it. Cats have a powerful sense of smell and, therefore, they find themselves smelly even before a human does.

To Show They Are Happy And Comfortable

Most cats and dogs show excitement and happiness by rolling on their tummy. To entertain themselves they may roll on the ground which shows the sign that they are having fun. Rolling keeps your cat entertained and happy, so no need to freak out or be concerned about this unusual behavior.

Dust Bathing

Dust bathing is a peculiar way of cleaning cats with notable benefits like keeping the skin healthy and surrounding it with a pleasant feeling. For a cat, dust bathing may also be a way of enjoying a self-massage. Cats feel good by dust bathing, having their fun, and a way of entertainment.

Cat with Catnip

Catnip is a perennial herb in the mint family, which contains a chemical compound (nepetalactone) that attracts as well as affects cats temporarily. It’s a type of drug for cats that triggers behavioral responses such as rolling, moving head back and forth, cheek and chin rubbing, and spontaneous meowing, having up all the unusual effects this substance produces.

What are the Problems for cats for Rolling in Dirt?

Following problems are faced by cat rolling on back in the dirt frequently:

  • Pesticides and toxins: Harmful chemicals and pesticides sprayed to kill pests in a garden can make your cat sick. Using pet-safe pesticides and weed killers would be beneficial and keep your cat’s skin away from getting irritated because of it.
  • Fleas and Parasites: The major problem faced by cats while rolling in the dirt is due to the involvement of parasites, fleas, ticks, etc. They crawl on their skin while they are rolling or taking a nap in the dirt. It can be avoided by providing proper medication and care to prevent the parasites.
  • Scraps and Litter: Your garden or any other ground may contain some remains of metal or harmful scraps and litter, which can harm your cat’s skin and may cause injury.
  • Catnip: A cat who has consumed too much catnip will show clinical signs of vomiting and diarrhea. However, catnip is not toxic or very addictive but can cause problems when consumed in excess.

How To Stop The Cat From Rolling In Dirt?

We already discussed some reasons why do cats roll in dirt? , here are some tips to stop them to do it.

  • The cat owner should give enough attention to the pet as they seek your attention by rolling on the dirty floor. Sometimes punishing them may also lead them to roll and whine on the ground.
  • Bathing cats at regular intervals will keep them away from parasites, fleas and reduce the chances of rolling on the floor.
  • Keep your cat inside on hot days, provide a shady playing area, keep water bowls, and keep filling them at regular intervals. It will help your cat to cool off and mitigate them from rolling in the dirt.
  • Understanding your pet’s actions may make you take less time to communicate and understand their feelings and stop them from rolling in the dirt by fulfilling their demands on time.
  • Indication of skin irritation like red patches, excessive dander should be addressed properly.
  • Make them play inside the home as much as possible to refrain them from rolling in the dirt and getting exposed to harmful parasites or substances found in mud.
  • Keep a good and sturdy cat leash or harness to keep control over them.
  • Last but not least, do not let your cat near catnip regularly.

If none of these situations exist, then you have to live with the reality that your cat loves a roll in the dirt.


Although cats are meticulous and very concerned about their grooming and body, rolling in dirt is particularly troublesome and peculiar for the owner at some point. This may not be lethargic but it may cause some skin diseases for cats. So, the owner needs to know how to deal with why do cats roll in dirt.