why does my cat roll around in the dirt?

He never does this in the grass. Only in the dirt and a spot in the garage (cement)?

Asked by Member 797164 on Apr 8th 2010 in Cats & Kids
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Izadore (Izzie)

Actually, cats roll for much the same reason dogs do. If you give your cat frequent baths, he may just not like the way he smells and is trying to cover up the smell of the shampoo with the smell of the dirt or whatever is on the garage floor. He may also be itchy. We're coming up on Prime Time for fleas. Or, his skin may be dry and rolling makes him less itchy. Check his skin for dryness or fleas. If everything checks out, just let him have at it. To an animal, there's nothing like a good roll in something nice and stinky. To them, it's like a nice spray of Chanel #5!

Izadore (Izzie) answered on 4/9/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Cats are very private individuals, by that they are very territorial in the wild. House cats still have strong instincts, hence the females spraying of couches, etc. If they have been fixed and not allowed to explore their outside surroundings, when they do they will do their best to hide there scent. You can rest assured they have all been window hunting and spotted the freeloading neighbors, which have already marked their territory. Hence roll in the dirt.

Member 1099679 answered on 3/13/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I live in CT and winterized a garden shed so that I could take in some feral cats (eight, all fixed, vaccinated, etc). We have had near zero temps for 4 days and I have 2 in the house (I am very allergic) because they wouldn't go into the shed. It is very warm inside shed with heaters, electric dog beds on floor, food, water litter. I usually let them out first thing, but since temps have been brutal I have been waiting until later. (6 in shed, 2 in house now). Today we got up to the 20's and at noon I let everyone out. The first thing every cat did was roll in puffed up their coats. As they are feral (although they are becoming more social rapidly and I hope to find homes). I googled this issue as it was SO pronounced today with ALL of the cats that have been in a warm and dark space for a day. There are perches, beds, etc, but I was wondering if they are getting scent off or remarking territory. Very interesting.

Member 1151935 answered on 1/25/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer