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Why Do Cats Like To Roll Around?

Do you ever find your cat rolling on their back and meowing to greet you when you come back home? To us, it might be the cutest thing in the world. If they’re trying to get your attention, then they’ve definitely succeeded. But is catching the human’s eyes the only reason why cats roll around? Do felines also roll around when they’re with each other?
A lot of people might suggest that your cat rolls around because its back is itchy. This may be true to a certain level. However, most of the time you feel like they are deliberately trying to appeal to you. It’s as if they’re inviting you to pet them or give them a treat.

There are many possible explanations for this behavior, and they’re mostly positive signs. Let’s check them out with us at NRV Animal Shelters.

When An Unfamiliar Cat Rolls Around In Front Of You

No one can be completely sure of how a cat would react. Each one has a completely different personality, and it’s not like we can ask them about it. Anything we know about their communication with us is mostly speculations of their body language.

It’s best to be cautious when interacting with a strange cat, and especially when they seem like they are inviting you to pet them. Cat rolling on their back and meowing is a prime example. 

why do cats roll around
A lot of people may think that this cat is completely comfortable with them, and assume that they can pet its belly. An exposed posture like this shows that the cat is relaxed, but unless you’re its owner, it might also mean that you’re one of their attack targets.
Some cats do actually like their belly to be rubbed, and they will roll on their back to get pets from you. But a lot of cats don’t enjoy being touched on the stomach. Therefore, be careful when interacting with cats you aren’t familiar with, no matter how cute they look rolling on their back.

When Your House Cat Rolls On Its Back

They want your attention

When your cat has a specific routine of rolling on their back, the chances are high that they are seeking affection. If you wake up every morning to your cat rolling on its back and meowing, they are saying that they want your love (and possibly food as well). Or when you come home from work and they start displaying this behavior, you know they’re expecting you to pet them.
In fact, rewarding your cat with food and affection will encourage this behavior. Your cat will learn that they will get a positive reaction from you. Then, once this routine forms a habit, they will keep doing it again and again.
why do cats roll around

Spend quality time with your cat when they roll around, as this is an invitation for you to bond more with them. Reward them with a treat, play with them, or simply give them a rub on the head. Get some cat-themed apparel to show how much you truly adore them. You will surely get the same amount of affection from your cat as you give them love.

They trust you

If you understand a few things about cats, then you’d certainly know that their belly is the most sensitive spot. That’s why many cats hate it when you pet their belly, unlike dogs who go crazy for a belly rub. Cats will only expose their stomach when they feel completely at ease, not having to worry about being attacked or hurt.

When your cat drops on the ground and rolls over to show their stomach, they’re saying that you have their full trust. They feel safe around you and in the environment you both are in. But this doesn’t mean you’re invited to rub their belly – they’ll probably run away from you if you do so. Respect the trust your cat is trying to display and pet them on the head instead.

why do cats roll around

Cats roll around because it’s their mating signal

I notice that my female cat keeps rolling around the floor when she’s in her heat. This is especially common for female cats who aren’t spayed yet. They roll to indicate that they are ready to mate. With the presence of a male, this action is an invitation for them to mate.
After they’ve successfully seduced and mated with a male cat, the female will continue rolling on the floor to remove the scent of their previous partner. She’s preparing herself for another potential mating partner to come.
why do cats roll around

Male cats also roll on their back as a mating sign. However, this action is more commonly a form of subordinate behavior. They roll to show submission not only to other cats but you as well.

Cats roll around to mark their scent

Finally, rolling around on the floor or rubbing their back on you can help a cat spread their scent, marking territory and ownership.
Cats socialize and communicate mostly through smelling. The unique scent each cat emits acts as an identification of possession. Rubbing on the floor marks that this area already has a cat, and intruders should stay off. When your cat rubs their scent on you by rolling their back on your feet, this tells others that you ‘belong’ to your cat.
There might be more than just these meanings to why cats roll around. Thus, observing this behavior regularly can help you determine the reason behind it more precisely.

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