Why Does My Cat Roll on Its Back and Bite?

You look down to see your cat roll over on his back and stick his belly out. He looks so cute and that belly so irresistible. Unfortunately, when you go to pet him, he bites your hand.

Why does my cat roll on its back and bite? Cats usually have sensitive bellies and don’t like people to pet that part of them. This explains why they bite when rolling around if you pet them on the belly. As they roll around, they almost look like they want a belly rub. Instead, pet them on the head or cheeks.

If you’d like to learn more about how to keep from getting bitten when your cat rolls on its back, keep reading because we will look at the best ways to handle a cat.

Why Do Cats Roll on Their Backs?

To begin, let’s look at why cats roll on their backs. When a cat does this, it depends on the context. For example, cats that roll in the dirt may be doing this for a few reasons like dust bathing. They might be cooling off, playing, itching themselves or getting rid of parasites.

Cats also roll on their back when they feel happy or to catch your attention. This shows friendship and trust because they usually expose their belly when doing this, which makes them vulnerable.

Know Your Cat

Generally speaking, we can assume that your cat bit you while rolling on its back because you rubbed its belly. We call this the bear trap. It looks like an invitation, but if you rub that belly, you have signed up for bite marks on your hand.

Not all cats dislike having their belly rubbed but most do. You have to learn the unique traits of your cat to know what upsets him and what doesn’t.

Provided you’re familiar with the cat, they usually warn you before they bite. They rarely use full force right away unless you continue to try rubbing their belly. What the cat is saying is, “I don’t like this. Please stop.”

Cats vs Dogs: Different Behavior

The trouble enters when people think of cats like the same as dogs. Dogs behave differently, and they rarely bite when rolling on their back unless provoked. You can rub their belly and some seek it out even.

Cats respond differently to this because they’re both a predator and an animal of prey. When you rub their belly, their instinct usually warns them against you doing that.

Many of the cat’s vital organs sit less than a millimeter underneath the fur in this area. Injury to any of them can lead to death. For that reason, when he rolls on his back and bites, he’s protecting himself.

What if My Cat Bit Me, and I Didn’t Pet His Belly?

We have reserved an answer just for you. We assumed before that your cat bit you because you pet his belly, but what if you didn’t? What if he rolled around and bit you for no reason? Looking at cat behavior, you have multiple reasons for why this may have happened.

Think of what you did before he bit you.

Were you petting him? You may have hit a sensitive spot that he didn’t want to have pet, which resulted biting. The best places to pet a cat include the ears, under the chin and cheeks. The tummy, back and base of the tail could all be sensitive points, depending on the cat.

Let’s say that you weren’t petting him. Your cat may be saying that he wants to be on his own. Give him some space. You may have messed up the greeting as well. The distance for the greeting can be tricky because each cat has their own preference for how far away you should be when greeting them.

Expert Tip: Whenever petting a cat, take it slow, especially with an unfamiliar cat. Let the cat decide how things will progress.

I talked about how to approach a cat who has done a social roll here.

Play Fighting? Really…?

In some cases, your cat may roll on its back and play-bite you because he wants to play. You can tell by the lack of seriousness that the cat does this. Playful cats may also have dilated pupils.

The one thing about play fighting is that your cat may be play fighting, but you could still have a hard time doing this without receiving scratches or pain from bites. Say, “Ouch!” loudly to let him know that it hurt. This teaches your cat how much force to use while playing.

In general, it’s probably better not to play with your cat this way. If you continue to play with him like this, he will think of grabbing your arm and biting as a game. If left unchecked, your cat may eventually bite or scratch whenever a hand comes near, thinking of it as a game—not good!

Cats Don’t Know the Difference

Cats can rarely tell the difference between playtime and not playtime. They won’t know when it’s okay to bite playfully and when not to, so never encourage your cat to bite.

Instead, we would recommend the MeoHui Interactive Cat Feather Toys to redirect his aggression from your hand over to a feather toy. This makes play with him more fun while giving him the exercise that he needs to stay healthy.

Kitten vs Adult Cats: Rolls on Back and Bites

Kittens are especially playful, and they will likely do this for the reasons outlined above—in the sacred name of play. However, kitten play bites may hurt more because they haven’t learned to measure their bites.

They learn this through roughhousing with their littermates. One lets out a yelp when another kitten gets too rough.

Don’t Encourage Bad Habits

For that reason, when your kitten rolls on its back and wants to play, you may want to have the feather toy handy so that you can play without hurting your hand or encouraging bad habits.

The other danger from encouraging play biting is that he may not do this with just you. He may bite a child or a dinner guest. As you can imagine, that could be very problematic.

An adult cat is less likely to do this because he wants to play, which is where kittens and adult cats differ.

How Do You Respond to a Cat Like This?

First, make sure that you’re not rubbing his belly. That’s the likely reason that your cat bites when doing this. You may try to pet his belly from the side to see if he responds better. Some cats will allow that.

If that doesn’t help, you can simply ignore your cat altogether when he does this, which prevents him from biting you—especially if you find it unpleasant, that’s your best option.


Your cat will roll on its back as a gesture of trust. You never see a cat expose his belly unless he trusts you. On a cat, the belly is the most vulnerable part. That also explains why he bites your hand when you go to rub his belly. Humans think he wants his belly rubbed, but he doesn’t. His instincts kick in to defend himself.

Not all cats dislike having their belly rubbed, but most go into defensive mode. You have to gauge your own cat. In fact, it’s well known that every cat has certain places on the body that he doesn’t want touched.

Cat Psychology: The Social Roll Explained

Anyone around a cat long enough encounters a behavior known as the social roll. A cat does the social roll when he walks in front of you and drops his head down to the floor. Many times, when cats perform the social roll, they do it on your shoes or feet, exposing that cute belly at the same time.

Cat Social Roll: The Reason Explained

Your cat performs the social roll to express happiness and affection. He’s happy to see you. This friendly and non-aggressive stance shows that your cat feels comfortable in your presence.

They call it a social roll because the cat performs this as a social greeting.

You don’t see them perform the social roll alone—not in the same context. Cats roll in the dirt (I wrote about that here), but the reasons differ greatly from a social roll.

If you’d like to see what a social roll looks like, I’ve posted it below:

Cats only perform the social roll when they feel comfortable. They do this to invite interaction, and it shows that they thinks of the home as safe. A social roll also happens to grab your attention.

Social Roll and the Cat’s Belly

You may feel deeply tempted as your cat exposes that ultra-cute belly to rub it. Be aware that most cats don’t do this as an invitation to rub their belly.

Hair follicles on the belly and tail can overstimulate your cat. Cats love it when you scratch their chin, cheeks and head, however.

The other reason that cats dislike having their belly rubbed comes from how they have vital organs just millimeters under the skin. Damage to any of the organs could prove fatal. Instinct tells them not to let someone rub their belly.

Expert Tip: Think of the information above as a general rule, rather than the gospel. Like humans, every cat has his own personality. What annoys one cat may not annoy the next. A cat that swipes at you is a defensive response. Take that as a sign.

Sign of Trust

Cats that perform the social roll show that they trust you. They put themselves in a vulnerable position in exposing the belly. This means that they think of you as a friend. In some cases, your cat may roll on his back because he wants to play. You have to learn how to read your cat’s body language.

What happens when a cat swipes at you after a social roll?

In some cases, when you go to pet the belly of your cat, he may take a swipe at you. Rarely will a cat use full force. This shows that he has mixed feelings about you rubbing his belly. In the past, someone may have handled him roughly.

While he may invite you to pet him at first, he may change his mind halfway through. This attack shows you that he will use full force if he needs to, but he doesn’t want to.

Some cats let you pet their belly if you do it from the side. Pay close attention to how they react, however.

Beware of the Social Roll

A real concern with cats and the social roll is that they may plop down right in front of you while walking. You must exercise caution not to trip over them. The CDC estimates that 86,629 fall injuries happen over cats and dogs every year.

Especially beware of the cat when carrying groceries, having your hands full or on the stairs.

Reason Differs for Each Cat

While we can speak broadly about the reasons cats perform the social roll, each cat will have its own nuances due to personality. For example, one cat may do this because he wants you to scratch his head. The next cat does it to grab your attention. Others do it to invite you to pet them.

Showing Affection with the Social Roll

The biggest reason that cats do this is to show affection for the person that they do it for. Cats have several ways to show affection, and this is one of them.

Some of the other ways that a cat shows affection include:

  • Purring
  • Trills
  • Chirps
  • Curling in lap
  • Curls up in bed
  • Mutual grooming
  • Slow blinking

Cats have many ways to show affection, and it also depends on your cat.

Marking Territory Behavior

A large part of cat communication happens through their sense of smell. Social rolls may help cats to spread their scent. Cats have scent glands in their paws, cheeks and flanks. As your cat puts his head on the floor, it spreads his scent to tell other cats that he claims it.

Cats feel an instinctive urge to mark their territory.

Cat Psychology Differs from Dogs

Dogs that roll on their back and expose their belly take a submissive role, but you shouldn’t think of the cat’s social roll as an act of submission. Cats do this for entirely different reasons to dogs. Usually, it has something to do with them wanting attention.

People shouldn’t equate dog behavior to cat behavior. The two differ greatly. Taking your knowledge of dogs and applying it to cats can lead to a claw full—literally!

Female Cats in Heat

Female cats may do what appears to be a social roll, but they’re in heat instead. Researchers found how they mostly do this for male cats, and it’s not a social roll in these cases. You can spot a female cat in heat if they exhibit the following behaviors:

  • Excessive vocalization
  • Extra affectionate
  • Overdoing the grooming
  • Doing a low crawl
  • Loss of appetite

When your female cat goes into heat, exercise caution around doors that connect to the outside. Female cats often feel an instinctive urge to escape during this time. The cat could run away for a day or up to a week. Be wary of all weak points in the home where she can escape and distract her with play from nature’s calling.

The Cat Feels Ill

In most cases, the social roll is a benign cat behavior that shows he feels comfortable. You should be careful not to mistake illness for a social roll, however. He may do what looks like a social roll, but he has an illness.

A few different illnesses can cause this, such as cerebellar hypoplasia. This can negatively impact his balance. Another cause of it may be ataxia. The cat will struggle to stand and may appear to roll if he has ataxia. An inner ear infection can cause this condition.

When Do Cats Perform the Social Roll

Understanding when cats perform the social roll can help you with context.

Some of the times when a cat may do the social roll includes:

  • To say hello to cats and humans
  • When they want to play
  • After a female cat mates
  • Females in front of male suitors
  • When the cat feels good
  • When he feels comfortable and safe

How to Respond to the Social Roll

To respond to the social roll according to cat protocol, put your hand out and let him sniff it. Think of this as the cat equivalent to a handshake. The cat may smell it. After he does this, stroke his head gently.

Learn what your cat prefers in these circumstances. Each cat has its own personality. Even the greeting distance can differ depending on the cat.

Catnip and Your Cat

Some cats roll over in response to catnip. If you’d like to see your cat’s reaction to catnip, you can buy some here. You might have a scratching post with it or a new toy, which can explain his rolling.

Catnip appears to activate the neural elements of play, sexual behavior and aggression within the cat’s brain. Most respond with a variety of behavior—including rolling.

Some of the other behaviors your cat may display on catnip include rubbing, flipping and zoning out. Funnily enough, you may hear your cat meow and growl at the same time. This is the only recreational drug that routinely gets given to animals.

What Surface Did He Perform the Social Roll?

The other thing to consider is the surface he performed the social roll on. Why he performed it may differ depending on the surface. What looks like a social roll may be something else.

To give you an example, when cats roll in the dirt on a hot day, they’re most likely cooling off. They’re not doing this to gain attention from you. On tile, they may perform the same thing to feel the coolness on their back. It’s less of a social roll and more to cool off.

Interesting Fact: Cats have a higher body temperature that ranges from 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Rolling on carpet, your cat may feel happy or excited. He may be more likely to perform the social roll here. Rolling on concrete, your cat may be doing this to scratch an itch. The uneven and rough surface makes it perfect for itching yourself. Especially as a cat when you can’t itch yourself, so you use rolling.

Invitation to Play

I mentioned this before, but I will go more in depth here. Your cat may do the social roll because he wants to you to play with him. Many cats will seem less serious when this is their intention. You can almost feel when they want to play.

Pay special attention if he seems to keep rolling in a vigorous way. That’s one of the signs. Cats have many ways of telling people that they want to play.

Think of it this way: Cat play is hunting behavior in a less serious way. If kitty seems to be stalking you, this may be a sign that he wants to play.

If your cat does the social roll as an invitation to play, bring a toy extra close and start playing with him. You can tell right away because of his responsiveness to it.

Did It Work in the Past?

If you’ve seen your cat continually do this, he may be doing it because it worked in the past. He gets what he wants out of you. The most common reason that cats do this is that they want attention. If every time they do this, they receive the love and attention from it, they will continue to perform the social roll.

Why do cats roll on their back when they see you? When a cat rolls on its back upon first seeing you, this is called a social roll. They do this to get your attention for one reason or another. Usually, they want a head-scratching or to play when doing this. While it may feel tempting, don’t rub their belly when they perform the social roll.

Why do cats roll on the floor when they see you? A cat may roll on the floor when it first sees you as a form of greeting. He usually wants attention when he does this. Your cat feels comfortable. Usually, they expose their belly in an act of vulnerability to express friendship.

Why do cats flop in front of you? It may seem funny, but cats flop down in front of you when they feel comfortable. You will never see a cat do this unless they feel comfortable around you. The act expresses vulnerability and trust.

Why do cats roll over and show their belly? Think of cats exposing their belly as an act of friendship. Cats never do this unless they feel comfortable and at peace with you. While it may feel tempting to rub their belly, you should refrain from it. Cats have sensitive hair follicles on their belly that can be overstimulated easily.


Most commonly, cats perform the social roll as a gesture of friendship. You will never see a cat do this when stressed. Understanding the reason why your cat does this can help you to give him more of what he wants.

Also, you can avoid the common pitfalls, such as rubbing the belly. Almost everyone feels tempted by that big cute cat belly at one point or another, but it would be wise to resist the bear trap. It depends on the cat, but most cats don’t like having their belly rubbed.

Why Do Cats Roll in the Dirt? (For Fun or Health Reasons)

The clean-loving cat has a surprising habit where it rolls in the dirt, which sounds contrary to its obsessive licking and grooming itself to stay clean. That may leave you wondering…

Why do cats roll in the dirt? The main reason is that they want to cool down on hot days. There are many reasons that cats roll in the dirt, however, such as marking their territory, dust bathing, feeling in heat, getting rid of smells and playing around. 

If you’d like to learn more about cat behavior, follow along as we dig deeper into why cats do this.

Cooling Down on Hot Days

If he seems to roll in the dirt on a hot day, this is most likely the reason.

Pay close attention to where the cat rolls in the dirt. He never does this where the sun’s rays made the dirt hot. The cat usually chooses dirt in a shaded region or a patch of moist dirt.

Cats aren’t the only ones in the animal kingdom that do this. Chickens, dogs, elephants, gerbils, chinchillas and cape ground squirrels all dust bathe to stay cool.

You have many others, but we will spare you the details.

Remember playing in the dirt as a child and feeling the coolness of the soil? Cats dust bathe for the same reason.

The Temperature of a Cat

On hot days, you may spot your cat laying in cool dirt to lower his body temperature. A cat’s normal body temperature should always remain between 100.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Too much colder, and they may become susceptible to diseases like the common cold. This is why something as simple as a dust bath can cool off your cat. From the action of rolling, a comforting cool breeze also adds to cooling of them.

Rolling in the Dirt is Harmless

Outside of him getting dirty for a short time, the dirt won’t harm him. However, you might offer other alternatives to keep him cool, such as an extra water dish or air conditioning inside the home.

While a dirt bath won’t harm him, dehydration and heatstroke from a hot day could cause some problems.

Your cat needs 3.5 to 4.5 ounces of water for every 5 pounds of body weight. To give an example, a 10-pound cat needs to drink 7 ounces of water each day at the minimum.

Symptoms of a dehydrated cat include:

  • Non-elastic skin
  • Sunken or dull eyes
  • Eyes lacking focus
  • Dry or sticky gums

Keep him hydrated so that he doesn’t have to cool off in the dirt as much. If you feed your cat wet food, you may have noticed that he doesn’t drink as much water. Wet food consists of 80-percent water.

You might give him wet cat food for those hot days to keep him hydrated. If you only give dry cat food, make sure he drinks plenty of water.

Dirt Baths Eliminate Parasites

Your cat may bathe in the dirt to get rid of parasites. The act cleans his fur and keeps him free of mites and lice. Rolling around can also get rid of fleas. Unfortunately, this can also give them fleas.

You may want to check your cat’s fur, bedding and skin to see if he has any of the pests. Red patches, excessive dandruff and inflammation are all signs to beware of.

To deal with fleas and ticks, the Seresto Flea and Tick Collar for Cats provides you with eight months of continuous protection. 

Territory Marking, in Heat or Hunting

Cats sometimes roll in the dirt to mark their territory. The feline world communicates through its sense of smell, and the cat may want to spread his scent glands over the dirt to mark his territory.

You can find the scent glands in a cat in his cheeks, paws and flanks. Cats mark their territory to show they own it, or to show sexual availability.

In fact, female cats will do this when in heat to spread their pheromones and scent and hopefully catch the attention of interested male cats.

They will also mark their territory when they feel threatened like how a male cat will spray. Sometimes, cats roll in the dirt to hide their scent before hunting.

Getting Rid of Smells

In some cases, your cat might roll in the dirt because of an unpleasant scent. A scent that a cat finds disgusting will make him do anything he can to eliminate the smell.

Having over 200 million odor sensors in the nose—more than dogs, even—can be a mixed blessing. They will rub themselves in the dirt to scrub the odor away.

Most cats hate human baths, but they lick themselves and give themselves dust baths to eliminate unpleasant odors. You have to exercise caution with giving your cat a human bath because it may be too cold for him. 

Playing in the Dirt

Sometimes they do this for no other reason than to have fun. Kitties especially love to play in the dirt. Think of a little kid and how they love to play in the dirt. You might toss a couple of toys in the dirt to make it even more fun.

For an adult cat, you could give him catnip. It does not affect kitties until six months old. After having catnip, cats will roll in the dirt as a form of play.

Your cat might, for example, roll in the dirt on its belly and wait for you to pat him. This is your cat’s way of saying hello.

Aids Digestion

Playing in the dirt grabs bacteria from the soil onto your cat’s fur. He licks his fur, and the bacteria aids in digestion and absorbing nutrients from food. Bacteria can prevent diseases. Dirt, plants and the outdoor air can assist with your cat’s gut health.

This matters because the cat’s gut can impact every aspect of his health and happiness. The dirt can aid in digestion, but other things that you may want to do to help his gut include:

  • Diet
  • Probiotics
  • Prebiotics
  • Dental hygiene
  • Exercise

Signs of a cat that has digestive health problems include diarrhea, constipation, bad breath and an unwillingness to eat. You don’t want to leave it untreated because the cat could suffer dehydration.

Scratching an Itch

Having four paws makes it hard to scratch the body. Your cat might roll around in the dirt to scratch the itchy part of the body.

You might buy him an arch scratcher, such as the Hollypet Cat Arch Self Grooming and Massaging Brush Toy.

Along with scratching an itch, the arch scratcher gently removes loose fur while giving your cat a massage. It acts as another form of grooming.

Dealing with Parasites

In most cases, a cat that itches like this may have fleas, mites or other parasites. You need to identify the source of the itchiness. For fleas, you might give him a flea collar.

Bald spots, scabs and red spots could indicate that he has to keep scratching himself to be free of the pests. He may roll in the dirt because of it. In some cases, you may need to take your cat to the vet.

Severe flea infestations can kill a cat or spread diseases, such as Feline Homotrophic Mycoplasmosis.

Death from fleas is rare, but it does happen.

Along with rolling in the dirt, you may see your cat rolling on a concrete driveway. The uneven and scratchy surface works better than dirt for scratching that itch.

Is it normal for cats to roll in the dirt? Cats rolling in the dirt is normal feline behavior. It could be due to many causes, such as going into heat, marking territory, cooling off or playing around. In most cases, you don’t have to be too concerned about it. 

Why does my cat roll around outside? Your cat may feel an instinctive urge to roll around when it goes outside to mark its territory or even to play. The environment may make him want to show other cats that he was there. Cats primarily communicate through scent, which explains why they would do this. 

Why do cats flop down in front of you? Despite what people think, cats love attention. Flopping down in front of you grabs your attention. This also shows that he’s relaxed and wants to spend quality time with you. Cats also initiate play with their littermates by flopping down and revealing their belly.

Why does my cat roll around? Some of the most common reasons that your cat rolls around include marking with scent, playing around, scratching an itch and females do it for mating reasons. They may do this to relax as well. Rolling on the ground happens with house cats, but larger cats in the wild do it as well. 


Looking past him dirtying his fur, rolling in the dirt won’t hurt your cat. In fact, it may even prove beneficial, such as aiding its digestion. This is normal cat behavior, and it will clean itself after.

However, stay aware of how your cat rolls in the dirt. Normal adult cats won’t eat dirt, and if he eats the dirt, it may be a sign that he has a poor digestive tract, and he’s trying to compensate for it by getting bacteria. Take him to a vet.

Kittens that eat dirt, on the other hand, aren’t a problem. In fact, it shows that they’re curious and exploring their environment.


How to Keep Cats off My Roof

Cats on the roof annoy anyone because of the yowling that they make while up there. To make matters worse, you might have a curious cat that gets stuck on the roof. You don’t want to have to risk yourself going on top of the roof, especially if it rained recently and you have a wet and slippery roof. Don’t do it. Maybe you have a flat roof that makes it easy for the cat to climb to the top.

Cut off the Access Points

While this may not work in every case, cutting off the access points will probably go farther than any other method. Provided you can do this, we would advise that you start with this method. Some of the most common points where cats can gain access to the roof include:

  • Overhanging tree branches
  • Open windows
  • Leap frogging objects
  • Climbing materials like wood
  • Fences

Look for anything that makes it easy for a cat to climb onto the roof and remove it before he can start doing this. You may need to do this multiple times since he may climb onto the roof using multiple access points to the roof. Eventually, he will run out of ways to get up there. For trees, you will want to prune back branches that can reach onto the roof or grow next to the roof.

Motion Sensor Sprinkler

Before we begin, we’d first like to point out that you may need to try multiple methods to figure out what works best for you. What may work for one person in keeping cats off the roof may not work for the next person. The Orbit 62100 Yard Enforcer Motion-Activated Sprinkler will surprise the cat by giving him a healthy dose of water.

Don’t worry, this won’t hurt the cat. Instead, it will surprise him and send him sprinting from the roof. Install this product near where he likes to gain access. If he uses multiple ways to access the roof, you may want to buy multiple sprinklers for the roof. The sprinkler guards your roof 24 hours per day, and if the cat comes near it, the sensor will turn it on, and he will go running in the other direction, especially since most cats hate water.

Citrus Peels

Cats hate the smell of citrus and usually avoid it. Not in all cases, but you have many times where they dislike the smell. Put lemon or orange peels near their access points, and they may choose to avoid the area. Unfortunately, you will have to keep doing this from time to time if you want it to remain effective since orange and lemon peels will rot. You could use apple cider vinegar as well to stop the cat from climbing onto the roof.

However, beware because orange and lemon peels can harm both cats and dogs. That could also be why they tend to avoid it. While apple cider vinegar can cause diarrhea in cats, it won’t be toxic to cats to where it would kill them. Just use the diluted form.

Cat-Proof the Fence

Especially when the cat can access the roof from a fence, you may want to take the time to cat-proof it to keep him from climbing the fence. For example, you could purchase cat netting that will keep the cat from making the most use out of the fence to climb onto your roof. You could buy ASPECTEK Deer and Animal Fence Netting to keep the cat from turning your roof into his next climbing spot.

Important to Note: You can use cat netting for trees as well.

You could buy regular cat-proof fencing as well to prevent access to the roof. Keep in mind, this fencing may work with some cats, but it may not deter the most determined among them.

Electric Fence for Roof

Some may not want to take things this far out of ethical concerns, but you can buy electric fencing for as little as $25. Electric fencing won’t harm cats, but it keeps them away from your roof. Cats can sense the electromagnetic fields of electric fencing, and they avoid it like the plague. This has the added benefit in that it will keep human intruders away as well.

Is It the Cat from a Neighbor’s House?

While this may not work in every case at keeping cats off your roof, you can tell your neighbor about his cat on your roof. In some cases, he may have no reaction or not know how to stop the cat from doing this, but he may start to keep the cat indoors. This will stop the feline from climbing on your roof. Unfortunately, you have many cases where the neighbor doesn’t care about the cat on your roof, and you will need to come up with your own solution.

Some might tell you to call animal control, but in many cases, cities don’t have laws about this. It won’t work.

Get a Dog to Guard the Yard

Having a dog in the yard will scare the cats and keep them from exploring to where they will learn about how to get on the roof. Still, we wouldn’t advise that you buy a dog for this sole purpose because it may not work, and you’d be stuck with a dog. This could add another reason to why you might want to own a dog, however. If he chases the cats from the yard, they most likely won’t have the time to discover that they can climb the roof.

If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them!

You have cases where nothing you try will keep the cats from the roof. Especially if you can’t stop him from getting access to the roof, you may have to try another method, rather than keeping him from it. Instead, you might install fans at night or leave the TV running to keep his meows from waking you up. In most cases, you don’t have to worry about a cat on your roof. They will climb down when ready. It can cause certain problems, but it usually won’t cause too much of a problem.

Should You Rescue a Cat Stuck on the Roof?

No, we wouldn’t advise you to rescue a cat stuck on your roof. While the cat may be noisy while up there, it doesn’t always mean they’re stuck. In many cases, they will climb down from the roof when ready. Also, we wouldn’t advise that you call the fire department to bring a cat down. You may have heard of this on TV, but the days of calling the fire department to bring down a stuck cat has long passed. Especially in urban areas, fire departments apply a policy where they don’t do that anymore. They have more serious concerns.

Doing it yourself, especially when he climbs up there multiple times, only endangers your own life because you risk falling off the roof. We don’t advise that you climb up to rescue a cat except under the most extreme of circumstances, and only if you have confidence in what you’re doing.

Do this at your own risk.

The Other Reason People Don’t Want Cats on Their Roof

You have one big reason why people don’t like cats on their roofs, and it comes from them pooping on the roof. How do you get that off? You keep them from pooping up there to begin with through some of the tips that we previously mentioned. Don’t let them up on the roof. You could also try putting down a sticky two-sided tape as a way to keep them from going up there. Cats are clean animals, and they dislike anything sticky.

Why Do Cats Go on Roofs?

To prevent cats from climbing on the roof, you may want to understand why they do it to begin with. Cats like to go up high because they can see everything from up high. It gives them a sense of power. At the same time, many of the foods that cats like, such as birds, live in trees, which causes them to hunt for birds in trees. Think of a roof as another type of tree to a cat. It gives them another vantage point to where they can spy out birds.

Since roofs go up high, cats like to climb them to see things better. Most cats like to be up high whether in the house or outside on the roof. They feel safer while up high because they can see everything. Many of the threats like dogs, which would chase them, can’t reach them when they’re up on higher spaces. This also gives them a sense of security. You may even see a smiling cat taking a nap up on the roof.


If you want to keep cats off your roof, you can try some of the methods that we outlined, but we feel it important to say that many of these things may or may not work. You must experiment. In many cases, you will find that cats will find another way around it. The best method is to prevent access to the roof to begin with. This prevents them from creating problems like meowing loudly at night from up there or pooping up there. You don’t want the cat to turn your roof into his litterbox. Since it’s hot up there, it can cause it to stink. Get rid of his access points to the roof.