Why is My Cat Rolling on the Floor and Meowing?

Cats are little mysteries and many of the things that they do we don’t understand. You may have seen your cat walk up to you, drop to the ground, roll and meow.

Why does my cat roll on the ground and meow? Female cats especially do this. They will roll on the floor and meow when in heat. The meowing calls the tomcats, and the rolling puts their scent out that they want to mate. In cases where your cat isn’t in heat, you may want to take her to a vet because it’s most commonly a health condition.

If you’d like to learn more, keep reading because we have some great information ahead on why your cat rolls on the floor and meows.

When Female Cats Go into Heat

Female cats become increasingly physical and rub up against things while rolling on the floor in heat. Part of the rolling may even relate to her ovulation, but cat behaviorists haven’t confirmed this.

Even after mating, she will roll around for several minutes as part of her instinct.

Caution: Don’t pick up a female cat when she rolls around because she may grab or even bite your arm. Some female cats may also be experiencing cramps, which can make them more prone to aggression.

You can tell that your cat has gone into heat because she will make a rolling trill sound while rolling back and forth on the floor. It depends on the cat, but some cats may display no signs of being in heat.

Why Do Female Cats Roll on the Floor?

We talked about how the rolling puts her scent out and calls in the male tomcats. They will smell a female cat in heat and come with haste. However, the rolling could also have to do with her ovulation cycle and hormones.

After mating, your cat may roll around as a way to cover up her scent that she was with another male cat. For example, she may roll in dirt as a way to hide her scent. I wrote about cats in general rolling in dirt and the reasons that they do it here. Check it out if interested.

The Stages of a Female Cat in Heat

Many cat owners report that their cat seems to go into heat in stages. How this happens depends on the cat’s personality, but you do have some underlying threads. For example, many say that their cat becomes more mischievous. They might start to pace and become restless.

Next, you will see her grooming her private parts more frequently. Then, the meowing and constant desire for attention and affection starts. It’s at this point that you may see her roll around on the floor as a way to get her scent out there and broadcast to all the tomcats in the area.

Funny Fact: Many well intentioned but misguided pet owners have thought that their female cat was dying when she went into heat. They took her to the vet only to learn she was in heat—not dying.

Oftentimes while rolling, you will see her excessively grooming herself as she rolls. You have to be careful during this time how you approach her because she may become more aggressive.

At this point, you may see your cat go into a position called lordosis. This happens where she will have an excessive inward curvature of the lower back while arching her hips. Her tail will go off to one side during this time. Your cat will also be sensitive to touch, and she may make trilling noises. She may also make caterwauling or yowling noises during this time.

Male Cats are Tomcats: What are Females Called?

You have probably heard the term tomcat. This originates from a book published in 1760 called, “The Life and Adventures of a Cat.” After the book, people started to call male cats Toms. Neutered cats are called Gibs.

However, you may not have heard what they called unspayed and pregnant female cats. They call them Queens. This started in England among cat breeders, and it likely began as a joke. Largely, this comes from the fact that cats have a matriarchal society.

Look at a multi-cat household, and the oldest female cat is usually the dominant cat since the males usually give them first access to food. A spayed or non-pregnant cat is called a Molly.

What Cambridge University Found

In one Cambridge University study, researchers learned how female cats primarily roll around and meow when in heat. The male and female cat will mate several times a day in some cases. However, the female becomes aggressive and chases the male off in the first 30 minutes after mating. During this time, she will thrash and roll around on the floor while meowing loudly.

Should You Spay your Cat?

Anyone who has had a female cat during her cycles understands how obnoxious she becomes. It is one of the worst times to be stuck in the house. A female cat’s cycle could last from two days up to 19 days.

That’s a long time where she will roll around and yowl at the top of her lungs. Spaying curbs the feral cat population, but it also comes with health benefits, such as:

  • Lower risk of breast cancer
  • Happier temperament
  • Lower risk of uterine infections
  • Reduced chance of pyometra

Possible Health Problems

Not all cases when your cat rolls around on the floor and meows will be harmless. In fact, if you don’t have a female cat and it seems to do this a lot, you may want to take your cat in to see a vet. Rolling on the floor and meowing for no reason could indicate an underlying health condition.

While rare, your cat may roll on his back as a way to scratch an itch that relates to a medical problem. Pay attention to him itching, but look for other symptoms as well, such as:

  • Hair loss
  • Bumps
  • Redness

Why is my cat walking low to the ground and meowing? This position, known as lordosis, happens in female cats when in heat. It aids in the copulation process as the female elevates her hips to wait for breeding with the male cat. They may do this during copulation, but they do it as pre-copulation behavior as well in some cases.

Why is my male cat rolling around on the floor? Male cats will roll on the floor as a way to mark territory, but they have multiple reasons that they do it. For example, they may be doing this in front of you because they want attention, or they might do it to express happiness and play.


Rolling on the floor is common cat behavior in both males and females, but females usually do it when going into heat. In other words, they do it for different reasons.

You can tell they’re in heat because they will meow along with rolling. A male cat that rolls around and meows should be taken to the vet for examination because it could indicate underlying health problems.

If you enjoyed this article, maybe you will enjoy another article that I wrote titled, “Cat Psychology: The Social Roll Explained.”

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