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What Is a Sploot? (And Why Do Cats & Dogs Do It?)

Nicole Cosgrove

Some of the most popular searches in recent Internet history involve cute pets, especially cats and dogs. One of the newer adorable pet crazes to take over the world wide web is called splooting or frogging. Splooting is whenever a dog or cat stretches out on their belly with their legs behind them.

Watching animals sploot is downright adorable, but it serves an important function too. Read on to learn about splooting and why certain animals do it.divider-cat

Splooting Explained

If you are new to the terms sploot, you probably have seen an animal or two sploot without realizing it. Splooting happens whenever a dog or cat stretches out on their stomach. One or both legs can be stretched out behind them, elongating their entire frame.

  • Half Sploot: One leg is stretched out and one leg remains tucked under the torso
  • Side Sploot: One leg is stretched out to the side and one leg remains tucked under the torso
  • Full Sploot: Both legs are stretched out behind the torso

Why “Sploot”?

fat lazy dog
Image Credit: Reifous, Pixabay

Even though the act of splooting is really common, some people don’t know that there is a common word to describe the phenomenon: sploot. As you would probably figure from the name itself, this is not a technical term used by vets.

Instead, it is a term used by pet owners on the Internet. It is an onomatopoeia that embodies the cutesy nature of the act. Some people prefer the term “frogging” to describe the same phenomenon since the animal stretches out like a frog.

Why Cats and Dogs Sploot

Currently, there are no scientific explanations as to why cats and dogs sploot. It seems that some animals simply prefer sitting in this way over other postures. In other words, it is simply up to your pet’s personal preference.

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Theories About Why Animals Sploot

Even though scientists have not explicitly studied why certain pets like to lay in this position, there are a few theories to explain it. Some of the most common theories include that it stretches their hips, cools them down, and feels comfortable.

Stretches Hips

Even though stretching your hips may not feel like the most prevalent physical exercise, hip mobility plays an important function in every person’s life. Hip mobility makes it easier to move around, walk, and enjoy the day. The same is true for your pets. In fact, hip mobility is highly important for pets because of the unique nature of their joints.

It is theorized that some animals sploot because it helps to stretch their hips. Dog and cat hips fall in a different position than ours, which makes hip issues more common for them. Splooting helps to stretch them out. This can help the animal feel more comfortable and mobile in their legs.

Cool Off

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Image Credit: Nattapong Pongpiyapan, Shutterstock

Another theory about why animal sploot has to do with body temperature. Dogs and cats do not sweat like us, which means they have to find other ways to cool off. If you notice that your pet is specifically splooting on hard, cold surfaces, especially when the weather is hot, they may be trying to cool their body temperature.

Many types of flooring, such as hardwood or tile, feel cold to the touch. Whenever an animal sploots over the cold surface, their stomach is cooled off, allowing them to feel more comfortable.

It’s Comfortable

The last explanation as to why animals sploot is that it is simply comfortable. Obviously, your pet would not sploot if it hurt their legs or body. With this in mind, your pet may be splooting simply because they prefer this position.

When To See a Vet

In most cases, you don’t have anything to worry about if you notice your pet splooting. However, splooting can be caused by certain medical issues, such as hip dysplasia, arthritis, and injury. If you suspect any of these conditions, it’s important to take your pet to the vet.

You will likely be able to see other side effects of these conditions in addition to the splooting if your pet has a serious medical condition to be aware of. For example, if you notice that your dog or cat has a limp, rash, decreased appetite, or diminished activity, you need to call the vet.

In the case that your pet does not show any other signs of serious health conditions, it is likely just stretching out or cooling off, and you don’t need to call the vet just yet.

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Final Thoughts

Splooting is a downright adorable trend that some cats and dogs partake in. If you notice your pet splooting, know that there is probably no cause for concern. However, call the vet if you see other signs of illness. Most likely, your pet is simply trying to make itself feel more comfortable.

So, grab your camera and snap a picture of this adorable position. If you want, you could even lay down next year pet while they’re splooting for some adorable bonding action.


Featured Image Credit: danielleshea, Pixabay

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.