What Is a Sploot and Why Do Dogs and Cats Do It?

Updated on February 21, 2019
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Sam volunteers at her local animal shelter and is a parent to 2 poodles named Bo and Derek, and a cat named Crumbs.

Cute corgi sploot
Cute corgi sploot

What Is Splooting?

In case you haven't been on the internet, splooting (a.k.a. frogging) is when a dog or cat lies flat on their belly with their hind legs stretched out straight behind them rather than tucked in underneath their torso. There is something inherently funny and adorable about this posture, so it is no wonder videos and photos of pets splooting have become a social media craze.

The Corgi is credited with making the sploot famous, but all dogs and cats can sploot.

Why Is It Called a Sploot?

There is an entire cutesy pet language that exists just to describe the adorable and idiosyncratic behaviors of our pets. The word "sploot" is an example of a pet-based onomatopoeia that appeared on the internet one day and then entered our daily lingo because it was attached to a web-wide sensation that became pop culture.

Provocative sploot
Provocative sploot

Why Do Our Pets Sploot?

There isn't a scientific explanation for this posture, and it boils down to personal preference. Just as some humans prefer to cross their legs while others tend to keep them straight, some animals sploot and other don't.

Dogs and cats sploot because:

  • They want an all-body stretch
  • It is a comfortable and relaxing position
  • Stretching out cools their body temperature

Funny sploot
Funny sploot

Different Types of Sploots

  • The Full Sploot: The most popular sploot is when both hind legs are splayed behind the dog or cat.
  • The Side Sploot: This is when one hind leg sticks out to the side while the other leg is tucked in.
  • The Half Sploot: When one back leg sticks straight out and the other is tucked underneath their belly.

Is Splooting Common?

Splooting occurs more with short-legged breeds, like Corgis or Bulldodgs, as it can be difficult for dogs with long legs to accomplish that full range of flexibility in their hips.

You'll also notice splooting occurs more often in puppies and kittens because their joints are looser when they are younger.

Cat with back legs stretched out all the way.
Cat with back legs stretched out all the way.

Should I Be Concerned?

Unless there are other accompanying symptoms, such as a loss of appetite, a rash on their underside, or limping, splooting is perfectly normal and is actually beneficial because it stretches the animal's hips and increases flexibility.

When to Call the Vet

  • Your dog is limping or has a "bunny hoping" gait
  • Deceased activity
  • Rash or itchiness
  • Decreased appetite

Possible Medical Causes for Splooting:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Injury
  • Arthritis

Again, if your dog is otherwise healthy and is not displaying any other odd symptoms, then splooting is just a stretching position that is comfortable for them. If you notice other symptoms and/or are concerned, talk to your vet.

Even polar bears sploot.
Even polar bears sploot.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

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