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The Cutest Animals Ever are "Splooting" and it's Going Viral

Yes, it’s just as adorable as it sounds.

What better way to get through a heatwave than by "splooting"? Splooting, in case you're not familiar with the term, is when an animal lays down and stretches their hind legs straight out behind them, looking like superman flying through the air. Animals—like squirrels—sploot to try and stay cool in the heat. And the cuter the animal, the cuter the sploot! 

What Exactly Is Splooting?

A squirrel in a tree on a sunny summer day.

What makes a sploot a sploot? "In short, splooting is a type of stretch that involves kicking one or both legs behind the body," says the Gilbertsville Veterinary Hospital. "The one leg sploot involves one leg behind while the other leg remains tucked underneath. This may look familiar to dog owners, however splooting is not an exclusively canine behavior. Occasionally, cats can do it too!"

Squirrels Love To Sploot

Squirrels keep cool by splooting.
NYC Parks

New York City squirrels are turning heads during the heatwave with their splooting, but officials assure people the little creatures are just fine. "If you see a squirrel lying down like this, don't worry; it's just fine," tweets the NYC Parks Department. "On hot days, squirrels keep cool by splooting (stretching out) on cool surfaces to reduce body heat. It is sometimes referred to as heat dumping."

Different Sploots For Different Animals

Corgi Puppy Sploot in grass

Splooting takes many forms, according to the Gilbertsville Veterinary Hospital:

  • "The Classic Sploot: One leg remains beneath the body while the other leg is kicked back.
  • The Side Sploot (Left or Right): One leg is tucked under the body while the other is kicked out to the side. Often the animal is laying with on hip on the ground.
  • The Full Sploot: The animal has kicked both legs behind the body, exhibiting a full body stretch."

Splooting Is a Young Pup's Game

Cat sleeping on the floor.

Pet owners may notice their furry friends sploot more when they're younger, thanks to increased flexibility. Which explains why there are so many cute puppy splooting pics online!

Is Splooting Ever a Cause For Concern?

French Bulldog Splooting Off-leash dog park in Northern California.

If your pet is trying to walk on its front legs while the back ones are dragging, it could be a sign of hip dysplasia—any unusual walk or signs of pain should be addressed immediately. But otherwise, as with the NYC squirrels, it's a common way for animals to beat the heat.

Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more
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