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We have 2 cats and they're pretty well behaved, toilet-wise. They are allowed out during the day, but we keep them in overnight as they're black cats so would be hard to see if any cars go past.

For the past few months or so though when we've come down in the morning there will be a pungent, sloppy pile of cat poop right in front of the catflap. Their litter trays are literally about 30cm away from the catflap, yet the poop will be there on the floor. it happens so often that we've started moving the litter tray over to the catflap overnight. So now we get the poop in the littertray, but the cat never buries this one - they clear a space in the tray and drop it there, not covering it up at all.

This means our house stinks every morning, which is not great.

I've been looking into why they might be doing this, but can't find any reason. Possibly they're worried that a neighbourhood cat is going to come in overnight or something so are marking the area as a deterrant? But cat's would usually spray for that, not poop. Plus the catflap is chipped and locked overnight, so no cat would ever come in. They're happy cats, and show no signs of illness or distress, so we're a bit at a loss of why they're doing this.

Why are we getting these overnight poops, and how can we stop it?

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I suspect that there's another cat hanging out in your yard at night, and that is making your cats feel threatened or more territorial.

On a couple of episodes of "My Cat from Hell" they dealt with intruders by placing electronic devices outside the house that would spray water to repel stray cats. There are also granules and sprays that are supposed to repel cats. Here's one online store that sells them. I haven't used them, but their website will at least give you an idea of what's available.

If there are garbage bins in your backyard, make sure they are cat-proof. The lure of food can probably overpower any repellent you might try.

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  • Whilst this may be a good idea for keeping cats away, unfortunately I don't think it's going to be ideal in this situation, because the area that is potentially the problem is the place outside the catflap. So I don't want to put anything down that'll stop my own cats coming and going. Also, you missed off the link from your answer. – JonW May 24 '17 at 7:23
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There are a few possibilities here:

1) Medical problem: Sometimes cats can, for whatever reason, have a medical reason for poor bowel control. I had a Manx who had poor pooping control most of her life. As a result she often got constipated and needed help getting stuff out. It can work the other way too and they can strain or have an accident just before or just after leaving the litter box. A visit to the vet might help diagnose this. Antibiotics, sickness, etc can cause loose stools in cats.

2) Territory: If the cat (pooping outside the litter box) feels threatened by the other cat, pooping there is a way of broadcasting "This is my territory". This is a possibility but you mention the poop is wet and sloppy; unless this cat always has had wet sloppy poop I'd lean to the first possibility

3) Upset / Angry: This is less likely but general stress / conflict could cause a variant of 2) where the cat makes a mess. It is less common but I have heard of cats doing this when their owners were on vacation etc...

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In addition to the suggestions in mhwombat's answer, it sounds like extra affection and reassurance from you could help.

Being territorial, your cats seem to be displaying fear/insecurity that would benefit from your assurances they are safe. Introduction of a new, interesting perch mounted on a wall, would go far to give them a "safe place" to feel more secure and hopefully alleviate the poop problem. cat perch

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