Question: My two 10-year-old cats use a pet door to get to their litter boxes in the garage. A couple of months ago, I started finding poop far from the boxes and near the garage door. I clean the boxes regularly, and I cannot see any difference in anything else with the cats. I have run over this “gift” a couple of times on my way out of the garage. Please help.
Answer: When we were kids, we’d put bottles of water or cans of soda behind the back tire of our dad’s Ford Edsel, a great car, because it was really heavy and it easily concealed bottles and cans behind the back tires. We’d hide in the garage, anticipating the blast. The game ended the same morning we used a bottle of ketchup, and it was worth every hour we were in our room.
But no, your cats are not playing the same game. They’re cats and have no idea how funny it is when you run over poop. A shame, really. But your questions merely reminded us of one of our favorite childhood activities.
It’s more likely your felines are laying down land mines to protect against invading marauders of the feline variety, according to Valley cat behaviorist Jane Ehrlich (cattitudebehavior.com). Laying down a defensive line of poop is the cat way of saying, “This land is my land, and you don’t even want to know what happens if I take it to Defcon 4.”
To affirm this possible invasion, run a black light along the outside of your garage door. Glowing streaks of orange, red, blue or green are evidence of feline spraying or urine. See nothing? That means cats are staying away, or it’s daylight and you should wait until the sun sets to try again.
Odds are you will find the telltale marks. You may want to set up motion-sensor sprinklers, attachments widely available online.
If you ever spot a juice box or mustard packets behind your rear tires, your cats are definitely messing with you.