Identifying Predator by Poop?

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10 Years
Feb 12, 2009
NW Florida
I know cats generally always bury their poop, and dogs seem to find a nice spot right in the middle of the path where you want to walk to just conveniently drop theirs...

I found some poop that seemed like cat poop based on the horrible odor (cat poop smells MUCH worse than dog poop!) but it was in a very odd place. We had some pieces of 2 x 2 lumber sort of jumbled in a pile near our coop, and this pile of poop was dumped right on top of one of the "sticks". There's NO WAY a cat could have thought it could bury something there, they always dig themselves a little hole to poop in BEFORE they do their business, and there was nothing to dig.

What else could have left this poo on top of a pile of lumber? This is a mystery...
Fox tend to poop on elevated spots. I think it's a calling card for other fox.

The one we "had" liked to poop on the big ant mounds.

Lots of predators go out of their way to deposit their scat (poop) in noticeable locations, especially canids (dog family: wolf, coyote, fox) and mustelids (weasel family: fisher, mink, and weasel).

It can be tricky to distinguish predator scats, but you can usually at least narrow it down by looking at overall size, shape, texture and contents. It sounds disgusting to do this, but if you want to post a photo of it with something in it for scale, I might be able to identify it.

Yes, house cats usually do bury their scats, but bobcats usually do not bury it, and sometimes leave it in noticeable locations.

Odor isn't always that reliable, unless it has a skunky odor, which often indicates fox....But don't put your nose too close to wild animal scat unless you are sure it is not raccoon scat, because it can carry an intestinal parasite, baylisacaris procyonis, which you can contract by inhaling the eggs while sniffing the scat.
I don't think we have any bobcats around here - I'm in a subdivision in pseudo-suburbia, but there are some small stretches of woods around. I also don't think we have many weasel-type creatures around here (NW Florida). Based on your choices above, I'd guess a fox.

I couldn't tell any "contents", it just looked like a brown mushy pile, almost like a little bit diarrhea, a soft pile of poo-extrusion, not individual "logs", know what I mean? I guess it could have even been a cat that had to go REALLY BADLY and didn't have the time to get their potty-hole dug? I'll keep my eyes (and nose) open and if I see any more that looks like this, I'll take a pic before disposing of it. THANKS for the info!
I just Googled your area and you have all manner of things that could have left the scat there- mink, wesels, bobcat, coyote, fox, raccoon, skunk and bears. With the amount of habitat destruction the US is facing, a lot of the animals are moving into suburban areas. I'd batten down the hatches on your coop to make sure nothing can get in.
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