Originally Posted by Reg
I was just wondering if there's something in the environment outside the home that is bothering the cats - for example, stray cats coming in close to the house and interfering in their so called territory. This can set up all kinds of issues from territorial marking to fighting between the cat residents in the house. From the human's point of view, situations like this are missed. All we know is we have an issue and we don't know what started it. The poo on the floor at the basement door could be a territorial marking thing, as well as stress, as you've mentioned earlier.
Have you considered using an animal communicator to see if they could shed some light on your problem. I know there has been some mention of animal communicators when it comes to lost animals on this site. I think there's been some success in their use, I'm not sure maybe somebody else could shed some light on this subject.
Here are some websites that I got out of the Animal Wellness Magazine, maybe they might give you some ideas. Hopefully we can bring this to a happy and successful conclusion.
So just to put it out there since it appears to be working - we've solved the pooping problem (for now). He was always doing it in the exact same place, in front of the closed basement door (they're not allowed in the basement). So we had an extra litter box and we filled it with litter and stuck it there, where he'd been pooping...now he just poops in the box.
It doesn't answer the question of WHY he started doing it in the first place, but for now it's okay. They have 2 boxes and I guess this new basement door location is prime real estate because they're both using it exclusively now.
I moved their food into the dining area with us, so they're far away from their litter boxes, and they seem to like that as well.
I haven't seen any outdoor cats in the neighborhood, and I work from home so I have a pretty good feeling for what comes around the house - the only thing we have are deer. Daisy will "hunt" them from our back door (it's a huge glass sliding door), chattering at them and stalking them from inside. Their wet food is venison, so maybe she's thinking "dinner".
BUT - we did have a traumatic event that sparked the whole social tension thing. In a nutshell (because it's a long story), the day we moved to this new house from the old one was HELL (this was June). We sequestered them in the bedroom with us with their food/water/litter box, and Daisy spent the ENTIRE night screaming, howling, meowing, etc. And I saw Fitz just snap. He completely lost his mind - growling, hissing, spitting, making jungle cat noises - it was REALLY affecting him. I mean I know she was stressed with the move and everything, but her incessant meowing really set him off. And he has pretty much hated her since that night. They've never been the same since that night. At our old house they used to have a rivalry for sure, and they avoided each other for the most part, but not like they do now. Now he stays downstairs and she stays upstairs. They mingle sometimes (like right now they're eating together) and he's spent the last few days in bed with Daisy and me while I'm sick, and it does seem to be getting a little bit better. But I guess that horrible night has just stuck with them - it's like he can't tolerate her. She'll act like she's scared of him, but she's bigger than he is and when he instigates a fight, she can pretty much always knock him down. But she hisses at him sometimes if he surprises her, which is new.
I wonder if the social tension is what caused the pooping? I guess this is where the animal behaviorist would come in.
Thank you for the links to the animal communicators. I'm not sure if that's the next step I'd take - I have a referral for a DVM animal behavioral specialist near us that I may call. Back before he was famous (like in 2004) I had a $50 2-hour phone consultation with Jackson Galaxy, and he really helped us - now he costs like $500 for a consultation (my friend just had him help her with her cat)! If anyone has had experience with an animal behaviorist or animal communicator I'd love to hear about their experience.
This thread has morphed into something else entirely - and thank you for your help and suggestions and advice.