There is nothing worse than stepping into your lovely garden and stepping in something that should not be there. Oh Poo! There are various animals that may come and visit you during the day or at night and use your lawn or flower beds as a latrine. The little presents could be left by badgers, rabbits, dogs, hedgehogs and more but 2 of the main culprits are cats and foxes. Are you waking up to parcels in your garden each morning? Do you have young children and are fed up with having to go outside and ensure that there are no poops to clean up? We are going to look at how to tell the difference between cat and fox poo so you can ascertain who the mystery pooper is and do something about it.

Fox Poo in a Field
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Cat Poo or Fox Poo?

Although cat poo and fox poo can often be around the same size, there are noticeable differences to help you identify which animal is leaving you special gifts on the lawn.

You can usually tell if it is cat poo or fox poo when you look at the smell, shape, colour, and content.

Cat Poo

Healthy cat poo is small, smooth, and cylindrical with no discernible contents visible and it will be a deep brown colour with a firm consistency like that of modelling clay.

Cat Poo in Litter Tray
Cat Poo in Litter Tray

Fox Poo

Fox poo is small and dark, almost black and will usually have fur, bone, feathers or berries visible. The smell is musky and appears twisted with one end ending at a point.

Fox Poo in Garden
Fox Poo. Pointed at One End and Matted with Fur

Recognising Other Poo in Your Garden

AnimalSizeColourAppearanceConsistencyOdourUndigested Contents?
Cat3 – 10 cmDeep BrownCylindrical, Rounded EndsFirm to SoftMildNo
Fox5 – 20 cmDark Brown, Almost BlackTwisted, Pointy at the EndRough due to ContentsStrong, MuskyBones, Fur, Berries
BadgerVariousVariousPiled in a Small Dug HoleWet/ SloppySweet, MuskyNo
Hedgehog1.5 – 5 cmBlackShiny, Tapered EndSquidgyMildBerries, Insects
Rabbit< 1 cmGreen, BrownSphericalFirmMildGrass
Description of Common Animal Scat UK

Check out our other article on how to stop foxes pooing in your garden.


Okay, so there are many ways how to tell the difference between cat and fox poo and you should now be able to identify the culprit. Cat poo will usually be small and have the same consistency throughout, and fox poo will usually be twisted and full of bones, fur, and other items that have not been fully digested.

Infographic containing comparison images of different poo you may find in your garden. Images of cat poo, fox poo, rabbit poo and hedgehog poo.

Garden Doctor Tips

“Foxes will poo in some strange places like on stones or logs to mark their territory!”

“Fox poo will usually be twisted and have a point at one end!”

“Cats will bury their poo in loose soil or in mulch. They will not usually go in the open or on concrete unless attempting to dominate another cat’s territory!”

“Make sure you remove the soil around the cat poo as toxoplasmosis can live in cat faeces and soil for up to 18 months!”

Frequently Asked Questions

Do foxes poo in your garden?

Foxes may well use your garden to defecate as they will do this to mark their territory. Foxes may poo on lawns, garden furniture, rocks, logs, and anything else that they have deemed to be theirs.

What does foxes poop look like?

Foxes poop is dog-like and twisted at one end. The poop will also contain fur, bones and other materials that have not been digested.

How do I identify cat poop?

Healthy cat poop is small, cylindrical, and deep brown. It will also be firm to the touch but not solid – a similar consistency to that of modelling clay.  


Trevor Wright is not just a seasoned horticulturist; he’s the esteemed Garden Doctor. With a BSc in Horticulture and years of hands-on experience in the soil, Trevor has become a trusted mentor for all things gardening. As the founder of Garden Doctor, he’s committed to clarifying the intricacies of gardening, offering straightforward advice that’s rooted in years of practice. His writing is a garden of how-tos, savvy insights, and comprehensive guides that enable individuals to nurture and grow their garden dreams. When he’s not knee-deep in garden beds, Trevor is at his keyboard passing on his green-thumbed wisdom to budding gardeners, ensuring that the legacy of sustainable and joyful gardening blossoms far and wide.

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