Raccoons are complicated. They do tend to defecate away from their nest with a strange level of specificity and intention, doing it on a shed roof in the middle of the yard, on a lower roof overhang, or a deck. Why they prefer solid surfaces or hidden areas is likely related to their innate curiosity. They may simply be creative and artistic poopers. Humans have made art with feces, adult humans with art degrees and try to stop a toddler from touching it. This can be a danger in that toddlers and pets are most likely to interact with raccoon feces on the property and are most likely to get sick from it. Yet the question still stands. Why do raccoons defecate in their nests and then also on separate properties far from the nest in strange and awkward areas? Are they trying to disorient other raccoons? Imagine a panicked female raccoon. She is living in an attic with her babies and fears a male raccoon coming in when she is gone and killing her young. This is the method of survival raccoons use to make their own young more survivable creature, don’t teach them, kill all their enemies while they are still babies. This is horrific for a female raccoon and why they hide in such strange places and also why they seem to defecate in strange areas. This separated feces on another property is a decoy. The scent of the female is all over the other property. If a male approaches the site they will see feces of a female on the shed roof or the overhang or the deck. Amazingly these are all the places a raccoon female would hide in with her babies. The male will be fooled and the female will remain safe.
These feces are in a stairwell in a house under renovation which is a frequent occurrence.
This means if you have a raccoon defecating on your property it may well be living in your neighbour’s deck, shed, or attic. She likely has immobile babies she needs to hunt for and can’t leave because the males can smell her presence so she goes around to other properties and leaves her mark all over the place. Male raccoons come and smell it and look for an entryway but cannot find it. This is a theory, however. No one knows why raccoons defecate both in and intentionally outside of their nests but it may be related to a need to hide in public while defecating. They could also defecate outside of their nests in high places due to fear of ground-dwelling predators. Being in such a disadvantageous position as going to the bathroom is a moment many predators take to strike. These explanations may be true or they could be false, why the raccoon defecate in and outside from their nests may simply be because they are not always in their nest and sometimes need to go to the bathroom, like going to the bathroom at work. Less comfortable but it gets the job done.