Our cats are all indoor/outdoor, and the oldest one is currently around 13. She was always good about meowing to go out when she has to do her business. However, her health has started to decline within the past few years (we've taken her to the vet many times in an attempt to make her stop over-grooming). She's thinner now and tends to sleep most of the time, usually on my bed upstairs. Within the past week or so she's developed this habit of pooping in a bathroom we're redoing on the first floor. It started at night if she was left in, but now she does it even if we're in the house and could easily open the door to let her out, which is just 20 feet away.
We just cleaned the bathroom floor with vinegar and water and put the door back on (it was off during the re-tiling) to keep her out of it and eliminate all poop smell, but we're worried she'll just start going somewhere else. I've never been a fan of litter boxes, but I'm starting to think that might be the only option (although we tried leaving it out one night right next to where she goes, and she ignored it). Any suggestions? She did have a diet change recently--we switched to a grain-free food (because our other cat was having food allergy issues), which does have a very high protein content. I wasn't sure if that was good for our older cat, but at least she isn't barfing at all any more like she used to. However, perhaps it could be influencing her need to poop so suddenly? Either way, I need a little help!
Answer on Older cat suddenly pooping on the floor?
As she's getting older, she is becoming more... well, sort of lazy. She might also be losing sense of where she's going, happened to one of my cats. I would definitely get some litter boxes and train her, since she's not used to it. The training goes the same as for kittens, even though it will take a little more persistance on your part: http://www.kingcounty.gov/safety/AnimalS…
Great choice switching to grain-free food. Wet grain-free might be even better if you're still using dry. I can't recommend feeding ANY dry food. Cats are designed to get their water from food. That's the way nature designed them, they have low thirst drive. When fed dry, they won't drink enough to compensate for the lack of moisture. They will only consume about 50% of the water they should be having. This can lead to kidney disease, UTI, crystals, blockage, renal failure and more. Especially since you have a tom, this is crucial. Male cats have narrower urethra than female cats and are more prone to blockage from the crystals.
Free feeding also leads to obesity. And the fact that dry food is over-processed means, that most of it’s little nutrition has been already destroyed, leaving almost no nutrients for your cat. It needs to eat more to meet it’s needs, and in the process consumes more calories from the fillers.
Btw wetting the dry food will not help. There’s bacteria on the kibble and the water would just allow it to grow.
The only way to give the cat it's natural hydration is to feed it wet food only.
Also make sure she has no medical problem, inappropriate elimination is often a symptom of an ilness.