MrsPHopefully: I have an older cat as well who sometimes has poop “issues”. Sorry if this gets a little graphic – I have no shame, although kitty is giving me a Look Of Judgement.
How *big* are the poops you’re finding outside the box (e.g., a normal size poop or smaller than dime)? Are they usually intact nuggets or “smears”? Do you see her “drag” her butt across carpet or floor (aka the boot scoot 🙂 ) after she finishes using the box?
You said she eats dry & some wet, do you feed her any other treats/supplements? Hairball treats or treatments are very high in fat and can sometimes contribute to “sticky” poops.
When she goes in the box, what is the consistency of her poops – closer to hard nuggets or more of a peanut butter consistency? Do they hold their shape, or are they watery enough that they become discs/pools?
– We sometimes find small poops that dry out and get kicked out of the box (nuggets) when one of the cats is burying, or that get stuck to kitty paws. She’ll rub these on the floor to get them off her paws (smears). If her poops are “wet”, she’ll sometimes boot scoot to clean her booty/tail.
– To try to keep her from doing this on the floor, we put a foam kitty litter mat in front of her box so she doesn’t have to boot scoot on the cold tile floor (which she wouldn’t do anyways, she’d just do it on the carpet, ick). We keep the mat clean and sanitize it on a regular basis.
– Kitty only gets wet food and water, and the occasional dry treat/hairball treat. We also offer her cat grass/wheatgrass (trimmed, otherwise barfies everywhere!) which is a natural hairball remedy and actually very healthy for cats, esp those that are on wet-only diets. You can find catgrass seeds online, or just buy some whole wheat grains or wheatgrass seed from a health store (looks like marquise shapes/unprocessed wheat).
Do you find small poops around her box? How often do you scoop the box? How deep is the litter in the box?
– as my kitty has aged, she needs more litter in the box to cover her stuff. She also sometimes will “kick” a poop out of the box by accident when she’s covering, especially if there are older/non-fresh poops in the box or pre-existing poops that she didn’t fully cover before. I try to scoop every time she goes (she doesn’t poop super often and usually goes right after we feed her or right before dinner) so that there’s no other poops for her to kick out or get on her paws.
– We use a clumping clay litter. She used to be OK with non-clumping, but nowadays is much pickier. The clumping also helps “hold” poops and pees together, so she doesn’t get wet litter on her paws and need to wipe them on everything.
Finally, is your cat overweight or unable to “bend” to lick her butt? This is unfortunately a part of kitty aging and loss of flexibility can be from multiple factors, not just weight. Our cat went on the “Catkins” diet (wet, grain free) and gradually went from 13lbs to just above 9.5lbs over the course of 2 years (at the strong suggestion/guidance of our vet). This helped with the frequency of pooping and while she didn’t gain much flexibility, being at an appropriate weight decreases the strain on older cat’s bodies and greatly reduces the risk for kitty conditions like diabetes, renal failure, etc.