I have a 16 year old brother/sister pair (both fixed as kittens, of course). They are a Maine Coon mix and rather large (15 and 19 pounds). They have always been tidy and non-destructive -- just the perfect cats and I love them very much -- yes, I would go back into the house if it was burning to save them. However, the female is doing something odd that has me at my wit's end -- I even thought about putting her down -- although that just breaks my heart because she is 'family' -- and old, and probably can't help it. For the last few weeks she has been either peeing over the side of the box or just doing it next to the box - then sometimes just sleeps on it, or something, because she smells horrendous - as does every place else that she stays - not to mention the litter box area. It is beyond anything I have ever smelled before. I have had to bathe her twice (yeah -- bathing a cat -- but like I said, these are perfect cats -- she never fusses or fights; she just sits in the tub as I scrub her down -- even though she has never had a bath in her entire life -- again, always very tidy purr factories). However, this also happened a few years back so I scoured the universe for the largest sized litter box that I could find -- and they were fine after that. Granted they are really long cats but if she just stepped one more paw forward, she would not keep 'just missing' the litter box. I have come up with a solution to solve the destruction of the floors: rubber mats on the flooring, with a lot of pee pads on top. I have also purchased a second litter box that was lower, in case walking into the box was becoming problematic in her old age. However, she never poops outside of the box, so getting in doesn't seem to be the issue. I think she is getting lazy (she sleeps all day anyway) and old and walking that extra step is too inconvenient (hmmm...she sure has energy when it is time for treats!). It is costing a fortune in pee pads -- and being retired, I have to watch my budget. I have not taken her to the vet -- but quite frankly - even if there is an issue, I am not sure that will stop her laziness - because that is what it appears to be. My final 'solution' will be to crate her in the basement -- but that seems cruel - but better than the 'final' alternative, of course. However, since this started, she has stopped any interaction with me. She has always slept next to my recliner in the evening while we watched tv so she could get pet - so I set up a little pillow for her there -- she hasn't used it since it she started making a mess (just as well, since she smells). She used to be the first one in line in the morning waiting for pets when I woke up (she knew exactly my path in the morning and would be right there, waiting) -- now I rarely see her. I know I'll have to take her to the vet in case she has a UTI -- but can imagine they won't be too happy with the smell either - and may insist on bathing her. The trauma will probably kill her -- she allows me to bathe her because she trusts me -- but I think she would panic like most cats if a stranger tried - and sedating her, at her age, is out of the question. Although I am not crazy about the mess, the real problem is the smell. I am in the process of getting my house ready to be put up for sale, and the aroma of cat urine is beyond anything anyone could 'see beyond'. Changing the pads as soon as she 'misses' and cleaning the litter boxes daily keeps the smell localized to that area -- but even that isn't acceptable, because even after a thorough cleaning - the aroma lingers, since this is a daily occurrence.