my ongoing old cat litter box dilemma
I've posted previously about my frail, chronically ill, 17 year old cat and his inability to make it to the downstairs litter box. So I've now had one upstairs for awhile. When a leak damaged my wood floors I moved it into my only bathroom since it has a tile floor. When I couldn't take it any more - cat litter on my feet and the difficulty of actually using the small bathroom with a litter box in the middle of it - I moved it to my kitchen. Completely gross in my opinion but I don't have any other options that don't run the risk of damaged floors.
I clean the box constantly whenever I'm home - every time someone goes in it. The old cat uses it but has also pooped on various rugs and peed into my floor heat ducts. Earlier this week I stepped in cat poop on a rug in the kitchen right as I was about to leave for work. Last night he walked right up to the perfectly clean litter box and started peeing into the heat duct. I've had him to the vet and he did have some kind of kidney infection but that was cleared up a while back with antibiotics and he's actually doing much better than he was - eating well again and gaining weight. I've soaked every known pee or poop spot with simple solution to the extent I can without damaging the floor.
I feel like I've reached the end of my rope - again. Is it possible that old cats get dementia and just don't know where to go any more? I now have him confined to my downstairs guest bathroom. I feel so bad for him because he's NEVER been confined like this. He's always had free run of the house. But I just can't go on like this - living in what feels like a giant litter box that I'm afraid will smell like one for the next 15-20 years that I live here.
This is my 4th cat to live to this age and I've never had a situation like this. I really don't know what to do any more - whatever seems realistic for me seems like a bad deal for him.