Cat does not clean her paws after digging in the garden

Hello, I have a cat approxiamtely 12 years old now, and she has always been so clean and tidy. However, over the last 3 or 4 months she now seems to have let herself go a bit. She continues to groom her coat and clean her private areas, but after she has been digging in the garden, her feet are so full of dirt, she just brings it into the house.

In the past, she always cleaned herself prior to comming in. Now there appears to be just big clumps.
She is very well loved and very well looked after, I am just a bit worried about her actions recently.
In the past she has had a prolapsed disc and had an operation, she was also muted in Cyprus and due to the fact that they carried out a bodge job, had to be newted again on return to UK.
Do you have any advice?
Cat lover

Answer from Kate
When ever a cat stops grooming themselves quite as well as they used to it suggests that they may either have difficulty reaching those areas or are suffering some other form of illness which is making them depressed and so less likely to look after themselves so well.

Due to her age and her previous bad health I would definitely recommned a trip to the vets to have her checked over. this should be your first consideration to rule out any possible underlying illness which may be stopping her from grooming herself so well.

Best wishes KAte

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