Can't speak to the first part, but as to the second ...
1. Is her box clean?
2. Has her box recently been moved to a higher-traffic area?
3. Has her food changed recently?
If so, try restoring to original condition and see if it helps.
If not, she might be telling you she has a bladder infection. When mine get unruly in that regard, they earn themselves a vet trip.
Also, some cats are sensitive to household changes. New baby, kid went to college, you're now working where you used to stay at home ... stuff like that can send a sensitive cat into a little misbehavior. (Gentleman Friend went back to outside work last month, after working from home for a year, and the Duke boys did not like being unsupervised. They chose to act out in classic fashion: they pooed in the middle of the living room on his first day at work. It was so obvious a flipping of the bird, it made me laugh.)