To keep my cats in tip-top shape, I make sure to keep their nails trimmed and their teeth clean. Okay, maybe the teeth are a little harder to do but I try to keep their teeth clean. When we first got our cats, I looked up everything imaginable about cat care and asked my friends and family with cats about 500 cat questions. Two of the things I found helpful in my quest for cat knowledge was (1) it’s a good idea to trim cat nails regularly and (2) many cat’s end up with a tooth or gum problem at some point.
I aim to cut the cats nails on a weekly basis, sometimes I don’t get around to it so it’s sometimes weekly and sometimes every other week. I’ve read that the more regularly you do it, the easier it gets because the quick gets shorter. The quick is the red/pink part that you do not want to cut. I highly recommend reading up on cutting cats nails online before attempting it. There are a ton of good resources out there with pictures and everything, probably even videos, too. I recommend getting a good pair of nail cutters (and replace them as needed) and also buying something to stop the bleeding (just in case, they sell this as a gel or stick, I think).
As far as cat teeth, there are various options out there. I went with the cat teeth wipes which smell pretty good and are not too hard to use. I just hold the and wipe the teeth/gums as best as possible – the cats are usually wriggling around so I do what I can. There are also some dental chew toys for cats but my cat (Prosperity) ended up chewing right through it and ate part of it so we don’t get those anymore. They also sell toothbrushes but that seemed like a bit too much for me.
As with most things for cats – it’s best to start when they are younger so they can get used to it. But I do think with some patience, you can work with older cats as well. Best wishes and happy cat grooming!