No matter what your cat eats, there will be tartar accumulation. If the tartar is left untreated, it will develop into oral diseases— which will lead to expensive vet bills and even tooth extraction, damaging your cat's quality of life. To avoid this troubling situation, we recommend brushing the cat's teeth at least twice a week. It may sound exhausting but as soon as you get the cat accustomed to the procedure (start early!), it only takes <5min to finish the brushing process.
Pay special attention to the BACK TEETH (both upper and lower)— tartar will mostly accumulate there in the grooves or close to the gum. You can google up some youtube videos on how to get them trained for the process. You can start with a finger wrapped with some cloth to massage their gums.
Finding a toothpaste they love is crucial. Some cats might like chicken flavor while some like beef /mint flavor. They might beg for teeth-brushing because of the toothpaste! Toothbrushes need careful selection too. Please see the products we use consistently (not ads) well-received by both Miro and S'More Fun:
First two brushes you should get:
MindUp 360: With this brush, you just put the paste on, stick it in their mouth FROM THE SIDE and put it near the BACK TEETH, and start rotating as they chew.
Microhead brush: This brush is great to brush cavities/BACK TEETH with great accuracy. It has a thin handle that is easier to poke into a kitten's mouth.
Upgraded brushes you can consider purchasing after their teeth become bigger & they get used to brushing:
Kid electric toothbrush: We use this for our big adult cat Miro as he's used to brushing. As it's electric we just put the brush + paste onto his back teeth and let the vibration does the job. It is rechargeable so it lasts forever. The vibration might take the cat a few days to get adjusted to, but start without the vibration and slowly increase the vibration interval until the cat gets used to it.
Toothpaste we use constantly:
Virbac Poultry: As approved by both cats in our house, this is the tastiest. They always want to lick it and enjoy brushing with this paste. This is used as regular brushing, with any of the above brushes. Last for at least 3-4months per tube.
Tropiclean Gel: This is our go-to when we observe a big tartar/plaque and need instant removal. You just squeeze a tiny bit (like a drop of finger-prick blood) onto the end-tuft brush/soft-bristle brush and aim right at the tartar/plaque— you just brush with the same drop 3 times at the spot and the tartar should be gone. Don't over-load the gel onto your cat's teeth and you don't need to use it until you clearly see a tartar/plaque.
RB sheds twice a year when the daylight duration changes (going longer or shorter). During the shedding season, you should comb their coat gently a few times a week. When it's not shedding season, you can comb once in a while. You should use a comb similar to the following so that not too much hair is ripped off from their skin:
When they lick themselves, it is possible some hairballs get stuck and accumulate in their stomach instead of getting pooped out — when this happens, you might see the cat puke some yellowish liquid with hairball inside... To avoid this puking scenario we recommend feeding some hairball control treats one piece per day. We use the following:
You may also plant some cat grass for the cats. However, different cats respond differently to cat grass. Miro would eat the grass and puke out both the hairball and the grass in an hour... We currently use the treats to avoid cleaning up extra puke...
We do bathe our cats, like every two months in warmer times and every three months in colder times. You can choose not to bathe, but RB's coat might look greasy soon as their saliva brings the grease to the coat. There are some dry shampoos you can try too, but don't get the shampoo/water on their faces. You can google up many videos on how to bathe your cat/get your cat used to being bathed. Make sure to dry your cat thoroughly in a WARM room so that he/she doesn't get a cold.
We stand against declawing—it will make the cat emotionally unstable (imagine you get your fingers chopped off) and significantly damage the cat's quality of life. Declawing violates our adoption contract.
Nail trimming is easy when you do it right— do it when the kitty is asleep. In addition, you don't need to trim too much at once, you can do it frequently cutting only a little bit, and immediately stop when the cat becomes disturbed. Once you trim the nails regularly, the nails would become blunter and the nail-trimming chore could be done less frequently.
Cats' ears have oil/grease/dirt accumulation if they don't have a buddy to lick their ears... We use a cat ear cleaning solution every 1-2 weeks or so and wipe the ears dry with cotton pads.