The Best Cat Shampoos To Keep Your Cat Clean And Fresh

the best shampoos for cats

Just like humans have to take showers and comb or brush their hair every day, cats bathe themselves too. However, there are certain hard-to-reach places that cats can miss. In addition to brushing a cat regularly, it can be beneficial to both the cat and the cat owner to bathe a cat with cat shampoo. This will help get in all those places that cats may miss. But how do you know what to look for in a cat shampoo? Just like human shampoo, it’s important to be able to pick out a product that works for your feline friend’s coat and skin, so he doesn’t get irritated or itchy from it. We’ll talk about the different types of cat shampoos, things to keep in mind when purchasing a cat shampoo, how to properly bathe your cat, and the best cat shampoos to keep your cat clean and fresh. the best cat shampoos

Different Types of Cat Shampoos

There are a few different types of cat shampoos out there on the market. What works best for your cat will depend on his needs. Keep reading to find out about the different types of cat shampoo and what type works for a cat’s different needs.

Traditional Shampoo

Traditional cat shampoo is regular cat shampoo. Usually, traditional cat shampoo features a gentle formula, with many options offered for cats that have sensitive skin. Many are made with all natural products, so there are no harsh side effects as a result of using harsh, chemical filled shampoo.


Cat shampoo-conditioner usually isn’t a necessity for keeping your cat clean. However, it does provide some benefits to those who are looking to make the grooming and cleaning process as seamless as possible for both you and your cat. Shampoo-conditioner does everything a normal cat shampoo does, such as deep cleaning your cat’s coat and remaining neutral to his sensitive skin. However, it also provides some extra advantages in that is makes your cat’s coat silky and smooth, so you won’t have to deal with tangled fur the next time bath time comes around. Some cat shampoo-conditioners also moisturize your cat’s skin, so it doesn’t get all dried out in between washes.

Waterless Shampoo

Waterless cat shampoo is a great option for cat owners whose cats are either too ill to be bathed or who can’t bathe themselves properly. Usually, waterless shampoo provides almost everything to your cat that regular cat shampoo has. It can clean off your cat’s coat and allow it to stay well-maintained. However, if your cat has fleas or has gotten into a mess that’s deeply ingrained in his fur or skin, you’ll want to use normal cat shampoo for that. Waterless shampoo works differently than normal cat shampoos do. We have a quick guide on how best to bathe your cat below with normal cat shampoo. However, with most waterless shampoos, you’ll want to follow these steps:

  1. Spreading an even amount on your cat’s coat. First, take the nozzle and spread an even amount of foam or spray on your cat’s fur.

  2. Take a brush and brush it into your cat’s fur. This not only detangles your cat’s fur, it allows the product to be evenly distributed.

  3. That’s it! No watery mess is created.

the best cat shampoo

What To Keep In Mind When Purchasing Cat Shampoo

There are many different factors that play into the specific shampoo you’ll purchase for your cat. Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re looking at different cat shampoos.

Any Allergies Your Cat Has

One of the biggest factors playing into which cat shampoo you purchase will be any allergies your cat may have. If he doesn’t have allergies at all, you’ll likely be able to use about any type of cat shampoo out there on the market. However, if your cat has allergies, you’ll want to look for cat hypoallergenic shampoo. Most of these types of shampoos are made with all natural ingredients, without any harsh chemicals added. They also typically help prevent dry skin, and may even be ph balanced so your cat doesn’t have a weird smell once the bath is finished.

Any Skin Sensitivities Your Cat Has

Your cat’s skin sensitivities are another big factor that’ll play into what type of shampoo you purchase for him. If your cat has any type of skin irritation or skin condition, you’ll want to look for cat shampoos that explicitly state they help with said concerns. Many shampoos made for a cat’s sensitive skin will not only contain ingredients that help stop him from having itchy skin, but will add moisture back into his skin so it’s not so dry. If serious enough, you may need to see a veterinarian to have them recommend medicated cat shampoo to you.

Ingredients The Shampoo Is Made Out Of

Many natural-based cat shampoos will be made with the same types of ingredients. However, if you’re planning on getting a shampoo that’s not branded as natural, you’ll want to pay attention to the ingredient label on the shampoo. Here are some ingredients that you should watch out for and why they may be harmful to your cat:

  • Phenol: Phenol is a chemical that can be quickly absorbed into your cat’s digestive tract and can cause kidney damage at a quick rate.

  • Parabens: You’ll want to avoid the prolonged use of shampoos that have parabens in them. Over time, parabens have been linked to cancers and can cause reproductive issues for your cat.

  • Sulfates: Sulfates are especially harmful for cats that have dry skin. Prolonged exposure to sulfates can dry out your cat’s skin by removing the naturally occurring healthy oils.

  • Pennyroyal. Pennyroyal is used for a lot of tick and flea repellent, so it may be present in tick shampoo and flea shampoo. However, it is highly toxic to cats, and can cause liver failure in a short amount of time.

  • Formaldehyde. Often used as a preserving agent, the gasses released into the air that are produced as a result of using shampoos containing formaldehyde are dangerous to both cats and humans.

the best cat shampoo

Any Sensitivities You May Have

For many of the same reasons listed above, you should also look for a cat shampoo that you won’t have a bad reaction to as a cat owner. Many ingredients that are harmful to cats are also going to be harmful to humans, but to a lesser scale. Additionally, if you know of any specific ingredient you’re allergic to, you should do your best to avoid that ingredient so bath time can go as seamlessly as possible.

No Human Shampoo For Cats

Under no circumstance should you use human shampoo for your feline friend. Human shampoo has specific ingredients tailored towards human skin, which has a different moisture level and is ph balanced in a different way. There are different ingredients used that humans can handle differently than cats, especially when it comes to different oils and fragrances added. So please never use human shampoo on cats!

How To Properly Bathe Your Cat

Bathing your cat can be a daunting task, especially if your cat doesn’t like the water. Here are our top tips on how to avoid stress during bath time as much as possible for both you and your feline friend.

  1. Help your cat relax and make them as comfortable as possible. If you give your cat lots of loving, treats, and playtime before the bath, they’re more likely to remain relaxed and not as jumpy when it comes to putting them in the water.

  2. Get all your materials ready before you get your cat wet. It’s recommended that you have all your materials ready before giving your cat a bath, so you don’t struggle to contain your cat and try to find a brush or the shampoo.

  3. Put your cat into the bathtub without putting water on them. By slowly introducing your cat into the bathing environment, they’ll be less likely to become anxious or frightened when it comes to adding them to the water.

  4. Take your cat out and add a few inches of lukewarm water into the tub. After taking your cat out, add a few inches of lukewarm water into the tub. It’s important not to add water that’s too hot, because it could burn your cat.

  5. Slowly wet your cat, making sure to avoid his face. By slowly placing your cat into the water, you’ll allow him to get acclimated to the environment better. Gently put water over his fur to help him get adjusted to the water.

  6. Put shampoo on your cat and gently lather it into his fur and skin. After your cat’s fur is wet, slowly lather an appropriate amount of shampoo into his fur. Be sure to gently rub the shampoo into his fur, because if you’re too harsh, it could scare or injure your cat.

  7. Rinse your cat with lukewarm water, making sure to avoid his face. After the shampoo is rubbed in, slowly rinse the water and shampoo off him. This may be best achieved by keeping a smaller container of water nearby that you can use to better control the flow of the water on him. Make sure you get all the shampoo off!

  8. Using your towel, gently dry him off and give him lots of loving and treats. Once the shampoo is all washed out of his fur, you can gently dry him off. Make sure to give him lots of treats and pets, and reassure him that he did a great job.

  9. That’s it! You can clean up now!

the best shampoos for cats

Our Top Cat Shampoo Choices

Here are our top cat shampoo choices that are some of the highest recommended options out on the market.

Burt’s Bees for Cats

Burt’s Bees for Cats is a hypoallergenic shampoo that is perfect for the cats out there that have allergies or sensitive skin. It is made with 99.7% natural ingredients, the most being shea butter and honey. Not only does this cat shampoo remain sensitive to your cat’s sensitive skin, but it also moisturizes the skin and restores a natural shine to your cat’s coat. It is also ph-balanced as well, making for one of our top cat shampoo choices out there. You can get this bottle of cat shampoo for $7.59 on Amazon.

Oatmeal Shampoo- Grooming for Dogs and Cats

This oatmeal shampoo by John Paul Pet company is made specifically for cats that have sensitive skin. Made with natural ingredients, it is ph balanced, paraben-free, and has aloe in order to provide the highest hydration level to your cat’s skin. It helps combat your cat’s itchy skin, dry skin, and everywhere in between. It works by placing a copious amount of shampoo onto your cat’s fur and you lathering it in. It doesn’t have any harmful ingredients or fragrances, so you won’t have to worry about being irritated or your cat being irritated. You can find this bottle of shampoo on Amazon for $7.89.

Vet’s Best Waterless Cat Bath

Vets Best Waterless Cat shampoo is formulated to work without having to douse your feline friend in water. It is a dry shampoo that works by you spraying a decent amount into either your palm or your cat’s fur, by which you then brush into his fur to evenly distribute the product. It provides cleaning properties to your cat’s fur and is medicated shampoo that soothes itchy skin, dry skin, and many other skin conditions. It has many natural ingredients, including vitamin e, neem oil, aloe, and oatmeal. You can buy this bottle of dry shampoo on Amazon for $9.02.

Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Shampoo for Dogs and Cats

Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Shampoo is a medicated shampoo that is meant to relieve your cat of any symptoms related to allergies, bacterial pyoderma, or fungal dermatitis. It has many powerful active ingredients including aloe vera that work to get rid of the dry, itchy skin while nourishing it and providing the right amount of moisture. It is also ph-balanced and paraben-free, so there’s no need to worry about further harming your cat’s skin. You can find this bottle of shampoo on Amazon for $6.76.

Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Pet Shampoo

Earthbath Oatmeal and Aloe pet shampoo is a shampoo that is meant for cats with sensitive skin. It relieves itchy skin, dry skin, and is made with mostly natural ingredients so your cat doesn’t have an adverse reaction to it. It’s also cruelty-free, which is another reason why it is one of our top shampoo picks. You can find this 16 ounce bottle on Amazon for $14.99.

Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with Precor

Plus Flea and Tick Shampoo with Precor is meant to help your cat get rid of the nasty little critters crawling around in his fur/skin. The premium Precor technology works to kill adult fleas, flea eggs, flea larvae, ticks, and lice. It also has aloe, lanolin, and oatmeal that all work to keep your cat’s skin properly hydrated after getting rid of the pests. It not only leaves your cat’s fur soft and more manageable but prevents new larvae and eggs from appearing for up to 28 days after first use. You can get this bottle of flea and tick shampoo for $14.99 on Amazon.

FURminator Ultra Premium Deshedding Shampoos and Conditioners

FURminator Ultra Premium Deshedding Shampoo and Conditioner is a shampoo-conditioner variation of cat shampoo as opposed to traditional shampoo. It is a rinse-free shampoo, meaning you’ll only have to rub it into your cat’s fur or brush it evenly throughout. There’s no water required! This shampoo works to prevent excess shedding that could lead to hairballs in your cat’s digestive tract. It’s formulated without parabens or harmful dyes, which is why it made our top choices. You can get this bottle of dry shampoo on Amazon for $10.05 on Amazon.

Veterinary Formula Solutions Snow White Shampoo for Dogs and Cats

Veterinary Formula Solutions Shampoo works to brighten your cat’s dull, and even stained coat. It’s made with vitamin e, which is meant to boost the production of fur and make it brighter. It doesn’t contain any bleach or other harmful additives, and it’s also ph balanced, sulfate-free, and paraben-free which makes it a great choice for cats that have sensitive skin. So if you’re looking to brighten up the look of your cat’s coat, then this shampoo is perfect for you. You can grab this 17-ounce bottle of shampoo for $9.61 on Amazon. the best shampoos for cats


We recognize that a lot goes into choosing the perfect cat shampoo for you and your cat. There are different types, different ingredients, and so many different options to choose from that can be very overwhelming. Hopefully, this guide was able to help you understand the difference between the different types of shampoo, and what to consider when buying a shampoo. With our list of top cat shampoo choices, you’re sure to find a cat shampoo that is perfect for you and your feline friend.

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