Shampoo for Cats: Get the Healthiest and Most Beautiful Coat

Taking care of your cat means doing what you can to watch out for their health needs.

It can be challenging to know everything that your cat really needs and a bath is probably not one of the things you even think about.

The truth, however, is that your cat isn’t able to take care of all of their cleaning needs entirely alone. They need you to help them out. And that’s why you need the best cat shampoo you can find.

With the right products you’ll be able to take care of them and keep them healthier than ever.

What is the Best Shampoo for Cats?

The process of washing the cat in the bathroom

The short answer is that there is no best shampoo for cats. What you need is the best shampoo for the specific situation that you find yourself in. That means based on the cat you have and the type of cleaning that you really need to do in order to help them. Different shampoos are designed for different things just like if you were buying shampoo for yourself.

When you buy your own shampoo, you choose something that fits the needs of your hair and your body type or the look you want for your hair. For those with normal hair and scalp, you might be able to use a ‘normal’ shampoo. For those with dandruff, you might want to get a medicated shampoo. For those who have too much oil, you might want something that will help to dry your hair slightly. For those who have dry hair, they might want something that will add more moisture. The truth is, there are as many different kinds of shampoo for people as there are types of hair, and that’s true for cat shampoo too.

The good news is that shampoo for your cat is inexpensive and they last a long time too. That means you can get a few different bottles that are designed for different purposes and you won’t need to spend a lot of money in order to do it. But just what types of shampoo should you even be considering? Well, we’re going to take a look at the different types and the best options within each of those types. That way you can choose something that fits your budget and your cat’s needs while you’re at it.

Best Cat Shampoo Overall

When it comes to general use and frequent bathing, you’re going to want a general-purpose shampoo. Something that is natural and organic will give you the best results while helping to keep your cat as healthy as possible. If you can get a 2-in-1 product with shampoo and conditioner, it’s going to be even better. These types of products work great for your once-in-a-while baths and can supplement a cat that already bathes themselves as well. For our purposes, we like this one.

Earthbath 2-in-1 Conditioning Cat Shampoo
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Earthbath 2-in-1 Conditioning Cat Shampoo

Designed for sensitive skin and tangled fur, this product is made with natural ingredients and soap-free. It’s also pH balanced, which means it’s healthier for your cat’s skin. You don’t have to worry about using this shampoo on your cat because it also gives your cats fur a shine and helps get rid of tangles in their fur at the same time. So they’re going to look better and feel better. Not to mention getting rid of those tangles means they’re going to be less prone to matting.

Made in the USA, this product has a bit of wild cherry essence for a great smell that even your cat will like. It provides just the right amount of conditioning and can be used on older and younger cats with ease. You don’t have to worry about their skin with this all-natural product.

Best Dry Cat Shampoo

When it comes to choosing a product for your cat without the bath, you’re going to need a dry shampoo. These are great for times when you’re busy or if your cat doesn’t groom themselves and you need to clean them up more frequently. Waterless shampoos are great because they get your cat looking great and shiny without you having to spend all that time washing them in the tub (which can definitely be a messy job for anyone). Our favorite is this one.

Vet's Best Waterless Cat Bath
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Vet's Best Waterless Cat Bath

Made with natural ingredients that include neem oil, oatmeal, vitamin E and aloe vera, this dry shampoo is great for those times when you just need to get a rush on the day. You can use it with cats that are at least 12 weeks old, and all you have to do is rub it in to get the soothing and moisturizing features that you expect. Your cat will be clean in no time, and you don’t have to worry about getting them into the bath. That’s especially important if you have a cat that really doesn’t like baths or is even afraid of the water. It’s also good for cats that won’t or can’t bathe themselves.

This veterinarian-approved formula doesn’t require rinsing, but it does produce a foam, so you know you’re getting it worked into the fur. It also has a great fragrance that may help calm your cat even more throughout the day.

Best Medicated Cat Shampoo

If your cat has any type of skin issues, you want to make sure those are being treated by the shampoo that you choose. Some are best for dry skin or bacterial infections, yeast infections, irritation, hair loss and a whole lot more. The best thing you can do is talk with your veterinarian about the type of condition that your cat has and see what you should be looking for in the product you’re going to use on them. Some products might make them feel better, and some might even be able to heal the condition. As an overall medical option we like this one.

Douxo Chlorhexidine PS and Climbazole Shampoo
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Douxo Chlorhexidine PS and Climbazole Shampoo

This shampoo is designed to really help get rid of health problems. The chlorhexidine is a formula that acts as an antiseptic while other ingredients in the shampoo are designed to take care of different cutaneous disorders. This can include pyoderma and other severe skin conditions. If your cat has a severe condition or a superficial condition, they can use this product to get the health and healing benefits. It actually creates a film over the skin that is resistant to rinsing, so you’re leaving it to soak into the skin and really start the healing process.

It works to protect the skin from further irritation and to make sure that moisture stays behind to prevent dryness. This product creates a foaming solution so you can see it working into your pets fur and the skin. There is a mild fragrance but not one that will affect your cat’s skin.

Best Kitten Shampoo

If you have a new kitten, you want to make sure that you’re using the right type of products on them to protect them. Kittens may not be as good at bathing themselves yet or they might just need a little assistance. Even still, you need a mild product that isn’t going to irritate their skin. You may also want to look for a tearless product that will help you avoid the irritation that can come from shampoo getting in their eyes, since kittens are definitely prone to wiggling around. Our favorite is this one.

Burt's Bees Tearless Kitten Shampoo with Buttermilk
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Burt's Bees Tearless Kitten Shampoo with Buttermilk

Burt’s Bees makes a number of high-quality products, and one of those is this 99.7% natural kitten shampoo. Cruelty free and made without sulfates, fragrances, essential oils or colors, this shampoo uses natural ingredients that are designed to improve hydration and overall quality of your kitten’s fur and skin. That includes the buttermilk that gives this shampoo a silky smooth feel and helps apply that same feel to your kitten’s fur as well. Not to mention it’s going to keep it shiny and healthy even when your kitten isn’t able to bathe themselves as well.

You won’t have a lot of bubbles in this blend, which means you don’t have to worry about irritation if a little of it gets left behind. You also don’t have to worry about the bubbles irritating your cat or making them a little more skittish, which can happen with younger pets.

Best Hypoallergenic Cat Shampoo

If your cat has sensitive skin, it’s a good idea to opt for a hypoallergenic shampoo. While these aren’t going to protect against 100% of allergic reactions, they’re definitely going to be a better option than standard shampoos and should be a better fit for your cat. They will help reduce the chance of an allergic reaction because they’re made without a lot of the ingredients that can cause allergies more commonly.

Burt's Bees for Cats Hypoallergenic Shampoo with Shea Butter and Honey
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Burt's Bees for Cats Hypoallergenic Shampoo with Shea Butter and Honey

Designed for both older cats and kittens that have sensitive skin, this product is made with 99.7% natural ingredients that include shea butter and honey. These ingredients are intended to give your cat the soft, silky, shiny coat that you’re looking for without irritating the skin in the process. They’re able to soften even dry skin and provide advanced hydration and conditioning through the skin and the fur. They’re also safe to be used regularly, so if your cat doesn’t bathe themselves or even if they do, you can feel comfortable using this product.

The mild shampoo is pH balanced and 100% safe. In fact, it’s free of any sulfates, colorants, harsh chemicals and fragrances. That’s what makes it so much better for your hypoallergenic pets and for your own peace of mind as well.

Best Oatmeal Shampoo for Cats

For those who have cats with itchy skin, it’s a good idea to use a product that can help counter the effects. Oatmeal shampoos are great for just that. They help to reduce the itching, which helps to make your cat healthier overall. After all, itching could cause them to tear the skin and that could cause an infection. You want to make sure you’re using oatmeal products to help cats that seem to itch a lot to help get more moisture back into the skin. Our favorite pick is this one.

Top Performance Oatmeal Dog and Cat Shampoo
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Top Performance Oatmeal Dog and Cat Shampoo

This ultra-safe product is actually rated for use on pets as young as six weeks, so you can even use it on your younger kittens who seem to have an itching problem. It’s made with oatmeal and other ingredients that will help to relieve itching and improve moisture so that the cause of the itching is gone as well. Not only that but it’s a tearless product, which means that it’s not going to harm your cat or dog’s eyes while you’re bathing them.

The lemon and sage scent that’s added in is soft and sweet, giving your pet a great scent when you’re done with their bath. And the fragrances are designed not to cause irritation or itching for your pet. You’ll get a total of 2% colloidal oatmeal included in this product.

Best Cat Shampoo for Shedding

The unfortunate truth is that cats can shed quite a bit. Even short-hair cats can have a lot of shedding during certain times of the year, and you don’t really want to be pulling all that fur off your furniture and floors or anything else in your house. So, what do you do? Well, you’re going to want a shedding shampoo that’s designed to get rid of the loose fur before it starts falling out all around your house. Our favorite one is this one.

Furminator Hairball Prevention Cat Shampoo
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Furminator Hairball Prevention Cat Shampoo

The only thing worse than cat hair getting all over your house is when your cat eats it and ends up with hairballs. With this shampoo, you’re getting a product that’s specially designed to get rid of all that loose fur long before either of those things can happen. It helps to get rid of excess shedding by getting deep into the fur and removing the hair that’s already loose. This will help you reduce the chances of hairballs for your cat. What’s even better is that this product is made without chemical dyes or parabens, so it’s also safer for use with your cat.

Made in the USA, this product works the same way you would expect any shampoo to work. All you have to do is rub it into their fur to get a lather and then rinse it away. It takes care of the rest for you, and you’ll even be surprised at how much less fur you have around the house.

Best Natural Cat Shampoo

Natural cat shampoos are a great option because they’re made with better ingredients. Instead of all of the chemicals and sulfates that you can end up with if you’re not careful with other products, these ones are healthier for your cat. They are also safe enough to be used as a general shampoo, so if you need something for general use or for a cat with normal skin, you’re not going to have a problem using a natural shampoo product to do it.

Allergic Pet Vet Select Skin-Eze All-Natural Herbal Shampoo
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Allergic Pet Vet Select Skin-Eze All-Natural Herbal Shampoo

If your cat has sensitive skin, this is an excellent product for them because it’ made with natural and gentle ingredients. In fact, it can even help with cats who are suffering from yeast or bacterial infections. Made with natural herbs and essential oils, this is a product that’s specially designed to help with a range of different health conditions. In fact, it can even be used to help heal sores and scabs and infections. Not to mention it’s great for helping to reduce fleas, lice and ticks.

With this natural product, you’re going to have a unique blend of herbs and oils that create a healing formula for your cat and also help them to feel calmer as well. Not to mention they’re going to smell great when they get done with this bath.

Best Flea Shampoo for Cats

When it comes to fleas, you want to make sure you’re using the best possible products for your cats. After all, fleas start out annoying and they actually turn into a serious problem. That’s why you need a quality flea shampoo for cats. By bathing with these types of shampoo you can actually kill off insects that have started to infest your cats. Even better, these shampoos are safe for you to use regularly to make sure you don’t get fleas later on.

Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo
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Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo

If your cat already has fleas, the most important thing that you can do is get rid of them. This shampoo is designed to do more than just that. In fact, it’s designed to get rid of fleas, flea eggs and larvae, ticks and lice. Even better, it’s made with quality ingredients that include aloe, lanolin, coconut extract and oatmeal. All of these will help to soothe your cat’s skin and ease the itching that comes along with those pest infestations.

You’re also getting an insect growth regulator that can not only kill the pests but keep them from coming back for up to 28 days. You’re also able to use it on your pets that are at least 12 weeks old. So it’s safe for cats and dogs, and it doesn’t smell like normal flea treatments. It actually has a fresh scent instead.

Best Cat Shampoo for Matted Fur

Matts and tangles in your cat’s fur can actually be extremely hazardous to their health, but you may not even know it until it happens. A matt that’s left too long can start to cause irritation to the skin. Also, dirt and debris can get trapped in those matts causing even more harm. That’s why it’s important to have a shampoo designed for matted fur so you can get rid of them and get rid of the tangles that can cause them.

Top Performance Fresh Pet Shampoo
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Top Performance Fresh Pet Shampoo

You want to make sure that your cat doesn’t have tangles in their fur that can turn into matts and that’s exactly what this product is going to help with. You can use it on dogs and cats that are as young as 6 weeks and you can still use it on your older pets too. It has a clean scent that really makes your pets smell fresh and more importantly it helps to ease out any tangles and prevent new ones from showing up. It’s also completely pH balanced, so you can feel better using it for your pets.

The extra conditioning will help not only get rid of tangles and prevent new ones but make their coat look and feel better too. In fact, their coat will be bright and shiny after a bath with this shampoo, and you can feel better about their fur as well.

Best Cat Conditioner

If you’re already using shampoo on your cat that’s great, but it’s not going to take care of everything that you need. You also want to take a look at conditioners that will help to penetrate into the hair and deep into the skin to provide just the right level of moisture and support. Shampoo does a great job of getting your cats coat ready to take in that conditioner, but if you don’t have any, you’re definitely not getting the most out of it.

John Paul Pet Oatmeal Conditioning Rinse for Dogs and Cats
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John Paul Pet Oatmeal Conditioning Rinse for Dogs and Cats

If you need a rinse-out conditioner, then you’re going to love this one. It’s great for even sensitive skin, improving the natural moisture and getting your pets skin feeling great again. It’s also made with botanicals, so it’s healthier for them all the way around. When used alongside your normal shampoo, this conditioner will help your pet have a healthier, shinier and silkier coat, which is definitely going to help them and you feel a lot better. Those botanicals are going to make your pet smell a whole lot better at the end of their bath as well.

There’s vitamin E, oatmeal, chamomile and more high quality ingredients that provide conditioning and protection for the skin and fur. Plus it’s made in the USA and all-natural. Plus it’s pH balanced, so you know it’s safer even for your younger pets.

FAQs

1. Can You Use Baby Shampoo on Cats?

Actually you can use a baby shampoo on your cat if you absolutely have to. In a pinch, these shampoos have a great deal less of the chemicals and additives that you’ll find in traditional human shampoos. They also have a lower pH balance, which is better for your cat. That’s not to say you should buy baby shampoo for your cat specifically. Getting a cat shampoo is still the best way to go and will help keep your cat healthier and safer.

2. Can You Use Human Shampoo on Cats?

The short answer is that you should absolutely not use human shampoo on your cat. Human shampoo has entirely different pH levels than cat shampoo because humans have different pH levels than cats. The change in pH could cause health problems or irritation for your pet. Instead, you need a product that’s actually designed to be used for cats and that’s pH balanced to their needs.

3. Can I Use Dog Shampoo on a Cat?

Shampoo that is specifically formulated for dogs is not meant to be used on cats. That means you want to avoid using the same product between your different pets. Dog shampoos are pH balanced to your dog, which is entirely different from your cat. It doesn’t take into consideration the needs that they have for their fur and skin, which are entirely different for dogs. Instead, you want to make sure that you use a dog shampoo for your dogs and a cat shampoo for your cats, to protect both of them.

4. Is Waterless Cat Shampoo Safe?

You can absolutely use a waterless shampoo for your cat. And they’re actually just as good as a standard shampoo. All you have to do is make sure that you’re using it the way it’s designed. If your cat doesn’t like to get wet or if you don’t have the time for a full bath this is a great product to use instead. It still gets out the dirt and debris and doesn’t require washing or rinsing.

5. No Tears Shampoo Meaning

No tears means that the products in the shampoo are designed not to irritate the eyes. That doesn’t mean they won’t cause some level of irritation and that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be trying to keep the shampoo out of the eyes. What it means is there are fewer chemicals and harmful ingredients in these products. They should cause less irritation than a standard shampoo product which is why they’re good for areas around the eyes and especially good for kittens.

Conclusion

When it comes down to it, there are a number of different products that you can use for your cats. You want to have a high quality shampoo that’s going to make them look and feel great. That’s going to require you to do a little bit of research and take a closer look at the products we’ve mentioned here. Make sure you have several different kinds of shampoo available to help take care of all of the different needs your cat has. You might even be surprised at just how much the right shampoo at the right time could make a difference for your cat.

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