The Best Cat Shampoos for Bathing Your Feline (Review) in 2021

Last Updated May 17, 2021

While cats groom themselves, there are occasions whereby they may need a bath. This is especially the case if they end up with a sticky or greasy coat. Because of this, ever cat owner should make sure they have some cat shampoo handy for those moments when their pet makes an appearance and is way dirtier than usual. Plus, there are a number of other situations that may arise that may main you need to give your cat a bath, as we will discuss below. Read on to discover more about whether your cat needs baths, how to bathe your cat, and, of course, the best shampoo for doing so.

The Best Cat Shampoo


This shampoo is a great option if your cat has sensitive skin. This is because it contains aloe and natural oils, and is free from soap. It is made from all natural ingredients, so there are no harsh chemicals, sulphates, added colours, or alcohol. The product works well as a pet deodoriser, keeping your cat smelling fresh. It is also a popular choice amongst pets that have flea bite, grass, and food allergies, and de-tangles for easy brushing.

Read here our detailed review.

Made in the USA

Can be used for other animals, including rabbits, ferrets, and dogs

Can be used with flea treatments

Free of sulphate, detergent and soap


Safe for regular use

De-tangles well for easy brushing

Contains aloe vera and almond oil

Especially formulated for skin that is dry and sensitive

  • Brand: Pro Pet Works
  • Model: k3710
  • Weight: 1 pounds


The best brand used widely across the globe by several professionals for the grooming of cats is the Wahl Pet-Friendly No Rinse Shampoo. This is a product which features a beneficial cleansing formula, put together by professionals in a bid to promote proper grooming. It is made with organic ingredients, and as such, is well suited for use on all skin types regardless of their level of sensitivity. This no-rinse shampoo has a pleasant and natural fragrance thanks to the addition of chamomile and lavender scents, which are known for their calming and antioxidant capabilities. With such a shampoo in your home, you’re assured of your pet being happy and healthy always.

Chamomile and lavender scents

Organic ingredients

No-rinse shampoo

Pet-friendly product

  • Brand: Wahl
  • Model: 820014A
  • Weight: 10.1 ounces


We present to you another brand of animal shampoo that is making waves in today’s market. It Is the Burt Bess Hypoallergenic Shampoo, a must-have in households with sensitive-skinned animals. It is formulated with natural ingredients, the mixture being up to 98% organic. The combination of natural elements is done to help cleanse, and condition the skin of your pet with a single wash. The Burt Bees shampoo has traits of honey and shea butter which leave the fur of your pet soft to touch and easily managed. The shampoo is regarded as one of the best cruelty-free, sulfate-free products on the market, with a Ph. Balance that is ideal for all cats. We recommend this all American shampoo for your grooming sessions, and we are confident that it will help with all fur issues, including shedding and breakage. 

For sensitive skin

Honey and shea butter

Made in the USA

Paraben-free product

  • Brand: Burt’s Bees for Cats
  • Model: FF5766
  • Weight: 12 ounces


There are many reasons why this shampoo is a popular choice with pet owners. It is biodegradable and completely natural. It smells good, is cruelty free, and it is super gentle. One of the great things about Earthbath All Natural Pet Shampoo is that you can choose from a number of different scents – from mango tango to vanilla and almond – so you can pick something that your cat likes.

Choose from a selection of scents

Treats tangled fur

Suitable for sensitive skin

Safe for animals over six weeks

Will not wash off flea applications

Complete natural

pH balanced and soap free

Contains aloe and oatmeal

  • Brand: Earthbath
  • Model: PK1P
  • Weight: 1 pounds


Yes, you did read that right; this is a waterless shampoo! So, if you have trouble bathing your cat because they hate water so much, this is the perfect product for you. It basically follows a similar concept to the dry shampoo that some of you reading this will use yourself. You simply put some of the product in your hands, massage your cat from head to toe, and the let him dry. You can either brush your cat or use a wipe to rub him down afterward. This product is made from all natural ingredients, including oatmeal, vitamin E, neem oil, and aloe vera.

Related Post: Best Cat Brush

Practical solution; no water is required

Designed for cats that hate baths

Safe and effective

Natural ingredients

Provides a gentle clean

Made in the USA

  • Brand: Vet’s Best
  • Model: 3165810111
  • Weight: 0.8 ounces


Top Performance Fresh Pet Shampoo can be bought in many different sizes, including a one-gallon jug, which is ideal for those who have lots of kittens. This shampoo is designed to prevent mats and tangles in cats. It offers a natural pH balance, which means it is safe for pet use. It also has a pleasing scent, which will last for a long time once you have finished bathing your cat.

Safe for kittens as young as six weeks of age

Features a pleasing scent

Good for preventing tangles

Large container sizes available

Safe for use

Natural pH balance

  • Brand: Top Performance
  • Model: TP562 17
  • Weight: 1.19 pounds


If you want your dogs and cats to experience the softest, most soft fur on the planet, you should get the John Paul Pet Oatmeal Shampoo. This shampoo is one with a difference, and this is realized with its large customer base around the world. This shampoo is an expensive product made in the USA with a unique formula that helps soothe itchy skin and takes care of dry or flaky skin. It features ingredients such as chamomile, aloe, and oatmeal with sweet almond oil for a beautiful fragrance. Get a hold of this beautiful product and experience soft, tick-free fur for both cats and dogs.

Sensitive skin formula

Made in the USA

PH balanced product

Cleanses and moisturizes the skin

  • Brand: John Paul Pet
  • Model: JPS5453
  • Weight: 1.18 pounds


Next we have the Oatmeal Shampoo By Dermatology Solutions. Oatmeal is a popular ingredient in cat shampoos because it is safe and gentle. This product also features ordenone and coconut oil, which creates a fragrance that is mellow and pleasant for both you and your pet. Moreover, the added Aloe Vera gel helps to aid itchy skin if this is something your cat suffers with. You can also have the peace of mind that no harsh chemicals have been used in the product.

Can be used on dogs too

Made in the USA

Deodorised with a colloidal oatmeal combo

Provides itchy skin relief

Free of parabens, SLS and soap

  • Brand: Nootie
  • Weight: 1.1 pounds


This is another all-natural type of shampoo, which is gentle yet powerful enough to tackle grime and dirt. This shampoo has been designed to help your pet keep his healthy and natural oils, rather than stripping the scalp of them. You will notice that your cat’s coat shines, and this will only improve with every bath, as the roots of their hair get nourished. This product is non-toxic and 100% safe, as only natural ingredients are used. This includes the likes of honey extract, rosemary, chamomile, Aloe Vera, shea butter, and, of course, oatmeal.

The ingredients all serve different yet important purposes. The shea butter will promote a healthy, full and thick coat. The Aloe Vera soothes irritation and itchiness while the oatmeal provides a natural anti-itch solution.

All-natural ingredients

Safe for use

Soothes itchy and dry skin

Made in the USA

No harsh chemicals

  • Brand: Particular Paws
  • Model: Shampoo_Oatmeal
  • Weight: 1.25 pounds


Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Spray/Shampoo for Cats

A great choice for cats that have delicate skin but are troubled with skin infections. It combines benzethonium chloride which is an anti-bacterial agent with an effective anti-fungal agent (ketoconazole) to keep both bacterial and yeast infections under control. To keep your cat’s skin healthy and soft, the formula also contains aloe vera and lanolin for a soothing and moisturizing effect. It is completely safe and contains no harsh soaps or parabens. You also don’t have to worry about it removing spot on flea treatment.

Suitable for cats with sensitive skin

Contains an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agent

Lanolin and aloe vera to soothe

No parabens

Does not remove flea treatments

  • Brand: Veterinary Formula
  • Model: FG01320
  • Weight: 16 fluid ounces

Best Cat Shampoo Buying Guide & FAQ

Do Cats Need Baths? 

This is a question that a lot of people disagree on. Some people believe that cats do not need baths because they groom themselves. While others admit that they do self-groom, they also think that baths are important nonetheless. Either way, there is no denying that a bath can be beneficial for your cat’s coat and skin. However, this is not to say that your cat is going to enjoy it – they can be notoriously anxious around water – but more on how to contend with that later. There are also some circumstances whereby you should give your cat a bath. The first is obvious: if they end up getting up to something they shouldn’t and they are covered in dirt or some other type of material and their coat is now greasy and dirty. If your cat has something stuck to their paws or their rear, it is time for a bath. You should also give your cat a bath if he has dreadlocks, mats, or other fur problems. Cutting these issues out may seem like a better option.

However, that is only a temporary solution, and it does nothing to reduce the chances of the mats coming back again. A clean and healthy coat is the best prevention when it comes to matted fur. Bathing can also help to combat excess hair or shedding hair, which, in turn, prevents hairballs. You should also bathe your cat when they are overweight or older. As cats become older, their fur tends to get a bit greasier – it is part of their natural aging process, and so a little bit of help on your behalf can go a long way. For cats that are overweight, it becomes more difficult for them to groom themselves, as they will struggle to reach every part of their body, which is again where you come in.

It is also worth pointing out that there are a number of medical issues that may require you to bathe your cat in a certain type of shampoo, but this is something your vet will discuss with you if applicable.

How Do I Bathe My Cat?

Bathing a cat can be difficult – there is no denying that. However, there are a few things you can do to make it easier. The first is to have a helper. If someone can comfort the cat while you focus on the bathing it will make a massive difference. You should also make sure that you have everything you need within reach, and you should never submerge your cat’s head in the water. In most cases, simply bathing your cat’s body will be sufficient. Cats can get scared if water comes near their face, so if you really do need to wash this part of your cat, you should opt for a damp cloth instead.

So, what do you need in order to bathe your cat? Aside from cat shampoo, you will need a small cloth for your cat’s face and cotton balls to clean their ears. You also need a large towel, a gentle spray nozzle for rinsing (or a large pitcher), and rubber gloves. After all, even the most placid feline can scratch while being bathed!

In order to give your cat a bath, copy the following steps…

  • Fill the sink until it reaches three inches high maximum. Make sure the water is lukewarm.
  • Wet your cat from the shoulders to the tail.
  • Apply the shampoo.
  • Just like you do when you are washing your own hair, start lathering the shampoo and after this begin rinsing thoroughly.
  • To clean your cat’s head gently, you will now use a washcloth.
  • Clean inside your cat’s ears using a cotton ball. You should never put any type of object in your pet’s ears, including cotton buds.
  • Lift your cat onto a large towel once you have rinsed the shampoo off.
  • Fold the towel around your cat.
  • Dry as much water away from their fur as you can.
  • You may need to use a blow dryer if your cat has long hair. Of course, if the noise scares them, avoid it. Set the blow dryer on low for your first attempt and see how they react.

Can I Use Human Shampoo On My Cat?

Quite simply, no! You cannot use human shampoo on a cat. This is because of the different pH levels in the shampoo, which makes it unsuitable for your cat’s skin and hair. You need to buy shampoo that has been specially formulated for cats.

Related Post: Best Cat Flea Treatment

How Do I Choose The Right Cat Shampoo?

Well, now you have a good idea regarding the best cat shampoo options on the market, but how do you choose the best one for you? There are a number of factors to consider. Firstly, as mentioned, you need to make sure that the shampoo has been especially designed for cats. Aside from this, you need to look at the ingredients. The best shampoos are those that are natural. Nevertheless, there will be some cases whereby shampoos with chemicals are required, for example, if your cat has a bad case of fleas. However, in such a circumstance it is better for your vet to advise you on the right cat flea shampoo for your pet. You should stay away from cat shampoos that contain petrochemicals, sulphates, parabens, and artificial dyes.

Related Post: Best Flea Shampoo for Cats

It is also worth considering a specialist shampoo if your cat suffers from any type of skin issue. For example, if your cat has sensitive skin, irritated skin, dandruff, or itchy skin, you need to keep this in mind when shopping. Look for something that has been formulated with skin issues in mind. After all, you need something that is going to be a lot kinder to your cat’s skin.

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding regarding the different options that are available to you when shopping for cat shampoo. If you purchase one of the ten products that have been mentioned, you are bound to be happy with the results. As mentioned, while cats do groom themselves, it is also important to give them baths so you can keep on top of their hygiene too.

Related Post: Best Cat Toothbrush and Best Cat Toothpaste

Cute tabby kitten taking a bath in

Different Types of Cat Shampoo

Cleaning the fur of your cat or dog can be done with different products. Shampoos are formulated in various ways to allow for smooth and swift application; thus, depending on your preference, you may decide to opt for a specific kind of shampoo for your pet. Below, we discuss some of the shampoo types available for cats.

  • Traditional shampoos

These are the regular kinds of shampoo which often feature mild and gentle formulas which help with the grooming of your animal’s skin. There are different formulas available for the different skin types, from normal to extremely sensitive skin.

  • Shampoo-Conditioners

These blends are more economical as they’re often a single product. Even though cats don’t need conditioners, using such a shampoo helps keep their fur extra soft and more manageable. It usually offers a luster and shine that makes their coat the envy of the neighborhood, which is why many cat owners may opt for this type of shampoo.

  • Waterless Shampoo

Waterless shampoos are great for cats that hate water and the idea of actual baths. These products are an excellent alternative to wet products, and they most often come in wipes, powder, and spay format. When selecting a waterless shampoo, pet owners are advised against products with essential oils as these products may cause harm to the coat of your pet.

Best Cat Shampoo FAQ:

Q: Does cat shampoo eliminate fleas?

A: Cat shampoos are known generally for their cleansing capabilities. If you want to get rid of fleas or deal with tick infestation, there are specially formulated cat shampoos with ingredients that help do away with these organisms easily. It is advised that you study the specifications and list of ingredients used to manufacture a shampoo product before you make a purchase.

Q: How does cat shampoo affect a cat’s coat and skin?

A: Using a cat shampoo regularly is excellent for the grooming of your cat’s skin and coat. The shampoo is known to help do away with all loose hairs and dead cells, which eliminates all the debris and dirt that has built up on the surface of their skin. The cleansing process also enables natural oils to circulate the body with ease to promote healthy growth of their hair. As a cat owner, you should invest in the grooming of your pet daily to reap all these benefits.

Q: Can you use dog shampoo on cats?

A: No, you cannot. This is because, all shampoos are formulated with specific requirements, to work excellently on particular skin types. This means that a shampoo formulated for cats takes into considerations the needs of cats and the chemical composition of their skin. A product for dogs may harm the coat or hair of cats; thus, interchanging products must be discouraged.

Soggy kitten after a bath

Q: Is waterless shampoo good for cats?

A: Yes, they are. Waterless shampoos are just as effective as the traditional shampoo. These products are ideal for cats that hate to get extremely wet. They can be applied via the use of wipes, a spray or powder, depending on the brand.


  1. Give Your Kitten A Bath With These Simple Tips, Animal Humane Society
  2. How to Give a Cat a Bath and Survive!, Catster
Sharon Parry
Sharon is a Ph.D. scientist and experienced pet content writer. As a life-long animal lover, she now shares her family home with three rabbits, a Syrian hamster, and a Cockapoo puppy. She has a passion for researching accurate and credible information about pets and turning it into easy-to-understand articles that offer practical tips. When it comes to our furry friends, she knows that there is always something new to learn!
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