Best Cat Shampoo for Bathing Your Feline in 2019

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.

Pro Pet Works Natural Oatmeal Pet Wash

Pro Pet Works Natural Oatmeal Pet Wash

Top Performance Fresh Pet Shampoo

Top Performance Fresh Pet Shampoo

Magic Coat Cat Tearless Shampoo

Magic Coat Cat Tearless Shampoo

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


  1. Why Cats Need Baths, Dr. McGrath’s
  2. Do Cats Need Baths? How to Give a Cat a Bath and Survive!, Catster
  3. Bathing Cats, Purina
Olivia Williams
Olivia is our head of content for, mum of one and a true animal lover. With 12 different types of animal in her family, it's never a dull moment. When she isn't walking the dogs, feeding the cats or playing with her pet Parrot Charlie, you will find her product researching and keeping the site freshly updated with the latest products for your pets!
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