Why do you need a cat shampoo?
How to choose the right cat shampoo?
Best Cat shampoos (overall)
Cat dandruff shampoo
Antifungal or Ringworm shampoo for cats
Shed control and hairball shampoo for cats
Flea shampoo for cats
Cat shampoo for sensitive cats with allergies
Dry shampoo for cats – Waterless cat shampoo
Cats are commonly known as amazingly clean creatures. They naturally groom themselves continuously throughout the day. Therefore, they usually don’t require baths.
However, sometimes cat owners need to provide a helping hand for their cats in their grooming to ensure their health and happiness.
Whether your cat is unable to do it, or just got into something that she could not or should not clean by herself, you need to be there for her with the right tools to give a nice bath. And in this case, most importantly, you will need a good cat shampoo.
But finding the best cat shampoo is not an easy task. There are many choices of cat shampoos available at different stores, even online. So how do you choose the right one or best one for your cat?
Do not worry. This post is here to make this decision easier and help you select the best one.
Based on my experience and after doing a lot of research, as a helpful hand, I selected the following cat shampoos for your reference, so you don’t have to waste your time going through the hundreds of choices. Take a look through the article and choose the best shampoo for your cat!
If you need a hint, the best cat shampoo in 2017 is the Magic Coat Cat Tearless Shampoo.
Magic Coat Cat Tearless Shampoo
Earthbath All Natural Pet Shampoo
Is your cat’s condition special? Do you need shampoo for special needs? Be it fleas, ringworm, dandruff, shedding, allergy, waterless or simple kitten shampoo, this article has recommended cat shampoos for all these issues and problems as well. Click on the one you need below, to go there directly and discover them immediately.
Why do you need a Cat Shampoo in the first place?
While cats constantly clean themselves and typically do not require a lot of baths, there are different circumstances when they need their owner’s help in grooming.
Your cat may need your assistance if she is in her older age, a bit overweight, needs special care or has got into something that she can’t (sticky substance) or shouldn’t (poisonous matter) clean by herself.
Some cats that have dandruff or different skin problems also require regular baths.
Also, if members of your households are allergic to cats, frequent bathing will help to wash away the allergens that are likely to cause the allergic reactions.
A proper cat bath will require an appropriate cat shampoo. In fact, the shampoo is the secret key to keeping a healthy, beautiful coated cat. Bathing your cat with the proper cat shampoo will not only make your cat’s skin and fur clean but will also dramatically change her temperament for the better.
Consequently, when it comes to cats and baths, shampoo is definitely essential, whether it is for a simple cleaning, treatment or because something has got stuck in the fur.
Now, you might be wondering what type of shampoo to choose to bathe your cat. Do you need one that is designed only for cats or you can use anything that is handy within your reach? Let’s find out.
Can you use human shampoo on cats?
The straightforward answer is no. You should never use human shampoo on cats.
Many people tend to think that pet shampoo is just a marketing trick to make people buy different products for their pets and themselves, and the only difference is the packaging itself.
The truth of the matter is: shampoos are specific to species, and so it follows that cat shampoos are not the same as shampoos for humans.
When it comes to skin and hair needs, cats are not similar to humans in many ways.
First of all, cats’ skin is thinner, less acidic, and has a unique pH-balance. On the other hand, while people have sweat glands over their body, cats do not. Instead, they sweat through their paws.
In addition, cats do not really like scented products, and their body cannot tolerate chemicals found in human shampoos.
A human shampoo, designed for different pH-balanced, sweaty skin and for removing dirt and hair products (like spray and mousse), is too acidic and harsh for cats.
And as a result, human shampoo can harm delicate pet skin and hair. It could cause irritation, dry skin, and hair, painful skin conditions, leading to further health issues.
While there are shampoos that are not toxic to cats and won’t react adversely with cats’ skin, using human shampoos consistently can make your cat’s skin unhealthy, therefore not the best option for your cat.
Even if you have no other shampoo at hand, do not use it to wash your cat. Instead, use water only or buy the shampoo that can benefit your cat’s skin.
Can you use baby shampoo on cats?
Even though most baby shampoos claim to be gentle, they are still designed for humans and not suitable for cats.
As discussed, cats’ skin is different from ours (thinner and less acidic with different pH-balance), so using baby shampoo on a cat may harm her, causing irritation and dry skin or coat.
While baby shampoos have less dangerous chemicals to cats, so they seem to be safe, they are perfumed quite strongly. Cats are known for their strong sense of smell, so it is absolutely cruel to use a strongly perfumed baby shampoo on them.
In consequence, to answer the question: you may use baby shampoo on cats as an emergency, but it is absolutely not recommended. Although baby shampoo seems to be a good alternative, on a regular basis, please stick to a specialized cat shampoo which is much safer and healthier option for cats.
Can you use dog shampoo on cats?
Cats are not only different from humans but from dogs as well when it comes to their skin and fur. Also, there is a difference between shampoos made for dogs and those designed for cats.
While it may not seem like there would be a problem using dog shampoo on cats, there are ingredients in dog shampoos that are safe for dogs but harmful to cats.
Even if the ingredients seem to be safe in a particular shampoo, they could still dry out the cat’s sensitive skin that can easily lead to dandruff.
While not all dog shampoos have dangerous ingredients for cats and there are ones that can be used on both dogs and cats, it is best to be on the safe side.
To be short and to the point: Do not use dog shampoo on cats. Instead, do use specific cat shampoo designed only for cats.
So why do you need a Cat Shampoo?
There are different meaningful reasons why cat owners need proper cat shampoo formulated only for cats.
Reason 1: Because cats do need baths
As you know, there are different circumstances when cats do need help in cleaning themselves. Bathing your cat will not only make your cat’s skin and fur clean but will also help in spotting different problems like fleas and ticks.
When you find yourself in the situation where you have to clean your cat, you will definitely need something proper that can be used to bathe your cat.
However, please do not use whatever is in your reach. Instead, use a cat shampoo that is designed only for cats.
Reason 2: Because there are shampoos that can harm your cat
There are different types of shampoos available on the market that can be harmful to cats. They can be dangerous not only to their skin and fur but their bloodstream as well.
Cats naturally lick themselves to keep their fur and skin clean and tidy. While this grooming behavior is very practical, sometimes it can actually be a problem.
As cats lick themselves, they ingest anything and everything found on their fur and skin. After bathing cats with shampoos that are not designed for them, the harmful substances get into their bloodstream during their grooming process causing severe health problems.
The other problem, an inappropriate shampoo could cause to a cat, is dry skin. Cats have natural oils on their skin, and by drying it, the protective oil layer will be removed, leaving the cat without her natural protection against infections and diseases.
Therefore, the human shampoo that dries out the skin is too harsh for cats. While a gentle baby shampoo is a bit better, it is still not a good option for your feline as it is strongly perfumed. Dog shampoo can also dry out your cat’s skin, so it is not recommended either.
Reason 3: Because as a responsible cat owner, you want to take good care of your precious feline
While bathing your cat provides a great opportunity to boost her skin and fur with extra nourishment, it is only efficient if you use an appropriate cat shampoo.
What exactly does that mean? What are you supposed to use exactly? Instead of reaching out the nearest shampoo, pick the one that is delicate enough and specially formulated for cats.
These cat shampoos are specifically pH-balanced with the right acidity level for the cats’ sensitive skin and coat, and only contain those ingredients that are absolutely safe for cats.
Bathing your cat with cat shampoo will make your feline’s skin and coat clean, and will also keep them healthy by preventing drying, flaking, and shedding depending on the particular cat shampoo.
Since there are hundreds of cat shampoos available, now let’s see how to choose the best one.
Choosing the Right Shampoo
Now, that it is clear that cats sometimes do need help in cleaning themselves, and for this, a cat shampoo is an essential tool, we should focus on finding the best one for our cats.
There are numerous cat shampoos available on the market. So which one is the best?
When faced with a situation of choosing shampoo among thousands of options, you pick one because of the bottle’s nice color or the shampoo’s nice smell, but is that one the best shampoo for your cat?
As you are searching, you find out; there are options:
- that contain more or fewer chemicals,
- that are good for different ages (kittens, adult cats),
- or even different occasions (fleas, dandruff, waterless).
So finding the right one is obviously not easy.
And when you are facing this difficult situation, you still should not forget the importance of selecting the right one for your precious feline.
But do not worry. Here are some tips to help you find the perfect cat shampoo for your lovely kitty.
Before selecting any shampoo for your cat, it is wise to know what a particular shampoo contains, what compounds you are exposing your cat to. There are shampoos that contain more chemicals (therefore can be harsh on cats) while others have fewer substances in them.
Ideally, you want to use a cat shampoo that has less artificial ingredients, gentle to the cat’s skin and fur and cause no harm to your cat while getting her clean.
The next list shows the things to avoid and what to look out for – be it the type, the ingredients or any other requirement.
What to avoid?
- Types to avoid:
- Human shampoos are harsh for cats.
- Baby shampoos are too perfumed for cats.
- Dog shampoos can be dangerous to cats, especially the flea shampoos.
- Active ingredients to avoid:
- Artificial dyes
- Sodium laurel sulfate
- Other things to be careful about:
- Contains the least amount of fragrance
What to look out for?
- Types to consider:
- Look for products that are formulated for the cat’s pH, sensitive skin, and coat.
- Ingredients to consider:
- Natural, mild substances
- Richly moisturizing ingredients
- Features none of the above mentioned dangerous ingredients
- Other things to look out for:
- Easy to use – cleans gently, rinses and combs out smoothly
Consequently, the ideal, general cat shampoo features the following:
- Designed for cats – balanced for the cat’s delicate pH
- Gentle enough for the cat’s sensitive skin and fur
- Naturally mild and nourishing
- Free of toxic chemicals, dyes, and additives
- Does not strip away the protective oil layer
- Keeps and balances skin moisture
- Provides nutrients to the skin
- Softens fur and promotes healthy fur growth
When you are searching for shampoo, first make sure to meet these general requirements before moving on to the next step.
Homemade cat shampoo versus Commercial cat shampoo
The hundreds of commercial cat shampoos can make you confused and make the decision hard for you, so it may seem easier to try to make your own cat shampoo.
However, I do not recommend it. In the long run, it is safer to stick to commercial shampoos that are specifically formulated for cats.
Different types of cat shampoos – Cat shampoos for special needs
There are many types of cat shampoos available, and different cat shampoos do different things. Also, each cat will benefit from a different type of cat shampoo.
In addition, selecting the right cat shampoo depends on many different factors.
In fact, the best shampoo depends on the particular cat you are taking care of, her specific needs, and the issue you’re dealing with.
Since you don’t want to choose something that will be inappropriate, irritating, or ineffective, the following information can help you select the very best one for your cat’s condition:
- Consider your cat’s age – kittens’ skin is more delicate, so they need specific kitten shampoo.
- Consider your cat’s skin condition – there are shampoos available to treat dandruff and ringworm.
- Consider your cat’s hair – there are different cat shampoos available to reduce shedding and prevent hairballs.
- Consider your cat’s health – if your cat is battling fleas or ticks, many shampoos have been developed to treat this condition.
- Consider your cat’s diseases – there are cats that are very sensitive and allergic to many things. Use hypo-allergenic cat shampoo to ensure no further allergic reactions.
- Consider your cat’s needs – some cats hate water and will avoid bathing at any cost. In this case, try giving your cat waterless bath with a dry cat shampoo.
Important note: If your cat has a chronic skin disease, check with your veterinarian before selecting any shampoo.
Although the grooming section of a pet store will offer a great variety of shampoo options, choose a shampoo that is beneficial for your cat according to her needs so that she can feel both clean and healthy.
For your reference, to help you decide, I have listed shampoos for all these needs in the following chapters.
- Best overall cat shampoo
- Kitten shampoo
- Cat dandruff shampoo
- Antifungal or Ringworm shampoo for cats
- Shed control and hairball shampoo
- Flea shampoo for cats
- Cat Shampoo for sensitive cats with allergies
- Dry shampoo for cats – Waterless cat shampoo
Note: By clicking on any of the above-mentioned type of shampoo, you can go to that particular one directly and discover the best one in that category.
So how to choose the right shampoo?
Bathing your cat is not easy, but sometimes it needs to be done. Whether your cat is unable to groom herself, or just got into something that she could not clean by herself, you need to be there with the right cat shampoo to give her a bath.
There are numerous great cat shampoos available to keep your cat’s coat healthy, beautiful and clean, as well as treatment specific types so surely you will be able to find something that suits your cat perfectly.
In case you need it, here is a small recap to remind you of the major things when choosing your cat’s shampoo:
- Choose a shampoo that is designed for cats
- Read the label carefully
- Avoid using cat shampoos that contain dangerous ingredients
- Consider your cat’s age
- Take your cat’s special needs into account
If you are looking for ideas, keep on reading and check out the list below.
My top picks
This list of the very best one along with three other excellent cat shampoos will help you go through the process.
Magic Coat Cat Tearless Shampoo
If you are searching for the very best shampoo that can clean your cat, get rid of excess odors, and is gentle enough, look no further!
Magic Coat Cat Tearless Shampoo rises above the rest cat specific shampoos in terms of quality and efficiency.
This cat shampoo will not only clean your cat’s fur up effectively, but it will moisturize her skin as well. It will leave the cat’s fur and skin silky, soft, good-looking and healthy.
Because of its tearless formula, it is absolutely not irritant to the cat’s eyes. It is gentle enough for weekly use, and it also has a light but wonderful fragrance.
This shampoo holds your cat in caring hands while giving her the best bath experience she can ask for. It is the greatest cat shampoo in a 12-ounce bottle for a very reasonable price.
Looking for other excellent cat shampoo options?
Earthbath All Natural Pet Shampoo
The Earthbath All Natural Pet Shampoo is a great organic, cruelty-free product that works effectively on cats. It is made from ingredients that are natural, biodegradable, and gentle on your cat and you.
The shampoo is mild, pH-balanced and safe to make sure your cat gets the perfect bath. It makes the cat’s fur untangled, shiny and soft while leaving behind a luscious wild cherry essence.
One bottle is 16 ounces and has an absolutely affordable price. You can choose from different packages (1, 2 or 6).
From almost 2000 reviewers 75% gave this product 5 stars which proves the product’s good quality and effective aptitude.
This brand offers several other products as well. As a cat owner, please stay away from the tea tree oil version because it is not safe for cats.
Top Performance Fresh Pet Shampoo
Although this Top Performance Fresh Pet Shampoo is made for all types of furry pets, it has proven itself among the leaders in cat-specific shampoos.
It is easy to use, prevents mats and tangles, and leaves the cat’s fur clean and shiny.
The shampoo also features a fresh, wonderful and clean fragrance that lasts a long time – up to a week. It doesn’t only smell pleasant, but it is also a great high-quality shampoo that is beneficial to the cat’s skin and fur.
This shampoo is mild enough to be safely used on kittens (over six weeks old) as well.
It is available in four sizes: 17 ounces, 1 gallon, 2 and a half gallons, and 5 gallons, you can opt for any of them.
Oster Oatmeal Naturals Cat Shampoo
Another excellent shampoo is the Oster Oatmeal Naturals Cat Shampoo. This natural cat shampoo is made of all natural, pH balanced, biodegradable ingredients that are 100% free of alcohol, parabens, and dyes.
This product works well on cats (even if they have sensitive skin) and helps to prevent tangling and matting. It will allow no irritation on your cat’s skin, so it is absolutely safe and gentle.
This cat shampoo soothes the cat’s skin and leaves her coat feeling soft, shiny and naturally clean. It is formulated to clean, deodorize, moisturize and condition at the same time while providing a long-lasting nice, light vanilla scent.
It comes in an 18-ounce big bottle that should last quite long for a reasonable price.
Shampoo picks for cats with special needs
Sometimes, a normal cat shampoo (for general use) is not enough. There are cats with different special needs considering their age, condition, and health.
The following chapters allow you to pick the appropriate one in each category.
Best Kitten Shampoo
Kittens are a bit different than cats – be it a nutritional aspect or bathing. Since kittens have very sensitive skin and fur, we cannot use just any pet shampoo.
We will need an extremely gentle kitten shampoo to take good care of their sensitive skin and coat.
Espree Natural Kitten Shampoo
The Espree Natural Kitten Shampoo provides extra care for your lovely kitten. This extra soft shampoo is very gentle on the kitten’s skin and leaves her fur soft and tidy.
It is a very nice mild kitten shampoo that scrubs up well and rinses easily. Your kitten will definitely appreciate the tear-free and hypoallergenic features as she will never suffer from irritation when bathing with this shampoo.
This product has a pleasant baby powder fragrance as well which just adds to its importance and benefits.
It is available in a 12-ounce bottle for a fair price.
Best Cat Dandruff Shampoo
It is not uncommon for cats to develop dandruff which is made up of dead skin cells and manifests through the dry and itchy skin with excessive flakiness.
As cats grow older, they more likely to develop this skin problem and no matter how much they lick themselves, it won’t go away.
Therefore, this issue should be dealt with proper treatment. One way to combat this health problem is by using a special cat dandruff shampoo that could eliminate the excessive cat dandruff.
The best cat shampoo to alleviate dandruff is the following product.
Oster Oatmeal Naturals Dander Control Cat Shampoo
This natural cat shampoo: Oster Oatmeal Naturals Dander Control Cat Shampoo is made of all natural, pH balanced, biodegradable ingredients that are 100% free of alcohol, parabens, artificial colors, and dyes.
The product works well even on cats with sensitive skin and helps to reduce excessive dander. It may also help minimize human allergy symptoms by reducing dander that is responsible for triggering allergic reactions. So it is perfect for households with cat allergies.
This cat shampoo soothes the cat’s skin and leaves her fur feeling soft and silky while providing a sweet pea fragrance.
It will allow no irritation on your cat’s skin, so it is absolutely safe and gentle. It comes in an 18-ounce big bottle that should last quite long for a very affordable price.
Best Antifungal or Ringworm Shampoo for cats
Ringworm is a fungal infection in cats that invades the skin, hair, and nails. Cats that are infected with ringworm have flaky patches of hair loss that look like dandruff.
The treatment of this infection involves twice weekly baths with a shampoo designed to kill ringworm, called antifungal cat shampoo. Which is the best?
PetArmor Antibacterial Antifungal Shampoo
This antifungal shampoo: PetArmor Antibacterial Antifungal Shampoo contains Ketoconazole which is an antifungal medication that is effective against ringworm, fungal, or skin infections.
It will help kill the fungus, wash away their dead cells, and inhibit the reproduction of ringworm cells.
It is free from alcohol and has a gentle cleansing formula that does not irritate or stain.
This product reduces the numbers of fungus on the skin’s surface and offers soothing relief of symptoms of fungal infections. It is not only good for treating ringworm but also leaves the cat’s fur soft and shiny while leaving behind a pleasant scent.
It is available in 8-ounce size and has an excellent price.
Best Shed control and Hairball Shampoo for cats
It is not an uncommon incident that cats do shed. Almost all of them – except for some breeds. Shedding is actually a natural process of losing dead hair that occurs every day.
Cats not only shed but their fur can get matted, not to mention the hairballs that develop as a result of their healthy grooming routine.
One effective way to help to decrease cat hair is to use shedding and hairball control cat shampoo. By using this technique, you can keep your cat healthier and your home cleaner.
So if your cat suffers from excessive shedding and hairballs, try out the next product.
8 in 1 Perfect Coat Shed and Hairball Control Cat Shampoo
The best cat shampoo in this category is the 8 in 1 Perfect Coat Shed and Hairball Control Cat Shampoo.
It is specifically formulated to help controlling excess shedding and matting, and reducing hairballs while helping to detangle the cat’s fur.
This cat shampoo also moisturizes and leaves the coat soft, shiny and healthy.
It is easy to rinse off and does not have a strong smell. But, it does have a light pleasant coconut fragrance that lasts long and keeps your cat smelling fresh and clean.
It is available in a 10-ounce bottle and can be purchased for a great price.
Best Flea Shampoo for cats
Fleas are active little parasites that feed on blood of cats, causing irritation as the bites can induce severe, constant itching and inflammation.
They make the cat’s life absolutely miserable and can often find their way to humans. Therefore it requires immediate attention.
If you discover fleas or flea eggs on your cat, it is vastly important to act immediately and get rid of the fleas on the spot.
While there are different remedies to this wretched issue, the most effective way is to use a specifically formulated shampoo that kills fleas.
If your cat has fleas, try out the following amazing cat shampoo.
Filthy Friends Organic Pet Shampoo
Filthy Friends Organic Pet Shampoo is incredibly effective in removing fleas and ticks from cats. It not only kills the fleas but also helps to sooth the itching and scratching while removing dirt and dander.
The product is cruelty-free, made of completely natural, 100% biodegradable ingredients with no chemicals or harmful substances. Therefore, it is safe for you, your cat, and the environment.
It moisturizes the skin, makes the cat’s fur soft and shiny, and rinses easily. It also gets rid of bad smell and leaves a pleasant scent behind.
The shampoo is made to combat the irritation that naturally occurs with flea bites, and leave your cat feeling refreshed and their fur and skin healthy.
This flea cat shampoo is recommended by veterinarians and available in 4 and 12-ounce bottles with an easy to use pump for a quite reasonable price.
Shampoo for sensitive Cats with Allergies
Cats are commonly known for their very sensitive skin and fur. And while this is true, there are cats that are even more sensitive. Added to which, many cats suffer from allergies.
If your cat belongs to this category and struggles with allergies, it is best to use a cat shampoo that specifically formulated to this occasion and is hypoallergenic. Which is the best option for this incident?
Earthbath Hypo-Allergenic Cat Shampoo
The best shampoo for cats that are very sensitive or suffer from allergies is the Earthbath Hypo-Allergenic Cat Shampoo.
This extra-mild cat shampoo is designed to be exceptionally gentle for even the most sensitive cats. The hypoallergenic formula ensures no allergic reactions for felines.
This shampoo is a great organic, cruelty-free product that contains no ingredients that would harm your cat or the environment (no parabens, synthetic dyes or perfumes or enzymes). It is made from ingredients that are natural, biodegradable, and gentle on your cat and you.
It is a coconut-based cleanser that softens the coat, re-moisturizes the skin and leaves behind a fresh, soft and shiny fur with little to no smell.
This inexpensive product is safe for animals over six weeks old, and available in a quite big bottle (16-ounce).
Best Dry Shampoo for cats – Waterless Cat Shampoo
There is a possibility that none of the above-mentioned solutions work. The reason behind this is the fact that most cats hate water and will refuse to get a bath no matter what you try.
If your cat is fearful and does not tolerate water, do not force her to get wet. The following dry shampoo requires no water. Problem solved!
Vet’s Best Clean Waterless Cat Shampoo
While cats hate to get wet and humans hate the scratching and crying, the Vet’s Best Clean Waterless Cat Shampoo offers a waterless, quick and easy solution that will please both cat and owner.
This unique foam cat shampoo acts as a soothing cleanser that cleans gently, moisturizes both the cat’s skin and coat, soothes dry skin and itching, and freshens your cat without using any water.
It is very easy to use: just massage it into your cat’s fur, brush it out, and that’s all about it. No rinsing required.
The product is made with natural ingredients that will not harm your cat and will leave a relaxing, calming fragrance behind.
Another added benefit of this waterless cat shampoo is that it works effectively without affecting topical flea control products that have been applied to your cat.
This is a great, effective product for cats (12 weeks of age and older) that hate water or for cats that need a quick cleaning. It is very handy to have nearby, can be used for everyday cleaning, and will make your cat happier and more comfortable (without stressing her with water) and your life easier.
Cats are known as clean creatures and usually do not require baths. But when they do, we, responsible cat owners, certainly need the best cat shampoo to help our cats to stay clean, healthy and happy.
While there are different shampoos available, be aware that human, baby and dog shampoos can be harmful to cats causing several skin and health problems.
Therefore, having a proper cat shampoo is essential. But finding the best one is not easy. Within this article there are different recommended cat shampoos that were chosen based on a lot of research and with the thought of taking all the needs into consideration.
These products work great; not only they do take care of your cat’s skin and fur but also consider the cat’s preferences while solving different skin and coat problems without causing any harm.
Hopefully, this article helps you find the perfect one that works well for your cat and you as well. Happy bathing!
Note: No matter how good a cat shampoo is, make sure to avoid getting it in your cat’s ears, eyes, nose and mouth, and please strictly follow the particular product’s instructions and use accordingly. If you have further questions or your cat needs specific treatment, please seek advice from your veterinarian.