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Best Cat Shampoos for 2022

Cats are generally great at grooming and cleaning themselves, but there may be occasions where you need to intervene and use a cat shampoo.

Your cat may occasionally get a sticky, dirty coat if they have been out all night in mysterious places. Sometimes, cats can have skin conditions or a case of fleas, and a suitable shampoo can help the problem. Cats can also get older and struggle with grooming and cleaning, and you may also have to help any cats with mobility issues.

Cat cleaning wipes exist for spot cleans, but if you need something more thorough, a shampoo could work. But don’t worry if the thought of putting your cat near water is horrifying. Shampoo foams that are used without water are available, too.

There are also eco-friendly buys around, with no plastic bottles used. And, many contain no nasty chemicals or parabens which could irritate the skin and lead to cat dermatitis. We looked for cat shampoos that are safe to use and have no lasting effects beyond the bathtub.

Any which contained unnecessary chemicals (and weren’t medical shampoos) were immediately discarded.

To bring you the best cat shampoos, we researched what to look for using veterinary recommended advice. Then, we scoured thousands of reviews for products that people (and felines) really rate. Below is our final list of the best cat shampoos on the market.

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    Our Top Picks

    Image Product Details
    WildWash Purrfect Cat Pet Shampoo
    • pH balanced for sensitive skin
    • Ethical accreditation and no animal testing
    • Quick rinse
    • Catnip Infused
    Check Price
    JVP Johnsons Vet Cat Flea Cleansing Shampoo
    • Good for kittens over 8 weeks
    • Mild and non-irritant
    • Deodorising
    Check Price
    Vets Best Natural Waterless Cat Bath
    • Suitable for 12 weeks and over
    • Veterinarian recommended
    Check Price

    The Top Cat Shampoos Reviewed

    1.
    WildWash Purrfect Cat Pet Shampoo

    When you want your cat shampoo to be as gentle and caring as possible, it is a great idea to try and keep things natural. The Purrfect range contains a whole host of essential oils and organic ingredients, such as virgin coconut and aloe vera to be gentle on the skin.

    With no parabens or chemicals, it shouldn’t irritate your cat’s skin and fur. This will reduce the likelihood they will develop rashes or irritations, and also makes it suitable for cats with existing skin and fur issues.

    There is also an infusion of catnip which should help to calm them down if bathtime often makes them a little bit stressed. The solution is easy to rinse off too, as it doesn’t cling to hair or become sticky, which means less time for them under the water.

    Features

    • pH balanced for sensitive skin
    • Ethical accreditation and no animal testing
    • Quick rinse
    • Catnip Infused

    Specifications

    • Size: 250ml
    • Main Ingredients: Virgin coconut, Aloe vera, Catnip

    2.
    Animology Feline Great

    With a peach scent that will ensure your cat smells lovely for a long time to come, as well as keeping your nose happy, this is a gentle solution suitable for most cats.

    It has built-in conditioner, so won’t only leave fur clean but smooth and nourished too. SLS, SLES, paraben and alcohol-free, it won’t cause any irritation or reactions so is safe for the skin as well. The added aloe vera soothes and protects, and pro-vitamin B5 nourishes the coat.

    When on your cat, it foams but doesn’t bubble up too much so is good for keeping them calm and relaxed. You can rinse it off easily and quickly, minimising the time spent under the taps.

    Features

    • Peach scent
    • Suitable for kittens from 12 weeks

    Specifications

    • Size: 250ml
    • Main Ingredients: Aloe vera, Pro-vitamin B5

    3.
    JVP Johnsons Vet Cat Flea Cleansing Shampoo

    Johnson’s are a big name when it comes to taking care of fleas, and this shampoo is perfectly formulated to ensure that they go away and stay away.

    Fleas hate water, and with the addition of this shampoo, all traces will be removed from the skin, including eggs. This should help to clear your home of them quicker too. It smells pleasant enough and works itself into a nice lather.

    You can use it on kittens from eight weeks of age, which shows it is gentle and caring. It also won’t be harsh on your hands which is good if you really need to work it in to get rid of all of the bugs.

    No flea shampoo works absolute miracles, as it all depends on how bad the issue is and your cat’s fur and behaviour, but the shampoo should really help the issue alongside stronger treatments if necessary.

    Features

    • Good for kittens over 8 weeks
    • Mild and non-irritant
    • Deodorising

    Specifications

    • Size: 125ml
    • Main Ingredients: Natural herbal extracts

    4.
    Vet's Best Natural Waterless Cat Bath

    Socks really really needs a bit of a freshen up, but any attempt to take him near water ends up with a clawed hand and grumpy cat.

    Waterless cat baths are for you, then. There is no need to rinse it out, use water to foam it up or even hold them against their will in the sink. Just massage the foam through the fur, avoiding the eyes and nose area. It can also be a good answer when the weather is cold outside, and you don’t want to risk any chills.

    It is a foamy solution and includes a range of conditioners and moisturisers to help the hair. The application will not affect topical flea treatments, and the addition of chamomile helps combat pollutants outside, neutralising smells such as car fumes and dirt.

    Features

    • Suitable for 12 weeks and over
    • Veterinarian recommended

    Specifications

    • Size: 150ml
    • Main Ingredients: Aloe vera, Chamomile, Vitamin E, Oatmeal

    5.
    Be:loved Be:Fresh Pet Shampoo Bar Set

    Shampoo means plastic bottles. Plastic Lids. Labels. And if you’re trying to cut down on your single-use plastic, it can be hard to then buy these things for your pet.

    But, these shampoo bars are similar to the bars of soap and shampoo we humans can now buy. They are natural and handmade, and one bar can do about 10-12 washes. You get 6 bars in a purchase too, so this one buy can basically do a lifetime of kitty baths. Because you massage the foam into your hands and rub on, it is nice for your pet to accept.

    The ingredients have benefits too. Aloe, tea tree essence, green tea extract, follicle boosters and botanicals are antibacterial. The goats milk, chamomile, lavender, and rose calm and moisturise. And the hemp, chamomile, lavender, and botanicals are relaxing and soothing.

    Features

    • Suitable for all coat types
    • 6 bars of soap
    • All natural and handmade

    Specifications

    • Size: 6 x 55g bars
    • Main Ingredients: Aloe, Tea tree, Goats milk

    6.
    Douxo Pyo

    Does your cat suffer from a case of bacteria or yeast overgrowth? Maybe a fungal imbalance, or simply just very dry skin? They are conditions which need to be controlled and can cause irritation otherwise.

    Pyo is vet recommended, as it not only tackles the issue at hand but also helps to restore the skin’s natural barrier and soothe irritation. If your cat has pyoderma or Malassezia, this shampoo can combat the effects for soothing bath time.

    Pets with these issues often have underlying problems, and it can easily flare up again once treated. This shampoo is good to use 2-3 times every week for the first couple of weeks until the issue is controlled.

    Features

    • Paraben-free
    • Contains Phytosphingosine for replenishing skin barrier

    Specifications

    • Size: 200ml
    • Main Ingredients: Chlorhexidine (2%), Climbazole (0.5%), Phytosphingosine

    7.
    Biogance Long Coat Shampoo

    Cats with long hair face the usual issues of dirt and pollutant build-up, but can also suffer from knotting and tangles.

    The contents of this shampoo not only leave the fur silky smooth but also contain nutrients which help to prevent matting. The texture of the shampoo also means it is easy to rinse out, reducing the likelihood that you will create tangles from the product removal or foaming.

    All ingredients are organic too, so gentle on the skin and for use on young and old, as well as puppies.

    Features

    • Paraben-free
    • Hypoallergenic

    Specifications

    • Size: 250ml
    • Main Ingredients: Jojoba, Avocado oil

    8.
    Johnson's Dry Foam Shampoo

    If your cat is generally able to keep on top of cleaning and grooming, but occasionally there is spot washing required, this dry foam shampoo could combat any dirt without the need for a full bath.

    Cleaning wipes can be just as nerve-wracking as a wash for some cats, but this gentle foam is easy to rub on to fur and leave. Situations such as dirty paws or bellies from the rain outside are perfect for this spot cleaning, or if you have had to apply greasy ear drops or flea treatment to the face/neck area.

    It is perfumed so will leave a nice scent behind, and doesn’t leave any marks or residue behind. It can also get rid of any loose hairs upon rubbing, and just needs a simple brush through after it has been left to work for a few minutes.

    Features

    • Easy to dispense
    • Quick-drying

    Specifications

    • Size: 119ml
    • Main Ingredients: Aqua, Cleanser, Odour Neutraliser

    9.
    Animology Glamour Puss No Rinse Cat Shampoo

    Your cat isn’t dirty as such, but could definitely do with a spruce up and a spray with something which smells a lot more pleasant.

    This no-rinse cat shampoo is ideal – no water needed, a nice peach scent and suitable for kittens above 12 weeks. It can still remove grease and dirt too and contains aloe which will soothe their skin and ensure it doesn’t dry out.

    Built-in conditioners leave their fur feeling really soft as well, and you just spray it through and leave it to work. It won’t work on things like poo which need to be physically washed off, but are great if your cat feels a bit dirty from rolling around or running through trees.

    The scent can be a downside too, however. Some cats have a real aversion to anything scented, so avoid if this is the case. It can be particularly a problem if they are outdoors or live with other cats.

    Features

    • Suitable for kittens 12 weeks plus
    • No need for water

    Specifications

    • Size: 250ml
    • Main Ingredients: Byotrol, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide, Sodium Laureth Sulphate

    10.
    Virbac Etiderm Hypoallergenic Antibacterial

    Virbac specialises in animal health, and if your precious four-legged friend needs something gentle and hypoallergenic, then this could be the one.

    It contains keratoplastic properties, which will help to control surface bacteria on the skin. This will reduce the likelihood of any future issues, which is perfect if they have dry or irritated skin. Anti-fungal and anti-bacterial, it will combat any smells or skin damage too.

    It is best for mild or moderate superficial issues, so bear in mind that more serious issues could need additional treatment.

    Features

    • Hypoallergenic
    • Suitable for dogs too

    Specifications

    • Size: 200ml
    • Main Ingredients: Ethyl lactate (10%), Benzalkonium chloride

    Buying Guide

    How we chose the best cat shampoos

    You may want to ask your vet if you’re concerned whether your cat has any particular issues, such as dry skin or allergies, first. You must always consider any skin conditions and the type of fur your cat has first. Longer hair that easily becomes matted will need an oilier, softer shampoo, but short-haired cats may need something which is suitable for sensitive skin as it is more likely to come into contact with this.

    It is best to stick with natural formulations, but if you do need chemicals (to get rid of fleas for instance), then keep everything paraben, sulphate and dye-free. We’ve looked for shampoos that have been tested and cleared for safe use, from brands we know and trust.

    If you need specialist shampoo, your vet will often recommend the best form. Always check online for the price though – it’ll likely be cheaper than they offer it.

    Types Of Cat Shampoo

    As you have read above, there are largely three forms:

    Traditional

    This is an ordinary shampoo, as you would use on human hair. You wet the cat, add a bit of water to the shampoo and then rub the shampoo onto the fur, working into a lather or foam. This then needs to be rinsed

    Waterless

    For cats who will not go within a mile of water, or perhaps if your cat just needs spot cleaning (such as after the application of topical medication or if they are too old/young to fully clean themselves).

    It usually comes as a foam or cream, doesn’t need to be rinsed off, needs no water to be applied and generally just dries without towelling

    Shampoo-Conditioners

    A 2-in-1. Cat fur usually doesn’t need conditioning as it contains the correct balance of oils and minerals, but if your cat has long fur or it is quite dull, conditioning treatments may help keep knots at bay or provide some shine

    The best for you will depend on how your cat is at bathtimes, as well as if your cat has any skin conditions, particular needs or how dirty they get.

    Other Buyers Ask...

    Do cats need baths?

    Not always. Many can take care of that side of things themselves, and if your cat is particularly proud, then they probably don’t go anywhere near dirt, rain or dust anyway.

    But as mentioned above, there are some incidents where they may need a bit of help. To fully remove fleas, if they have a skin condition or if they are too old to do this themselves are some cases.

    Others may be overweight and not able to reach certain places, and some may suffer from regular furballs so you may wish to give them some help to reduce these.

    House cats may also need some occasional cleaning, as they will be using litter trays. Shampoo can get rid of loose hairs, dead skin cells and product build-up too.

    My cat doesn’t like baths. How can I keep them clean?

    Never force a cat to have a bath. If they really don’t like water or the whole experience, it can cause a lot of stress and increased heart rate. Dry shampoo or cat cleaning wipes could be the answer.

    If your cat isn’t used to baths, it is important to introduce them gently. Never rush them, keep experiences positive and if possible, start when they are a kitten.

    Does bathing help get rid of fleas?

    Fleas hate water, so bathing your cat can help to remove some of these – but only if you’re finding it hard to eliminate the issue when using topical cat flea treatment, daily vacuuming and home flea treatment. These three should always be your first go-to.

    The addition of a special flea shampoo can help, as many contain mint-based ingredients which get rid of any left behind and can reduce the likelihood of another infestation. Check ingredients lists, and try to stick to more natural chemical-free options. Also buy a flea shampoo that can work alongside topical treatment, as some can react.

    Talk to a vet if the problem persists.

    Can I use human shampoo on my cat?

    No! Cat hair and human hair is very different. pH levels are different, and cat shampoo is specially created so the cat can still clean themselves if appropriate, without ingesting toxic products.

    There is some shampoo out there appropriate for dogs and cats but never cross into the human hair care world. Ensure the shampoo you choose specifically states it is cat-friendly.