How To Pick The Best Cat Shampoo For Your Cat

cat shampoo

We all know cats are great groomers, so why would we need to bathe them? And why is it important to use a cat shampoo?

If you’re a Sphynx owner, you’ll already know that regular bathing is necessary to keep them healthy. However, choosing the best cat shampoo for them, is just as important as their longer haired furry friends.

In this article I’ll cover why you may need to bathe your cat, and why using a shampoo created specifically for cats is so important.

Top Picks For Cat Shampoo

Do Cats Need Baths?

I thought cats clean themselves, I hear you ask. You’d be right in thinking that but, there are times where they need a human hand.

While their sand paper textured tongues are incredibly good at grooming and cleaning, you don’t want your cat ingesting any toxins that may have gotten onto their fur or skin.

You want to avoid your cat from licking the following:

  • Wet paint
  • Construction Dust
  • Any potential toxins from plants
  • Engine oil
  • Glue

Senior cats can also do with the occasional bathe, as over time they’ll lose flexibility and the endurance required to groom properly. Yes, grooming is hard work. Bathing or the use of cat wipes should be incorporated into their grooming plan.

The Sphynx breed is affectionately known as the hairless cat and for having no fur. However, they actually have a very fine layer of down hair and will need to be bathed about once a week.

Medium to long haired cats may never need bathing at all. However, there could be the off occasion that kitty has come into contact with toxins, extremely dirty paws or a skin irritation that can be helped with a bath.

So not all cats will need a shampoo, but there are times where you might need to consider a bath. On the other hand, some cats need regular baths and picking the right shampoo is vital.

Bathing your cat is also a good way to stay on top of those cat allergy symptoms. It helps by reducing the dander your cat produces and leaves everywhere. Less dander or cat fur flying about, means less symptoms.

Can You Bathe Your Cat Too Much?

Giving your cat a bath too often can result in stripping the natural oils that keep their coats so shiny and healthy. You can also cause a skin irritation if you over bathe your cat.

orange kitten in towel

Short haired cats can go months without needing a bath and actually may never need one, unless they come into contact with something potentially harmful.

Long haired cats shouldn’t be bathed more than once a week, if you are ever unsure you can consult your vet on how often to bath your cat.

What Makes A Good Cat Shampoo

With so many options available to you, choosing a cat shampoo is equally as difficult as choosing a shampoo for your own hair. Below is a guide on what makes a good cat shampoo and what to look out for.

Start with the ingredients:

You’ll want to find a good natural shampoo to use for your cat. You should avoid using a shampoo that contains any alcohol, parabens, pyrethins, sulfate and phenol.

Instead look for ingredients such as aloe vera, oatmeal and even avocado oil. You can go that one step further and find vegan friendly shampoos and even cruelty free versions.

The Secret Formula:

Okay the formula is not really a secret but, you should take each shampoos formula into consideration. Just like you would with your own hair, choose the specific formula that is suited to your cats hair type and needs.

2-In-1 Shampoos:

If you want to save money and cut down bath times, you’ll want to use a shampoo and conditioner for your long thick curly haired cats.

Make sure the shampoo you buy won’t wash out any flea and tick treatments you might have done.

Why You Should Avoid Human Shampoo

So what makes cat shampoo so different from human shampoo? This is a common myth and cat owners should avoid using human shampoo on their cats at all times.

Using regular human shampoo just won’t cut it for our furry friends, in fact it can lead to minor issues and skin irritation.

Human hair is obviously vastly different to that of our pets and that means our shampoo is too. The minerals and ingredients that are safe for us could be what dry out your cats fur and potentially damaging their coat.

Those same chemicals can be what irritates your cats skin and cause discomfort, defiantly an issue that’s easily avoidable.

Top Picks For The Best Cat Shampoo

Below is a list and review of the top cat shampoo available for 2019.

Earthbath All Natural Pet Shampoo 2-In-1

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2-in-1 Conditioning Cat Shampoo, Extra Gentle...
  • For sensitive skins
  • Treats tangled fur
  • Made in the USA

The Earthbath 2-in1 conditioner and shampoo is a popular choice among pet owners. It’s made with high quality products and organic aloe vera that softens the coat and moisturizes the skin.

Ingredients used are pH-balanced and include purified water, organic aloe vera, vitamins A, B, D and E. Also included are glycerin, coconut based cleansers and completed with a wild cherry fragrance.

Earthbath contains no soap, gluten, parabens, synthetic dyes, sulfates, gluten or phthalates. It’s also cruelty free which is something to be proud of.

They are so confident with their products that they will refund your money if you’re not satisfied for any reason.

Earthbath All Natural Pet Shampoo

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Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Shampoo, Vanilla & Almond, 16...
  • Totally natural pet care, 100 percent...
  • Soap free shampoo
  • Heavenly scented

Earthbath is a completely natural, biodegradable cat shampoo, and that is good enough reason to feature two of their products. It’s cruelty free, it smells good, and it’s an outstanding shampoo.

With scented options available and it being soap free it’s a good option for most cat owners. There is not much more to say about this shampoo other than it’s a great product with great reviews.

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

Made in the USA, Burt’s Bees Hypoallergenic shampoo is a gentle shampoo for even the most sensitive cat, including kittens.

Some of the Ingredients found in Bert’s Bees shampoo are as follows:

  • Honey
  • Water
  • Coco Glucoside
  • Glyceryl Oleate

  • Coco Betaine
  • Glycerin
  • Xanthan Gum
  • Beeswax

The shampoo is pH balanced and will give your cat a deep moisturizing clean, it has shea butter in it so how could it not. No essential oils, fragrances, sulfates or colorants are used in Burt’s Bees shampoo.

Burt’s Bee shampoo has also been specially formulated so that it won’t wash off any topical flea and tick treatments you might have done. Just make sure to follow the directions for treatment.

It’s also cruelty free and contains no Parabens, Phthalates, petrolatum or sodium Sulfate. All this means that it’s perfectly safe for you and your cat.

Vet’s Best Waterless Cat Bath No Rinse Waterless Dry Shampoo for Cats

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Vet's Best Waterless Cat Bath | No Rinse Waterless Dry...
  • A PRACTICAL SOLUTION - Easy to use,...
  • NATURAL INGREDIENTS - Our unique...
  • BATHTIME FOR CATS WHO HATE BATHS - Quick...

It’s almost a given that your cat won’t like to be bathed unless they have grown up with baths from an early age.

Well, it makes sense to use a waterless shampoo then, especially one that is packed full of high quality ingredients.

This is my top pick among the many waterless shampoos available on the market. Its natural ingredients and leave in formula will leave your cats coat smooth and moisturized while helping any dry or itchy skin issues.

Included in the ingredients are aloe vera, oatmeal and vitamin E and it gives off a light soothing fragrance. Vet’s Best does recommend that the waterless shampoo is suitable to cats over 12 weeks of age.

Like other high quality a shampoos, the Vet’s Best won’t wash out any topical flea or tick treatments you have already done.

By far the biggest attraction to this shampoo is the fact it’s waterless, that does come with a compromise though. If your cat is extremely dirty or has come into contact with some toxins, this shampoo won’t aid to relieve that.

Think of it as a regular grooming shampoo rather than a heavy duty cleaner.

Pro Pet Works All Natural Oatmeal Dog Shampoo + Conditioner for Dogs And Cats

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Pro Pet Works All Natural Oatmeal Dog Shampoo +...
  • [MADE IN USA] VET RECOMMENDED: Our...
  • NATURAL, ORGANIC INGREDIENTS THAT ARE...
  • ALOE ENRICHED, SOAP-LESS AND DETERGENT...

Pro Pet 2-In-1 shampoo and conditioner is suitable for both cats and dogs.

With a formula specially designed for pets with allergies to food, grass and flea bites. It’s pH balanced and contains no alcohol, sulphates, harsh chemicals or colors. They do this by using all natural ingredients such as, oatmeal, aloe vera and almond oil.

With vitamins A, D, and E, eye irritation is kept to a minimum. Although if it does get in your pets eyes, you should wash it out right away.

Pro Pet is cruelty free, 100% biodegradable and made with recycled materials. It’s a really good all round shampoo that works for both cats and dogs, brilliant.

Pro Pets Key Features:

  • Formulated for sensitive, dry skin
  • Can be used with flea treatments
  • Contains Almond oil and Aloe Vera
  • Made for pets with food, grass & flea bite allergies
  • Paraben & Cruelty free
  • Soap, detergent & Sulfate free

Bodhi Dog All Natural Anti Itch Oatmeal Shampoo

All Natural Anti Itch Oatmeal Dog Shampoo and...
  • SOOTHES AND MOISTURIZES DRY, ITCHY SKIN:...
  • FORMULATED FOR SENSITIVE SKIN: Our...
  • PROFESSIONAL GRADE QUALITY: Our oatmeal...

Made in the USA, Bodhi Dog all natural shampoo is vitamin enriched, free of alcohol and contains deoderizing baking soda to neutralize any pet smells.

It’s designed to smooth and moisturize your pets fur and skin. With ingredients such as oat proteins, aloe vera, coconut, vitamins A, D & E it will provide a cooling relief to inflamed, damaged skin.

The all natural oatmeal shampoo is 100% detergent and alcohol-free and 100% non-toxic. Their non-toxic pet shampoo does NOT CONTAIN parabens, sulfates, SLS, or stripping Ethyl alcohol.

There are mixed reviews on this product, many of which relate to the spray which is sold separately. If your pet suffers from dry itchy skin, consult your vet if this product would be the right for your particular pet.

Dechra Miconahex + Triz Pet Shampoo

Dechra Dermabenss Pet Shampoo Antiseborrheic...
  • DermaBenSs has been formulated to...
  • This soap-free formula contains...
  • Helps to increase the amount of water...

The Dechra Micronahex isin’t a tradition grooming shampoo. It’s a medicated shampoo that treats fungal and bacterial skin infections on cats, dogs and even horses.

Containing ceramides, this antifungal and moisterizing shampoo serves a very specific purpose. It goes towards repairing and restoring dry, damaged skin.

It’s made in the USA and will continue to work even after it’s rinsed off.

Paws & Pal’s Natural Oatmeal Dog & Cat -Shampoo and Conditioner

Natural Oatmeal Dog-Shampoo and Conditioner - 20oz...
  • THE MOST EFFECTIVE NATURAL PET SHAMPOO...
  • QUALITY SHAMPOO FOR YOUR DOG WITHOUT...
  • NOURISHING FORMULA: Our shampoo includes...

Paws & Pal’s is 100% all natural and proudly made in the USA. It’s specially formulated for dry, sensitive skin and coats for both dogs and cats.

Some of the nontoxic, vegan ingredients are:

  • Aloe vera
  • Jojoba oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Oatmeal
  • Shea butter
  • Rosemary

The formula provides a tearless soap free bathing experience. I like that almost all of the big name brands are cruelty free, and the Paws & Pal’s is no different.

With over 1000 positive 5 star reviews, it’s easy to see why this has made my list. Although it’s geared towards dog owners, cat owners can benefit from this shampoo with ease.

Burt’s Bees for Cats Natural Dander Reducing Wipes Kitten and Cat Wipes for Grooming

Burt's Bees For Cats Natural Dander Reducing Wipes |...
  • FIGHTS CAT DANDER AND FLAKING - Burt's...
  • MADE WITH THE HIGHEST QUALITY...
  • USE REGULARLY - Wipe your cat or kitten...

If you have a cat that absolutely hates the idea of bath time, using a cat wipe could be the solution. Made with all natural ingredients including aloe vera and oatmeal, the Burt’s Bees cat wipes are designed to help fight dander and flakey dry skin.

Cat wipes are very handy for cleaning dirty paws or spot cleaning the coat in specific areas only. Suitable for all cats of all ages, the cat wipes are 100% safe and free of fragrances, sulfates, colorants and harsh chemicals.

If you have a short to medium hair cat who won’t need regular baths, using a cat wipe for spot cleaning or grubby paws is a great alternative.

The Importance of Cat Shampoo

Cat shampoo definitely has its place in the market, they’re specially formulated for your cats coat and fur. Not all furs are made equal, and the biggest thing to look out for is the ingredients.

Some shampoos will claim they are safe for both cats and dogs, while this can be true not all are suitable. Some ingredients found in dog shampoo ( 100% natural or not ) are intended to fight against fleas and parasites. It’s these same ingredients that can cause harm to your cat and their fur.

If you’re unsure and want to avoid any potential harm from happening, stick with a specially formulated cat shampoo only.

How To Choose The Best Cat Shampoo

Sometimes it’s easier to suggest what to avoid, rather than what to look for. So below is a list of ingredients to look for that you should avoid.

Where possible avoid shampoos containing artificial ingredients such as:

  • Alcohol
  • Parabens
  • Permenthrin
  • Phenol
  • Pyergroids
  • Pyrethins

If any of the following come into contact with your cats skin potential damage can occur, damaging their tissue and organs. It is that serious, yes!

Natural products can also be harmful for your cat such as D-limonene and Linalool. These are naturally derived from citrus fruits and are toxic to cats.

Look for the Following Ingredients Instead

The following are ingredients to look for in a good quality cat shampoo:

  • Aloe Vera
  • Lanolin
  • Oatmeal

Fragrance free and cruelty free go along way to ensuring a good product. When you think you have found a good shampoo, double check some of the reviews before making the final decision.

Does Cat Shampoo Affect Their Skin & Coat?

Cats can often develop skin conditions as they get older, so does a cat shampoo have any effect on their condition?

Consult with your local vet if you’re unsure, however, they’ll usually advise you to use a good quality shampoo that includes oatmeal and aloe vera extract. This will help soothe and rejuvenate your cats dry skin and help reduce their itching, dandruff and dry coat.

At times your vet can recommend a medicated shampoo, these are really good at treating skin conditions caused by fungi or parasites. They’re very effective while being affordable, just don’t use them without your vets advice first.

Of course you might never have to bathe your cat, and most skin irritations can be avoided with a good grooming routine. It really does depend on the individual cat and their fur type.

My Winners For The Best Cat Shampoo

Best Overall

The Earthbath All Natural Cat Shampoo is my winner for the best over all shampoo. It’s affordable, works well and packed full of good natural ingredients that is both safe for cats and you.

Sale
Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Shampoo, Vanilla & Almond, 16...
  • Totally natural pet care, 100 percent...
  • Soap free shampoo
  • Heavenly scented

Best Waterless Cat Shampoo

This is my top pick among the many waterless shampoos available on the market. Its natural ingredients and leave in formula will leave your cats coat smooth and moisturized while helping any dry or itchy skin issues.

Sale
Vet's Best Waterless Cat Bath | No Rinse Waterless Dry...
  • A PRACTICAL SOLUTION - Easy to use,...
  • NATURAL INGREDIENTS - Our unique...
  • BATHTIME FOR CATS WHO HATE BATHS - Quick...

Best Cat Wipes

Cat wipes are very handy for cleaning dirty paws or spot cleaning the coat in specific areas only. Cat wipes are 100% safe and free of fragrances, sulfates, colorants and harsh chemicals.

They make a great alternative to a difficult bath time while still being able to clean off any surface dirt or dirty paws.

Burt's Bees For Cats Natural Dander Reducing Wipes |...
  • FIGHTS CAT DANDER AND FLAKING - Burt's...
  • MADE WITH THE HIGHEST QUALITY...
  • USE REGULARLY - Wipe your cat or kitten...

FAQ’S

What Can I Use As Shampoo For My Cat?

You should always look to use a good quality cat shampoo. However, if for some reason you need an alternative you can safely use unscented, tearless human baby shampoo. It should be an absolute last resort and only used if you need to bath them quickly.

How Do I Make Cat Shampoo?

Mixing 1 cup of gentle dish soap with 1 cup of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar and 4 cups of water. Mix the ingredients well before bathing your cat. Do not add essential oils to wet cat shampoo.

Conclusion On Cat Shampoo

I agree, bathing your cat can be a horrible experience but sometimes it’s necessary. When the time does come to bathe your cat, remember to look for high quality ingredients, and avoid any harmful toxins.

Never use human shampoo on your cat as this can damage their coat and cause bad skin irritations. The above choices in cat shampoos are a safe option and I’m confident you’ll be satisfied with the results.

If you have a kitten it’s always a good idea to start bathing them early, get them used to being in the water and familiar with bath time. This will help make the process easier as they get older.

Last update on 2019-11-17 at 18:07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API