The 6 Best Cat Shampoos for Bathing 2021

The kitty is washed in a basin

To support a shiny and healthy coat in cats and reduce the challenges of hairballs, you’ll need to keep your cat well-groomed and bathed. But if you’re not sure which cat shampoo will work best on your cat’s coat, we have many suggestions as to the six best cat shampoos for 2021.

We’ve reviewed dozens of cat shampoos to identify our top 6 cat shampoos by looking at their natural ingredients, how effectively they cleanse, and how many positive reviews they’ve received from satisfied cat parents.


PRODUCT RATING PRICE SIZE
Burt's Bees Our Choice 9.4 Low price 10 Fl Oz
Earthbath 9.3 Average price 16 Fl Oz
Pro Pet Works 9.2 Average price 17 Fl Oz
Pets Are Kids Too 9.0 Average price 17 Fl Oz
John Paul Pet 8.9 Low price 16 Fl Oz
Mooncat Waterless 8.8 High price 5 Fl Oz

Cat shampoos are carefully formulated so they won’t harm your cat or dry out his skin. You can also find numerous cat shampoos that are specially formulated to help with issues like fleas, dandruff, and even hairballs.

While cats typically take good care of their grooming, there are times when you’ll need to bathe your furbaby. Maybe their fur has a funky scent, or they’re prone to itching or dandruff.

You’re probably asking yourself if bathing your cat is even necessary? While cats are great at keeping themselves clean, a bath can sometimes help remove excess oil, shedded hair, and dandruff and even helps to stimulate the skin.

If this is your first time bathing your cat, this is your chance to help make bathing a positive experience so that your cat will enjoy baths in the future.

Purchasing a good cat shampoo simply because it smells good or has a pretty color is not a good idea. Plus, there are different cat shampoos for different situations. If your cat is shedding, a shampoo that works for skin-related issues like eczema or lice might not be an excellent option for you.

Before You Begin

Woman washes her cat

While you don’t have to bathe your cats often if they are short-haired, long-haired cats or cats with oily skin may need more frequent bathing.

Just make sure that you’re not giving too many baths since this can dry out their skin. Kittens should be older than 12 weeks old before you attempt to bathe them. If the weather is colder, make sure you’ve prepared for that beforehand.

Things You Need

If you’re new to bathing your cat, being prepared with all the essential supplies will do you a world of good. You only need a few supplies:

  • A few towels
  • A high-quality cat shampoo
  • Washcloth
  • A rubber mat
  • A small bucket with warm water
  • Treats or small ping pong balls for distraction

How to Prepare a Cat Bath?

Preparing a bath for your feline friend is extremely simple. After you have your supplies, get changed into some old clothes that you don’t mind getting wet. Make sure the bath area is warm. You don’t want your cat to catch a cold.

A bathtub is a good option yet bathing your cat in a sink or bathtub is probably easier. Assemble everything that you need and run warm water before bringing in your cat. Place the rubber mat on the base of the sink so your cat doesn’t slip. This will also help you have a firmer grip.

Gently wash the body of the cat

How to Bathe Your Cat?

Before diving into the list of potential shampoos you can choose for your cats, the most important question is how to get your cat to bathe? Cats are known to be scared of water. However, you can do a few things to make the experience easier for you and your furbaby.

If you can, have someone help you out with your first bath, as that will be the most challenging one. Your helper can hold the cat and distract them as you bathe. The process is going to be quicker and much easier.

Keep yourself prepared and have everything you need by your side before you bathing your cat. Apply a small amount of a natural cat shampoo and lather up, right down to the tail, not forgetting your cat’s underside and neck.

Be careful not to get any shampoo in your cat’s eyes. You should rinse your cat thoroughly with warm and clean water, avoiding the eyes and inner ears. Properly dry with the clean and dry towel.

You should give your furbaby plenty of praise, and to help ease anxiety, reward them with her favorite treats.

Keep in mind that you should never submerge your cat’s face in the water. Avoid wetting your cat’s head; instead, dampen a towel and wash gently, or soak your hand and run that over. Cats become extremely scared if water goes near their face. Properly dry with the clean and dry towel and reward.

The Best Cat Shampoos

Burt’s Bees for Kittens Natural Tearless Shampoo with Buttermilk

Burt’s Bees for Kittens Natural Tearless Shampoo with Buttermilk
: 10 Fl Oz
9.4 - ratingLow price Our Choice

Since 1984, Burt’s Bees has worked with nature to create products that work for people, pets, and the planet. This line of products brings the best to your pets. Burt’s Bees for Kittens is a hypoallergenic shampoo that freshens, soothes, and softens your kitten’s skin and coat.

While frequent bathing of kittens is not recommended, it’s best to opt for organic and gentle pet shampoos. The ingredients allow for a mild, sweet smell leaving your kitten’s coat super soft. This is a paraben-free product and is helpful for shedding and breakage.

Key feature

  • Crafted with buttermilk ingredients
  • Priced affordably for multi-cat households

Pros

  • Cruelty-free
  • Gentle on the skin
  • Free of harmful chemicals
  • pH balanced for kittens and cats
  • Suitable for cats and kittens
  • Tearless shampoo
  • Features buttermilk
  • Crafted with no fragrances, sulfates, colorants, and harsh chemical
  • Softens fur and nourishes the skin

Cons

  • The scent may be too mild for some pet parents

Earthbath 2-in-1 Conditioning Shampoo for Pets

Earthbath 2-in-1 Conditioning Shampoo for Pets
: 16 Fl Oz
9.3 - ratingAverage price

Earth Bath is a 2-in-1 formula-part shampoo and part conditioner in one. The botanical fragrance features tropical mangoes combined with an exceptionally mild shampoo that adds brilliance and shine to your cat’s coat.

This shampoo is crafted with all-natural ingredients and features different scents like vanilla, almond, mango tango, etc. Earth Bath 2-in-1 conditioning shampoo is safe for all kittens and cats.

This is a mild treatment shampoo that helps untangle fur and will not wash off flea applications. It is a pH-balanced and soap-free formula blended with the finest ingredients, like renewable plant-derived and coconut-based cleansers, organic aloe vera, and vitamin E. Overall this shampoo has positive reviews and is safe for dogs, puppies, cats & kittens over six weeks old.

Key feature

  • Crafted with renewable plant-derived and coconut-based cleansers, organic aloe vera, and vitamin E
  • Priced well
  • Cruelty-free

Pros

  • pH balanced for all pets
  • Naturally effective, non-toxic, and gentle as possible
  • 100% biodegradable
  • Made in the US
  • Gentle conditioner 7 detangler
  • No parabens, no dyes, no soap, no sulfates, no alcohol, no phthalates

Cons

  • It may be more expensive than other brands

Pro Pet Works Natural Organic 5 in One Oatmeal Pet Shampoo + Conditioner

Pro Pet Works Natural Organic 5 in One Oatmeal Pet Shampoo + Conditioner
: 17 Fl Oz
9.2 - ratingAverage price

Pro Pet Works Natural Organic 5 Pet Wash features aloe vera gel, almond oil, oatmeal, vitamins A, D, E & B12. This is a pH-balanced cat shampoo and conditioner formulated for sensitive, itchy, dry skin and helps eliminate wet dog smell.

The shampoo has no additives, sulfates, or added colors. The blend of oatmeal, aloe, vitamin A, C & E, and natural oils like almond oil is a soothing experience for your pet. It is also an excellent pet deodorizer, keeping your cat smelling fresh without damaging the skin with harsh chemicals. If you have other pets like rabbits, ferrets, or dogs, this shampoo works just as well on other animals too. Plus, it is cruelty-free and safe for regular use.

Key feature

  • Crafted with aloe vera and almond oil
  • Priced well
  • Paraben-free
  • De-tangles for easy brushing
  • Antimicrobial / antibacterial shampoo
  • Cleans, deodorizes & detangles

Pros

  • Cruelty-free
  • Detangles well
  • Perfect for keeping dry skin moisturized
  • Almond oil also supports skin hydration similar to aloe vera
  • Multipurpose shampoo that can be used on many animals
  • Does not wash off flea treatment
  • Safe for daily use
  • Fatty acids help skin retain moisture and can heal chapped, irritated skin

Cons

  • The scent does not last long

Pets Are Kids Too – Pet Oatmeal Anti-Itch Shampoo & Conditioner In One

Pets Are Kids Too – Pet Oatmeal Anti-Itch Shampoo & Conditioner In One
: 17 Fl Oz
9.0 - ratingAverage price

Pets Are Kids Too Anti-Itch shampoo is excellent for cats with sensitive skin. This product has over 4,900 positive reviews from cat parents. The shampoo can be used on cats and dogs and provides instant relief from itching.

It features a comprehensive anti-itch formula and contains oatmeal, baking soda, aloe vera, and coconut to help with itch relief. It’s also vet formulated for large or small dogs and cats. This shampoo helps protect your pet from itching, shedding, & allergies! It features no harmful chemicals.

Key feature

  • Leaves coat soft & shiny
  • Crafted with oatmeal, baking soda, & aloe vera
  • 100% organic ingredients
  • A portion of all profits go to pets in need

Pros

  • All-natural formula with 100% natural ingredients
  • Great for flaky or dry skin
  • Anti-itch provides instant relief for animals
  • Tear-free & dandruff free
  • Stops itching while natural deodorizing
  • Plant-derived ingredients
  • Soothes and moisturizes skin and coat

Cons

  • May be more expensive than other pet shampoos

John Paul Pet Tearless Odor Absorbing Shampoo

John Paul Pet Tearless Odor Absorbing Shampoo
: 16 Fl Oz
8.9 - ratingLow price

John Paul DeJoria, the co-founder of John Paul Mitchell Systems, revolutionized the professional salon industry by banning animal testing for his line of hair products. It features all-natural products like chamomile, aloe, and oatmeal with almond oil.

This is a pH-balanced, paraben-free cat and dog shampoo that moisturizes and cleanses. John Paul pet shampoo is a mild cleanser combined with unique “clean & fresh” neutralizers that keep the pH level low, avoiding irritation to eyes and other sensitive areas. We like this pet shampoo because it safely cleans around sensitive eyes and ears without burning and can be used as a full-body shampoo to neutralize/absorb odor.

Key feature

  • Crafted with almond oil, oatmeal, fragrance, aloe, chamomile
  • Concentrated formula requires less product than competitive brands
  • Supports pet charity & wildlife organizations with proceeds from sales
  • Neutralizes odor
  • Cruelty-free, paraben-free

Pros

  • Odor absorbing shampoo
  • Relieves flaky, itchy, and dry skins
  • Made-in-the-USA
  • Crafted with all-natural botanical extracts
  • PH balanced for pets
  • It can be used on puppies and kittens
  • Tearless shampoo
  • Eco-friendly

Mooncat Waterless Cat Shampoo

Mooncat Waterless Cat Shampoo
: 5 Fl Oz
8.8 - ratingHigh price Waterless

This is an easy-to-apply foam shampoo that makes every wash a dream. Simply apply, massage, and dry. This is great for cats that won’t go near water. We like this cat shampoo because it’s tearless and works for cats of all ages.

It’s formulated with natural, mild, and safe ingredients. The pH-balanced tearless formula helps moisturize and rejuvenate your cat’s fur and skin while dissolving any oil and impurities.

Key feature

  • Gentle clean formula
  • Neem oil, aloe vera, oatmeal, vitamin E
  • Crafted with 97.6% natural ingredients
  • No Alcohol, silicone, or parabens
  • VET recommended

Pros

  • All-natural ingredients
  • Conditions and moisturizes skin
  • Soothes any irritating or itching areas on the skin
  • Hypoallergenic and tearless
  • No Phthalates or synthetic colors

Cons

  • May be pricey

Key Takeaway

Fluffy cat resting in a towel

No matter what type of cat breed you have, regular grooming is essential to his well-being. A cat shampoo and regular grooming will keep your cat looking healthy and clean.

Many cat shampoos are designed to reduce the amount of dander (dead skin cells) on cats. This is because dander is what triggers allergy attacks in humans. Figure out what type of shampoo you need for your cat.

To keep your cat happy and healthy, you should select the healthiest cat shampoos that feature natural and chemical-free ingredients. You should try to keep your cat well-groomed throughout his lifetime. This reduces the amount of visits to the vet by reducing the chance of hairballs. Long-haired cat breeds need to be frequently brushed with gentle de-shedding tools that will help prevent matting and decrease the amount of fur that’s shedded.