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What are the best cat-safe shampoos? Cat owners love these brands

Unlike dogs, your feline fur baby probably won’t need a bath too often. These fastidious creatures are obsessed with cleanliness and groom themselves daily. However, there are some exceptions. Sphynx cats need frequent baths to prevent a buildup of oily residue on their skin. And if you have an active, outdoorsy cat, she may need to be bathed more often due to her tendency to play in the dirt. When your cat needs a bath, you need a cat-safe shampoo that won’t irritate her delicate skin. We’ve rounded up a list of the top-rated brands of shampoo for cats. Let’s check them out. 

A long-haired gray cat is wrapped up in a towel with shampoo on her head.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

1. Burt’s Bees for Cats Hypoallergenic Shampoo

If you’re looking for a vet-recommended shampoo, look no further than this budget-friendly option from Burt’s Bees. It’s fragrance-free, sulfate-free, colorant-free, and doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals or essential oils that may strip the naturally occurring oils responsible for nourishing your fur baby’s coat and skin. Containing honey, a natural antiseptic, and moisturizing shea butter, this shampoo is pH balanced and safe enough to use on kittens. Burt’s Bees formula is 99.7% natural, and even the packaging is made from recycled content, so you can feel better about helping the planet while bathing your cat. 

2. Vet’s Best Waterless Cat Bath

While it’s not suitable for a thorough deep clean if your cat is filthy, we couldn’t exclude this waterless wonder from our list. Vet’s Best uses a veterinarian-formulated blend of cleansing, hydrating ingredients like aloe vera, vitamin E, oatmeal, and neem oil that won’t leave sensitive skin dry or flaky. Neem oil has anti-microbial properties and acts as a natural insect repellent, so it can also help kill mites and ward off parasites. Best of all, you won’t have to rinse off this shampoo, an added perk if your cat hates bath time. (Please don’t use this one on kittens younger than 12 weeks, though.)

3. Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic and Antifungal Shampoo for Dogs and Cats

Does your fur baby suffer from ringworm, bacterial pyoderma, allergic dermatitis, or bacterial dermatitis? This shampoo can help battle the redness, itching, scaliness, and pustules associated with the aforementioned skin conditions. Made with potent-yet-gentle ingredients like benzethonium chloride, an anti-bacterial, and ketoconazole, an anti-fungal, Veterinary Formula’s blend is pH balanced, paraben-free, and soap-free. It’s safe for use on cats and dogs ages 12 weeks and older, and it should be used twice a week until your fur baby’s condition is under control.  

4. Pro Pet Works Natural Organic 5-in-1 Oatmeal Pet Shampoo

Finding a shampoo that won’t aggravate your cat’s sensitive skin can be difficult, but this one from Pro Pet Works is ideal. Formulated with organic ingredients like aloe vera, oatmeal, and almond oil, this shampoo is even safe to use on cats and dogs with allergies. Vitamins A, D, E, and B12 nourish the skin and coat, while the coconut-based surfactant removes dirt and grime without being overly drying. Pro Pet Works’ formula is also alcohol-free, cruelty-free, sulfate-free, paraben-free, and soap free. 

Shopping for a new shampoo for your cat can be a hassle, but it doesn’t have to be. Look for mild formulas with gentle, effective ingredients, and don’t be afraid to ask your vet for a recommendation if you’re overwhelmed by the broad selection available. Pet parents love the brands on our list, and we’re sure you will, too. 

Editors' Recommendations

Mary Johnson
Mary Johnson is a writer and photographer from New Orleans, Louisiana. Her work has been published in PawTracks and…
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