The Best Cat Shampoo: Reviewed and Ranked

Written by Kristin Hitchcock
Updated: February 8, 2023
© Elena Arkadova/Shutterstock.com

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Key Points

  • The #1 Best Overall cat shampoo is the MiconaHex+Triz Shampoo for Dogs & Cats.
  • There are several instances where you may need to bathe your cat. For those times, you’re going to want a cat shampoo that is both safe and made with high-quality ingredients. These will ensure that your cat enjoys bathtime and won’t have irritated or dry skin from the wrong shampoo. 
  • Using extensive research on the top-rated picks and reviews, we put together a list of the best cat shampoos available on the market. Thanks to our guide, you’ll be able to find the best shampoo for your cat based on the specific reasons you have for bathing your feline friend.

When you adopt a cat, you typically don’t think about purchasing cat shampoo. After all, you don’t give cats baths, right? However, there are several situations where you may need to bathe your cat. Cats that may be ill and older cats may have trouble cleaning themselves. Therefore, they may need you to help them stay clean with a quick bath.

Cats with certain health problems may also need baths. For instance, fungal infections may call for a medicated bath — often more than once. With that said, you can’t just pick a random shampoo off the shelf and expect it to work well. Cats have extremely sensitive skin, so only the best will work. Otherwise, you may find yourself with an itchy kitty with irritated skin. This will also make bathtime even more difficult if you need to bathe your cat more than once. 

So how do you know which cat shampoo is the best option for your cat? Well, we’ve done the hard work of combing through internet reviews to find the very best options. Below you’ll find a list of the best cat shampoos to help you pick the one that best suits you and your cat’s needs.

  1. MiconaHex+Triz Shampoo for Dogs & Cats
    • Antimicrobial and antifungal
    • Best for cats with skin problems
    • Ceramides repair and restore skin
    • Completely fragrance-free
    Check Chewy
  2. Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic & Antifungal Shampoo
    • Very good for skin infections and conditions
    • Will soothe the skin
    • Also treat fungal infections like ringworm
    • Completely paraben-free
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  3. TropiClean Luxury 2 in 1 Papaya & Coconut Pet Shampoo & Conditioner
    • Best for general grooming
    • Moisturize damaged fur
    • Completely soap-free
    • Sweet scent
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  4. Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Dog & Cat Shampoo
    • Very gentle formula for sensitive skin
    • Aloe vera is a prominent ingredient
    • Biodegradable and phosphate-free
    • Only natural ingredients
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  5. Frisco Oatmeal Dog & Cat Shampoo
    • Oatmeal nourishes dry and itchy skin
    • Aloe vera hydrates the skin
    • Zero dyes or parabens used
    Check Chewy
  6. TropiClean Hypo-Allergenic Gentle Coconut Puppy & Kitten Shampoo
    • Completely safe for kittens and puppies
    • Also contains moisturizers
    • Pleasant coconut aroma
    • pH-balanced
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  7. Burt's Bees Waterless Shampoo for Cats
    • Best for cats that don't like water
    • Maintain a healthy pH
    • Contains apple and honey
    • No sulfates
    Check Chewy Check Amazon

Top Picks: The Best Cat Shampoos Today

#1. Best Overall: MiconaHex+Triz Shampoo for Dogs & Cats

Our best overall choice for cat shampoo is the MiconaHex+Triz Shampoo for Dogs & Cats. If you’re bathing your cat, the odds of them having some sort of fungal infection is pretty high. (Otherwise, you most likely wouldn’t be bathing your cat.) Therefore, we highly recommend this shampoo. It features antimicrobial, antifungal, and extra moisturizing ingredients — all of which your cat will benefit from. 

This medicated shampoo is best for felines that are already having skin problems. You should speak with your vet about whether or not it is safe for your feline to use, however.

Many reviewers really liked that this formula contains ceramides, which aid in repairing and restoring skin. If your cat has dry skin, they may benefit directly from this product. In addition, these ingredients may also help future problems from appearing. Plus, this formula is completely fragrance-free, which is vital for sensitive skin. it is also made in the USA. However, it should be noted that this cat shampoo is on the pricier end. So this may not be the most cost-effective item if you’re looking to save money.

Pros and Cons of the MiconaHex+Triz Shampoo for Dogs & Cats

ProsCons
Excellent formula for cats that are dealing with a fungal infection.This is a pricier shampoo option.
The formula features lots of moisturizing ingredients.
Ceramides are included to restore the dry skin of your cat.
Best Overall
MiconaHex+Triz Shampoo for Dogs & Cats
  • Antimicrobial and antifungal
  • Best for cats with skin problems
  • Ceramides repair and restore skin
  • Completely fragrance-free
Check Chewy

2. Best Antiseptic Shampoo: Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic & Antifungal Shampoo

For felines that have skin infections and other certain skin conditions, you may want to give the Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic & Antifungal Shampoo a try. It is heavily medicated, making it a good option for cats that are already experiencing skin issues.

However, because this formula is so highly medicated, it works quite well. Still, you also have to be a bit careful when you use it. After all, too much medication is never a good thing. Be sure to read the directions carefully and speak to your vet if you have any questions. Specifically, this formula is designed to fight bacterial skin infections like dermatitis and pyoderma. While the underlying cause does need to be dealt with, this shampoo can soothe the skin no matter what the underlying reason is.

Many reviewers loved that this formula can also treat fungal infections like ringworm. Plus, the formula is 100% paraben-free. Therefore, it shouldn’t cause any more irritation. However, it is important to note that this medicated shampoo should not be used on puppies younger than 12 weeks old.

Pros and Cons of the Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic & Antifungal Shampoo

ProsCons
The shampoo works great in treating fungal and bacterial skin infections.The shampoo should not be used on puppies younger than 12 weeks.
It is vet-recommended.
The formula can soothe dermatitis and pyoderma.
There are no parabens used in the formula.
Best Antiseptic Shampoo
Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic & Antifungal Shampoo
  • Very good for skin infections and conditions
  • Will soothe the skin
  • Also treat fungal infections like ringworm
  • Completely paraben-free
Check Chewy Check Amazon

3. Best 2-in-1 Shampoo: TropiClean Luxury 2 in 1 Papaya & Coconut Pet Shampoo and Conditioner

The TropiClean Luxury 2 in 1 Papaya & Coconut Pet Shampoo & Conditioner is the perfect option if you’re looking for an easy way to cleanse and condition your dog. This shampoo and conditioner is best for general grooming, especially when a conditioner is necessary. We particularly recommend it for cats with longer or dry fur, as the conditioner can make combing easier and moisturize damaged fur. Older cats may particularly enjoy this formula as well as it is a no-soap formula.

In fact, this formula is actually completely soap-free, so it is also suitable for felines with sensitive skin. It won’t interfere with flea or tick treatment, and you can use it more often than soap-inclusive formulas. The coconut helps moisturize fur and make it “slippery,” which helps with getting mats and tangles out. Coconut oil also helps grip onto any dirt, which then gets washed down the drain when you rinse. 

However, although the product is quite excellent, many reviewers all had the same complaint: the faulty bottle cap. It was noted that the bottle cap doesn’t close well and can sometimes leak as well.

Pros and Cons of the TropiClean Luxury 2 in 1 Papaya & Coconut Pet Shampoo and Conditioner

ProsCons
Features a no-soap formula.The bottle cap is poorly designed.
It is a fast and easy way to both cleanse and condition your cat’s fur and skin.
The formula doesn’t interfere with flea or tick medications.
Best 2-in-1 Shampoo
TropiClean Luxury 2 in 1 Papaya & Coconut Pet Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Best for general grooming
  • Moisturize damaged fur
  • Completely soap-free
  • Sweet scent
Check Chewy Check Amazon

4. Best for Sensitive Cats: Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Dog & Cat Shampoo

For felines with very sensitive skin, you may want to take a look at the Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Dog & Cat Shampoo. It is about as gentle as shampoo can be. It is made completely without soap and features aloe vera as a prominent ingredient. Aloe helps soothe irritated skin and prevent irritation in the future.

A light vanilla and almond scent keeps your feline smelling clean for days. However, this fragrance is completely natural, so it should not irritate your cat’s skin or respiratory system. You can use this shampoo on any cat and dog over 6 weeks. It is particularly recommended for cats that have dry and irritated skin. However, it can also prevent irritation from occurring after the bath, which makes it a good option for practically any feline.

Plus, this formula is 100% biodegradable and phosphate-free. It is made with only the most natural ingredients possible so that it doesn’t risk irritating your cat. However, it is important to note that this shampoo is often out of stock due to it being high in demand.

Pros and Cons of the Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Dog & Cat Shampoo

ProsCons
It helps to relieve dry, itchy skin.This shampoo is often out of stock because of how in demand it is.
The formula is phosphate-free and paraben-free.
Aloe vera is a main ingredient and helps nourish the skin.
Best for Sensitive Cats
Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Dog & Cat Shampoo
  • Very gentle formula for sensitive skin
  • Aloe vera is a prominent ingredient
  • Biodegradable and phosphate-free
  • Only natural ingredients
Check Chewy Check Amazon

5. Best for Itchy Skin: Frisco Oatmeal Dog & Cat Shampoo

For cats that have been dealing with particularly itchy skin, the Frisco Oatmeal Dog & Cat Shampoo can be a lifesaver. Itchy skin can be caused by a variety of different problems. This shampoo just happens to soothe this itchy skin. What’s so great about this shampoo is that it is pH balanced. In addition, it contains oat protein which helps to greatly soothe your cat’s skin when it is particularly itchy. These ingredients of oatmeal and aloe vera all work together to help nourish your cat’s skin during times of irritation. 

The formula of the shampoo also smells fantastic, which many reviewers loved. It is also formulated without the use of any parabens or dyes. This is especially great if your cat has itchy skin because they are more sensitive. However, one of the downsides that many reviewers noted is that you need to use a lot of this product to see results. This can in turn wind up costing you a lot of money as you’ll need to repurchase the shampoo more often than others.

Pros and Cons of the Frisco Oatmeal Dog & Cat Shampoo

ProsCons
This is a great formula for cats with itchy skin.Many reviewers noted that you need to use a lot of the product to see results.
Oatmeal and aloe vera work together to soothe itchy and dry skin.
It is formulated without the use of any parabens or dyes.
Best for Itchy Skin
Frisco Oatmeal Dog & Cat Shampoo
  • Oatmeal nourishes dry and itchy skin
  • Aloe vera hydrates the skin
  • Zero dyes or parabens used
Check Chewy

6. Best Kitten Shampoo: TropiClean Hypo-Allergenic Gentle Coconut Puppy & Kitten Shampoo

TropiClean Hypo-Allergenic Gentle Coconut Puppy & Kitten Shampoo is an excellent choice if you need to bathe your kitten. You typically do not need to bathe kittens. However, they may need to be bathed in certain circumstances. Sometimes, kittens simply get dirty and have a hard time getting their selves clean again.

Sadly, there are very few formulas that can be used on kittens. This shampoo by Tropiclean is one of the few exceptions that are completely safe on kittens and puppies. It produces a rich lather to make cleaning easier without potentially drying your pet’s skin out.

Plus, it also features moisturizers to return moisture that may have been lost in the bath. It leaves a kitten’s coat looking soft and healthy. Many reviewers greatly enjoy the pleasant coconut aroma that the formula produces. The formula also doesn’t include any parabens or dyes. Therefore, it is quite gentle and can be used on even the most sensitive kittens. It is even pH-balanced to support your cat’s natural skin barrier. 

However, some reviewers noted that the shampoo left their kitten’s fur feeling heavy and didn’t get rid of odors sufficiently enough.

Pros and Cons of the TropiClean Hypo-Allergenic Gentle Coconut Puppy & Kitten Shampoo

ProsCons
This shampoo is gentle enough to be used on kittens.Some reviewers felt that the shampoo left their kitten’s fur feeling heavy.
Many reviewers really enjoy the pleasant coconut scent.
The shampoo is paraben and dye-free.
Best Kitten Shampoo
TropiClean Hypo-Allergenic Gentle Coconut Puppy & Kitten Shampoo
  • Completely safe for kittens and puppies
  • Also contains moisturizers
  • Pleasant coconut aroma
  • pH-balanced
Check Chewy Check Amazon

7. Best Waterless Shampoo: Burt’s Bees Waterless Shampoo for Cats

The Burt’s Bees Waterless Shampoo for Cats is a great way to cleanse your cat without getting them wet. Most cats hate water, so when you can avoid using water, by all means, avoid it. In some cases, this waterless shampoo by Burt’s Bees may be enough to keep your feline clean and happy.

As the name suggests, you don’t have to use any water to use this formula. It is specifically formulated to maintain a healthy pH on our cat’s skin, which helps support the skin barrier. Many reviewers also liked that it contained apple and honey, which does seem to do a good job of cleaning a cat’s fur. This shampoo is all-natural and contains no sulfates. It is even cruelty-free.

To use it, all you have to do is spray it on your cat and then rub it in. Towel-dry your feline to remove excess product, and then you’re done. It is really quite simple! As far as any downsides, the only major one we saw was that some customers felt that the spray bottle wasn’t made well. In addition, some cats were afraid of the sound of the spray bottle.

Pros and Cons of the Burt’s Bees Waterless Shampoo for Cats

ProsCons
This waterless shampoo allows you to cleanse your cat without using water.Some customers reported that the spray bottle scared their cats and also didn’t spray well.
Contains natural ingredients such as apple and honey which cleanse while soothing the skin.
The shampoo doesn’t contain sulfates and is cruelty-free.
Best Waterless Shampoo
Burt's Bees Waterless Shampoo for Cats
  • Best for cats that don't like water
  • Maintain a healthy pH
  • Contains apple and honey
  • No sulfates
Check Chewy Check Amazon

How to Choose the Best Cat Shampoo

If your cat needs some assistance with grooming, you’ll want to choose a cat shampoo that works best for their needs. After all, cats aren’t the biggest lovers of baths. So you want to ensure that the shampoo you use will nourish their skin and not irritate them any further. When you’re trying to select a good shampoo for your cat, there are several things you should keep in mind. 

There are three main factors to take into consideration when deciding how to choose the best cat shampoo: 

  • Price 
  • Ingredients 
  • Purpose 

Let’s take a look at these three factors in more detail below:

Price

Most cat shampoos are pretty inexpensive. Plus, one bottle usually lasts a long time, so you rarely have to purchase a new one. However, some medicated shampoos are actually quite expensive. In these cases, you may need to keep your budget in mind and shop around for the best option.

Ingredients

Luckily, you don’t have to be a shampoo expert to understand an ingredient list. Some ingredients are better for a cat’s skin than others. Chemicals, sulfates, and soaps are usually quite stripping and can cause irritation. On the other hand, natural ingredients are typically less irritating. However, some cats may still react to certain natural ingredients, like coconut.

Purpose

Not all cat shampoos are designed to do the same thing. Some are designed solely for cleaning. Others include medication that is designed to fight bacterial or fungal infections. Purchase a shampoo that matches your intentions. If you’re only trying to get your cat clean, you probably don’t need a medicated shampoo.

The 3 Different Types of Cat Shampoos

There are many different types of cat shampoos. Mostly, you’re going to find waterless shampoo, cleaning shampoo, and medicated shampoo. Which option you choose largely depends on what you’re looking for. Each one has its own pros and cons, however. 

The most common pros and cons include: 

  • Waterless shampoo — Doesn’t require the use of water to work. One of the fastest ways to get your cat clean. However, not always as effective at getting your cat clean. Can also be more expensive. 
  • Cleansing shampoo — Designed to get your cat as clean as possible. Used for traditional baths. However, requires water to get your cat clean. 
  • Medicated shampoo — Can treat specific skin problems. Can be quite expensive.

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About the Author

Kristin is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering dogs, cats, fish, and other pets. She has been an animal writer for seven years, writing for top publications on everything from chinchilla cancer to the rise of designer dogs. She currently lives in Tennessee with her cat, dogs, and two children. When she isn't writing about pets, she enjoys hiking and crocheting.

The Best Cat Shampoo: Reviewed and Ranked FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How often should you bathe a cat?

Cats typically do a pretty good job of grooming themselves. However, they don’t always get every nook and cranny. This is when bathing may come in handy. However, how often you should bathe your cat really depends on several factors. For example, are they indoor or outdoor cats? Outdoor cats will need to be cleaned more often.  How long is their coat? Longer coats will need more often upkeep. Overall, you should keep bathing your cat to a minimum of a couple of times a year.

Is it okay to never bathe your cat?

Yes. In fact, many indoor cats will not ever need a bath. Cats are pretty self-sufficient and can usually clean themselves quite well. However, cats that have been bathed since they were kittens will take to it more easily than an adult cat who has never been bathed before.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.