When the time comes to bathe your cat, be prepared with the best cat shampoo on the market.
Your cat’s shampoo should be the least stressful part of bathtime. Choosing the right product will ensure that your cat concludes their bath with a clean coat, hydrated skin, and no worries about toxicity or irritation later.
In this article, we’ll explore the reasons to bathe your cat, how to choose the best cat shampoo, and which shampoo products are ideal for unique feline situations.
At a Glance: Top 8 Best Cat Shampoos & Conditioners To Buy
Want a quick look at the products reviewed in this article? In the comparison table below, we’ve highlighted some of the most important features of each product. You’ll find more detailed information about each product later in the article.
- Free from irritating ingredients
- Soothing and comfortable for your cat
- Specially formulated for cats with allergies
- Gentle and safe for cats
- Nourishing for dry, itchy skin
- Rinse-free foam is easy to apply
- Demonstrated to reduce allergens on your cat’s body
- A good choice for daily touch-ups
- Enables you to clean without bathing
- Gently conditions the coat and cleans the fur
Top Picks Explained
Reasons To Bathe Your Cat:
- Your cat’s coat is stained with something toxic or unpleasant. This could happen when your cat wanders into the garage and brushes against a dirty bottle of motor oil, rolls in dirt, or was in the wrong place when someone spilled nacho cheese. Any time that your cat gets in a messy situation with something they shouldn’t lick off, it’s a good idea to give them a bath.
- Your cat has itchy skin. If you choose the right cat shampoo, bathing can help to treat your cat’s skin discomfort.
- Your cat has a flea infestation. Bathing your cat, even with a non-medicated shampoo, can help to manage the discomfort associated with a flea infestation.
- Your cat doesn’t groom well. Some cats, especially seniors and overweight cats with limited mobility, don’t groom themselves very well. This can result in dandruff and grease buildup. A bath can help these cats to stay fresh.
- Your cat is headed to a cat show. It’s standard for show cats to have a good bath shortly before the competition.
- Your cat is a hairless breed. Just like humans, breeds like the Sphynx and Bambino require regular baths. If hairless breeds aren’t regularly bathed, natural oils will accumulate on their skin.
- Someone in your household is allergic to cat dander. While it’s not an absolute solution to cat allergies, bathing your cat every couple of weeks can cut back on the amount of dander they distribute around the house. Some shampoos are made with special allergen blockers for additional fighting power.
What Makes A Cat Shampoo Great?
When bathing your cat, it’s important to use the right cleaning products – and you won’t find those in the hair care department at the grocery store.
Your cat’s skin is thin, delicate, and less acidic than yours. It’s very sensitive and could be irritated by most human shampoo products.
Remember that your cat will lick themselves after a bath, ingesting any residue lingering on their body. Human shampoo is usually full of toxic ingredients that could make your cat sick.
It’s important to choose a good cat shampoo that was formulated for your cat’s pH balance, skin sensitivity, and grooming habits.
Note: If your cat is in need of immediate cleaning and you don’t have cat shampoo on hand, you can use a small amount of gentle dish soap or tearless baby shampoo instead.
The Best Cat Shampoo Has A Gentle, Non-irritating Formula.
The best cat shampoo is free from ingredients that could irritate your cat’s skin or make them sick when they groom themselves later. It’s always a good idea to seek out gentle, straightforward formulas featuring vegetable-based cleansers.
The Best Cat Shampoo Is Appropriate For Your Cat’s Unique Needs.
Just as the human shampoo aisle is packed with formulas for thin hair, heat-processed hair, curly hair, red hair, silver hair, and dyed hair, each cat shampoo formula is slightly different and not every one is appropriate for every cat.
In the following list of the best cat shampoo, we’ll address several unique situations and the shampoo that’s right for them.
The Best Cat Shampoos For Dandruff, Allergies, And More
If you and your cat both hate baths, consider these gentle alternatives:
Once You Have the Best Cat Shampoo, It’s Time To Give Your Cat a Bath. Here’s How To Do It
In the following video, Dr. Karen Becker goes into depth on how to give your cat a bath without traumatizing them.
First, Prepare For The Bath
As Dr. Becker suggests, use a pheromone spray to help your cat to stay calm during this potentially stressful experience.
Since the pheromone spray may not be enough to sedate your cat into a blissful state of mind for their spa date, it’s a good idea to give them a manicure and pedicure in advance. This will help to protect you from scratches if your cat gets nervous during the bath.
Set up your bathing area by laying a towel down in the sink or bathtub. This will give your kitty’s paws something to grip onto – slipping around in a wet tub will only make them more nervous.
Gently Moisten Your Cat And Massage In The Shampoo
Avoid dunking your cat in water and be sure to heat the water to a lukewarm temperature that won’t bother your sensitive cat. Use a sprayer or hose attachment to get your cat wet, then apply the shampoo and lightly massage it into your cat’s coat.
Although you’re using a non-toxic cat shampoo, it’s still important to rinse thoroughly to ensure that no residue remains on your cat’s coat.
Ensure That Your Cat Gets Warm And Dry As Soon As Possible
Immediately after bathing, wrap your cat in a warm towel – who doesn’t love warm towels fresh out of the dryer? – and carefully dry them off as thoroughly as you can. If your cat finds this frustrating, it’s okay to allow them to find a warm place in the house where they can air dry.
And don’t forget to give your cat a delicious treat after their bath – this helps to leave them with positive memories of the experience.
If possible, don’t bathe your cat more than once a week. Even if you use a moisturizing shampoo, bathing strips the natural oils from your cat’s skin. Too many baths can leave your cat dry and irritated.