The 9 Best Cat Shampoos, According to a Veterinarian

Did your cat have a heyday outside? Roll around in the dirt? Maybe tip over his glass of cat wine? While your cat is totally capable of cleaning himself most of the time, there are some instances when a bath with cat shampoo is needed.

Cat shampoo can help not just clean your cat’s coat when he gets extremely curious, but it also provides relief if he has fleas or skin conditions. Before you give your cat a bath, read on for advice on picking the best shampoo for your cat and recommendations from a veterinarian.

Our Top Picks

  • Best Overall: Breezytail PetO’Cera Cat Shampoo
  • Best for Fleas: Advantage Flea and Tick Treatment Shampoo for Cats and Kittens
  • Best for Dandruff: Head & Shoulders Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
  • Best for Dry Skin: Jungle Pet Aloe & Oatmeal Shampoo
  • Best for Oily Skin: Petway Petcare Cat Shampoo
  • Best for Sensitive Skin: Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Hypoallergenic Shampoo
  • Best Waterless Shampoo: TropiClean Berry & Coconut Deep Cleansing Waterless Shampoo for Cats
  • Best Natural: Coat Defense CD Clean Pet Shampoo
  • Best for Skin Infections: Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic & Antifungal Spray

Can You Use Dog Shampoo on Cats?

There are some shampoos specifically formulated for cats and dogs. But is it OK to use dog-specific shampoo on cats?

It depends on the type of shampoo, says Sara Ochoa, DVM at Senior Tail Waggers and Whitehouse Veterinary Hospital in Whitehouse, Texas. “Most dog shampoos can be used on cats other than flea and tick shampoos,” she says. “These shampoos contain chemicals that can be toxic to your cat. Oatmeal shampoo and other antibacterial and antifungal shampoo can be used on cats or dogs.”

It’s best to always check the bottle to see if it’s cat-friendly. When in doubt, ask your vet if the shampoo is safe to use on your feline friend.

Can You Use Human Shampoo on Cats?

Cats and humans have different skin pH balances, so is it at all safe to use human shampoo on your cat? “Human shampoo can be used but is not the best,” Ochoa says. “Human shampoos can strip your cat’s fur of the natural oils and cause your cat’s hair and skin to become very dry.”

9 Vet-Approved Cat Shampoos to Try on Your Feline Friend