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Most cat owners will agree that bathing a cat doesn’t sound like fun. Cats spend up to 50% of their waking time grooming, so it hardly seems necessary to bathe a cat.
There are times, however, when your cat gets into something messy or has a specific skin issue that is best resolved with a medicated shampoo or conditioner.
Keep reading to learn what to look for when shopping for cat shampoo or conditioner and to learn some simple tips for bathing your cat. You’ll also see our top 5 picks for the best cat shampoo and conditioner.
Quick Links: The 5 Best Cat Shampoos and Conditioners
- Best of the Best: Pro Pet Works All Natural Oatmeal Shampoo + Conditioner
- Best Affordable: Burt’s Bees Hypoallergenic Shampoo for Cats
- Best Hypoallergenic: TropiClean Hypoallergenic Gentle Coconut Kitten Shampoo
- Best Natural: Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Dog & Cat Conditioner
- Best Waterless Dry Shampoo: Vet’s Best No Rinse Waterless Dry Shampoo for Cats
What to Look for in Cat Shampoos and Conditioners
Cat shampoos and conditioners are not all created equal. Some are designed for everyday cleansing and deodorizing, while others are formulated to address specific issues like skin infections. If your cat has skin problems, talk to your vet to diagnose the underlying problem and then choose the best cat shampoo and conditioner accordingly.
Here Are Some Important Things To Look For In Cat Shampoos And Conditioners:
- Natural ingredients. Avoid shampoos and conditioners made with harsh chemical ingredients, focusing instead on natural moisturizers, gentle cleansers, and essential oils.
- No artificial additives. Ingredients like artificial colors and fragrances provide no benefit for your cat – they just increase the risk of a negative reaction.
- Free from sulfates, alcohol, and parabens. Ingredients like these have the potential to irritate or dry out your cat’s skin, making its skin and coat problems worse instead of better.
- Medicated formula. For skin problems like bacterial or yeast infections as well as fleas, ticks, and other skin issues, a medicated shampoo and conditioner might be the best bet.
- Fragrance-free. Even natural fragrances can irritate your cat’s sensitive nose, so look for a formula that is either fragrance-free or only lightly scented.
Now that you have a better idea what to look for in a cat shampoo or conditioner, it’s time to start shopping! Keep reading to see our top 5 picks for the best cat shampoos and conditioners
The Top 5 Best Cat Shampoos and Conditioners
Because cat shampoo and conditioner come in so many varieties, you can choose the one that is perfect for your cat’s needs. An all-purpose shampoo is ideal for everyday bathing, and conditioner can improve the texture and health of your cat’s coat. For specific issues like fleas, dandruff, or sensitive skin, look for a specialized cat shampoo or conditioner.
Here Are Our Top 5 Picks For The Best Cat Shampoos And Conditioners:
Getting your cat to sit through a bath is tough, so a product like this that shampoos and conditions your cat’s coat is a great option. It features all-natural ingredients in a hypoallergenic, soap-free formula to moisturize your cat’s skin and leave it smelling fresh and clean. It contains no harsh ingredients like alcohol, sulfates, fragrances, or dyes and is made in the USA.
If you’re looking for a gentle shampoo made from natural ingredients that won’t dry out or irritate your cat’s skin and coat, this recipe is a great choice. It is hypoallergenic, made with 97% natural ingredients in a gentle formula that cleanses, deodorizes, softens, and moisturizes the skin and coat.
Many cat shampoos are designed for cats over 12 weeks of age, but this shampoo is safe for kittens and puppies. It features gentle, natural ingredients like coconut cleansers with oatmeal, aloe, and vitamin E to support healthy skin and coat. This kitten shampoo is soap-free, so it won’t irritate your kitten’s skin, and it is soothing for kittens with allergies or sensitive skin.
For long-lasting benefits, a conditioner like this can boost the effects of a good cat shampoo to soften the coat, soothe the skin, and keep your cat looking and feeling its best. This conditioner features natural ingredients like oatmeal and aloe that work together to moisturize and soothe dry, flaky skin with a pleasant vanilla almond scent. It is 100% biodegradable and free from parabens and phosphates.
If the idea of getting your cat in a bathtub seems impossible, a waterless shampoo might be the best option. This formula offers a practical solution for cats that hate baths, providing the skin-soothing and moisturizing benefits of a traditional shampoo without the hassle. It is made from natural ingredients with a leave-in formula that is safe and effective for cats 12 weeks and older.
Tips for Bathing Your Cat
Cats are notorious for hating water, but there are times when a bath is necessary. Whether your cat has gotten into something messy or has a skin issue you’re trying to treat, the right shampoo and conditioner can work wonders.
Here are some simple tips for bathing your cat:
- Pick a time of day to bathe your cat when it is normally mellow – don’t bathe your cat when it is most active.
- Trim your cat’s claws before bathing to prevent accidental scratching or use silicone nail caps.
- Gather your materials before putting your cat in the bath, so you don’t have to leave in the middle.
- Start by brushing your cat to remove loose fur from the coat.
- Fill the sink with a few inches of warm water then place your cat in it and slowly wet its coat.
- Apply the shampoo and work it into a lather, moving in the direction of hair growth, then rinse thoroughly until all traces of soap residue are gone.
- Towel-dry your cat to remove most of the moisture from its coat – from there, you can use the blow dryer on the lowest heat setting, if your cat will allow it.
- Reward your cat with tasty treats for good behavior.
Bathing your cat is bound to be a bit tricky, but keeping the above tips in mind will help you get through it with minimal bloodshed. Just remember to follow the directions on the shampoo or conditioner to ensure that your cat gets the maximum benefit.
The best cat shampoo and conditioner will be made with gentle ingredients to cleanse, deodorize, and condition your cat’s coat without irritating its delicate skin. Cat shampoos and conditioners come in many varieties, some for everyday bathing and others designed to address specific skin problems. Talk to your vet about which type of product is best for your cat then consider the options reviewed above.
If you’re still not sure where to start in looking for a cat shampoo or conditioner, try out one of the top 5 best options we’ve reviewed above. Good luck!