Grooming Pet Care

5 Best Cat Shampoos in 2021

cat shampoo
Written by Robert Lewis

The act of when a cat licks itself is super iconic. He or she cleans and grooms themselves this way. However, this sort of grooming is only superficial and over time, they do need a full bath. Here is where cat shampoos come into the picture. They are an essential product for proper hygiene. So, if you want your pet smelling nice and remaining clean, you should buy it. However, there is a lot to choose from. There are options which are waterless, hypoallergenic, for shedding, for itchy skin, for fleas, etc. But there’re also ingredients to avoid. So – quite a lot to know, huh? To help you out, we’ll list the 5 best cat shampoos in 2021 in no particular order.

5 best cat shampoos for kittens in 2021

Reviews of the best cat shampoos in 2021

Burt’s Bees for Pets (Tearless with Buttermilk) – one of the best options for cats with allergies 
burts bees

This particular shampoo is made in the United States. From user reviews you can clearly see that it has gotten a good reputation thanks to a good blend of natural ingredients and only up to 2% chemical additions for better smell or more foams. This a really mild and great choice for all long-haired kittens because their hair needs to be pampered, nourished and kept in top-notch condition. The only downside to Burt’s Bees cat shampoo is that it won’t help much against dandruff and to reduce dander.


  • Free of parabens
  • Great for sensitive skin
  • Nourishes the skin


  • Isn’t great for dandruff 

John Paul Pet Oatmeal Shampoo for sensitive skin – our #1 pick of cat shampoos for dry and sensitive skin
john paul

This particular shampoo is good or even great, actually for those that want to feel and see the fur of their cat becoming as soft as possible. It offers great value for money and thanks to ingredients like aloe, oatmeal and chamomile, it should repel lice and ticks. All in all, this organic and natural cat shampoo is great for those looking for soothing and calming products.


  • Neutral pH
  • Great for sensitive skin
  • Superbly balanced ingredients


  • Doesn’t have a profound scent, is quite watery

Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe vera for itchy & dry skin – one of the best-smelling organic cat shampoos on Amazon  

By looking at ingredients alone, this cat shampoo seems to set the bar high. Now, even when we compare it against the Earthbath 2in1 Conditioner + Shampoo, the Oatmeal & Aloe vera product stands its ground, even if it does not offer multitasking possibilities. The organic Oatmeal & Aloe vera formula is extremely good for dry skin, for dander and for matted fur as well. Its unique and wholesome composition make it a safe, organic and very balanced product for washing your cat’s fur with. 


  • Free of phthalates, parabens, sulphates and gluten
  • Neutral pH
  • Excellent for dry, flaky or itchy skin (for dermatitis and other similar conditions)


  • Quite expensive

Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Waterless Bath – no rinse – no problem 
vets best

In recent times, waterless cat shampoos have increased in popularity. While a relatively new product on the market, it certainly could have been useful a long while ago. Washing a kitten without water and avoiding the struggle of bathing them is a great option to have for the owner/parent and for the pet him/herself. All you have to do with this product is to apply some on your hand and massage it on the entire body. Start with the head and end with the toes. Let them dry and brush with wipes. That’s it!

Speaking about the Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Waterless bath it is unscented and comprised mainly of water, peppermint extract and eugenol. By coming in contact with the skin it should eradicate fleas, flea eggs and ticks. No added perfume and chemicals make sure it’s a safe choice.


  • Safe
  • No rinse or water is required
  • Foam spray that washes from your hand with ease


  • Won’t get rid of smells, grease, etc.

Wahl Pet Friendly Waterless – bad news for mites, great news for you
wahl pet

Wahl is one of the most respected brands in the pet grooming industry. Thanks to a plethora of natural organic ingredients, it should be safe too. Once again, no water is required in application and rinsing. Apply, wait for it to dry and wipe off. The formula is said to be hypoallergenic but you should test it with your pet. 


  • Not expensive
  • No rinse or water is required
  • Foam spray that washes from your hand with ease


  • Just like other waterless shampoos, is more of a sanitary, precautionary measure & not really hypoallergenic

What’s better – a regular or waterless cat shampoos?

If you’re wondering about which sort of cat shampoos are better – don’t bother. Regular and waterless shampoos, even though they have the same product name (Shampoo), are products for two totally different purposes.

Regular shampoos (although not always, but 90+% of the time) are infused with aromas and have certain grooming properties. The latter can include – getting rid of oil, skin moisturisation, repairing damaged hair, etc. They are developed to clean, to groom, pamper and to reduce allergens. Waterless shampoos are not. 

Waterless shampoos are generally more like a sanitary product which is designed to combat ticks, lice, mites and other parasites. They do kill them but won’t heal or repair damaged hair, remove built up dust, etc. Their cleaning properties are rather limited.

However, using regular shampoo more often and applying waterless-no water shampoo once in a while seems like a great balance that will ensure maximum health and hygiene for your feline friend. 

How to pick out the best cat shampoo from the lot?

Choosing the right cat shampoos can be tricky. Since picking the right product is more than just finding the lowest price, here are a few tips that will help you along the way.

  • Avoid these ingredients – parabens, sulphates, silicones, artificial dyes and preferably, phthalates. This isn’t super important to very resistant skins, but in more ways than not, having a cat shampoo that doesn’t have any of the aforementioned ingredients is better.
  • Know what you need – maybe you need a shampoo for Persian cats, or maybe for oily skin, etc. The more you know about the fur/hair, the better you can choose. 
  • Look at reviews – even though they won’t tell the whole story, a lot of online reviews can help you distinguish good cat shampoos from poor ones.


In the end, it’s important to find a shampoo that works for your cat. We recommend using both regular and waterless shampoos on different occasions. Look at ingredient lists, know your needs and look at the reviews or consult a veterinarian or cat grooming specialist to know what you need. When you decide to buy, look at Burt’s Bees for Pets, John Paul Pet Oatmeal, Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe vera for regular shampoos and Vet’s Best Flea and Tick as well as Wahl Pet Friendly for your waterless choices!

About the author

Robert Lewis

Hi, I’m Robert. I live with two Golden Retrievers and a Labradoodle. Four-legged canines have always been by my side. I’m a pet enthusiast at heart & blog writer by job title. Combining my passion with my job is the most rewarding experience I could ever ask for. My goal is to give buyer advice and share insights about various pet products/services with you.

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