It’s never a pleasant surprise when you find that a colony of fleas has made itself right at home on your cat or dog.
Since combatting these pests requires special attention, we’ll be highlighting the best flea shampoo for cats in our guide below. Many shampoos are safe for both cats and dogs, so you may see both animals on the product labels.
A good shampoo with the right ingredients can help you rid your cat of flea eggs, larvae and adults, so make sure you try one of these products if you really want to take care of the problem once and for all!
Shampoo Ingredients to Look For
Since there are some natural essential oils that effectively repel fleas, we like to see them on the ingredients label:
- Cedar wood
Oatmeal is also anther great ingredient as it helps sooth the skin and prevent irritation.
Top 6 Flea Shampoos for Cats Comparison Chart
|1. Bella's Best All Natural Pure Neem Oil and Oatmeal Dog Cat Shampoo||Neem Oil Oatmeal||$$$||4.7|
|2. Earthbath All Natural Pet Shampoo||Eucalyptus Peppermint||$||4.5|
|3. Wahl 100% Natural Pet Shampoo||Rosemary Mint Cedar||$$$$||4.5|
|4. Vet-Kem Ovitrol Plus Flea and Tick Shampoo for Pets, 12-Ounce||Oatmeal Coconut extract Lanolin Aloe||$$$$||4.3|
|5. Natural Flea & Tick Shampoo Bar for Dogs & Cats with Rich Lather||Citronella Geranium||$||4.2|
|6. Honeydew Natural Pet Shampoo for Dogs Puppies and Cat||Citronella Tea Tree||$$||4.1|
The Flea’s Lifecycle
Fleas multiply quickly (very quickly), so in order for you to combat them, it’s important to understand their lifecycle.
- Females can lay up to 40 eggs per day. Those eggs will hatch within 2-12 days after they are laid, depending on the temperature of the environment where they were laid (they might hatch sooner on your cat’s body and later if they’re in your cat’s bedding).
- After they hatch, the larvae develop and then spin their cocoons. This happens 5-20 days after they have hatched.
- Once they have spun their cocoon, the pupae will form. Some emerge from the cocoon as adult fleas just a few days after spinning it while others may emerge even a few weeks after, depending on their environmental conditions.
- Females can begin breeding even just a few hours after they have emerged from the cocoon, which means that this is a very fast reproduction cycle that you need to stop ASAP!
Since you need to kill eggs, larvae, pupae and adults, sometimes a regular shampoo isn’t enough.
For more serious infestations, you may need to opt for a medicated shampoo like the Vet-Kem Ovitrol Plus Flea and Tick Shampoo (number 4) on our list above.
What’s Best for Your Cat’s Skin?
There are plenty of great shampoos out there, but there isn’t just one best flea shampoo for cats considering that each cat is different!
If your cat has sensitive skin, then products like number 3 and 4 might be too harsh for them.
The other products on our list have gentler formulas (which you can look at when you click on each one individually).
Top 3 Best Flea Shampoo for Cats Reviews
This soap-less, alcohol-free shampoo from Bella’s Best is a favorite for both cats and dogs with a flea problem.
Simply apply it to your cat’s dry coat.
Next, you’ll apply a bit of water so you can work up a lather that you will leave on your cat for about five minutes and then rinse thoroughly.
The fact that there is no soap, no detergent and no alcohol makes it a great option for cats with sensitive skin.
The neem works to naturally repel fleas and other insects from your cat and, together with the oatmeal, sooths irritated and inflamed skin caused by excessive scratching.
This is a little pricey, but totally worth the investment. It’s also proudly made in the USA!
This is great alternative to the previous shampoo in terms of price and ingredients if you didn’t find that the neem and oatmeal combination helped.
This shampoo is biodegradable, cruelty free and soap free, making it a great option for cats with sensitive skin (and the environment!)
The brand actually makes a variety of shampoo formulas, but this eucalyptus and peppermint seems to be especially good for flea-related issues.
Both oils offer relief from fleabites and it won’t wash off any topical flea products that you have already applied to your cat.
A safe and natural solution for your kitty and even your pooch!
While we do feel that the Wahl Flea & Tick shampoo deserves a spot in our top 3, it isn’t the right choice for all cats.
Some of the ingredients may be too harsh for cat with sensitive skin, so even though it effectively treats the flea problem, it can still irritate some cats with sensitive skin.
The rosemary, mint, cedar and lavender in the formula definitely helps keep the flea population down and works very effectively for many pet owners.
While this product is actually marketed for dogs, some cat owners also have luck with it.
If you have any doubts or prefer something that is clearly labeled as a “cat” shampoo, then we encourage you to check out the other great alternatives on our list above!