The Best Flea Shampoos for Cats

Fear not. You can win the war against fleas. And keep your cat safe while doing so. Choosing a flea shampoo requires some research since cats are hypersensitive to certain chemicals, plants, oils, and fragrances. A popular ingredient, pyrethrin or permethrin, is often used in flea shampoos to kill fleas. Though it’s sometimes safe, it’s been documented to result in toxic overload in some animals. Symptoms of pyrethrin toxicity include excessive drooling, vomiting, restlessness, loss of coordination, muscle tremors, and difficulty breathing. See your veterinarian immediately if your cat exhibits any out-of-the-ordinary symptoms. Pyrethrin toxicity can be fatal in cats.

Likewise, other popular ingredients for flea shampoos are essential oils. Some experts argue certain essential oils are toxic to cats because of the phenols, but a few are safe to use, such as those derived from hydrosols. We looked at dozens of flea shampoos for cats. We combed through a myriad of ingredient lists to find the best. We considered your cat’s safety first, then sought out the most effective shampoo for either preventing or killing fleas.

Best Flea Shampoo Overall
Bodhi Dog All Natural Anti Itch Lemongrass Shampoo
Made with lemongrass, rosemary, coconut oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, and aloe vera, Bodhi Dog is not just for dogs; the natural ingredients kill and repel fleas and ticks on cats, too.

To add to your flea-fighting paraphernalia, we chose Bodhi Dog All Natural Anti Itch Lemongrass Shampoo as our favorite flea shampoo for cats. Though it sounds like it’s geared only toward dogs, it’s made for cats, rabbits, and ferrets as well. This lemongrass shampoo cleans, conditions, and kills and repels fleas and ticks.

The 5 Top-Rated Flea Shampoos for Cats

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best OverallBodhi Dog All Natural Anti Itch Lemongrass Shampoo4.3
Best Natural Flea Shampoo for CatsSapphire Green Earth All Natural Organic Dog & Cat Shampoo4.4
Best Budget BuyWahl Shed Control Pet Shampoo4.3
Best Flea and Tick Dry Shampoo for CatsBodhi Dog All Natural Dry Shampoo for Dogs or Cats4.4
Best Skin-Soothing Flea and Tick Shampoo for CatsBodhi Dog All Natural Anti Itch Oatmeal Shampoo4.3

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

Best Flea Shampoo Overall: Bodhi Dog All Natural Anti Itch Lemongrass Shampoo

Bodhi Dog All Natural Anti Itch Lemongrass Shampoo helps soothe your cat’s itchy and irritated skin with the use of organic oils, such as coconut, olive, and jojoba. These oils also work to repel and kill fleas on contact by suffocating them. The coconut oil repels the biting bug due to the lauric acid, which is a natural bug deterrent. Bodhi also uses essential oils, such as lemongrass and rosemary, which are reported to be safe for cats. They are also natural deterrents for fleas and ticks, and leave a nice, lingering scent.

Made in small batches from a small family-owned business, this flea-fighting shampoo doesn’t contain any harsh ingredients, toxic chemicals, sulfates, or parabens. It is free of alcohol, detergents, and synthetic fragrances, and is environmentally friendly. This shampoo also includes aloe vera, well known for its burn-healing and skin-calming properties. You don’t have to worry about wearing gloves while washing your furry friend. It’s not only gentle enough for him, but it’s easy on your hands, too.

Bodhi Dog All Natural Anti Itch Lemongrass Shampoo Key Features:

  • Safe for dogs, cats, rabbits, and ferrets
  • Organic, plant-based ingredients
  • Chemical and sulfate free
  • Contains lemongrass, rosemary, and aloe vera
  • Made in the USA

Best Natural Flea Shampoo for Cats: Sapphire Green Earth All Natural Organic Dog & Cat Shampoo

Best Natural Flea Shampoo for Cats
Sapphire Green Earth All Natural Organic Dog & Cat Shampoo
With the fighting power of essential oils, coupled with the conditioning power of organic base oils, this flea shampoo cleans, conditions, and repels and kills fleas and ticks, all in one.

We chose Sapphire Green Earth All Natural Organic Dog & Cat Shampoo as our favorite pick for a natural flea shampoo for cats. Similar to our top choice, this shampoo also contains organic oils, such as coconut, jojoba, and olive. Likewise, the two active ingredients, rosemary and lemongrass, are also included to help prevent fleas and ticks. Bathe your favorite feline knowing you’re using all organic, natural ingredients that are environmentally friendly and free of harmful toxins.

Sapphire Green Earth shampoo uses ingredients that promote health and healing through the antioxidants, antibacterials, antifungals, and anti-inflammatories that are found in coconut, jojoba, and olive oil, as well as aloe vera. While the shampoo calms your cat’s skin and softens his fur, fleas and ticks run the other way from the scent of lemongrass, rosemary, and coconut. Made in the USA, this shampoo contains no animal products and is cruelty-free.

Sapphire Green Earth All Natural Organic Dog & Cat Shampoo Key Features:

  • Made in the USA
  • No harsh ingredients or chemicals
  • Plant based, environmentally friendly, and gentle
  • Never tested on animals
  • Soothing and conditioning

Best Budget Flea Shampoo: Wahl Shed Control Pet Shampoo

Best Budget Flea Shampoo
Wahl Shed Control Pet Shampoo
With ingredients like sage and lemongrass, fleas flee from this pet shampoo, while your kitty gets cleaner and smells nicer.

Wahl Shed Control Pet Shampoo is our budget pick for flea shampoos for cats. Don’t let the name fool you. Thanks to sage and lemongrass, washing your kitty with this shampoo will kill fleas and repel new ones. The thick lather suffocates fleas so you can rinse them away. Other ingredients such as oatmeal and aloe vera soothe irritated, itchy, or flea-bitten skin, while conditioning the coat, leaving it soft and clean.

This product does contain a coconut sulfate and synthetic fragrance, but your furry feline doesn’t need to be bathed in chemicals or other harsh ingredients like parabens or alcohol. Made in the USA, Wahl Shed Control also reduces the amount of dander and fur your cat sheds. This may cut down on the amount of fur she ingests if she’s chewing at flea bites. The formula is concentrated, so a little goes a long way, resulting in 70 percent more baths than other leading brands.

Wahl Shed Control Pet Shampoo Key Features:

  • Contains lemongrass, sage, oatmeal, and aloe vera
  • Does not contain alcohol, parabens, or PEG-80
  • pH balanced, concentrated formula
  • Made in the USA

Best Flea and Tick Dry Shampoo for Cats: Bodhi Dog All Natural Dry Shampoo for Dogs or Cats

Best Flea and Tick Dry Shampoo for Cats
Bodhi Dog All Natural Dry Shampoo for Dogs or Cats
Lemongrass and coconut repel fleas and ticks, while cleaning and conditioning your cat’s coat without using water.

Bathing a cat with water just isn’t always an option. For our favorite flea and tick dry shampoo for cats, we chose Bodhi Dog All Natural Dry Shampoo for Dogs or Cats for prevention. Lemongrass and coconut are the main ingredients used to battle fleas and ticks. A coconut surfactant cleanses your furry friend, while lemongrass conditions. Both ingredients leavea a nice scent – a nice scent for you, but not the fleas or ticks. This waterless shampoo is a convenient way to quickly clean your kitty while applying a flea and tick preventative.

To use the Bodhi Dog dry shampoo, spray your cat’s coat lightly. Either cover him evenly all over or use the dry shampoo as a spot cleaner. Let the solution sit on his coat for at least one minute. Use a clean cloth and gently rub the shampoo in to his fur. Let it dry. Brush your now-clean and flea-battling kitty to restore his fur back to a soft, shiny coat.

Bodhi Dog All Natural Dry Shampoo for Dogs or Cats Key Features:

  • Made in the USA
  • No chemicals or harsh ingredients
  • Safe for dogs, cats, rabbits, and ferrets
  • Easy to use, no water required

Best Skin-Soothing Flea and Tick Shampoo for Cats: Bodhi Dog All Natural Anti Itch Oatmeal Shampoo

Best Skin-Soothing Flea and Tick Shampoo for Cats:
Bodhi Dog All Natural Anti Itch Oatmeal Shampoo
With the help of oatmeal, aloe vera, baking soda, and coconut, this shampoo soothes the skin, nourishes the coat, and may help kill fleas.

For a skin-soothing flea and tick shampoo for cats, we like Bodhi Dog All Natural Anti Itch Oatmeal Shampoo for its soothing and flea- and tick-kicking properties. Aloe vera teams up with baking soda to condition and deodorize your cat’s skin and fur, while easing itching and irritation. Other ingredients such as fruit extracts and coconut cleanse and repair skin while deterring fleas and ticks. The added oatmeal protein is nourishing for your cat’s fur and soothing to her flea- or tick-bitten skin.

This skin-soothing shampoo doesn’t contain detergents, alcohol, parabens, or harsh chemicals. Simple ingredients like coconut, oat protein, aloe vera, and baking soda provide just what your cat’s skin and fur need. Beyond deodorizing, baking soda lends antibacterial, antiseptic, and antifungal properties. Coconut also has those same qualities, plus fleas and ticks hate it. They aren’t fans of aloe vera or baking soda either, as those are also both natural deterrents.

Bodhi Dog All Natural Anti Itch Oatmeal Shampoo Key Features:

  • Antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory
  • Calms irritated and itchy skin
  • Alcohol, detergent, and chemical free
  • Conditions skin and coat
  • Made in the USA

Who Should Buy Flea Shampoo for Cats

If you want to avoid a flea problem, a flea shampoo for your cat could help. A gentle, safe, and non-toxic flea shampoo that contains flea-repelling ingredients is a good tool to add to your regimen to keep your kitty from being inundated with the blood suckers. Preventing fleas is a lot easier than trying to get rid of them. If your lovable kitty hates water, dry or waterless shampoos are an option for getting her clean and applying a flea preventative at the same time.

If you are already dealing with a flea problem, getting rid of fleas is doable, but does require some work. A flea shampoo provides instant relief for your kitty, soothes her skin, conditions her coat, and washes away fleas. But you’ll need to treat the environment as well. Eliminating fleas is a multi-step process, spanning the life cycle of the flea.

Best Flea Shampoo Overall
Bodhi Dog All Natural Anti Itch Lemongrass Shampoo
Made with lemongrass, rosemary, coconut oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, and aloe vera, Bodhi Dog is not just for dogs; the natural ingredients kill and repel fleas and ticks on cats, too.

Important Features to Consider

Flea shampoos for cats should do a few things well. Here’s what to consider when selecting a flea shampoo for cats:

  • Safety. Pet products are not regulated the same way human products are. Research ingredients for both you and your pets to ensure you’re using the safest products available. Medicated flea shampoos are often more dangerous for your cat than they are for the flea. Some experts agree that certain essential oils are equally as dangerous to cats as the pyrthrin. Choose a flea shampoo that is safe for you, your cat, and the environment.
  • Effectiveness. Of course you want it to work. Here’s the trick – any shampoo and water combination will kill a flea. The reason is because the flea can’t stay suspended on top of the water droplets – the oils and properties in soaps drown the flea by pulling it in to the water and trapping it there. A flea shampoo that has ingredients such as lemongrass, coconut, aloe vera, rosemary, cedarwood, and citrus will speed up the process, as well as increase the number of fleas bathing is able to eliminate. The lingering scents of these ingredients will repel any future fleas and ticks.
  • Execution. Flea shampoos are available as a traditional shampoo – those needing water – and a dry shampoo – those not needing water. How accommodating is your kitty? Some cats don’t mind baths, others scratch and claw their way out of one. Choose a flea shampoo that doesn’t add extra stress to the situation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use dog flea shampoo on a cat?

Never use a dog flea shampoo on a cat. Unless a product specifically claims to be safe for cats – and then still do your own research – it has been formulated for a dog’s system. A cat’s liver metabolizes differently than a dog’s or human’s. Therefore, your furry feline may be highly sensitive to ingredients that are safe for dogs.

What is the fastest way to get rid of fleas on a cat?

The truth about getting rid of fleas is that it takes time. But the fastest way to get rid of immediate fleas on your cat is to pick them off with a flea comb. Some veterinarians may prescribe a round of Capstar to quickly kill off the adult fleas on your cat, but it won’t touch the eggs, leaving the cycle to continue. You must treat the environment your cat is hanging out in, in order to fully eradicate the fleas.

How do you get rid of fleas on cats naturally?

Getting rid of fleas requires permanently interrupting the life cycle of the flea. So you’re not just killing the adults, you have to target the larvae and eggs as well. Treat the pet, house, and yard for fleas using all natural ingredients such as cedarwood, coconut oil, diatomaceous earth, baking soda, nematodes, and certain essential oils, such as lemongrass and rosemary.

The most important thing you can do to get rid of fleas is vacuum and wash everything. Fleas love to live in carpets, hide in crevices, find refuge in your beds, and hang out in any clothing lying on the floor. Wash bedding, blankets, and clothing in hot water and use the dryer. Vacuum thoroughly, and empty the vacuum immediately since fleas can live in the vacuum or find their way out. Regular and consistent cleaning interrupts the flea’s life cycle, slowing down and stopping a flea infestation.

Can you wash a cat with Dawn dish soap?

It is a popular and wide-spread notion that Dawn dish soap kills fleas. Technically it does, but for no other reason than it’s soap. Like other soaps, Dawn drowns fleas when mixed with water. It’s safe to use Dawn dish soap on animals, but it is drying to the skin and fur.

Other Flea Shampoos for Cats We Reviewed

Best Flea Shampoo Overall
Bodhi Dog All Natural Anti Itch Lemongrass Shampoo
Made with lemongrass, rosemary, coconut oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, and aloe vera, Bodhi Dog is not just for dogs; the natural ingredients kill and repel fleas and ticks on cats, too.

We researched 20 other flea shampoos for cats. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best flea shampoos for cats list, they’re still great options for washing your cat to prevent or kill fleas. The information you need to compare each one is included with the listing.

Waterless Flea Shampoos for Cats

Harris Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade

Harris Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade

Diatomaceous earth – food grade – has been used for years to eliminate fleas and ticks. Use this very fine powder sparingly, and work it in to your cat’s coat. It doesn’t necessarily clean your cat, but it is a quick, effective flea and tick preventative and treatment.

Key Features:

  • Convenient puffer tip for applying underneath coat
  • Mined in Nevada
  • 10 percent of profits are donated to a humane society

Cost: $7

John Paul Pet Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs and Cats – Waterless

John Paul Pet Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs and Cats – Waterless

For cats who hate water, the John Paul waterless shampoo massages in to your cat’s coat to both clean his fur and deter fleas.

Key Features:

  • Made in the USA
  • No chemicals or harsh ingredients
  • Tested on humans first

Cost: $6

Budget Flea Shampoos for Cats

Burt’s Bees for Cats Hypoallergenic Shampoo with Shea Butter and Honey

Burt's Bees for Cats Hypoallergenic Shampoo with Shea Butter and Honey

Soothing to the skin and conditioning for the fur, Burt’s Bees shea butter and honey shampoo smothers the fleas so you can rinse them away.

Key Features:

  • No essential oils
  • pH balanced and sulfate free
  • Made in the USA

Cost: $3

Burt’s Bees Tearless Kitten Shampoo with Buttermilk

Burt's Bees Tearless Kitten Shampoo with Buttermilk

Gentle enough for your little kitty, Burt’s Bees kitten shampoo has buttermilk, honey, and beeswax to soothe her flea-bitten skin.

Key Features:

  • pH balanced and sulfate free
  • No toxic chemicals or essential oils
  • Made in the USA

Cost: $6

Espree for Kittens

Espree for Kittens

For the tiny, sensitive kitten, Espree is gentle and tear-free. Using ingredients like coconut, aloe vera, and jojoba oil, your kitty’s skin and fur will breathe a sigh of relief as the shampoo soothes and conditions.

Key Features:

  • Organic aloe vera
  • Tear free
  • Made in the USA

Cost: $6

Espree Natural Silky Show Cat Shampoo

Espree Natural Silky Show Cat Shampoo

For the kitty whose skin is raw, itchy, or dry, Espree Natural shampoo calms it with aloe vera and jojoba oil.

Key Features:

  • Organic ingredients
  • Made in the USA
  • No chemicals or harsh ingredients

Cost: $6

Furminator Hairball Prevention Cat Shampoo

Furminator Hairball Prevention Cat Shampoo

For the flea-ridden cat who keeps chewing on himself, the Furminator Hairball Prevention shampoo helps reduce shedding, and uses chamomile to help prevent fleas. It’s enriched with omega fatty acids and calendula, which soothe irritated skin.

Key Features:

  • Chemical and paraben free
  • Made in the USA
  • Contains calendula, oatmeal, and chamomile

Cost: $3

John Paul Pet Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs and Cats

John Paul Pet Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs and Cats

For cats that have been irritated by flea allergies, the John Paul pet shampoo soothes itchy and angry skin with ingredients such as oatmeal, aloe vera, chamomile, and almond oil.

Key Features:

  • Tested on humans first
  • Made in the USA
  • Percentage of sales is donated to animal organizations

Cost: $7

Other Flea Shampoos for Cats

Earthbath Hypo-Allergenic Totally Natural Pet Shampoo

Earthbath Hypo-Allergenic Totally Natural Pet Shampoo

Gentle and soothing, Earthbath Totally Natural Pet Shampoo uses coconut, aloe vera, and olive oil to cleanse and condition your kitty’s skin and coat.

Key Features:

  • Made in the USA
  • No harsh ingredients
  • For animals over 6 weeks old

Cost: $13

Olive & Suds Natural Unscented Essential Oils Pet Shampoo for Dogs & Cats

Olive & Suds Natural Unscented Essential Oils Pet Shampoo for Dogs & Cats

Gentle with no heavy perfumes, Olive & Suds is comprised of oils and rosemary extract to condition your cat’s skin and fur, while deterring fleas and ticks.

Key Features:

  • No chemicals or harsh ingredients
  • Made with organic aloe, rosemary, and coconut
  • Made in the USA

Cost: $10

Pets Are Kids Too Premium Pet Oatmeal Shampoo

Pets Are Kids Too Premium Pet Oatmeal Shampoo

Wash away fleas with oatmeal, baking soda, and aloe vera, while also softening your cat’s coat and soothing his skin.

Key Features:

  • Made in the USA
  • Added vitamin A, D, and E
  • Plant based and hypoallergenic

Cost: $17

Pro Pet Works All Natural Organic Oatmeal Pet Shampoo Plus Conditioner

Pro Pet Works All Natural Organic Oatmeal Pet Shampoo Plus Conditioner

Made with aloe vera, almond oil, and oatmeal, this pet shampoo may help repel fleas while soothing your kitty’s skin.

Key Features:

  • Chemical and sulfate free
  • Organic ingredients
  • Made in the USA

Cost: $16

Puracy Natural Pet Shampoo & Conditioner for Dogs and Cats

Puracy Natural Pet Shampoo & Conditioner for Dogs and Cats

A plant based shampoo that has been tested on humans, and contains coconut, oatmeal, aloe vera, zinc, and biotin.

Key Features:

  • Moisturizes skin and coat
  • pH balanced
  • Made in the USA

Cost: $16

Wondercide Natural Pet Shampoo Bar for Dogs & Cats

Wondercide Natural Pet Shampoo Bar for Dogs & Cats

Multiple oils work together to repel and kill fleas, such as coconut oil, neem oil, and castor oil.

Key Features:

  • Aloe vera to soothe skin
  • No chemicals or sulfates
  • Comes as a shampoo bar

Cost: $15

Essential Oil Flea Shampoos for Cats, With Warning

Ark Naturals Don’t Worry Don’t Rinse Me Waterless Shampoo for Dogs and Cats

Ark Naturals Don't Worry Don't Rinse Me Waterless Shampoo for Dogs and Cats

This waterless – and brushless – shampoo fights fleas using cedarwood and rosemary oil. Some experts warn against other ingredients such as balsam and orange oil, and salicylic acid.

Key Features:

  • Kills and repels fleas and ticks
  • Made in the USA
  • Brushing or towel drying is optional

Cost: $14

Ark Naturals for Dogs and Cats

Ark Naturals for Dogs and Cats

To help repel fleas and soothe irritated skin, Ark Naturals offers a shampoo with neem. Some experts warn to not use neem oil around cats.

Key Features:

  • Chemical and sulfate free
  • Made in the USA
  • Environmentally friendly

Cost: $10

Eqyss Flea Bite Flea and Tick Shampoo for Pets

Eqyss Flea Bite Flea and Tick Shampoo for Pets

Repel and kill fleas with a combination of cedarwood, rosemary, and lemongrass oil. While those oils are safe for cats, some experts warn against the peppermint oil that’s also included.

Key Features:

  • For use on cats and dogs over 12 weeks
  • Works on fleas and ticks
  • pH balanced

Cost: $15

Hank’s Garden Organic PET Shampoo for Cats and Dogs

Hank's Garden Organic PET Shampoo for Cats and Dogs

Powerful against fleas and ticks, Hank’s Garden uses a compilation of essential oils to kill and repel the pesky bugs. Some experts warn against using witch hazel, tea tree, and frankincense on cats.

Key Features:

  • Detangles and soothes itching
  • Kills and repels fleas and ticks
  • No sulfates, alcohol, or chemicals

Cost: $27

NaturVet – Herbal Flea Plus Essential Oils to Repel Fleas

NaturVet – Herbal Flea Plus Essential Oils to Repel Fleas

Rosemary, cedarwood, geranium, and thyme oil kill and repel fleas and ticks, while leaving your cat’s skin and fur soft. Some experts warn against using geranium and thyme oil on your cat.

Key Features:

  • For use on cats and dogs over 12 weeks
  • Made in the USA
  • Kills and repels fleas and ticks

Cost: $15

Wahl 4-in-1 Calming Pet Shampoo

Wahl 4-in-1 Calming Pet Shampoo

Lavender is known to be a calming scent, but it also deters fleas and ticks. However, some experts advise against using lavender oil with cats.

Key Features:

  • Soothes the skin and conditions the coat
  • Made in the USA
  • pH balanced

Cost: $7

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