Fleas are a nightmare for every cat-owner. Any pet parent who has tackled fleas before knows that they just don’t stop with your cat. After some time they start infecting the whole house.
You must save your feline friend from the continuous irritation caused by fleas and the potential dangers they pose. It is also important to get rid of them before they infest your entire house.
Generally, special shampoos are recommended for flea treatment as they are easy to use, convenient, affordable, gentle enough on your pet, and effective on different kinds of insects like ticks, lice, and fleas. In this guide, we have compiled a list of what we believe are the best flea shampoo for a cat in the grooming niche.
When the weather gets warmer, even if your cat stays indoors, the risk of fleas and lice increases and you have no choice but to take necessary action to protect it.
Even if you’re way too careful, your cat could end up with an infestation. Some flea preventives are quite expensive, and some methods are not very convenient. Hence, a majority of cat owners resort to flea shampoos.
Giving your cat a quick flea bath is the best way to kill existing fleas and then you can begin eliminating them from the rest of the house. You also have to take important steps to prevent re-infestation. Keep reading to learn more about cat fleas and choosing the best cat flea shampoo.
It is completely fine for your cat to get the occasional itch that requires scratching, but if it’s continuously scratching or scratching hard, there could be a serious issue. Do not assume that just because your cat stays indoors it is safe from fleas.
Fleas are crooked little creatures that can infest any pet once they make their way into the house. The most dangerous thing about fleas is that they start multiplying quickly: and hence, you have to act fast.
There are a handful of physical and behavioral signs that you can look for to check if your cat has fleas. They are listed as follows.
- Intense scratching
- Chewing the skin
- Increased grooming, especially around the tail
- Patchy hair loss on the neck and base of the tail
- Inflamed skin, lesions, and bumps
- Black minuscule specks in the fur (flea dirt)
- Anemia (pale gums, lethargy, muscle loss)
- Red spots on bedding
Sometimes you can also spot black or reddish-brown insects crawling on your cat, which are certainly fleas. The best way to exterminate them is to kill them by giving your cat a flea-bath using the best cat flea shampoo.
The next few sections of this guide cover some more basic information before we delve into our review guide. In the next sections you can expect to learn; the usual cost for a cat flea shampoo, important factors to consider before selecting a brand, suggestions on how to use it, etc.
How Much Does A Cat Flea Shampoo Cost?
When you’re looking for the right flea shampoo, the first thing you need to consider is its price. Cat flea shampoos are generally considered convenient, effective, and affordable, with their average costs ranging between $10 to $12 for a multi-use bottle.
Smaller bottles that last a few washes cost around $5 to $6, while some more costly brands and large bottles can cost anywhere between $20 and $25. Most shampoo bottles last for more than a month or two.
Important Factors To Consider Before Buying The Best Flea Shampoo For Cat
Cat flea shampoos across brands contain a few of the same ingredients like pyrethrins. This ingredient is considered a good choice because it is naturally extracted from plants and works as an organic insecticide.
Pyrethrins degrade quickly and do not poison a cat if accidentally ingested, but we still recommend you to be careful.
Thus, when searching for the best cat flea shampoo, look for this ingredient. If your cat is younger than two years and petite, you should opt for a flea shampoo that contains more and more natural ingredients like rosemary, to kill and repel fleas.
Pyrethroids are inorganic, synthesized compounds, similar to pyrethrins but last longer and are harder to break down. Make sure you do not buy any product which contains pyrethroids because this compound is unsafe for both cats and kittens and has high toxicity.
Consider A Cat Shampoo’s Effectiveness
Another significant characteristic of a flea shampoo is whether or not the product is effective enough to kill flea eggs and larvae. As some products only kill or repel fleas, so eggs get left behind, needing more washes, or else they hatch in some time.
We recommend you choose a shampoo that can kill fleas at all stages and repel them for at least seven to ten days after a bath, otherwise, you might have to bathe your cat too often, thus drying out their skin.
It is recommended that you select the best cat flea shampoo, which contains natural conditioners that can be useful to help cats achieve smoother coats and maintain soft and healthy skin after a bath.
If you’re dealing with a serious case of fleas, then you would have to bathe your cat quite often, which can lead to dry and itchy skin. Thus, it is important to choose a flea shampoo with added natural conditioners.
Cost Vs. Quality
This is another factor that you need to consider when buying the best flea shampoo for cats. Many shampoos won’t kill all kinds of pests, flea eggs, or larvae in a single wash, so you might need to bathe your cat multiple times for full efficiency. This is why selecting a quality product is important.
Those shampoos which eliminate fleas in a single wash tend to be long-lasting and very efficient, but are costlier. It is important to opt for a shampoo that suits your pocket, but pay attention to how efficient the product is. A bottle might be cheaper, but if you’re dealing with a serious case of fleas, it won’t last long.
How To Use Cat Flea Shampoo?
Before using any product, carefully read the instructions printed on the back of the bottle. Some shampoos can be applied as they come, but others need you to make a homemade solution like diluting the mixture with water before application.
During the application process, you do not need to wear gloves. Using warm water, gently rinse your cat until it is thoroughly wet. Squeeze out some shampoo on your hands and then lather your cat while avoiding the eyes and other sensitive areas.
Most flea shampoos need to be left on a cat for at least four to five minutes for higher effectiveness, but some products may vary, so read the instructions carefully. Rinse the shampoo using warm water and use a brush to remove dead fleas from your cat’s body.
If you want to stand the best chance of exterminating fleas before the situation gets worse, you should invest in the best flea shampoo for cats. We have listed a variety of products manufactured by renowned brands to help you short-list the one that is effective and suits your budget. Keep reading to see some of our top picks.
Top 12 Best Flea Shampoo For Cats Of 2021
#1. Adams Plus Flea
The first one on our list of best flea shampoo for cats is a very popular product manufactured by Adams Plus. This flea and tick shampoo with Precor contains strong active ingredients like pyrethrins and piperonyl butoxide, which not only kills adult fleas but also makes sure that no eggs or larvae survive.
After one application, you can roam tension-free for at least a month as it provides a full 28 days of protection. In addition to flea and egg extermination; it also soothes and conditions your cat’s dry and inflamed skin. Ingredients like oatmeal, coconut extract, and aloe Vera are soothing and anti-inflammatory. These ingredients also help in restoring the natural luster of your cat’s coat.
It also cleans away dirt and debris generated by fleas while deodorizing with a fresh scent. You can safely apply this formula to cats and kittens over twelve weeks of age. Do not use it on young and petite cats below the age of twelve weeks as it may severely harm their skin.
It is easy to use but requires keeping your cat lathered for about five minutes before you rinse it with lukewarm water. It can also be used to kill other insects like ticks and lice.
A regular-sized bottle of this shampoo should last for at least seven to eight washes on an adult cat, making it one of the popular choices for a pet because it is affordable and lasts for months.
The shampoo is vivid green in color, which makes it easy to see when rinsing your pet. Your cat will feel cleansed and refreshed after a bath because this formula doesn’t cling to the skin or leave an oily residue.
The pros of the shampoo are summed up as follows; it kills fleas and other insects in a single wash, offers twenty-eight days of protection against eggs and larvae, too, soothes dry and itchy skin, contains powerful ingredients, deodorizes with a refreshing scent, and clean away flea dirt. The shampoo contains pyrethrins which are natural insecticides instead of toxic pyrethroids.
However, there are a few cons, too, that you need to be aware of. It may require several applications for maximum effectiveness and contains some chemical ingredients.
The second product on our list of best flea baths for cats is by Zodiac. If your cat is sensitive to chemical compounds and strong pesticides, then look no further than the Zodiac Flea and Tick shampoo.
It contains only natural fast-acting pyrethrins, but in lower concentrations as compared to other products available in the market. It can be applied to both cats and dogs.
It makes a good choice for smaller and sensitive cats. This flea shampoo obliterates fleas on contact and helps condition and cleanse your cat’s skin and coat after a single wash.
The only con is that it doesn’t contain an insect growth regulator, which will make your cat prone to re-infestation, which means that you’ll have to bathe your cat multiple times to make sure your cat stays flea-free.
#3. Sentry PurrScriptions Plus
The Sentry PurrScriptions Plus Flea and Tick shampoo for cats contains powerful active ingredients like pyrethrins that kill fleas on contact. This formula also contains Nylar which kills eggs and larvae. After a single application, you don’t have to worry about fleas for at least a month. This shampoo cleanses and deodorizes the cat’s coat and fur, leaving it to smell clean.
Once applied, you don’t need to “lather and soak” it for much time. It leaves a baby powder smell on cats. The formula contains pyriproxyfen, which helps repel fleas for up to four weeks after the first wash. The product’s ingredients also prevent re-infestation by destroying flea eggs and larvae on your cat. Cats with severe flea problems will require more than one bath.
Pet parents of cats with long hair appreciate the number of conditioners this shampoo contains, which leaves cat hair smooth hair and easy to brush. It is recommended to those owners who prefer a pleasant smell rather than an unpleasant medicinal one. If you like the repelling power of natural pyrethrins instead of other chemical compounds, then Sentry offers a much more affordable option.
As it is made of natural compounds, it may require multiple applications to completely get rid of fleas. Most cats need to be brushed after washing to prevent tangles. Some pet parents may object to the use of pyriproxyfen because it is a harsh chemical.
#4. Triple Action
This best cat flea shampoo also contains natural pyrethrins, which is a compound that kills and repels insects for a short time after initial application. This product works as a blend of power and mildness as it can exterminate tough fleas and kill their eggs while soothing a cat’s skin as well as calming sore bites.
If you have a cat with sensitive skin, you need a flea shampoo that conditions as well as soothing its skin. The product instructions mention that it can either be used as it is or diluted with two parts of additional water to create a gentler and lighter formula for extremely sensitive cats.
It can be used to treat fleas on kittens over twelve weeks old and continues to be effective as the kitten grows. This Triple Action Flea and Tick shampoo is a viable option for pet owners with sensitive cats.
However, it is more expensive than other products since its packaging is huge.
#5. Lambert Kay Fresh ‘n Clean
This product also contains natural pyrethrins to kill and repel fleas for an additional two weeks after the initial wash. It should be properly lathered into a cat’s coat for a full effect and comes in a ready-to-use bottle, which means you won’t need to dilute the original formula by adding water.
It doesn’t contain extra chemicals and is designed to be gentle on your pet’s soft skin. It leaves a clean scent instead of a medicinal smell. This is another good option for pet parents whose cats have overly sensitive skin because its formula is mild and calming.
The previously listed model is a good choice if you’re looking for something mild as well as effective, but it is costly. This one is relatively inexpensive but is still effective enough to eliminate and repel fleas. As it contains natural compounds it might appeal to cat owners who want to use as few chemicals as possible.
The shampoo can be used on kittens over twelve weeks old. Existing fleas die on contact because of the strength of the shampoo and can be brushed off a cat’s coat with ease. The smell is not very strong but a little unpleasant.
#6. Vet’s Best Flea & Tick Waterless
This best cat flea shampoo contains active ingredients like peppermint oil, eugenol, and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, all effective in killing and repelling fleas. It can be applied on cats older than twelve weeks and weighs five ounces. It is a very good option for cat owners whose cats dislike bathing as this is a waterless shampoo.
Using 100% natural essential oils, the Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Waterless Bath for cats is a great solution for cats that hate going anywhere near water. It is a tough job to bathe your cat, and when it gets affected by fleas, the job gets tougher. This dry shampoo is quick and easy to use, contains no added perfumes, features an effective formula, and repels not only fleas and ticks but also mosquitoes.
The foaming product can be taken right out of the packaging and applied all over your cat’s coat. All you need to do after its application is to comb it through your cat’s fur. It is quick, easy, and an effective way to deal with fleas.
But there are a few downsides, too, that you need to be aware of; some users have stated in their reviews that its peppermint scent is very strong but that its long-term protection is not so good. Some cats may develop allergies to dry shampoos, we recommend you try this product on a little patch before applying it all over your cat’s coat.
If you are looking for a non-toxic, organic, all-natural solution to fleas, Wahl Flea and Tick Shampoo are all you need. Made of plant-based ingredients, this formula naturally repels biting insects like lice, fleas, and ticks. It contains no harsh chemicals, is mild on your cat’s skin, and is extremely safe.
A single wash will kill all the existing fleas and it’ll leave your cat smelling like rosemary and mint. The scent is quite long-lasting as it’ll stay with your cat long after its bath. It also thoroughly cleans all dirt and flea debris, leaving your cat with a softer, manageable coat.
It is free from PEG-80, contains ingredients derived only from plants, no harsh chemicals. The main active ingredients are; rosemary, mint, and cedar oil. The bottle is available in 2 sizes; 24 and 66-ounce. It is alcohol-free and repels up to 1 week.
#8. Burt’s Bees
Burt’s Bees Hypoallergenic shampoo for cats cleans and softens dry skin. After a single wash, you’ll observe that your cat’s fur looks more conditioned and feels silky smooth when touched. It is made using the highest quality ingredients like skin-moisturizing Shea-butter and shine-boosting honey.
For better results; apply it liberally to your cat’s wet coat, work a lather from head to tail, while avoiding the eyes and other sensitive parts. Rinse and use a towel to dry your cat.
It is a mild pH-balanced shampoo suitable for cats and kittens of all ages. It is a 199% safe, vet-approved formula free of sulfates, artificial colors, harsh chemicals, and fragrances.
TropiClean Natural flea and tick shampoo ensure the best flea bath for cats as its combination of essential oils helps to effectively tackle fleas, lice, eggs, and larvae.
After the initial wash, use the product again only after a gap of 7 days. Do not apply to kittens younger than 12 weeks. This product is safe for routine bathing when used as directed in the instructions.
It contains no permethrin or pyrethrins, but only 5 EPA-approved natural essential oils, including clove oil, lemongrass, cinnamon oil, and sesame seed oil. This natural mixture contains some of nature’s most active fighting ingredients. Lemongrass and sesame oil imparts a pleasant citrus aroma and has long-lasting effects on tick and fleas.
You don’t need to worry about rising away from spot-on treatments as our mild coconut-cleanser gives TropiClean Shampoos a soap-free clean and incredible lather. The brand also manufactures dental care products, itch relief ointments for pets, flea and tick solutions, and a wide range of grooming products.
#10. Bayer Animal Health
Advantage Shampoo Flea and Tick treatment kill fleas on immediate contact. The scientifically formulated shampoo helps prevent flea dermatitis, Lyme disease, and more. Its unscented formula is suitable for fragrance-sensitive pets and pet parents. So, if your cat dislikes any kind of fragrance, this one is an ideal product.
Lathering shampoo makes sure you treat every inch of your cat from head to tail for complete protection. It is safe for use on cats and kittens over twelve weeks of age. After the initial wash, do not repeat the treatment for at least seven days.
You can apply it after one week if you think the problem is serious. Make sure you read the entire product label before use to not make any mistake that can harm your pet.
#11. Paws & Pals Natural Flea and Tick
This best cat flea shampoo by Paws and Pals is a quality product for treating ticks and fleas. Your pet is a loving member of your family and it deserves the best when it comes to their health and skincare. This pet-wash-shampoo cleans, moisturizes, conditions, and deodorizes your cat’s coat while killing fleas and preventing re-infestations. It can be applied to both cats and dogs.
It contains all-natural ingredients like aloe, rosemary, and organically occurring ingredients like pro-vitamin B5. They assist in hydrating, healing, and protecting your pet’s coat. They also include a variety of essential oils like cedarwood, clove, and rosemary to repel fleas.
It is easy to apply as you just need to place your cat in a tub or a sink (if you’re bathing a kitten or a petite cat) rinse it with lukewarm water and lather it all over. For better results, let the shampoo sit in their coat for not more than five minutes before thoroughly washing away. Apply it from head to tail to combat fleas instantly.
#12. Arava Flea & Tick Control
The last product on our list of the top twelve best flea shampoo for cats is by Arava. There is nothing more irritating for your feline friends than ticks, lice, fleas, and other parasites. Don’t worry as this Dead Sea Spa flea and tick control shampoo will get your pet rid of fleas quickly and efficiently.
It is a purely botanical formula that contains lemongrass, peppermint, cinnamon, clove, rosemary, geranium, citronella, castor, soybean, and over twenty-six Dead Sea minerals. This shampoo will effectively combat fleas, leaving your cat’s skin healthy and refreshed.
Most flea control shampoos for cats leave an unpleasant and strong smell after bath, which is a massive downside. However, this one leaves a subtle and pleasant herbal smell that won’t annoy you or your pet. All of Arava’s products are made of 100% safe and natural ingredients, so you don’t need to worry about harmful chemicals.
For each Arava product a customer purchases, the company makes a direct donation to animal rights organizations. If you care about animals and their right to live a healthy life, purchase an Arava product to secure a better world for animals around the globe.
Flea Shampoos And Kittens
Many cat-flea-shampoos can be applied on kittens, too, but you should still be very careful and check for any warning labels before bathing a kitten. Kittens below the age of twelve weeks should never be bathed with flea shampoos as it can lead to severe skin inflammation and even death. Strong chemicals like pyrethrins and pyrethroids are very harmful to kittens.
Generally, pyrethrin and pyrethroids are not poisonous to mammals in small doses, but kittens are too young and petite to come in contact with the amount present in most flea shampoos. If they do have fleas or lice, bathe them gently in warm water and use your hands to remove fleas instead of applying any additional soap or bath products.
5 Tips For Bathing A Cat With Fleas
Cats are extremely notorious creatures who dislike water but sometimes you just have to do what is necessary. In addition to killing existing fleas, the best cat flea shampoo will also kill flea eggs to prevent them from developing and help condition a cat’s dry skin.
For the shampoo to work effectively, you need to learn how to apply it properly and follow a certain procedure. We have listed a few steps in detail to help you learn how to give your cat a flea bath.
- Place a hand towel or small washcloth on the bottom of a large sink or bathtub to give your cat some traction.
- Fill the tub or sink with a few inches of lukewarm water.
- Place your cat in the center of the sink and wet it down all over from the base of its neck to the tail. You can use a cup to pour water over it or use a water sprayer.
- Take out some shampoo from the bottle on your hands and apply a small amount along your cat’s back. Keep massaging it into a lather.
- Apply the shampoo into your cat’s coat down to the skin, while keeping its head dry.
- Let the shampoo sit for a few minutes. Generally, all products mentioned in the instructions do not leave them for more than 5 minutes as flea shampoos are strong. So, make sure you read the instructions and follow them accordingly.
- Thoroughly rinse all traces of shampoo using lukewarm water again. Make sure to not leave any residue that might irritate your cat’s skin.
- Use a towel to dry out your cat. Then use your hands or a brush to remove dead fleas from your cat’s coat.
Now that your cat is clean and free of fleas, what more is there to do? Well, there is a risk of re-infestation. Keep reading to learn some more simple steps to prevent re-infestation.
How To Prevent Reinfestation After A Flea Bath?
Once you’ve given your cat a flea bath, you need to keep it enclosed in an area that is free from fleas while you work on the rest of your home. If you simply let it wander back into other rooms, it’ll pick up new fleas. If you want to protect your feline friend against re-infestation, talk to your vet about different kinds of flea preventives.
Some of the best flea shampoos for cats work well to kill fleas, but they’ll not protect your cat from future infestations. A monthly application of flea shampoo or a flea collar is one of the best options for long-term protection against pest infestation.
- There are other few steps you can take to prevent re-infestation, they are mentioned as follows.
- Properly vacuum your carpets and furniture to pick up fleas, eggs, and larvae. After cleaning up, make sure you seal and throw the bag full of dirt immediately into the trash.
- Mop all of your hard floors and baseboards- you can add some phenyl into the water or lemon essential oil to help repel fleas.
- Wash all of your cat’s toys, bedding, and towels to get rid of fleas or eggs. Wash them twice just to be safe.
- Keep sweeping and mopping your floors every day for a week, then after that inspect to check if you can still spot fleas.
- If everything else fails and your cat keeps getting reinfested, hire a professional exterminator to fog the house; keep in mind that you won’t be able to return immediately and will have to keep the doors shut to let the pesticide work.
As you can see, getting rid of fleas can be a tough and drawn-out process. It could take multiple baths to kill all of the fleas and eggs hiding in your cat’s coat. You will also need to take extra measures to make your house stay flea-free.
We hope this guide on the best flea shampoo for cats has helped you gain a lot of information about flea control shampoos and how to apply them. We cover not only product reviews, but also other related information like important buying tips, suggestions on how to use, and the usual cost for a flea shampoo for cats.
Make sure you keep in mind all the factors listed above before selecting any model. We tried covering several popular shampoos currently available on the market to give you a fair idea about what to look for.
You can browse more and look for other shampoos if you are not satisfied with any of the ones listed here. Wish you all the best!