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8 Best Cat Flea Shampoos in 2022 – Reviews & Top Picks

girl washing a cat

Fleas are common parasites for cats, causing itching, discomfort, and in severe cases, anemia. You can even wind up with a few bites of your own if the fleas spread to you through bedding and furniture.

If you notice your cat scratching more than normal, separate their fur down to their skin and take a look. If you see any fleas or flea dirt, it’s time to act.

The best way to quickly help your cat get relief from these bloodsuckers is to give them a flea bath. You want to use a specially formulated flea shampoo and not a regular cat shampoo. The purpose is to get rid of as many fleas as you can. So, which shampoo is the best for that?

We selected the best cat flea shampoos on the market today that can help combat your cat’s fleas. Browse our reviews for the right one for you.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites of 2022

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo
  • Added skin-soothing ingredients
  • Controls fleas, ticks, and lice for up to 28 days
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Sentry Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo Sentry Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo
  • Pleasant scent
  • Conditions coats
  • Prevent re-infestation for 30 days
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Paws & Pals Flea & Tick Scrub Paws & Pals Flea & Tick Scrub
  • Kills fleas on contact
  • Uses essential oils to repel fleas
  • Conditions and heals irritated skin
  • Best for Kittens
    Natural Chemistry Flea Shampoo Natural Chemistry Flea Shampoo
  • Non-toxic
  • Plant-based ingredients
  • Safe for kittens of all ages
  • Zodiac Flea & Tick Shampoo Zodiac Flea & Tick Shampoo
  • Quickly kills fleas
  • Added coconut conditioners
  • One bottle will last a long time
  • The 8 Best Cat Flea Shampoos

    1. Adams Plus Flea & Tick Cat Shampoo — Best Overall

    Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo

    Size: 12 ounces
    Controls Ticks: Yes
    Acive Ingredient: Pyrethrins

    The formula used in Adams Plus Flea & Tick Cat Shampoo will effectively eliminate fleas, flea eggs, ticks, and lice. This product is safe to use on dogs and cats that are over 12 weeks old.

    This shampoo is the overall best cat flea shampoo because of the added aloe, lanolin, coconut extract, and oatmeal. Not only will it get rid of irritating parasites, but these soothing ingredients will also help heal and calm dry, scratchy skin caused by bites.

    Precor is added along with the pyrethrins in this shampoo. This is an IGR (insect growth regulator) that will break the life cycle of young fleas before they can mature and reproduce. This ingredient will also kill flea eggs and larvae for 28 days.

    There are reports of a scent added to this shampoo that may be unpleasant.

    Pros
    • Added skin-soothing ingredients
    • Controls fleas, ticks, and lice for up to 28 days
    Cons
    • Strong smell may be unpleasant

    2. Sentry PurrScriptions Flea & Tick Shampoo – Best Value

    Sentry PurrScriptions Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo

    Size: 12 ounces
    Controls Ticks: Yes
    Acive Ingredient: Pyrethrins

    Our best value cat flea shampoo choice for the money is Sentry PurrScriptions Plus Flea & Tick Cat Shampoo. This product kills fleas, flea eggs, and ticks. It will prevent new infestations for up to 30 days, making it the best cat flea shampoos for the money.

    The Nylar added to the ingredients is an IGR that sterilizes all immature fleas and kills their eggs.

    While this shampoo is formulated for cats and kittens, it can’t be used on cats under 8 months old. Since many other shampoos can be used on kittens over 12 weeks old, this won’t be the product for you if you have young kittens.

    This shampoo is said to leave coats silky and shiny with a pleasant scent. There is an added baby powder fragrance in this formula.

    There are reports of adult cats needing multiple baths to get rid of all the fleas. This

    Pros
    • Prevent re-infestation for 30 days
    • Pleasant scent
    • Conditions coats
    Cons
    • Can’t be used on kittens younger than 8 months old

    3. Paws & Pals Flea & Tick Scrub for Cats – Premium Choice

    Paws & Pals Flea & Tick Scrub

    Size: 20 ounces
    Controls Ticks: Yes
    Acive Ingredient: Essential Oils

    The Paws & Pals Flea & Tick Scrub For Cats uses the flea-fighting power of essential oils to kill fleas, eggs, and ticks on contact. Nourishing ingredients like oatmeal, jojoba oil, aloe vera, and vitamin E work to soothe and moisturize skin. This shampoo kills fleas instantly, and with regular use, it will keep them from returning.

    The essential oils are a mix of rosemary, cedarwood, and clove to repel parasites and give your cat’s coat a pleasant scent. You can use this shampoo repeatedly until all the fleas are gone. It may take more than one bath to remove them all.

    Pros
    • Uses essential oils to repel fleas
    • Kills fleas on contact
    • Conditions and heals irritated skin
    Cons
    • May require repeated use for results

    4. Natural Chemistry Flea Cat Shampoo — Best for Kittens

    Natural Chemistry Flea Shampoo

    Size: 16 ounces
    Controls Ticks: Yes
    Acive Ingredient: Essential Oils

    The essential oils in the Natural Chemistry Flea Cat Shampoo work to kill fleas and ticks on contact and repel mosquitos and flies. Plant-based ingredients like cinnamon, clove, and cedar oils make this safe to use on kittens of any age. It’s advised to consult a veterinarian before bathing newborn kittens, but we like that you don’t have to wait until they are over 12 weeks old.

    No harmful or toxic chemicals are added to this formula. After bathing, the effects are made to last up to 7 days. There are reports of the liquid being thin and watery without working up a thick lather.

    Pros
    • Plant-based ingredients
    • Safe for kittens of all ages
    • Non-toxic
    Cons
    • Thin, watery liquid
    • Only prevents reinfestation for 7 days

    5. Zodiac Flea & Tick Cat Shampoo

    Zodiac Flea & Tick Shampoo

    Size: 12 ounces
    Controls Ticks: Yes
    Acive Ingredient: Pyrethrins

    The Zodiac Flea & Tick Cat Shampoo contains insecticide ingredients that work quickly to eliminate fleas and ticks. The label recommends using 1.5 tablespoons of the product per 5 pounds of body weight, so one bottle will last a long time. The coconut conditioners added to the formula keep coats lustrous and soft. This is safe for use on cats with sensitive skin.

    This shampoo does not control flea eggs or larvae, so repeated baths may be necessary as the eggs start to hatch and young fleas mature. It can be used once a week to control flea infestations.

    Pros
    • Added coconut conditioners
    • One bottle will last a long time
    • Quickly kills fleas
    Cons
    • Does not kill flea eggs or larvae
    • Does not prevent reinfestation

    6. Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Flea & Tick Cat Shampoo

    Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Flea & Tick Shampoo

    Size: 16 ounces
    Controls Ticks: Yes
    Acive Ingredient: Pyrethrins

    This freshly-scented Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Flea & Tick Cat Shampoo is safe for cats over 12 weeks old. It kills fleas and ticks on contact, and the added aloe and lanolin will soothe irritated skin. This gentle formula exfoliates while it cleans.

    While this shampoo kills fleas and ticks and provides protection against them for 14 weeks, it does not kill flea eggs or larvae. Repeated uses may be required to fully combat the infestation after eggs left on the skin start to hatch. This product is safe to use every 7 days, so you can repeat the process if you notice that your cat starts scratching again.

    Pros
    • Aloe and lanolin to soothe skin
    • Exfoliates and cleans
    Cons
    • Doesn’t kill flea eggs or larvae
    • May require repeated uses to fully eradicate fleas

    7. Advantage Flea & Tick Treatment Shampoo – Best for Kittens

    Advantage Flea & Tick Treatment Shampoo

    Size: 8 ounces
    Controls Ticks: Yes
    Acive Ingredient: Pyrethrins

    The Advantage Flea & Tick Treatment Shampoo is made to kill adult fleas and ticks. It’s safe for use on kittens over 12 weeks old. After application, this product should sit for 5 minutes for maximum effectiveness before rinsing.

    This unscented formula won’t irritate cats’ respiratory systems. The specially formulated ingredients help prevent flea dermatitis.

    This product is to be used once every 7 days. There are only 8 ounces in the bottle, which is less than some other choices, but it may last longer if you’re only using it four times a week. A little goes a long way with this product.

    There are reports of fleas dying and falling off of cats hours after the bath was completed, indicating that the shampoo was continuing to work.

    Pros
    • Unscented
    • Helps prevent flea dermatitis
    • Just need to use a small amount
    Cons
    • Small amount in the bottle

    8. Vet’s Best Plant Based Flea & Tick Shampoo

    Vet’s Best Plant Based Flea & Tick Shampoo

    Size: 12 ounces
    Controls Ticks: Yes
    Acive Ingredient: Clove oil

    The strong but natural formula in Vet’s Best Plant Based Flea & Tick Shampoo kills fleas, flea larvae, and ticks without the use of harsh chemicals. Clove and cottonseed oils keep coats healthy and shiny while providing a light vanilla scent to deodorize.

    This is safe for kittens over 12 weeks old. The bottle will have an expiration date printed on the label. Different batches are being produced frequently, and each bottle may show a different date. Always check to make sure your formula is still good, and replace the bottle if it’s expired.

    Pros
    • Plant-based ingredients
    • Light vanilla scent
    • No harsh chemicals
    Cons
    • May expire quickly

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    Buyer’s Guide: Selecting The Best Cat Flea Shampoo

    What Are Fleas?

    A flea is a brown, wingless insect ranging between the size of a pinhead and ⅛ of an inch long. They have thin, flattened bodies, a tubular snout for sucking blood, and powerful legs that enable them to jump great distances. A flea can jump as far as 7 feet! This makes it easy for them to pass from animal to animal.

    Combined with the miserable itching that they cause your cat by sucking their blood, fleas carry disease and can cause health problems for your cat and you.

    Fleas can carry tapeworm larvae. If your cat accidentally swallows a tapeworm-carrying flea while grooming, the larvae will develop inside your cat and infect them.

    Flea allergy dermatitis can also develop. Flea bites may trigger an immune response in your cat and cause an allergic reaction, leading to even more itchiness and discomfort for them.

    If the flea infestation is severe enough, it can lead to anemia from the blood loss, and this can be life-threatening for your cat. Anemia is especially dangerous for small kittens.

    close up fleas on cat
    Image Credit: KanphotoSS, Shutterstock

    What to Look For When Choosing a Cat Flea Shampoo

    Now that you know more about cat flea shampoos, there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing the best one for your feline friend. There are so many options available, so getting one that works effectively will make all the difference for your cat. Let’s see hot to pick the best cat flea shampoo for your cat.

    Make Sure It’s Safe for Cats

    The first thing to do is make sure the shampoo that you choose is formulated for cats. Flea shampoo for dogs may not be as effective and can even be harmful in some cases. Cats react differently than dogs to flea products. Giving your cat something intended for a dog could have severe consequences.

    Make Sure It’s Age-Appropriate

    If flea shampoo formulas are made for adult cats, they may be too strong for kittens to handle. Flea shampoos are not considered to be safe for kittens under 12 weeks old.

    Consider Your Cat’s Skin Type

    If your cat has sensitive or dry skin, you may want to choose a natural or organic shampoo. These aren’t made with chemicals and can still kill and control fleas. D-limonene is an active ingredient in natural flea shampoos and is made from the peels of citrus fruits. It is safe for people, dogs, and cats but will kill fleas and ticks.

    Organic shampoos use essential oils to repel fleas and ticks. Peppermint, clove, and cedar oils may not eliminate the parasites, but they do make the cat’s body an unappealing place for them to live. These shampoos aren’t harsh on your cat’s skin and can be used as an effective preventative against infestations.

    Chemical shampoos contain pyrethrins and pyrethroids. Pyrethrins are mixtures of chemicals derived from chrysanthemum flowers. They kill fleas by attacking their nervous systems. Pyrethroids also kill fleas the same way, but these chemicals are manufactured instead of naturally occurring.

    Pyrethrin/Pyrethroid Poisoning

    Too many of these chemicals can be toxic to cats, and unfortunately, these poisonings are commonly the result of cat owners trying to control fleas and ticks and accidentally using the wrong amount of a product or a product made for dogs instead of cats.

    Always make sure you use the intended amount of shampoo on your cat during a bath. Only bathe your cat as often as the directions suggest.

    This poisoning can be life-threatening.

    If you’re treating your cat for fleas and notice any of the following symptoms, seek emergency veterinary treatment:
    • Drooling
    • Vomiting
    • Hiding
    • Trouble walking, jumping, or standing
    • Twitching
    • Seizures
    • Tremors
    • Shaking
    • Difficulty breathing
    cat vomit in grass
    Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

    How to Use Flea Shampoos on Cats

    Read the instructions on the label before you begin. Cat flea shampoos will work differently depending on their ingredients. Know the proper amount to use and how long to leave it on before rinsing. If you are using any topical flea treatments, pills, or collars on your cat, always ask your veterinarian first if adding the shampoo is safe and if the products will interact with one another.

    To Begin

    When it comes to flea shampoos, where you start using them is important. Once the cat’s body is partially submerged in water, the fleas will move to the areas that aren’t. The highest point of safety for them is the top of the cat’s head. You may see them scurry up there and start to hide.

    This is why starting the lather at the head is important. Don’t give the fleas a chance to escape or hide until the bath is over.

    Avoiding the eyes, lather the top of your cat’s head gently. The fleas may start to run down their face, so it’s a good idea to have a flea comb handy. Softly and carefully to avoid eye injuries, comb the fleas that you see out of your cat’s face and into the soapy water.

    Fleas hide behind cats’ ears and in any nooks and crannies that they can find. Working down from the head, lather up your cat, including in between their toes and tail base. Don’t forget to thoroughly scrub your cat’s stomach and legs.

    Treatment Time

    Once your cat is lathered, the shampoo may take a while to work. Leave the lather on your cat for as long as you are directed to by the label. Your cat may not enjoy this part, but they will feel much more comfortable when it’s over. The upside is that if the bath is effective, you won’t have to do it again soon.

    Rinse

    Any shampoo left on your cat’s skin can irritate it, so be sure to rinse them thoroughly. Take care to ensure that no shampoo runs into your cat’s eyes. A helpful rule of thumb is that when you think that your cat is thoroughly rinsed, rinse them again. Then do it once more.

    cat wrapped in a towel after taking a bath
    Image Credit: KDdesignphoto, Shutterstock

    Why Use a Flea Shampoo?

    Flea shampoos are not a permanent or complete cure for flea infestations, but they do help in ways that flea powder, collars, and sprays don’t. They cover the hair and skin, leaving no spot untreated. They can kill fleas in minutes and work for weeks afterward to repel fleas and prevent further occurrences. Some also have ingredients to soothe your cat’s skin and provide nearly instant relief.

    How to Tell If Your Cat Has Fleas

    Excessive grooming, scratching, and head shaking by your cat can be signs of a flea infestation. If you notice these behavioral changes, check their coats.

    Moving their fur apart so you can see down to the skin will enable you to watch for anything running or jumping. Fleas can move and jump quickly. You’ll see them running fast and trying to hide as you search through the fur.

    You may also notice hair loss or scabbing on your cat’s skin. These can also be signs that fleas are present.

    You can use a flea comb to pull through your cat’s coat and yank out any fleas that are trying to hide. You’ll see them stuck to the comb’s teeth. After each comb-through, douse the comb in a bowl of soapy water to remove the fleas and eliminate them.

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    Conclusion

    Our choice for overall best cat flea shampoo is the Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo. The protection that it offers lasts for 28 days, and it contains skin-soothing ingredients. Our best value pick is Sentry PurrScriptions Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo. It has a pleasant scent while keeping flea infestations away for 30 days. For our premium choice, Paws & Pals Flea & Tick Scrub uses essential oils to kill fleas naturally. We hope that our reviews have helped you find the right flea shampoo for your cat to keep them healthy and comfortable.

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    Featured Image Credit: Olleg, Shutterstock

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