Many cat parents don’t know that bathing your cat isn’t just a myth. Some cats need to be washed regularly, especially as they get older. Cats are remarkably clean animals and clean themselves with their tongues. However, not all cats are as diligent about grooming, which can worsen in their old age. So, if your cat tends to get a little bit stinky, you might want to consider giving them a bath to help them along.
There are many benefits to bathing your cat, even if they’re still young. In addition, many pet parents rely heavily upon organic products to ensure that the products they use with their animals are safe for animal consumption. So, here are our top 10 favorite organic cat shampoos that you can get today!
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||Hepper Colloidal Oatmeal Cat Shampoo||
|Best Value||TropiClean Luxury 2 in 1 Papaya & Coconut Pet Shampoo and Conditioner||
|Premium Choice||M. BARCLAY Lather + Bathe Natural & Organic Conditioning Dog & Cat Sha||
|Pawtitas Organic Sheabutter & Oatmeal Cat Shampoo & Conditioner, 16-oz||
|Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Dog & Cat Shampoo||
The 11 Best Organic Cat Shampoos
1. Hepper Oatmeal Cat Shampoo – Best Overall
|Bottle Size||16 oz, 1 gal|
|Ingredients||Aloe Vera, Cucumber, Oatmeal|
Hepper’s Oatmeal Pet Shampoo was our choice for the best overall organic cat shampoo. This shampoo is soap-free. So, you can use it with your cat even if they’re using a topical flea and tick treatment. Even though it’s a compatible treatment, you’ll want to make sure you follow the bathing requirements of your flea treatment—those react to water, too!
This shampoo are usable on both dogs and cats. So, this shampoo can pull double duty in a multi-pet household!
Finally, this shampoo contains oatmeal and aloe vera to soothe any itchy skin your cat might have. Even if your cat isn’t itchy, the oatmeal and aloe will nourish their skin and make it soft and healthy.
2. TropiClean Luxury 2 in 1 Papaya & Coconut Cat Shampoo – Best Value
|Bottle Size||20 oz, 1 gal, 2.5 gal|
|Scents||Coconut, Mango, Papaya|
TropiClean’s Luxury Papaya Coconut Shampoo and Conditioner is a powerhouse in the bargain aisle, and that’s why we chose it as our best organic cat shampoo for the money. This 2-in-1 shampoo and condition formula comes in huge bottles, starting at 20 ounces and going up to 2.5 gallons! It’s an absolute steal for the bulk buyers out there!
Since this shampoo is a 2-in-1 that includes conditioner, there is no need to buy a separate pet-safe conditioner. This also helps you stay on a budget. It’s perfect for cats who hate the bathtub but need their bath because they’re starting to get a little stinky.
This shampoo is organic, but it isn’t one of TropiClean’s waterless shampoos. However, its value is hard to beat with that 2.5-gallon bottle!
3. M. BARCLAY Lather + Bathe Organic Cat Shampoo – Premium Choice
|Bottle Size||22 oz|
|Scents||Aloe vera, citronella, tea tree|
BARCLAY’s Later + Bathe Shampoo is our choice for the best premium organic cat shampoo. It features a formula that is both all-natural and organic, making it a perfect choice for any pet parents who are especially conscious of the sourcing of their pet products.
This pH-balanced shampoo features lovely scents like citronella, aloe vera, and green tea that will have your cat smelling like a fresh field of flowers in no time. All the aromas and components are natural and sustainably sourced.
Your cat’s coat will look shiny and soft after just one bath—just think of how it will look if you use this shampoo regularly! The shampoo revitalizes the coat using the skin’s natural oils and helps the body replenish those oils while it cleans the dirt and grime out of the fur.
4. Pawtitas Organic Sheabutter & Oatmeal Cat Shampoo
|Bottle Size||16 oz|
This Organic Sheabutter & Oatmeal Cat Shampoo & Conditioner from Pawtitas is another excellent option for pet parents looking to get into the cat bathing business. This shampoo will revitalize your cat’s coat while washing away anything caught in the coat.
This wash is both a shampoo and a conditioner; it’ll be able to pull double duty in your cabinet. It’s also more comfortable for your kitty, who won’t spend much time sopping wet.
This wash isn’t just organic; it’s also cruelty-free, meaning that no animal testing occurred in the production of this formula. An excellent option for all our animal-welfare-conscious cat parents out there!
5. Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Dog & Cat Shampoo
|Bottle Size||16 oz, 1 gal|
|Ingredients||Aloe Vera, Oatmeal|
Earthbath’s Oatmeal & Aloe Dog & Cat Shampoo was another top choice organic cat shampoo.
All Earthbath’s shampoos are usable on both dogs and cats. So, this shampoo can pull double duty in a multi-pet household! In addition, this shampoo comes in both 16-ounce bottles and 1-gallon bottles. So, if you have a dog and a cat, feel free to splurge on that big bottle and use it for both animals!
6. Earthbath Hot Spot Relief Tea Tree & Aloe Dog & Cat Shampoo
|Bottle Size||16 oz|
|Ingredients||Aloe vera, tea tree|
This Hot Spot Relief Tea Tree & Aloe Shampoo is another Earthbath favorite that pet parents can add to their cleaning repertoire. This one is especially nice for any pet parents who have cats that struggle with hot spots. Hot spots can be stressful for your cat and leave them restless and uncomfortable. So, get them smelly fresh and clear up those hot spots in one fell swoop with Earthbath’s Hot Spot Relief Shampoo.
This shampoo is soap-free, just like the other shampoos from Earthbath. So, you don’t have to worry about it washing off your cat’s flea and tick treatment. Still, you should observe the instructions listed with your flea and tick treatment since water can damage the efficacy of some flea and tick treatments.
7. Earthbath Shed Control Green Tea & Awapuhi Dog & Cat Shampoo
|Bottle Size||16 oz|
|Ingredients||Green tea leaf extract, awapuhi, ginseng|
This list might feel like a love letter to Earthbath, and in some ways, it is. Earthbath makes a massive bulk of organic pet products that pet parents can choose from. While organic products for humans are relatively common, they’re still a new thing in the pet industry. It’s great to see companies like Earthbath stepping up to provide our pets with natural and safe products for their use.
This shampoo from Earthbath is designed to tackle shedding as a problem at its core. It’s packed with natural ingredients that cleanse the skin and revitalize the coat with moisture and omega-6 fatty acids.
This shampoo will leave your cat smelling fresh and feeling soft. All that softness will stay with your cat instead of getting all over everything your cat gets close to! Use this shampoo if your cat sheds like it’s their favorite hobby!
8. TropiClean Waterless Dander Reducing Cat Shampoo
|Bottle Size||7.4 oz|
|Scents||Coconut, oatmeal, cucumber|
This shampoo from TropiClean is a great entry-level option for pet parents looking for a waterless cat shampoo. This shampoo can be left in your cat’s fur and doesn’t require a rinse for safety. So, you can freshen up your cat’s coat without subjecting them to the bathtub demon!
This is a relatively small bottle, but since you can leave the shampoo in your cat’s fur when you’re done, you’ll be able to wait a bit between baths. As a result, your cat will stay smelling like a tropical beach for at least a few days after scrubbing them with this shampoo!
In addition to making your cat smell like a nice vacation, this shampoo is great for cat parents who frequently have guests with allergies. This shampoo will tackle dander where it starts: in your cat’s skin, reducing the amount of dander shed by your cat as they go about their daily lives.
9. Frisco Oatmeal Shampoo with Aloe for Dogs & Cats
|Bottle Size||20 oz, 1 gal|
|Scents||Aloe vera, almond|
This shampoo from Frisco, Chewy’s in-house pet supply brand, is an excellent option for pet parents looking for an organic cat shampoo. Frisco’s Oatmeal Shampoo with Aloe is made to soothe the skin and relieve any itchiness while moisturizing the coat and giving it a glossy sheen.
Frisco’s products are made with budgets in mind, and this shampoo is no different. It’s an excellent entry-level organic shampoo that can be bought in bulk for any pet parents who like to stock up for rainy days.
This shampoo has a unique almond scent that’s great for pet parents who are picky about smells. Almond is a gentler scent than some on the list and won’t make your cat smell strongly.
10. TropiClean Waterless Deep Cleaning Cat Shampoo
|Bottle Size||7.4 oz|
|Scents||Coconut, aloe vera|
TropiClean makes a whole line of waterless cat shampoos that you can try out. You could also swap them around to shake things up and keep the smell profile of your house from getting too stale.
This is another rinse-free shampoo, making it an excellent choice for any pet parents who need to keep the water involvement to a minimum. It’s designed to deep clean your cat’s fur and be left in to continue nourishing and moisturizing the coat and skin.
Like the other TropiClean waterless shampoos, this comes in a small bottle. This means that pet parents who are looking for a bulk option will want to focus on getting their cat acclimated to proper baths rather than looking to this waterless option.
11. TropiClean Waterless Papaya & Coconut Dog & Cat Shampoo
|Bottle Size||7.4 oz|
Last but certainly not least, the final product on our list is TropiClean’s Coconut and Papaya Waterless Shampoo. Since this is another rinse-free product, your cat will be comfy and away from the dreaded bathtub.
This shampoo has a lovely tropical scent profile: coconut and papaya. After buying this shampoo, you’ll be constantly tempted to take a vacation to the tropics! But unfortunately, those same botanical agents make up the cleaning and detangling portion of the shampoo.
One rub down with this shampoo will have your cat so clean it will be a personal record! Then, as it sits in the coat, it will continue to nourish and moisturize the skin and give your cat’s fur a shiny, healthy look!
Buyer’s Guide: Selecting the Best Organic Cat Shampoo
Do I Need to Bathe My Cat?
While many people assume that since cats bathe themselves with their tongues, there’s no need to intervene or help them out, cats actually benefit from being bathed regularly. In addition, bathing can be essential for older cats who may have more trouble grooming themselves due to decreased mobility and flexibility.
Even younger cats can benefit from being bathed regularly. Long-haired cats, in particular, can use the helping hand from their owner when it comes to keeping their coats clean; sometimes, their tongues just aren’t enough.
In addition to helping your furry friend stay clean, bathing your cat reduces the dander that your cat produces and sheds around your house daily. Reducing the dander your cat produces can help your allergic friends feel comfortable in your home. So, if you have a friend or family member who is allergic to cats, regularly bathing them can help the two coexist better.
Bathing your cat when they’re young can help them acclimate to the process and feeling of being bathed. Many cats are afraid of water, but scientific evidence shows that this likely has more to do with a lack of exposure to water. Introducing bathing at a young age can help your cat get used to the feeling of being wet and ensure a smoother transition to bathing in their old age.
What Is Dander?
Many people erroneously believe that fur is what causes cat allergies. However, the true source of a cat allergy is a substance called dander. While dander can be spread through shed fur, it isn’t part of the fur naturally.
Dander is a mix of proteins found in your cat’s skin cells and saliva. When your cat licks themselves to clean up, they spread dander throughout their coat. Thus, dander is spread in their fur when they shed fur, but the fur itself is not made of proteins that trigger allergies.
Symptoms of an Animal Dander Allergy
Symptoms of an animal dander allergy can appear anywhere from minutes to hours after contact with a dander-producing animal. Common symptoms include:
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Facial pain
- Coughing, wheezing, or difficulty breathing
- Watery, red, or itchy eyes
- Skin rash
An allergic person may go into anaphylactic shock when exposed to a dander-producing animal in severe cases. This is a life-threatening allergic reaction that causes the airways to close up. If not treated promptly, the person may go into cardiac arrest from lack of oxygen.
Different Types of Cat Shampoos
How Can I Help My Cat Get Used to Being Bathed?
Introducing your cat to water is a slow process, especially if they’re older and used to not being wet. It also helps to understand why your cat doesn’t like to be wet in the first place. We can target its source instead of its effects when we understand the root of displeasure.
It is unclear exactly why domestic cats hate water. Their wild ancestors don’t share this fear and will readily take a dip to cool down on hot days. However, the most likely culprit is a lack of exposure.
Wild cats need to cross rivers and swim through bodies of water to reach food sources and secure territory. Domestic cats don’t share this need as their owners care for their essential needs. Since cats have been domesticated for at least 5,000 years before the common era, they’ve had a long time not needing to go near water except to drink.
The most likely reason your cat hates being wet is that it’s uncomfortable. In addition, wet fur is heavy and makes them less agile and stealthy. This would make it harder to hunt and make your cat more susceptible to predators in the wild.
However, through consistent exposure and positive reinforcement, we can help our cats overcome their aversion to water.
Can I Use Dog Shampoo on Cats?
You cannot use dog shampoo on cats. Instead, only use shampoos marketed explicitly for use by cats on cats. Many dog shampoos contain permethrin, a synthetic pesticide used in dog shampoos to help keep your dog bug-free.
However, permethrin is toxic to cats, and if your cat has an open wound or ingests some of the shampoo by accident, it could be fatal.
Bathing your cat has many health benefits that can’t be ignored. For the best overall organic cat shampoo, try our favorite: Hepper Oatmeal Pet Shampoo Next, pet parents on a budget can try out our favorite organic cat shampoo for the money: TropiClean Luxury 2 in 1 Papaya & Coconut Pet Shampoo and Conditioner. Finally, pet parents looking to pay extra for the best of the best can try out M. BARCLAY Lather + Bathe Natural & Organic Conditioning Dog & Cat Shampoo.
Featured Image Credit: Irina Kozorog, Shutterstock