As a cat owner, your cat’s health and wellness is your top priority. It’s your job to choose the right products for your cat which includes his daily diet as well as anything else you put on or in his body. It’s easy to forget about the little details when it comes to products you only use on occasion, however – things like cat shampoo. For your cat’s safety, however, it’s just as important to pay attention to the ingredients in these products as it is the things you use on a daily basis.
In this article, we’ll explore the subject of hypoallergenic products for pets and explain what you should be looking for when shopping for cat shampoo. You’ll also see a list of our top picks for the best hypoallergenic cat shampoo to help you start shopping.
What Is The Best Hypoallergenic Cat Shampoo?
What Does Hypoallergenic Mean?
When you head to the grocery store for food, you probably take a glance at the label to check the ingredients. This becomes particularly important if you or someone in your household suffers from food allergies. As long as you know what to look for, it’s fairly simple to pick out products that are safe from those that are not.
But what about products for pets?
Cats can be allergic to many of the same things people can. When it comes to hypoallergenic pet products, however, things get a little tricky. Hypoallergenic cat food doesn’t have a specific definition because different cats can be allergic to different things. When it comes to other pet products like shampoo, however, it’s more a matter of common sense.
Generally speaking, hypoallergenic cat shampoo should be made with natural ingredients, free from harsh chemicals and too many synthetic additives. No one formula will be hypoallergenic for all cats, but removing these major categories of common allergens is a good place to start.
What to Look for in Cat Shampoo
When you first brought home your cuddly little kitten, how to bathe a cat was probably the last question on your mind. Cats are pretty good at keeping themselves clean, but everyone needs a little help now and then. A good bath can help resolve symptoms of dry skin and cat allergies, though there’s no replacement for good veterinary treatment. If your vet recommends medicated cat shampoo to deal with a specific issue or you’re simply looking for something to freshen up your cat’s coat, however, there are some things you should keep in mind.
Remember, the word hypoallergenic simply means a product is relatively unlikely to trigger a negative reaction. What it really comes down to is your cat’s individual allergies. In addition to understanding your cat’s specific sensitivities, there are certain things to check the label for.
Here are some things to look for when shopping for cat shampoo:
- Made with natural ingredients. Though cats can certainly be allergic to natural ingredients, artificial additives like chemicals, perfumes, and dyes are more likely to trigger an allergy so look for a hypoallergenic shampoo made with natural ingredients.
- Cleansing agents. There’s no point bathing your cat it if won’t leave him clean, so check for a shampoo made with natural cleansing agents. Avoid the typical ingredients you’d find in human shampoo, however, like soap because it might leave your cat’s skin dry and itchy.
- Moisturizing and hydrating ingredients. Though it sounds counterintuitive that bathing your cat might dry out his skin, it’s still important to look for ingredients that protect the skin’s natural moisture barrier – things like aloe vera, oatmeal, and coconut extract are naturally hydrating.
- Active ingredients when needed. If your cat is struggling with a specific skin problem, a medicated cat shampoo with powerful active ingredients may be required.
- pH balanced for cat skin. Your cat’s skin has a different pH than your own, so you need cat-specific shampoo to avoid irritating your cat’s sensitive skin.
The Best Hypoallergenic Cat Shampoo
When it comes to the term hypoallergenic, you have to remember what it actually means – unlikely to cause an allergic reaction. This term can be misleading in certain instances, particularly when it comes to cat food. A cat food recipe that triggers an allergy in one cat might not in another – it all depends what the cat is allergic to. With cat shampoo, however, things are a little clearer.
Hypoallergenic cat shampoo should be made with gentle, natural ingredients. The cat shampoo ingredients most likely to trigger a negative reaction are ones that don’t benefit your cat anyway – artificial additives like colors, perfumes, and chemicals. You should always be careful about anything you put in or on your cat’s body, but something like shampoo that will be in contact with your cat’s skin for an extended period of time is of particular concern.
To help you choose the safest shampoo for your cat, we’ve assembled a list of options. Here are our top picks for the best hypoallergenic cat shampoo:
|Our 2020 Picks: Best Hypoallergenic Cat Shampoo|
|Tropiclean Hypoallergenic Gentle
|Earthbath Hypoallergenic Dog & Cat Shampoo
|Veterinary Formula Critical Care
|HyLyt Hypallergenic Shampoo
|Burt’s Bees Hypoallergenic Cat Shampoo
|Frisco Hypoallergenic Shampoo
|Particular Paws Hypoallergenic Dog & Cat Shampoo
|Hyponic Hypoallergenic Unscented Cat Shampoo
|GNC Pets Hypoallergenic Cat Shampoo
It can be difficult to find a formula gentle enough for kittens but this TropiClean hypoallergenic formula is extra-gentle. Made with a mild coconut cleanser, this shampoo is all-natural and soap-free. It also contains soothing oatmeal and aloe vera with skin-supporting vitamin E. This shampoo is mild enough for cats with skin allergies and sensitive skin but strong enough to leave your cat’s coat clean, smooth, and smelling fresh. It also doesn’t interfere with spot-on flea and tick treatments.
Pros: All-natural and soap-free, made with natural coconut cleansers, gentle for skin allergies
Cons: Some users disliked the scent
You want to be as gentle as possible with your cat’s sensitive skin, so this Earthbath Hypoallergenic Cat Shampoo is the perfect shampoo. This formula is free from parabens and phosphates in a formula that is 100% biodegradable. It soothes irritated skin without washing off topical flea treatments and the tearless formula is gentle enough for kittens over 6 weeks of age. This shampoo is free from fragrances and dyes, made with natural coconut-based cleansers to safely and gently clean your cat’s coat.
Pros: Safe for kittens over 6 weeks, free from fragrances and dyes, doesn’t wash off flea treatments
Cons: May not lather as well as some shampoos
A good hypoallergenic cat shampoo will be free from ingredients likely to trigger a negative reaction. This Veterinary Formula Critical Care Hypoallergenic Shampoo is free from parabens, dyes, and soap which makes it an excellent choice. Made with lactic acid to support hydration and vitamin E for skin health, this formula is ideal for cats with sensitive skin. Plus, this formula is fragrance-free which makes it a great option for cats with allergies to fragrances and common cleansing agents.
Pros: Great for sensitive skin, supports skin’s natural hydration, free from artificial fragrance
Cons: Not recommended for young kittens
If you’re looking for a hypoallergenic cat shampoo for routine bathing and grooming, this HyLyt Hypallergenic Shampoo is a great option. This soap-free formula is gentle enough for regular use and supplemented with essential fatty acids to support your cat’s skin and coat health. Made with coat-conditioning ingredients, this cat shampoo promotes hydration while nourishing the skin’s natural moisture barrier to prevent flaking and scaling. For convenience, this shampoo comes in a 16-ounce bottle or a larger 1-gallon bottle, so you always have it on hand.
Pros: Soap-free formula, controls flaking and scaling, promotes hydration and nourishes skin
Cons: Contains some fragrance
Made with 99.7% natural ingredients, Burt’s Bees Hypoallergenic Cat Shampoo features shea butter and honey. This recipe comes from one of the best-known names in skin care and is specially formulated for your cat’s sensitive skin. Not only is it pH-balanced for cats, but it contains shea butter to moisturize the skin and honey to give the fur a natural shine. It’s made in the USA and is completely free from sulfates, dyes, essential oils, and artificial fragrance.
Pros: Made with 99.7% natural ingredients, pH-balanced for cats, shea butter to moisturize skin
Cons: Some users found the scent a little too strong
To gently clean and moisturize your cat’s coat, consider this Frisco Hypoallergenic Shampoo with Organic Aloe. Completely free from parabens, dyes, and artificial fragrances, this shampoo is gentle enough for puppies and kittens but guaranteed to get them clean. This recipe features natural coconut and other plant-derived cleansers to gently clean the skin and coat with certified organic aloe vera juice for natural hydration and moisture.
Pros: Gentle for puppies and kittens, plant-derived cleansers, aloe vera juice for hydration
Cons: Some users disliked the lack of scent
If you’re going to take the time to bathe your cat, you want to make sure his comes out of it better rather than worse. This Particular Paws Hypoallergenic Dog & Cat Shampoo is formulated to clean your cat’s skin and coat while also improving its texture. Designed to gently cleanse sensitive skin, this recipe promotes skin health as well and contains naturally moisturizing ingredients like aloe vera.
Pros: Promotes skin health, improves coat texture, gentle coconut-derived cleansers
Cons: Contains some artificial fragrance
Some cats simply can’t stand artificial fragrance (and some cat owners can’t either). If you’re looking for a completely unscented cat shampoo, this Hyponic hypoallergenic recipe could be the right fit. Made with 100% natural ingredients, this recipe is not only free from artificial fragrance but doesn’t contain parabens, silicone, sulfates, or mineral oil either. It creates a rich, creamy lather to leave your cat’s coat clean, soft, and shiny.
Pros: Made with 100% natural ingredients, completely free from artificial fragrance, rich creamy lather
Cons: May not deodorize as well as some recipes
Soothing natural ingredients like aloe vera and oatmeal make this GNC Pets Hypoallergenic Cat Shampoo a great choice for cats with dry and sensitive skin. This hypoallergenic formula is completely fee from fragrances and pH-balanced for your cat’s skin. Plus, it is enriched with vitamin C to support healthy skin and a smooth, lustrous coat.
Pros: Gentle for dry and sensitive skin, pH-balanced for cat skin, free from fragrances and dyes
Cons: Some users found the scent too strong
Frequently Asked Questions
- Does bathing a cat help with human allergies? If you’re allergic to cats and looking for a solution to be able to spend more time with your furry friend without sneezing up a storm, the right cat shampoo for human allergies might be able to help. There’s no such thing as a completely hypoallergenic cat because it has to do with dander (dead skin) more than fur. A weekly bath with regular grooming can, however, cut down on dander to help with cat allergies. Just be sure to use a shampoo formulated specifically for cats to avoid irritating your cat’s skin.
- What’s the best shampoo for cat allergies? Cats can be allergic to just about anything humans can. What many cat owners don’t realize is that allergies in cats often manifest in the form of skin problems rather than digestive issues – even for food allergies. Though reducing or preventing exposure to the thing your cat is allergic to is the best form of treatment, a regular bath with medicated shampoo could help as well. Shampoo for cat allergies can help soothe and hydrate dry, itchy skin to keep your cat from scratching excessively.
- How often should I bathe my cat? The average cat spends several hours a day grooming but that doesn’t mean your cat might not need a little help from time to time. If you notice your cat struggling with dry skin or poor coat condition, a bath with medicated shampoo could help. Depending on the condition, bathing as often as once a week might be recommended. To simply freshen up your cat’s coat, however, you shouldn’t need to bathe him more than once every few months.
- Should I brush my cat before bathing? Yes, brushing your cat before bathing him will help remove dead and loose fur from his undercoat. Removing excess fur before bathing will keep it from clogging your bathtub drain and it will help the shampoo penetrate all the way to his skin as well. This is important if you’re bathing your cat to address specific skin issues like cat allergies or a skin infection. You want the skin to come into direct contact with medicated shampoo for the time recommended on the label for the best results.
You don’t need to make bathing your cat a weekly habit, but it is something you should expect to do from time to time. For those times when your cat gets into something sticky or his coat could just use a little freshening, keep some hypoallergenic cat shampoo on hand. If you’re not sure which brand to trust, consider one of our recommendations above.