Your cat is anatomically designed to keep himself clean. His tongue is covered in tiny hooks that pluck dirt and debris out of his coat while his flexible spine enables him to reach just about every part of his body. Though your cat does most of his grooming himself, he may still need the occasional bath.
Whether your cat has gotten into something he shouldn’t or he’s just smelling less than fresh, a quick bath can really help. It’s important to choose the right shampoo, however, because the wrong choice could irritate your cat’s coat and exacerbate existing skin conditions. Organic shampoo is a safer, more natural choice than the average cat shampoo at the pet store.
In this article, you’ll receive some simple tips for bathing your cat as well as tips for picking the right cat shampoo. You’ll also see our top 10 picks for the best organic cat shampoo.
What Is The Best Organic Cat Shampoo?
- RX 4 Pets Dog & Cat Skin Irritation Shampoo
- Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Dog & Cat Shampoo
- Pawtitas Organic Sheabutter & Oatmeal Cat Shampoo
- Filthy Friends Organic Lemongrass Pet Shampoo
- Frisco 2-in-1 Shampoo & Conditioner with Organic
- Kin+Kind Oatmeal Dog & Cat Shampoo
- Espree Shampoo & Conditioner in One for Cats
- DERMagic Cat Shampoo Bar
- Petkin 4-in-1 Vanilla Coconut Scent Dog & Cat Shampoo
- Top Performance OatMed Shampoo for Dogs & Coats
Tips for Bathing Your Cat
Most cats don’t love water but bathing your cat doesn’t have to be a painful experience. Making sure everything is set up ahead of time and that you have all the necessary supplies is the key to success.
Here are some simple tips for bathing your cat properly:
- Choose a time when your cat is feeling mellow – after playtime is a great idea because your cat will be tired out.
- Trim your cat’s nails and give him a good brushing before you bathe him – brushing will help remove excess fur from the coat.
- Place a rubber mat or towel in the sink so your cat has something to grip during the bath.
- Fill the bath with a few inches of lukewarm water and gently wet your cat’s coat.
- Apply a little shampoo and work it into a lather – be careful to avoid your cat’s ears and eyes.
- Thoroughly rinse out all of the shampoo and towel your cat dry – use the blow dryer on the lowest heat setting if your cat will tolerate it.
Now that you have a better idea how to bathe your cat, you’re probably wondering what to use. Read on to learn how to pick the right cat shampoo and to see our top picks for the best organic cat shampoo.
How to Pick the Right Cat Shampoo
Generally speaking, pet products are not as closely regulated as products intended for humans. Pet shampoo, for example, is just as likely to contain harsh chemicals as anything you find at the drug store. As a pet parent, it’s your responsibility to have your cat’s best interests at heart and to shop smart when looking for products like cat shampoo.
All cat shampoos are not created equal and it can be tough to find one that works well AND is made with quality ingredients. It’s important to choose a formula made with gentle natural cleansers instead of soap because soap can dry out your cat’s skin – coconut-based cleansers are a much better option. Look for soothing ingredients like aloe vera and moisturizing agents like oatmeal and plant oils.
You should also pay attention to the ingredients NOT on the label. Avoid shampoos that contain too many synthetic additives like artificial fragrances and dyes. You should also avoid shampoos made with parabens, sulfates, and other chemicals.
The 10 Best Organic Cat Shampoos
Few cat shampoos are made exclusively with organic ingredients, but there are a few of them out there. We’ve done our best to assemble an assortment of shampoos made with organic oils and other ingredients to give you options to choose from.
Here are our top picks for the best organic shampoo for cats:
|Our 2021 Picks: Best Organic Cat Shampoo|
|RX 4 Pets Dog & Cat Skin Irritation
|Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe
|Pawtitas Organic Sheabutter & Oatmeal
|Filthy Friends Organic Lemongrass
|Frisco 2-in-1 Shampoo & Conditioner
|Kin+Kind Oatmeal Dog & Cat Shampoo
|Espree Shampoo & Conditioner in One for Cats
|DERMagic Cat Shampoo Bar
|Petkin 4-in-1 Vanilla Coconut Scent
|Top Performance OatMed Shampoo
A quality cat shampoo should do more than just clean your cat’s coat – it should also condition his skin. This RX 4 Pets Dog & Cat Skin Irritation Shampoo & Conditioner is a 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner designed to relieve skin irritation caused by rashes, hot spots, mange, dermatitis, and more. It gently cleans your cat’s coat but features soothing natural ingredients like colloidal oatmeal to hydrate it as well. This natural cat shampoo is formulated to safely relieve skin conditions while supporting skin and coat health overall. It also leaves your cat smelling fresh.
Pros: Naturally and organically formulated, designed to relieve skin irritation, safe for regular use
Cons: Contains some artificial fragrance, some users disliked the scent
When it comes to relieving dry, itchy skin, Earthbath cat shampoo is the way to go. This gentle formulation is made with premium natural ingredients like colloidal oatmeal and organic aloe vera to soothe dry, irritated skin while restoring hydration. It also contains skin-supporting vitamin E and features plant-derived and coconut-based cleansers that won’t dry out your cat’s skin. This shampoo is safe enough for regular use in cats over 6 weeks of age and has a pleasant vanilla almond scent. Simply apply to wet fur then work into a lather and rinse clean after 90 seconds.
Pros: Made with organic aloe vera, soothes dry irritated skin, pleasant vanilla almond scent
Cons: Some users disliked the scent
If you’re shopping for natural cat shampoo, you’ll probably find a number of options that contain a single organic ingredient. This Pawtitas Organic Sheabutter & Oatmeal Cat Shampoo & Conditioner is different because it features a majority of certified natural organic ingredients including neem, chamomile, olive leaf, and moringa oils as well as organic vegetable glycerin. This natural cat shampoo provides gentle, soothing relief for dry, itchy skin. It is completely fragrance-free, so it won’t irritate your cat’s sensitive skin, but it will leave him nice and clean. For the best results, apply to wet fur and massage into the skin for about 5 minutes before rinsing.
Pros: Contains a majority of organic ingredients, completely fragrance-free, soothes dry itchy skin
Cons: Not recommended for kittens under 12 weeks
When your cat gets into a mess he can’t handle himself, this Filthy Friends Organic Lemongrass Pet Shampoo is just what you need. Made with certified organics like coconut, olive, and jojoba oils, this shampoo will do more than just cleanse your cat’s coat – it will soften and condition it as well. This shampoo leaves your cat’s coat noticeably softer with a gentle natural fragrance of lemongrass and rosemary. It is 100% biodegradable formula and completely free from harmful chemicals like parabens and sulfates. Plus, it comes in a handy pump bottle for your convenience.
Pros: Made with certified organic oils, cleans and conditions coat, convenient pump bottle
Cons: Some users didn’t like the scent
For a shampoo that cleans and conditions, consider this Frisco 2-in-1 Shampoo & Conditioner with Organic Aloe. This 2-in-1 formula features organic aloe vera to soothe dry, itchy skin while gently cleaning your cat’s coat. It has a fresh, clean scent and a gentle natural formula made with coconut and plant-derived cleansers. This shampoo and conditioner hydrates your cat’s skin and coat with the help of vitamins E and B5 for added skin support. It is a paraben-free formula that lathers well and rinses easily, making bath time a breeze for you and your cat.
Pros: Cleans and conditions skin and coat, organic aloe vera, natural plant-derived cleansers
Cons: Some users found it too thin, contains some artificial fragrance and dye
Cats with sensitive skin may require a hypoallergenic cat shampoo that won’t irritate the skin. This Kin+Kind Oatmeal Dog & Cat Shampoo is a great option because not only is it hypoallergenic, but it is made with natural and organic ingredients. This recipe features organic coconut oil and organic olive oil which leaves your cat’s coat soft and conditioned. It is ideal for puppies and kittens as well as pets of all ages with sensitive skin. This ultra-moisturizing formula is completely free from sulfates and parabens, plus it is fragrance-free as well.
Pros: Natural and organic ingredients, perfect for sensitive skin, ultra-moisturizing formula
Cons: May not deodorize as well as some scented formulas
Some cats simply don’t like to be bathed which makes it difficult to apply shampoo, let alone conditioner. This Espree Shampoo & Conditioner in One for Cats does the work of two grooming products in one, gently cleansing your cat’s skin while conditioning his coat. This shampoo features organic aloe vera with gentle coconut-based cleansers to leave your cat looking, smelling, and feeling his best. Added vitamins A, D, and E boost skin and coat health as well in this human-grade formula free from parabens and chemical dyes.
Pros: Cleans and conditions the coat, features organic aloe vera, gentle coconut-based cleansers
Cons: May not lather as well as some shampoos
If your cat hates bath time, it can be a struggle to keep him in the tub while managing a slippery shampoo bottle. This DERMagic Cat Shampoo Bar solves the problem. As a shampoo bar, this solution lets your hands do all of the work. As a bonus, your cat gets to feel your soothing touch and he’ll feel more like he’s being pampered than bathed. This shampoo bar features organic natural ingredients like coconut, olive, castor, sunflower, jojoba, and rice bran oils as well as essential oil of rosemary. You’ll also find organic aloe vera included to soothe dry, itchy, and irritated skin.
Pros: Made with certified organic oils, organic aloe vera to soothe skin, rosemary essential oil
Cons: May take some practice to learn how to use, some users disliked the scent
You don’t necessarily need to spend a fortune on cat grooming products but it is important to choose one designed specifically for pets rather than people. This Petkin 4-in-1 Vanilla Coconut Scent Dog & Cat Shampoo Conditioner is a great option because it is affordably priced, and it does the work of four products in one. This product soothes the skin while brightening, detangling, and deodorizing the coat. It contains organic oat extract as a primary ingredient and has a light vanilla coconut scent.
Pros: Four benefits in one product, affordable price tag, made with organic oat extract
Cons: May not lather as well as some shampoos, some users disliked the scent
You’ll never run out of shampoo again with this 1-gallon bottle of Top Performance OatMed Shampoo for Dogs & Coats. Made with organic aloe vera and gentle coconut cleansers, this shampoo cleans and moisturizes your cat’s skin and coat. It is a protein-packed formula that helps restore your cat’s dry and damaged skin, plus it offers natural antifungal and antibacterial properties. This shampoo will leave your cat feeling clean and calm while looking his best.
Pros: Made with organic aloe vera, cleans and moisturizes skin and coat, restores damaged skin
Cons: Fairly expensive price
Frequently Asked Questions
- How often should I bathe my cat? Most cats do a pretty good job of grooming themselves, but they may need help from time to time. Long-haired cats, for example, are prone to mats and tangles – keeping your cat’s coat clean and conditioned can help prevent these problems. Regular bathing (in addition to weekly brushing) may also help control shedding. Generally speaking, you should bathe your cat a few times a year unless he suffers from a skin condition that requires more frequent bathing with medicated shampoo.
- Can I use human shampoo on my cat? No, you should only use shampoo made for cats. Your cat’s skin has a different pH than your own and using the wrong shampoo could upset the balance. Using shampoo intended for humans on your cat could dry out or irritate his skin and might make existing skin problems worse.
- Will shampoo affect my cat’s flea and tick treatment? It depends on the type of shampoo. Many shampoos are perfectly compatible with topical flea and tick treatments, though you should always read the label to be sure. When applying your cat’s flea and tick treatment, read the instructions for bathing recommendations as well – many options recommend waiting at least 24 hours before getting your cat wet.
- Can I make my own cat shampoo? If you don’t have any cat shampoo on hand, you can make your own in a pinch. Dawn dish soap is gentle enough to use on cats, but it shouldn’t become your go-to. Mix 1 part Dawn dish soap with 1 part white vinegar and 4 parts water to create homemade cat shampoo. Remember, however, that your cat’s skin pH is different from your own and really does best with a shampoo formulated specifically for cats.
Cat shampoo ingredients can be just as harmful as the ingredients you find in personal care products for humans. It’s important to shop smart for yourself as well as your cat to avoid exposing him to anything that might cause a negative reaction. Buying cat shampoo that says “organic” on the label isn’t always a guarantee of safety, but organic cat shampoo is a good place to start. For recommendations, check out our list of top picks above.