Catster is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

10 Best Flea Shampoos for Cats in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

Written by: Beth Crane

Last Updated on February 16, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Girl washes cat in the bath

10 Best Flea Shampoos for Cats in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

Girl washes cat in the bath Fleas, unfortunately, are part of pet ownership. Even the tiniest kittens or the most adorable cats can pick them up, and it only takes a single flea to start an invasion. Getting rid of them quickly and effectively is the most important factor when dealing with them, especially since fleas can live up to 2 years and lay 50 eggs a day! Fleas can multiply fast on your cat and in your home, with only 5% of an active flea infestation being the little crawlers you see on your pet’s fur.

Flea shampoos have been used to help de-flea pets for decades, and today’s formulations are often much more effective than they once were. To help you find the most effective and most tolerable flea shampoos for your cat, we looked through countless reviews and compared key factors to bring you our top picks. Read on to find the best flea shampoo for your cat to help them stop itching and banish their biting invaders!

cat + line divider

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites (2024 Update)

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo With Precor Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo With Precor
  • Gentle on the skin
  • Long-lasting and good value
  • Kills fleas, flea eggs, ticks, and lice
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Flea & Tick Shampoo Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Flea & Tick Shampoo
  • Inexpensive
  • Soothing ingredients
  • Safe for kittens over 12 weeks
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Wondercide Flea & Tick Peppermint Cat & Dog Shampoo Wondercide Flea & Tick Peppermint Cat & Dog Shampoo
  • No pyrethrins
  • Soothing on the skin
  • Refreshing peppermint scent
  • Best for Kittens
    Vet's Best Plant Based Formula Flea & Tick Cat Shampoo Vet's Best Plant Based Formula Flea & Tick Cat Shampoo
  • No pyrethrins
  • Kills flea larvae
  • Formulated specifically for cats
  • Zodiac Flea & Tick Shampoo for Dogs & Cats Zodiac Flea & Tick Shampoo for Dogs & Cats
  • Affordable
  • Creamy, hydrating formula
  • Conditions the coat and removes dry skin
  • The 10 Best Flea Shampoos For Cats

    1. Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo With Precor – Best Overall

    Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo With Precor

    Species: Cats and Dogs
    Repels or Prevents: N/A
    Kills or Treats: Fleas, Ticks, Biting Lice
    Life Stage: Kittens and cats over 12 weeks

    The Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo With Precor does precisely what it says on the tin: effectively fighting fleas and ticks (and biting lice!). This gentle formula combines aloe vera, lanolin, coconut extract, and oatmeal to ensure your cat’s skin is looked after and moisturized during the bath while helping to soothe any itching. While reviews stated there were different levels of effectiveness, this could be due to this shampoo’s ability to treat all stages of a flea infestation (including the eggs).

    Adams’ formulation is thick, and a little goes a long way, making it a good value. While you should be aware that the Adams flea shampoo contains pyrethrin (which cat owners should always be cautious of), it is safe if used as directed. For these reasons, we picked the Adams flea shampoo as our best overall flea shampoo for cats.

    Pros
    • Kills fleas, flea eggs, ticks, and lice
    • Gentle on the skin
    • Long-lasting and good value
    Cons
    • Differing effectiveness
    • Contains pyrethrin

    2. Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Flea & Tick Shampoo – Best Value

    Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Flea & Tick Shampoo

    Species: Cats, dogs, ferrets, horses
    Repels or Prevents: N/A
    Kills or Treats: Fleas and ticks
    Life Stage: Cats and kittens over 12 weeks

    The Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Flea & Tick Shampoo comes in a big bottle for a great price, making it the best flea treatment for cats for the money on our list. It also comes in a gallon bottle, which makes it even more cost-effective! Soothing lanolin and aloe vera can help moisturize your cat’s or kitten’s skin as you wash them, and the pyrethrum will kill any adult fleas and ticks.

    However, flea eggs or larvae won’t be affected, so keep that in mind when treating your cat. Pyrethrum is a concern for cats, but like others on our list, the Veterinary Formula shampoo is safe to use if the directions are followed. This shampoo is pH balanced and safe for sensitive skin, making it suitable for kittens and cats over 12 weeks old.

    Pros
    • Inexpensive
    • Soothing ingredients
    • Safe for kittens over 12 weeks
    Cons
    • Doesn’t kill flea eggs or larvae
    • Won’t treat biting lice
    • Contains pyrethrins

    3. Wondercide Flea & Tick Peppermint Cat & Dog Shampoo – Premium Choice

    Wondercide Flea & Tick Peppermint Cat & Dog Shampoo

    Species: Cats and dogs
    Repels or Prevents: Fleas and ticks
    Kills or Treats: Fleas and ticks
    Life Stage: Cats and kittens over 4 months

    The Wondercide Flea & Tick Peppermint Cat & Dog Shampoo is the most expensive shampoo on our list by far, but it’s also the first that contains no pyrethrins. Wondercide instead uses essential oils (cedarwood, peppermint, and almond) to combat fleas and ticks. Despite the mixture of oils in this shampoo, reviews stated it left their pet smelling refreshingly of peppermint without a strong odor. The blend of oils also aims to soothe sore skin (a common sign of a flea infestation) and reduce itching. However, Wondercide cannot be used on kittens younger than 4 months old, so it isn’t suitable for mother cats with young kittens.

    Pros
    • No pyrethrins
    • Soothing on the skin
    • Refreshing peppermint scent
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Cant be used on young kittens

    4. Vet’s Best Plant Based Formula Flea & Tick Cat Shampoo – Best for Kittens

    Vet's Best Plant Based Formula Flea & Tick Cat Shampoo

    Species: Cats
    Repels or Prevents: N/A
    Kills or Treats: Fleas, flea larvae, ticks
    Life Stage: Cats and kittens over 12 weeks

    Vet’s Best Plant-Based Formula Flea & Tick Cat Shampoo is our pick for kittens because it’s not only 100% natural but is formulated especially for cats. It kills adult fleas, ticks, and flea larvae without pyrethrins but utilizes clove and cottonseed oils to rid your cat of parasites. Vet’s Best has a strong scent to it, however, which can be distressing for some cats as they have a strong sense of smell. Unfortunately, the scent doesn’t repel the fleas or ticks! Despite that, the gentle formula is safe to use on kittens over 12 weeks old and is easy to lather and rinse.

    Pros
    • Formulated specifically for cats
    • Kills flea larvae
    • No pyrethrins
    Cons
    • Doesn’t repel fleas, ticks, or biting lice
    • Strong scent

    5. Zodiac Flea & Tick Shampoo for Dogs & Cats

    Zodiac Flea & Tick Shampoo for Dogs & Cats

    Species: Cats and dogs
    Repels or Prevents: N/A
    Kills or Treats: Fleas, ticks
    Life Stage: Cats and kittens over 12 weeks

    The Zodiac Flea & Tick Shampoo for Dogs & Cats is a reasonably-priced, highly skin-nourishing shampoo with a hydrating and creamy coconut extract. Designed to condition the coat while killing fleas and ticks, the Zodiac shampoo uses pyrethrins to kill the parasites via direct contact. Because of that, a contact time of 5 minutes is recommended; cats don’t generally like being bathed, so this is a long time for them to keep still!

    The dosage for this shampoo is listed at one ⅓ tablespoons of shampoo per 5 pounds of body weight, which can be tricky to administer if your pet is stressed. Because of the pyrethrins in the formula, you have to be careful when measuring the shampoo out. The Zodiac shampoo is still suitable for kittens 12 weeks and over, so it’s an option for those who want a conditioning flea shampoo for their younger or older cat.

    Pros
    • Creamy, hydrating formula
    • Affordable
    • Conditions the coat and removes dry skin
    Cons
    • Contains pyrethrins
    • Long contact time is needed

    6. Sentry PurrScriptions Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo for Cats

    Sentry PurrScriptions Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo for Cats

    Species: Cats
    Repels or Prevents: Prevents flea egg hatching, prevents re-infestation for 30 days
    Kills or Treats: Fleas, ticks, flea eggs
    Life Stage: Cats and kittens over eight months

    Sentry PurrScriptions Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo for Cats is an easy-to-rinse treatment that kills fleas and ticks and prevents re-infestation. It contains pyrethrin, which can be harmful to cats if not used correctly. However, it also includes an insect growth regulator to treat flea eggs. This goes a long way in helping prevent a re-infestation, but flea larvae are not affected. Some customers stated that while this shampoo smells nice, it can dry out the skin. It also isn’t suitable for kittens under 8 months old, so it’s not ideal for multi-cat households with young kittens and older cats.

    Pros
    • Contains a growth regulator to kill eggs
    • Can help to prevent re-infestation
    • Easy to rinse
    Cons
    • Dries the skin
    • Doesn’t kill flea larvae
    • Cant be used on young kittens
    • Contains pyrethrin

    7. Natural Chemistry Natural Flea Shampoo for Cats

    Natural Chemistry Natural Flea Shampoo for Cats

    Species: Cats
    Repels or Prevents: Repels mosquitos and black flies
    Kills or Treats: Fleas and ticks
    Life Stage: Cats and kittens of any age

    Natural Chemistry Natural Flea Shampoo for Cats is a pyrethrin-free shampoo that kills fleas and ticks on contact and repels mosquitoes and black flies. Cinnamon, clove, and cedar oil work up to 7 days to freshen your cat’s coat, but some pet owners think the smell is too strong.

    It can be used on kittens of any age, making it the only product on our list suitable for those under 12 weeks. Natural Chemistry’s flea shampoo kills fleas, ticks, black flies, and mosquitoes, but it needs 5 minutes of contact time to work. It also won’t kill flea larvae or eggs, so you may need to treat your cat again (waiting at least 3 days).

    Pros
    • No pyrethrin
    • Can be used on very young kittens
    • Repels mosquitoes and black flies
    • Works for up to 7 days
    Cons
    • Won’t kill flea eggs or larvae
    • Needs long contact time
    • Strong smelling

    8. Sergeant’s Gold Flea & Tick Cat Shampoo

    Sergeant's Gold Flea & Tick Cat Shampoo

    Species: Cats
    Repels or Prevents: Prevents flea eggs from hatching, prevents flea re-infestation
    Kills or Treats: Kills fleas, ticks, and flea eggs
    Life Stage: Cats and kittens over 12 weeks old

    Sergeant’s Gold Flea & Tick Cat Shampoo is another reasonably priced flea shampoo specially formulated for cats. Sergeant’s Gold contains pyrethrins, so caution is needed when using it. However, this shampoo claims to kill fleas, ticks, and flea eggs and prevents reinfestation for up to 4 weeks. It is suitable for kittens over 4 weeks old but is strongly fragranced and might be overwhelming for some cats. Sergeant’s Gold is easy to rinse and effectively cleans the coat. However, it does need a 5-minute contact time to be fully effective.

    Pros
    • Prevents flea eggs from hatching for up to four weeks
    • Prevents re-infestation of fleas for 30 days
    Cons
    • Strongly fragranced
    • Contains pyrethrins
    • Long contact time needed

    9. SimpleSource Flea & Tick Cat Shampoo

    SimpleSource Flea & Tick Cat Shampoo

    Species: Cats
    Repels or Prevents: N/A
    Kills or Treats: Kills fleas, flea eggs, flea larvae, ticks, and mosquitoes
    Life Stage: Cats and kittens over 12 weeks

    The SimpleSource Flea and Tick Cat Shampoo is a shampoo made without pyrethrins but uses essential oils that fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes don’t like. Using cedarwood and lemongrass oils, this flea shampoo is formulated to kill adult fleas, flea eggs, larvae, ticks, and mosquitoes on contact. The SimpleSource shampoo needs a long contact time to be effective, and some customers have stated that the smell of the oil is too strong.

    If used correctly, SimpleSource is safe for kittens as young as 12 weeks old, but be wary of any possible skin irritation. Compared to the other flea shampoos on this list, the SimpleSource shampoo had more users mentioning irritated skin; if your cat is sensitive, a more moisturizing flea shampoo may be better.

    Pros
    • No pyrethrins
    • Works on flea eggs and larvae as well as adults
    Cons
    • Long contact time needed
    • Scent may be offensive to some cats
    • Skin irritation may occur due to essential oils

    10. Natural Chemistry Miracle Care De Flea Shampoo Concentrate for Dogs & Cats

    Natural Chemistry Miracle Care De Flea Shampoo Concentrate for Dogs & Cats

    Species: Cats and dogs
    Repels or Prevents: N/A
    Kills or Treats: Fleas, flea eggs, and flea larvae
    Life Stage: Cats and kittens over 12 weeks

    The Natural Chemistry Miracle Care De Flea Shampoo Concentrate for Dogs & Cats isn’t formulated specifically for cats, but it’s a great value considering the size of the bottle. This no-pyrethrin shampoo is suitable for cats and kittens over 12 weeks old and kills fleas, flea eggs, and flea larvae. The Natural Chemistry formula must be mixed with water before use, which helps the bottle go even further.

    However, some customers complained about the potent smell of the mix. The effects were also mentioned as not lasting, but the Natural Chemistry flea shampoo is compatible with other types of flea treatments, such as spot-on products, and it’s useful as an initial treatment to kill live fleas.

    Pros
    • Value for money
    • No pyrethrins
    • Compatible with other flea treatments
    Cons
    • Long contact time needed
    • No lasting effects
    • Very strong smelling

    yarn ball divider

    Buyer’s Guide

    There are many factors to consider when choosing a flea shampoo for your cat, which can get confusing regarding the product’s scientific backing and effectiveness. Some shampoos are also suitable for smaller kittens or cats sensitive to specific ingredients, so we considered those factors when making our selections for the list. The critical factor to consider is your cat’s health and whether or not they’ll tolerate a bath, as many cats will not go anywhere near water! Lastly, you should consider the formulation and specific instructions of each shampoo to ensure your pet’s safety.

    Bubble bath a small gray stray cat
    Image By: 135pixels, Shutterstock

    Flea Life Cycle

    When we made our selections, we compared the effectiveness of each shampoo based on its effect on all stages of the flea life cycle. Fleas are pervasive and hardy; some flea treatments and ingredients have become less effective against fleas since they’re very adaptable! Fleas also have a short lifecycle and are capable of reproducing very quickly.

    Adult fleas jump on a host (you or your cat) and bite to have a blood meal. If the flea is female, she will mate with a male and lay eggs. If the conditions are right, the eggs drop off around the home and hatch into flea larvae. These larvae spend around 2 days feeding on flea droppings, unfertile eggs, and other detritus before forming a pupa. Pupae can stay dormant for long periods and wait for the perfect opportunity (a pet walking around) to hatch into an adult, and the cycle begins again.

    Because of that, the most effective flea shampoos will kill adult fleas, eggs, and pupae to break the cycle and stop reproduction. Insect growth regulators are added to some flea products and are usually more effective than those without them.

    Natural vs. Pesticide

    There are two rough classes of flea shampoo: essential oil-based and pesticide-based. Some essential oils (such as lemongrass) have been studied as insecticides, but they are usually not proven as a flea killer in a shampoo-specific format. This can lead to problems with effectiveness, but many oil-based shampoos can be effective if used correctly.

    Pesticidal flea shampoos, such as those containing pyrethrins, are generally more effective but have safety risks. Pyrethroids are highly toxic to cats, and even a tiny amount can cause neurological and nerve damage, seizures, gastrointestinal problems, and more.

    The amount of pyrethrins in flea shampoos is usually safe to use when used according to the instructions, but some cats are more sensitive to these products than others, and dosing can be tricky. Whether you go for an oil or pesticide-based treatment, run it past your veterinarian before applying it to your cat.

    cleaning cat by shampoo on water bath
    Image By: angnokever, Shutterstock

    Comfort and Ease of Use

    Another factor when evaluating our flea shampoos was the ease of use for the cat and the owner. Cats generally don’t like being bathed, so we looked at factors that made the experience easier for your cat (such as easy rinsing) and for you (such as the product’s effectiveness). Scent and skin reactions are essential to think about when considering a flea shampoo; a cat’s sense of smell is much more powerful than our own, and some strong odors may distress them. Fleas can also cause sores and open wounds on the skin, so any potentially skin-irritating ingredients in shampoos should be considered when making your choice.

    The Bottom Line: Prescription Treatments Are Better

    While flea shampoos may work very well for some pet owners, the bottom line is that no flea shampoo will be as safe or effective as a vet-prescribed flea treatment. Consider talking to your vet about any flea treatments that can be used in conjunction with shampoo.

    Everyday Pet Shampoo

    The best pet shampoos are carefully formulated to clean your pet without causing irritation. Hepper's Colloidal Oatmeal Pet Shampoo does a great job of this by combining soothing ingredients like aloe vera and colloidal oatmeal. It is also pH-balanced and free of irritants like dyes, soaps, sulfates, and phthalates. You and your pet will both enjoy the fresh, clean scent, too! 

    Hepper Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs, Cats and Other...
    • Only Natural Pet Shampoo - Our vegan, plant-based formulation is made with safe and natural...
    • No Soap - A cat and dog wash free from soaps, glutens, dyes, DEA, sulfates and phthalates means it's...
    • Colloidal Oatmeal - Formula soothes and nourishes dry, irritated skin, providing itchy skin relief...

    At Catster, we’ve admired Hepper for many years and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool cat company!

    3 cat face divider

    Conclusion

    When evaluating all the cat flea shampoos we found, our number one pick for the best overall cat flea shampoo was Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo With Precor;  it contains a pesticide and an insect growth regulator to prevent new eggs from hatching. If you want the best value for your money and a shampoo that is moisturizing and coat conditioning, consider the Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Flea & Tick Shampoo. Lastly, for a more premium experience with a flea shampoo that has no pesticides and glowing reviews, try the Wondercide Flea & Tick Peppermint Cat & Dog Shampoo.


    Featured Image Credit: Olleg, Shutterstock

    Get Catster in your inbox!

    Stay informed! Get tips and exclusive deals.
    Catster Editors Choice Badge
    Shopping Cart

    Pangolia

    © Pangolia Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved.