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.

8 Best Waterless Cat Shampoos in 2024: Reviews & Top Picks

Written by: Kathryn Copeland

Last Updated on February 9, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

light grey cat with rubber ducky bath bathroom shampoo

8 Best Waterless Cat Shampoos in 2024: Reviews & Top Picks

light grey cat with rubber ducky bath bathroom shampoo

Cats are known for their grooming, as they spend such a large part of their day, every day, bathing themselves. But sometimes your cat might get into something nasty that they might need help removing. Most cats are also known for their dislike of being wet.

This is why having a waterless shampoo can come in handy; many cats will likely be more accepting of a shampoo that doesn’t need rinsing. We understand how time-consuming shopping can be, though, particularly when your cat is picky about your purchases.

So, here are reviews of eight of the best waterless cat shampoos. Hopefully, you’ll find the right shampoo for you and your cat!

yarn ball divider

A Quick Look at Our Favorites in 2024

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Hepper Waterless No Rinse Pet Shampoo Hepper Waterless No Rinse Pet Shampoo
  • Cleanses and softens the coat
  • Massage it in and brush it out
  • pH balanced to moisturize the skin
  • Budget Buy
    Second place
    Burt’s Bees Waterless Shampoo for Cats Burt’s Bees Waterless Shampoo for Cats
  • Affordable
  • Contains apple and honey for softness and shine
  • 8% natural without sulfates or colorants
  • Third place
    John Paul Pet Oatmeal Waterless Foam Shampoo John Paul Pet Oatmeal Waterless Foam Shampoo
  • Formulated to remove oil and dirt
  • Contains oatmeal and aloe to soothe skin
  • Includes almond oil for conditioning and fragrance
  • TropiClean Oxymed Waterless Cat Shampoo and Conditioner TropiClean Oxymed Waterless Cat Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Offers hairball relief
  • Enriched with blueberry and kiwi to nourish the coat
  • Paraben, sulfate, fragrance, and dye free
  • Vet’s Best Waterless Cat Bath Vet’s Best Waterless Cat Bath
  • Formulated by veterinarians
  • Made with natural ingredients to soothe skin
  • Softens coat
  • The 8 Best Waterless Cat Shampoos

    1. Hepper Waterless No Rinse Pet Shampoo — Best Overall

    Hepper Waterless No Rinse Pet Shampoo

     

    Type: Foam
    Size: 8 oz.
    Scent: Cucumber and aloe vera

    Hepper’s Waterless No Rinse Pet Shampoo is the best overall waterless cat shampoo. It helps cleanse and soften your cat’s fur without getting them wet. You just massage in the foam and follow up with a brushing, and you are done!

    It’s pH balanced and helps moisturize and nourish your cat’s skin, and it features a refreshing scent of aloe and cucumber. It doesn’t contain harmful ingredients like sulfates, soaps, or synthetic dyes. The only issue with this shampoo is that it’s only available in one size, which might not last long enough for some cat owners.

    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!

    Pros
    • Cleanses and softens the coat
    • Massage it in and brush it out
    • pH balanced to moisturize the skin
    • Refreshing scent of aloe and cucumber
    • Doesn’t contain harmful ingredients
    Cons
    • Only available in one size

    2. Burt’s Bees Waterless Shampoo for Cats — Budget Buy

    Burt’s Bees Waterless Shampoo for Cats

    Type: Spray
    Size: 10 oz.
    Scent: Natural

    The best budget waterless cat shampoo is Burt’s Bees Waterless Shampoo for Cats. It contains apple and honey, which nourishes the coat, keeps it super soft, and adds shine. It is pH balanced and 99.8% all-natural without colorants or sulfates. It is also lightly scented and cruelty free. However, if this spray gets into your cat’s eyes, it might cause irritation.

    Pros
    • Affordable
    • Contains apple and honey for softness and shine
    • 8% natural without sulfates or colorants
    • Cruelty free
    • Lightly scented
    Cons
    • Can cause irritation if it gets into your cat’s eyes

    3. John Paul Pet Oatmeal Waterless Foam Shampoo

    John Paul Pet Oatmeal Waterless Foam Shampoo

    Type: Foam
    Size: 5 oz.
    Scent: Almond

    We also like John Paul Pet’s Oatmeal Waterless Foam Shampoo. John Paul is famous for human haircare products and has also developed top-notch pet products, one of which is this foam shampoo for dogs and cats. It’s formulated to remove dirt and oil, which makes it easier to brush out the coat following the shampoo, and it contains oatmeal and aloe to soothe sensitive skin. It leaves the coat soft and smelling clean.

    Almond oil has been included, which helps condition the coat and leaves a pleasant scent behind. However, cats are sensitive to smells, and some might not appreciate this product. Plus, it’s pricey compared to many others.

    Pros
    • Formulated to remove oil and dirt
    • Contains oatmeal and aloe to soothe skin
    • Includes almond oil for conditioning and fragrance
    • Leaves the coat soft
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Scent might be too much for some cats

    4. TropiClean Oxymed Waterless Cat Shampoo & Conditioner

    TropiClean Oxymed Waterless Cat Shampoo and Conditioner

     

    Type: Foam
    Size: 4 oz.
    Scent: Light, clean scent

    TropiClean’s Oxymed Waterless Cat Shampoo and Conditioner has an advantage that most other waterless shampoos don’t have. It’s a foam shampoo and conditioner that also acts as hairball relief by reducing excess hair. It has been enriched with blueberry and kiwi, which helps nourish and soften the coat, and is made without harsh chemicals. It’s paraben, sulfate, fragrance, and dye free, and it’s made in the U.S.

    The only issue with this waterless shampoo is that some cats don’t like the sound of the foam coming out of the bottle.

    Pros
    • Offers hairball relief
    • Enriched with blueberry and kiwi to nourish the coat
    • Paraben, sulfate, fragrance, and dye free
    • Made in the U.S.
    Cons
    • Some cats don’t like the sound of the foam coming out

    5. Vet’s Best Waterless Cat Bath

    Vet’s Best Waterless Cat Bath

    Type: Foam
    Size: 4 oz.
    Scent: Light and natural

    Vet’s Best Waterless Cat Bath offers a foam shampoo formulated by veterinarians. It includes natural ingredients, including oatmeal, vitamin E, neem oil, and aloe vera, which work together to cleanse and soften the coat and soothe the skin. It also has a gentle and natural scent.

    But some people might find the scent a bit strong, and the pump might stop working.

    Pros
    • Formulated by veterinarians
    • Made with natural ingredients to soothe skin
    • Softens coat
    • Has a nice, soft scent
    Cons
    • Some might find the scent strong
    • Pump might stop working

    6. Bodhi Dog Foaming Dry Pet Shampoo

    Bodhi Dog Foaming Dry Pet Shampoo

    Type: Foam
    Size: 8 oz.
    Scent: Apple or lavender
    [/su_table]

    Bodhi Dog’s Foaming Dry Pet Shampoo comes in two formulas: lavender and oatmeal. This review is about the oatmeal formula. The oatmeal and added coconut are wonderful for soothing sensitive skin, and it doesn’t contain any parabens, detergent, or alcohol, so it’s quite gentle.

    It leaves your cat’s coat shiny, soft, and manageable and has a gentle apple scent. But the smell might be a bit much for some cat owners, and it sometimes leaves an oily residue on the coat.

    Pros
    • Available in oatmeal or lavender
    • Both versions soothe sensitive skin
    • Doesn’t contain harsh chemicals
    • Gentle apple or lavender scent
    Cons
    • Scent might be too strong
    • Might leave an oily residue

    7. Mooncat Waterless Cat Shampoo

    Mooncat Waterless Cat Shampoo

    Type: Foam
    Size: 5 oz.
    Scent: Clean and subtle

    Mooncat’s Waterless Cat Shampoo is a foam shampoo that you massage in and follow up with brushing and towel drying. This shampoo is perfect for cats with sensitive skin because it doesn’t contain parabens or alcohol but leaves the coat soft. This is also one of a few waterless shampoos that won’t irritate your cat’s eyes. It leaves a pleasant, clean scent behind.

    However, it is relatively expensive, particularly because it comes in a small bottle, and some might find the scent a bit strong. It might also leave a residue on your cat’s coat.

    Pros
    • Great for cats with sensitive skin
    • Contains no parabens or alcohol
    • Doesn’t irritate eyes
    • Leaves a nice, clean scent
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Might leave residue
    • The scent might be too strong for some

    8. Ark Naturals Don’t Worry Don’t Rinse Me Waterless Cat Shampoo

    Ark Naturals Don’t Worry Don’t Rinse Me Waterless Cat Shampoo

    Type: Foam
    Size: 18 oz.
    Scent: Natural

    The Ark Naturals Don’t Worry Don’t Rinse Me Waterless Cat Shampoo is a foam that you massage into your cat’s coat without the need to brush or towel dry afterward. It helps moisturize and clean the coat and uses natural botanical ingredients, leaving your cat smelling wonderful. The scented ingredients include balsam, rosemary, cedarwood, and orange oils, and it’s made in the U.S.

    Unfortunately, there are a few issues with this product. First, the scent can be hit-and-miss for people—some love it, while others think that it is too strongly scented. Additionally, it might leave your cat’s coat greasy or sticky, and the pump can be difficult to use.

    Pros
    • Easy foam that you massage into the coat
    • Made with natural botanical ingredients
    • Balsam, rosemary, cedarwood, and orange oils smell nice
    • Made in the U.S.
    Cons
    • The scent is quite strong
    • Might leave the coat sticky or greasy
    • Pump might be difficult to use

    Cat ball divider 1

    Buyer’s Guide

    Before you make your final decision, let’s cover a few points about waterless shampoo that might help inform your decision.

    Sometimes a Bath Is Necessary

    If your cat gets into something toxic or particularly dirty, they will need a full-on bath. A waterless bath will not remove the substance. In other cases, cats are awesome at cleaning themselves. Waterless shampoos are just designed to freshen up the coat, moisturize the skin, and make your cat smell nice.

    savannah cat wants to take a bath
    Image Credit: AJR_photo, Shutterstock

    Spot Test First

    Before you use the shampoo of choice on your cat, you should do a spot test first. Put a tiny amount on one section, such as between the shoulder blades. This way, if you hate the scent (or your cat does) or if they have a reaction to the product, it’s just in that area and can be wiped away.

    Decide on Scented or Unscented

    The point of waterless shampoos is to freshen the coat and add a nice scent, so there is almost always going to be odor involved. Some cats might not care all that much about the scent, but most cats tend to dislike strong smells. If you have sensitivities to strong odors yourself, this is also something to keep in mind. This is not to say that there is no such thing as a scent-free waterless shampoo, but they are more challenging to find.

    Do All of That Grooming

    When you use a waterless shampoo on your cat, you’ll need to towel dry them and brush it through afterward. If you leave it wet on your cat, they will likely start to lick it off. Give it time to dry before letting your cat embark on a never-ending grooming session.

    This means you must look carefully at the ingredients to ensure that there aren’t any harsh chemicals like phthalates and parabens.

    yarn ball divider

    Conclusion

    Hepper’s Waterless No Rinse Pet Shampoo is the best overall waterless shampoo for cats. It helps cleanse and soften your cat’s fur, leaving a gentle aloe and cucumber scent behind. Burt’s Bees Waterless Shampoo for Cats is a great price and is 99.8% natural, using apple and honey for shiny and soft fur.

    Lastly, John Paul Pet’s Oatmeal Waterless Foam Shampoo is another good product for its use of oatmeal and aloe for sensitive skin and almond oil for softness and lovely scent.

    We hope that these reviews have led you to the waterless shampoo that will make your cat clean and soft, all without the stress of an actual bath with water!


    Featured Image Credit By: Natasha Zakharova, 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.