kitten having a flea shampoo

What Is The Best Flea Shampoo For Cats That Works?


There are good reasons to give your cat a bath using a cat flea shampoo. ​

Cat flea shampoo is​ ​a convenient choice in the arsenal of choices when you are deciding what flea treatment is going to work best for your cat and your situation.

Perhaps you feel more comfortable using a shampoo that will be rinsed from the skin, rather than using one of the chemical treatments such as the drops or flea collar, where the chemicals will have a prolonged life on the skin.

We have reviewed four of the best cat flea shampoos and just in case it seems like a scary exercise to actually shampoo the cat, there is detailed information below showing how to shampoo your cat.

In a hurry? Head straight to our Top Recommendation (link in the Contents) for a quick ​review of ​our​ best choices for cat flea shampoo.

Why Use Cat Flea Shampoo?

Cat flea shampoo is easy to use, has instant results and as a bonus the shampoo is rinsed out straight away so there is no chemical residue left behind.

Also, if the infestation is very bad it is a very quick way to get rid of most of fleas. I hesitate to say all fleas, as it can be difficult to kill them all.

If your cat reacts to the chemicals in flea collars or flea drops, shampoo might be a good alternative. Try not to get shampoo in your cat’s eyes, we don’t like shampoo in our eyes and your cat won’t either.  Plus you want to make this a positive experience 🙂 so that it can be repeated when necessary.

Many flea shampoos for cats also contain a conditioner to leave your cat’s fur soft and luxurious.  

What Does Cat Flea Shampoo Do?

Some cat flea shampoos will only kill adult fleas.

Although that might give the cat some immediate relief and it might be cheaper, it is better to purchase a shampoo that will kill the fleas and the flea eggs. 

You do need to work the shampoo right into the fur, so the temperament of your kitty may determine the effectiveness of the method. Because the cat may squirm, an odd flea or two might survive the dunking.
 
​Be aware that all the chemicals are washed away after shampooing so  there is no ongoing flea protection​. 

how to give a cat a bath

Just do it! Once you have done it, the next time will be a lot easier!

Does Cat Flea Shampoo Work?

Yes, it works straightaway but there is no long lasting protection. If you want “instant” go for shampoo and then you can review your options.  It also depends how bad the flea infestation is.  If it’s really bad, you just want them gone straightaway.

For the flea shampoo to work effectively, always start shampooing at the head, avoiding the eyes, and move down the body. This is to try and prevent any fleas from jumping to the neck or head area.  

Let the shampoo sit for a couple of minutes before rinsing carefully.

How Often Do You Have To Use Cat Flea Shampoo?

​Mostly cat flea shampoos can be used monthly however you will need to read the product information for the flea shampoo that you purchase.

Do Cats Like Being Shampooed? My Cat ​Hates Water

Some cats like water but we don’t usually associate cat and bath, in the same way that we do, dog and bath. This may be something that you won’t possibly really know until you have tried it yourself.

The video below gives specific instructions to make the job as easy as possible. I would suggest that it is preferably a two person job.

It might not be a walk in the park bathing your cat, or you may be lucky and have a placid kitty cat that doesn’t mind some time at the beauty ​salon.

How To Shampoo The Cat

Use a bath, sink or container where you can comfortably shampoo the cat.  If a bath is too deep for you to comfortably reach down to shampoo the cat, a laundry sink or bathroom sink may be a better option, particularly as you want to have good control of the cat.

​This portable grooming bath tub, although not really necessary in a one pet household would be super handy if you have a number of pets to groom and shower.

Place a non slip mat or towel on the bottom of the sink or container so your kitty is not slipping around.

If he slip​s around he is likely to freak out and want to run for the hills. If he is showing signs of aggression these protective gloves are useful for all cat grooming, trimming nails, bathing etc. The vet nurse used to get out the protective gloves to handle our cat when​ he ​was younger and ​not too pleased about ​visiting the vet for an injection or blood test.

Fill a container with ​warm water, not too much , several inches would be fine.
The helper can also use a pitcher to gently wet the cat's fur so that you can apply the shampoo. Use warm water to rinse the shampoo as required.
If you have a detachable shower head that would work really well.

Have several towels ready to dry your kitty as best you can.

By this time he may just be wanting to disappear but he will be flea-less, so really, he should be thanking you.

I wouldn't count on any thanks but you never know.

Is Cat Flea Shampoo Safe To Use?

​Cat flea shampoo does contain chemicals. The plus is that the chemicals are washed off the skin.

It is generally recommended that cat flea shampoo not be used on kittens under twelve weeks and up to one year old. So if you have a kitten under twelve weeks old, purchase a flea shampoo that is specifically for kittens.

Cat Flea Shampoo Reviews

We have reviewed four of the most popular flea shampoo products.  In addition to giving you the product description and how the product works, the pros and cons are outlined to help you make​ the best choice.

Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo

This popular shampoo provides 28 days of pre-adult fleas control before they turn into nasty, biting adults. It contains aloe, lanolin, coconut and oatmeal, all soothing ​ingredients for the cat's skin.

​Adams Plus kills fleas, ticks, flea eggs, flea larvae, and lice.

Other flea shampoo products do not necessarily control eggs, ticks larvae and lice. This is an important feature of this product.

The lather needs to be left on for five minutes. This may seem long in kitty minutes so some distractions in the form of a toy or treat is a worthwhile standby.

The shampoo can be used for cats, dogs, kittens and puppies so if you are a cat and a dog household only one product is needed.

Oatmeal, coconut, lanolin and aloe leave the coat nice and soft and manageable, a big plus for long haired cats.

It has a good shelf life and is easy to use.

Vet-Kem Ovitrol Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo

​This shampoo kills adult fleas, ticks and lice plus it will stop pre-adult eggs from hatching for 28 days. 

This concentrated lathering shampoo is suitable for cats and dogs, always a bonus if your are 'an us and them' household. 

​The scent is fresh as opposed to perfumed. ​The coat is left soft and shining and ​ loose dandruff and dirt are removed. It is enriched with oatmeal, coconut extract and lanolin.​

Do not use on kittens less than twelve weeks old.

Sentry PurrScriptions ​​​​​Flea & Tick Shampoo For Cats​​​​​

This shampoo kills fleas and ticks and lice and can be used in cats and kittens over 12 weeks.

It has a lovely berry, coconut fragrance, so kitty will smell nice.

It may need to be used several times to get rid of all the fleas. Just be careful because prolonged or repeated exposure may cause dry skin. Just something to watch out for.  Always follow the manufacturer's recommendations,

This product lathers well and will leave the cat with a very soft and shiny coat.

Four Paws Magic Coat Flea and Tick Cat Grooming Shampoo


Four Paws kills fleas, ticks and lice. It cleanses gently and solves matting and tangle problems.

It may be necessary to use more of this product than other brands.

You will need to let shampoo sit for five minutes before rinsing.

​Fur ​is left soft, shiny and smooth.

Our Top Recommendation For Cat Flea Shampoo

​Adams Flea Shampoo is rated most highly in terms of effectiveness and popularity and consistently performing well. 

Read the most recent reviews of this product here.

​Importantly it is the only product to have some form of control over fleas, ticks, flea eggs, flea larvae and lice. 

 These are the reasons we have chosen this product as our top recommendation. This is fine to use for dogs too.

​Cat Flea shampoo is a​ useful product to have stashed away ready for flea season. You will be ready to go at the first sign of fleas and it is a good stand by solution to have at hand.

Flea Shampoo for Cats