Best Flea Shampoo and Sprays for Cats

Warm weather brings a lot of fun to our lives, but it also brings some pests like irritating fleas. Whether your cat goes outside or not, he is at risk for fleas, and there is only so much you can do to prevent them in the first place.

If you realize your cat is covered in fleas, take a deep breath. There is no need to call in your local exterminator. The quickest way to kill fleas is to give your cat a flea bath, and then you can take steps to rid them in your house to prevent re-infestation.

Best Flea Shampoo for Cats
ipctbl-table__imageEDITOR'S CHOICEEDITOR'S CHOICEAdams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with Precor
  • Pet Safe: Cats/Dogs
  • Usage: Shampoo
  • Weight (oz): 12
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ipctbl-table__imageVeterinary Formula Clinical Care Flea & Tick Shampoo
  • Pet Safe: Cats/Dogs
  • Usage: Shampoo
  • Weight (oz): 16
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ipctbl-table__imageEXCELLENT FOR IRRITATIONEXCELLENT FOR IRRITATIONRX 4 Pets Dog & Cat Skin Irritation Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Pet Safe: Cats/Dogs
  • Usage: Shampoo
  • Weight (oz): 16
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ipctbl-table__imageVet’s Best Flea +Tick Yard and Kennel Spray
  • Pet Safe: Cats/Dogs
  • Usage: Yard Spray
  • Weight (oz): 32
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ipctbl-table__imageTropiClean Natural Flea & Tick Home Spray
  • Pet Safe: Cats/Dogs
  • Usage: Contact Spray
  • Weight (oz): 32
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Best Flea Shampoo For Cats

1. Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with Precor

Adam Plus Flea Shampoo is hard to beat when it comes to a top-selling flea shampoo.

Not only does this flea shampoo feature powerful ingredients such as pyrethrins and piperonyl butoxide which kill adult fleas as well as flea eggs, ticks, and lice immediately, but it provides an Insect Growth Regulator (IGR) for a full 28 days of protection, killing flea eggs and larvae, so they don’t develop into adult fleas.

It also has soothing ingredients like aloe, lanolin, coconut extract, and oatmeal to nourish your cat’s sensitive skin. The fresh, clean scent is also worth mentioning since many flea shampoos don’t smell all that great. This formula can be used on kittens and cats 12 weeks of age or older.

This formula can be used every seven to ten days. However, if your cat has any pre-existing health conditions, contact your veterinarian to see if this shampoo is right for your cat. Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo comes in three sizes: a 12-oz, 24-oz, or one-gallon bottle.

  • Kills not only fleas, but ticks and lice on contact
  • 28 days of protection
  • Soothing natural ingredients
  • Used by veterinarians
  • Fresh, clean scent
  • Not recommended for kittens under 12 months
  • May need to use multiple applications
  • May not be suitable for cats with medical conditions

2. Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Flea & Tick Shampoo

Veterinary Formula Cat Flea ShampooManufactured in the USA, Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Flea & Tick Shampoo effectively removes fleas and ticks on contact, but also gently cleanses and exfoliates your cat’s skin and coat.

A veterinary-grade formula, this shampoo includes .15% pyrethrins to control fleas and ticks, as well as aloe and lanolin to soothe irritated skin. This potent, high-quality shampoo also leaves a lasting fresh scent. This formula is designed to protect your cat from fleas and ticks for up to 14 weeks.

This flea shampoo is safe to use on cats over 12 weeks (along with dogs, ferrets, and horses!) If your cat is older, on medication, or pregnant/nursing, consult your vet before using this product. You can reapply this shampoo every seven days, and the formula comes in a 16-oz bottle or a one-gallon bottle. Do note that while this product kills fleas and ticks, it does not kill eggs and larvae.

  • Contains .15% pyrethrins to kill fleas and ticks on contact
  • Contains natural ingredients to exfoliate and soothe skin
  • 14-week protection
  • Fresh, fasting scent
  • Affordable price
  • Does not kill flea eggs and larvae
  • May need to use multiple applications
  • May not be suitable for aging cats, pregnant cats, or cats with medical conditions

3. RX 4 Pets Dog & Cat Skin Irritation Shampoo & Conditioner

RX4 Cat Flea ShampooWhile RX 4 Pets Skin Irritation Shampoo and Conditioner is not for flea prevention, it is an anti-hair loss shampoo and conditioner made with homeopathic, natural ingredients, including colloidal oatmeal, avocado, and aloe.

This formula treats skin diseases, including flea bites, rashes, mange, as well as dry, itchy skin. This shampoo and conditioner formula is used to soothe your cat’s skin and coat after using flea shampoo while also increasing skin circulation and providing beneficial vitamins and minerals to stop skin problems and scratching.

This formula contains no sulphates, parabens, or harsh chemicals and leaves your cat’s coat smooth and smelling fresh and clean. The botanical and herbal extracts are anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, fighting skin diseases and irritations. Proudly made in the USA, RX 4 Pets Irritation Shampoo & Conditioner can be used two to four times a week.

This shampoo comes in a 16-ounce bottle and can be used on both kittens and cats. The company states that for maximum effect, keep the shampoo on your cat for five minutes before rinsing.

  • Homeopathic, natural, organic ingredients/no harsh chemicals
  • Treats skin diseases as well as dry, itchy irritations
  • Increases circulation
  • Prevents hair loss
  • Fresh, clean scent
  • A bit pricey
  • Five minute “wait time” after applied

4. Vet’s Best Flea +Tick Yard and Kennel Spray

Vets flea spray for catsYes, you can treat your cat for fleas after they have already made their appearances, but it’s important to take precautions to prevent future flea infestations.

Vet’s Best Flea + Tick Yard and Kennel Spray is made with steam-distilled essential oils to kill fleas, flea larvae and eggs, ticks, and mosquitoes on contact. This plant-based flea and tick spray is safe to use on your lawn, garden, kennels, patios, and other outside surfaces.

Customers say the minty smell is refreshing, too. The 32-ounce bottle comes with a hose attachment, making it easy to use and will treat up to 5,000 square feet.

This plant-based spray contains no hard chemicals and is completely safe to use around pets, people, and plants. Peppermint oil, clove extract, and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate are among the top ingredients. This formula takes 30-60 minutes to dry, so make sure it’s dried before you let your cat enter the treated area; however, if it rains, you will need to reapply.

A garden hose is necessary for application. This flea and tick spray comes in either a 32-oz and 96-oz bottle.

  • Made with natural, effective essential oils
  • Chemical-free formula
  • Multipurpose: Can be used on lawns, turf, patios, kennels, and other outdoor surfaces
  • Safe for people, cats, and plants
  • Easy to use: attach to hose and spray
  • Cannot use without a garden hose
  • Needs to be reapplied after rain

5. TropiClean Natural Flea & Tick Home Spray

Tropiclean Flea SprayAfter using a flea shampoo, you will also need to use a quality flea spray to kill fleas on surfaces and prevent future infestation. Made from a blend of potent, natural oils including clove, lemongrass, cedarwood, sesame, and cinnamon, TropiClean Natural Flea & Tick Home Spray kills up to 99% of fleas, ticks, larvae, eggs, and mosquitos on contact and repels them for up to two weeks.

While this formula can be directly applied to dogs, it should not be used directly on cats. However, it is safe to spray on areas that be infected with fleas both indoors and outdoors and feature a fresh scent.

TropiClean Natural Flea & Tick Home Spray comes in a 32-oz bottle, and a small mist is all that is needed for maximum efficiency. Each application is designed to repel pests for up to two weeks.  You can use this formula year-round, but not more often than three-day intervals.  The company warns that this product can cause allergic reactions to humans by causing moderate eye and skin irritations.

Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after using this formula.

  • Kills pests on contact and repels for two weeks
  • Natural oil blend
  • No harsh chemicals
  • Can be used indoors or outdoors
  • Fresh scent
  • Pricey
  • Cannot be directly applied to cats

Five Considerations When Shopping for Flea Shampoo for Your Cat

Here are some factors to take into consideration when shopping for flea shampoo for your cat.

1. Effective, Natural Ingredients: 

An effective flea shampoo does not need to contain harsh chemicals that could potentially hurt your cat. Unfortunately, there are flea shampoos on the market that include chemicals that are not safe for cats. Look for products with natural ingredients, and make sure you read ALL the ingredients in a flea shampoo before you buy.

2. Soothing Ingredients:

Cats often end up with inflamed, irritated skin after a flea bath. A good flea shampoo will include natural soothing ingredients, such as Aloe Vera, coconut oil, and lanolin, to rejuvenate the skin.

3. Preventative Benefits:

You want a flea shampoo that not only kills existing fleas but works toward preventing future flea infestations. Also, keep in mind that many flea shampoos target other parasites, such as ticks, lice, and even mosquitos. Choose a shampoo that works as a preventative, and use a flea spray in and outside your house to kill fleas and prevent future ones.

4. Number of Baths Necessary for Maximum Treatment

Some flea shampoos only require one bath for maximum effectiveness, while others require more. Obviously, most cats aren’t going to enjoy baths at all, so the fewer flea baths, the better.

5. Fresh Scent:

Just because it’s in shampoo form doesn’t mean it smells good! Look for flea shampoos that smell good. Reading customer reviews helps, too.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the signs that my cat has fleas?

Flea bites are painful and itchy, so if your cat has fleas, she will show symptoms of scratching and biting her skin, and she may develop a rash. You may notice her grooming herself more. If you look closely at her coat and skin, you may see fleas. They could be anywhere on her body, but flea hot spots include the neck, lower back, hind legs, and tail.

My cat hates water; how do I give him a flea bath?

Most cats don’t like water, so giving your cat a flea bath may be a strenuous task, but it is necessary if he has fleas. You may need to enlist someone to help you if your cat is especially resistant. Make sure you are as calm as possible throughout this process, as your cat will sense your energy.

First, trim your cat’s claws a day or two before bathing. Right before bathing, brush her coat to ensure there are no knots and tangles where fleas are hiding. Fill the bathtub with warm water, around eight inches high. Gently place your cat in the water and let her get used to the temperature. Use a large cup or something similar to rinse your cat.

Then, apply the flea shampoo and spread it throughout her skin, avoiding her eyes. Some people have found that using a cat brush during this step is also effective. Let the flea shampoo sit on her skin for a few minutes, and then using the cup, gently rinse the shampoo from your cat’s fur and skin. Use dry towels to dry your cat, and after she is dry, use a flea comb to remove any additional eggs, larvae, and adult fleas.

How do I prevent flea re-infestation after I give my cat a flea bath?

When it comes to eliminating fleas for good, you should rely on more than a flea bath. Once your home is infested, fleas will keep coming back. Your best bet is to talk to your veterinarian about your best course of treatment. Mild fleas can be controlled with flea baths and treating the area with a quality flea spray. Let’s be honest though; fleas multiply rapidly. A female flea can lay up to 50 eggs a day, so you may need to have more flea control methods in your plan.

There are other forms of treatment, such as topical and internal medications for your cat that your vegetarian can recommend. In addition, it’s a good idea to vacuum your home every day, including furniture and wash bedding, sofa covers, and other fabrics your cat has touched at least once a week. Use hot water in the washing cycle.

Renee Whitmore is an American college professor and freelance writer from North Carolina. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English and a Master’s Degree in English Education. When she is not driving her teenage son to wrestling practice or learning the ins and outs of Fortnite from her younger son, she is working on her first book to be published soon.

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