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best flea shampoos for cats

 The first way to provide your pet with relief and prevent fleas on your cat is to kill the fleas that are currently feasting on your cat with the best flea shampoo for cats. One of the best selling flea shampoos for cats is Adams Flea and Tick Cleansing Shampoo which kills and prevents fleas for 3-4 weeks after treatment.  Let’s check out our results and recommendations for the best cat flea shampoo!

Best Flea Shampoo for Cats Quick Chart

Best Flea Shampoo for Cats Reviews

Best Seller

Adams Flea and Tick Cleansing Shampoo for Cats Review

Adams Cat Flea​​ Shampoo

best flea shampoo for cats

What is the best flea shampoo for dogs and cats?  Adams Flea and Tick Shampoo for cats is a flea shampoo that is safe for cats and dogs, so you will only have to buy 1 product!  If you want to invest in the best flea shampoo for cats that works, look no further.

It is the most effective flea shampoo treatment for cats and it’s safe to use on puppies and kittens as well.  Adams  flea shampoo kills fleas, their eggs, ticks and lice so it’s like buying a 4 in 1 shampoo.

4 best flea shampoos for cats

This flea shampoo also repels and protects your cat from flea infestation for 3-4 weeks after a bath. You can give your cat another flea bath right away if the infestation is bad, otherwise, Adams recommend every 7-14 days.

As always, do a spot check on your cat to make sure that they are not allergic to the ingredients in this shampoo.

Adams has a large selection of flea shampoos and products that are safe to use on cats.  They are priced better than a lot of the competition, and the best price is online.

View more Adams Pet Care products here: Adams Pet Care


  • Works on cats
  • PRECOR insect growth regulator works for 28 days
  • Stops flea life cycle


  • Lavender smell is strong

Premium Flea and Tick Shampoo

Ovitrol Vet-Kem Plus Flea and Tick Shampoo for Pets Review

Vet-Kem Ovitro​​l Shampoo

best flea shampoo for cats

Vet-Kem offers a premium flea killing shampoo for your cats.  I found that I had a ton of success in killing fleas in my home with Vet-Kem products.

This shampoo does double duty and also removes dandruff, dirt and scales.  The enriched oatmeal and coconut leave your cat’s coat soft and manageable.

This flea treatment is very mild and doesn’t have the chemical or medicine type smell that some flea shampoos can have.

Another Vet-Kem product that we recommend is the Siphotrol Plus 2.

best flea shampoo for cats


  • Safe for cats
  • Smells like baby powder
  • Kills fleas, ticks, lice
  • Concentrated
  • Insect growth regulator works for 28 days


  • Might not kill all the fleas

Best Flea Spray Safe for Cats

Vet Kem Premise Spray

Vet Kem H​​ouse Spray

best flea shampoo for cats

It’s a premium flea killing spray.  There are times when you need to pay for a premium product because it’s so effective. 

It’s a fast acting furniture and house spray that kills all fleas, larva, eggs, and ticks within 10 minutes of spraying. 

One can can cover up to 2000 square feet.  I sprayed my furniture and in the cracks by the baseboards (I heard that fleas love to hide there) and it worked like magic. 

I still have 1/2 the spray can left over.  No more fleas jumping on me while I sat on the furniture.

View more Vet-Kem and Ovitrol products here: Vet Kem Products. 

Best Seller

Sentry Purrscriptions Flea and Tick Shampoo for Cats Review

Sentry Pu​​rrscriptions

best flea shampoo for cats

For the budget conscious cat lovers out there, Sentry Pet Care makes their Purrscription Flea and Tick Shampoo for Cats.  It is one of the best flea and tick shampoos for cats available.  It is specially formulated and safe to use on your cats, as long as they are over 12 weeks of age.

Sentry products work fast to kill fleas dead.  Happy cat owners love the fact that Sentry products quickly kill fleas: owners see dead fleas coming off as they bathe their cat.

The shampoo not only kills fleas, but conditions your cats coat making is soft and shiny.   Applying Sentry Purrscriptions is as easy as wetting your pet in warm water down to their skin, and working the shampoo down to the skin.

4 best flea shampoos for cats

The not so easy part is keeping it on your cat for a full 5 minutes to ensure you’ve killed all the fleas.  Rinse very well with warm water and then towel dry your cat. For the keeners out there, I’d run a flea comb through their fur to ensure you’ve captured all the fleas.

As with any flea shampoo, for long term flea prevention, you will also want to invest in a topical treatment and/or a flea collar for cats.   Make sure you do a spot check of this product on your cat and wait 24 hours, to ensure that they are not allergic to the ingredients.

If you are looking for a flea shampoo that is also safe to use on kittens, Sentry has you covered with the Sentry Purrscriptions Plus Flea Shampoo for Cats and Kittens. 

Sentry makes a ton of cat and kitten products to help get rid of fleas, from topical treatments to flea sprays for your home.

View more Sentry Products here:  Sentry Pet Care. 


  • Safe for your cat
  • Kills fleas, ticks and lice
  • Best affordable option
  • Smells like coconut and berry


  • May not work for all fleas

Buying Cat Flea Shampoo:  Buyer’s Guide

Features to Look for when Buying a Cat Flea Shampoo

Cat Flea Shampoo Important Features

  • Vet recommended
  • Proven to kill fleas
  • Safe for the breed and size of your cat
  • Long lasting flea repelling power
  • Non irritating
  • Works with topical flea treatments

Will Regular Cat Shampoo Kill Fleas?

Regular cat shampoo may kill a few fleas by drowning them, but the eggs, larvae and most of the fleas will still be alive and waiting to feast again on your cat!  So you have to get a cat shampoo formulated specifically to kill fleas if you want to give your cat some relief.

How to Check your Cat for Fleas: Fleas on Cats Symptoms

Do you have a cat that won’t stop scratching?  Maybe YOUR scratching and getting bitten by something? You might be wondering, does my cat have fleas? 

4 best flea shampoos for cats

Before treating your cat for fleas, you might wonder how do you check your cat for fleas.  You should start with a thorough check of the top areas that fleas love to hide on your pet including the neck, face, ears and by their tails. If you find black spots that look like dirt or actual fleas, you have a flea problem!  What do actual fleas look like?  They are black and brown and a bit bigger than a pin head. They move and jump super fast so if you spot one, there are definitely many more in your home and on your cat.  Check out this short video that shows you stop by step how to determine if your cat has fleas.

Did you know that most of the flea problem in your house and on your pet is due to eggs and larva, not adult fleas? While you may start to fix the problem by bathing your cat in flea shampoo, you will also have to attack the fleas living in your house with yard and furniture sprays, washing bedding and toys and follow through with a flea collar and/or a topical flea treatment for your feline.

Ingredients to Avoid

Is your flea shampoo safe for your cat?  While flea product specifically designed for cats should not contain toxic ingredients it is always a great idea to be vigilant and read the ingredients on the bottle.

If in doubt contact the manufacturer and ask directly.  Do you know how many flea and tick shampoos contain ingredients toxic to cats??  A ton!  We had a hard time even finding flea shampoos that we felt safe testing on our two cats because of hidden toxic ingredients like peppermint oil.

Take a read here and learn what essential oils manufacturers are including in your cat shampoo and calling it “safe”.  Avoid at all costs!  You can download an awesome cheat sheet to put on your fridge with all the toxic essential oils listed.

Ingredients to avoid on the label include derivatives or synthetic forms of pyrethrins such as allethrin, cypermethrin, deltamethrin, fenvalerate, fluvalinate, permethrin, phenothrin, tetramethrin and etofenprox.

Additionally, according to petmd, any product containing large doses of citrus or peppermint extract are toxic to cats in very low doses and can result in liver damage, liver failure and even death.

How to Give a Cat a Flea Bath with Dawn (Or anything else!)

Always make sure to read the instruction on the bottle, and follow them to the letter, before giving your cat a flea bath.  Remember that blue Dawn is the best for killing fleas and have your flea comb ready!

#1. Get a suit of armor.  Just kidding, but be prepared for a fight.  Usually if you have trained your kitten, then when they are adults, they won’t fight you as bad when it’s bath time.

#2. Wet your cat down to the skin in warm water

#3. Massage and lather the shampoo down to the skin

#4.  Read the instructions, but usually you would leave a flea killing shampoo on your cat for 3-5 minutes to ensure you’ve killed all the fleas.

#5.  Rinse well and towel dry your cat

#6. To be extra, comb through your cats fur with a flea comb.  This best selling flea comb from Safari Pet products can get the job done

#7.  Apply a topical flea treatment or flea collar to prevent any more fleas from infesting your cat

Just to be safe, watch this short video for step by step instructions.

Quick Flea Facts

Everything you want to know (and don’t) about fleas, you can learn from

  • Fleas lay up to 50 eggs per day!
  • Flea eggs and larva must be exterminated, not just adult fleas or the flea life cycle will continue.
  • How long can fleas live?  Fleas live 2-3 months
  • They can go 100 days without food AKA blood that they get by biting your pets and family members
  • Pets can be allergic to the bites (flea saliva) and scratch themselves raw
  • Fleas can survive the cold, but not heat.  You can wash and dry your bedding on the highest setting and drown and kill the fleas

Flea Shampoo for Cats FAQs

How effective is Flea Shampoo for Cats? Does Flea Shampoo for Cats even Work?

Flea shampoo for cats is effective at killing the fleas living on your cat.  If your cat has fleas, a flea killing shampoo made specifically for cats will be effective in getting rid of fleas on your cat.

The best flea shampoos for cats are effective at getting rid of fleas because they contain ingredients that work to kill fleas.

Cat flea shampoos will not only kill the adult fleas on your cat but also the eggs and larva, breaking the flea lifecycle.

How to Prevent Reinfestation after a Flea Bath

I’ve used the following products to kill fleas DEAD and stop infestation in its tracks.  I don’t mess around with fleas because I have 2 cats and a dog.  Those little fleas multiply so quickly within a few days we are infested!

Why does your cat keep getting fleas?  Because a flea bath isn’t enough.  A flea shampoo bath will kill the fleas, eggs and larvae that are on your cat right NOW, but there are a ton of fleas that you don’t see, in your furniture, carpets, baseboards, bedding, and your yard.  Get rid of them by using the multilevel approach and get a topical paired with a yard and furniture spray.  Send those bugger back to hell!

Editor’s Choice Flea and Tick Products to Prevent Reinfestation

  1. Advantix II Topical
  2. Seresto Flea Collar
  3. Capstar Oral
  4. Vet Kem Spray
  5. Diatomaceous Earth


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Advantage II

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Seresto Flea Collar

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Capstar Oral

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Vet Kem Spray

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Diatomaceous Earth

In order to rid yourself of your flea problem, not only will you have to treat your cat, you will have to invest some time and money into flea control and prevention.

Flea collars, topical treatments, furniture sprays, vacuuming and washing bedding will have to be done consistently to rid yourself of your flea problem.

best flea shampoo for cats

Does Flea Shampoo for Cats Expire?

YES!  Using an expired cat shampoo may make your cats skin problem worse and no one wants that.  Remember that cats have more sensitive skin than humans, and any kind of negligence can harm their skin in a major way.

It is best to avoid any product that has passed its expiry date.

You must pay attention to the expiry date purchasing a cat flea shampoo.

It’s important to make sure that the container has not been tampered with.  Also, double check the expiry date and make sure the date is far into the future.

Where is the expiration date on cat shampoo? Just like products made for humans, it should be printed and visible right on the bottle.

How long is cat shampoo good for?  Well, the depends on the product.

A medicated shampoo for fleas and ticks or skin conditions, or an all natural shampoo without preservatives, may have a shorter expiry date than other commercial cat shampoos.

Keep your receipt!  This will come in handy if your cat reacts badly to the shampoo and you need to return it.

Is Flea Shampoo Bad for Cats?

No!  You can buy flea shampoo, like the products reviewed above, that have a ton of natural and hypoallergenic ingredients which are gentler on your cat.

Flea shampoo for cats from dollar general or family dollar is a no go.

Do NOT skimp out and be cheap with your pets health.  Spending an extra 5$ could mean the difference between a healthy happy cat or a $1,000 vet bill and health problems for life.  Just.don’

The flea shampoo that you use may not be safe for your kitten.  Make sure to use some of the alternative flea treatments listed below and purchase a flea shampoo specially formulated to be gentle on your kitten.

Is Dog Flea Shampoo safe for Cats?

Absolutely not.  NEVER use a flea product made for dogs on your cat.  Flea shampoos are specially formulated for each type of pet.

Ingredients such pyrethrins that are found in flea killing shampoo for dogs can seriously harm or even kill your cat.

If you do not use a flea shampoo specifically made for cats, or flea products made for cats in general, they can make your cat very sick.

You might also wonder if you can use a flea shampoo for cats on your dog?

The answer is the same: unless the product specifically says it is for BOTH cats and dogs, do not use it on your pooch.

It could seriously harm or even kill your dog.  Even then, we recommend reading the ingredients list to ensure that nothing in the flea shampoo could harm your cat or dog.

We review the best flea shampoos for dogs in our post here.

Alternative to Flea Shampoo for Cats

If you do not want to use flea shampoo on your cat (maybe it is too young or pregnant or otherwise sick) there are alternative flea treatments you can use.

Alternatives to flea shampoo for cats include using Dawn dish detergent, diatomaceous earth in your yard, throwing down Borax or salt onto your carpets/floors and vacuuming/sweeping regularly, flea collars, topical flea treatments and furniture sprays.

Flea Shampoo for Kittens

Kittens, especially those under 12 weeks of age, are particularly vulnerable (because they are so little) to the flea killing ingredients in flea control products.

Remember, the majority for your flea problem is because of all the fleas in your HOUSE.  The ones on your pet are a fraction of the one lurking around in your home.

Treat your home at the same time as you treat your pets and be vigilant.  Only consistent effort will get rid of fleas for good.

Try the alternatives above if you find fleas on your kitten and consult your vet if you can’t get rid of them yourself.

How do I use Waterless Flea Shampoo?

Dry cat shampoos are designed to be rubbed all over your cat’s coat. It will easily absorb the grease or other unwanted particles from your cats fur and will be effective at killing fleas.

Cat Flea dry shampoos are easily applied and removed by simply rubbing it over the coat for a set amount of time and then brushing it off.  It’s much easier and less time consuming than a traditional bath.

The products are non toxic so no need to worry about any being ingested by your cat as they groom themselves.  But double check the ingredients to make sure that they don’t include essential oils poisonous to cats before using!

Does Dry Flea Shampoo for Cats Work?

Washing a cat is considered a dangerous task. There are chances that you might get scratched, bitten or both!  Your cat might even manage to get away from you and hide.  Good luck trying to get them out again.

In such cases, a dry flea shampoo for cats be a great alternative.

You can eliminate any dirt as well as fleas without the issues commonly associated with a traditional bath.  It’s also a great opportunity to spend some quality time petting your cat.

Flea Shampoo for Pregnant Cats

In this instance, I would recommend using other methods of removing fleas from your cat instead of a shampoo that contains flea killing ingredients.

Try a flea comb, dawn dish detergent and treat the furniture/bedding with flea sprays.

Remember that most of your flea problem comes from the fleas, eggs and larva in your home, not the ones on your pet.

Reducing or eliminating the fleas in your home and on your pregnant cat will reduce the chances that the kittens will end up with fleas.  Consult your vet for further information.


In order to get rid of fleas on your cat, the best flea shampoo for cats is the only option.  Adams Flea and Tick Shampoo is the best selling cat flea shampoo offering effective flea control.

For budget conscious pet owners, you can choose Sentry Purrscriptions which is effective at killing fleas for the price.

If your cat just hates being in the water and having a bath, then check out Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Waterless Bath for Cats, which is the best selling waterless flea shampoo for cats.

Vet-Kem premium flea control products are known for being extremely effective and concentrated so a little goes a long way.

Beware of flea control products: only use flea control products made for cats as flea killing shampoos for dogs may contain ingredients that are toxic to your cat.

Kittens and pregnant or nursing cats require alternative flea control methods to make sure they are not exposed to flea killing chemicals and compounds.