While it’s an almost universal truth that shampooing your cat is not high on the list of fun activities, sometimes it can’t be avoided. If your cat has dandruff, they’ll be feeling itchy and scratchy. Choosing to bathe them using a cat shampoo specifically designed for dandruff can help to soothe their irritated skin and get them purring once more.
When it comes to selecting the best shampoo for your cat’s needs, it can be a bit of a challenge. There’s so many to choose from that it can be hard to know which one to choose. That’s where our reviews come in!
We’ve tested popular cat shampoos for dandruff and made a list of our 10 top picks. From gentle shampoos harnessing the natural power of oatmeal to medicated versions that can stamp out even the most difficult skin conditions, we’ve covered them all. We’re sure that you’ll find one that’s going to suit your cat’s needs.
A Glance at Our Top Picks (2021)
|Best Overall||Earthbath Cat Shampoo||
|Best Value||Frisco Shampoo||
|Premium Choice||Douxo Seborrhea Cat Shampoo||
|Vetoquinol Vet Solutions Sebozole||
|RX 4 Pets Cat Skin Irritation||
The 10 Best Cat Shampoos for Dandruff
1. Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Cat Shampoo — Best Overall
As our best overall cat shampoo for dandruff, we selected the Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Cat Shampoo. The soap-free formula is made using organic aloe vera and colloidal oatmeal to gently soothe your cat’s dry, itchy skin. It’s safe to use on cats with allergies too. The gentle formula makes it suitable for kittens over six weeks old.
You also don’t need to worry about this shampoo washing off any topical flea treatments you might use, as the formula is designed not to interfere with them. The paraben- and phthalate-free formulation means this shampoo is as gentle on your cat’s skin as possible, which is what we all want at the end of the day.
2. Frisco Oatmeal Shampoo — Best Value
We recommend the Frisco Oatmeal Shampoo as the best cat shampoo for dandruff for the money. This shampoo uses a combination of coconut and oatmeal to soothe and nourish your cat’s sensitive skin. While it’s not medicated, the addition of aloe vera will help to reduce feelings of dryness. Be warned, though, that it will remove flea treatments if used within 48 hours of applying them.
We love this shampoo, but it just missed out on the top spot because the almond scent may be a little too strong for some cats, and their owners! If you don’t mind that, then this is a great budget choice.
3. Douxo Seborrhea Cat Shampoo — Premium Choice
As our premium choice, we selected the Douxo Seborrhea Cat Shampoo. This medicated shampoo is specifically designed to deal with seborrhea, also called “greasy dandruff.” Its active ingredients help control the production of sebum, restore beneficial bacteria, and control inflammation.
You initially need to shampoo your cat two to three times weekly for the first two weeks, to get your cat’s dandruff under control. After this, you can use it as necessary. The only reason this missed out on our top two places is that it needs to be left on to soak for 10 minutes for maximum effect. Other than completing that little challenge with your cat, this is an excellent medicated shampoo.
4. Vetoquinol Vet Solutions Sebozole Shampoo
The Vetoquinol Vet Solutions Sebozole Shampoo contains and blend of Miconazole Nitrate and Chloroxylenol to effectively treat fungal, bacterial, and seborrheic skin conditions. While it might be expensive, it’s certainly effective, so if your cat is suffering from a serious case of dandruff, this is an excellent choice.
This shampoo is gentle enough for frequent use, and it’s initially advised to use this to bathe your cat twice a week, before reducing to once a week as you get their symptoms under control.
5. RX 4 Pets Cat Skin Irritation Shampoo
If you’re looking for an effective yet natural shampoo to help get your cat’s dandruff under control, the RX 4 Pets Cat Skin Irritation Shampoo is a great choice. The gentle formula contains a blend of homeopathic, organic, and natural ingredients designed to effectively solve skin conditions.
What it doesn’t contain are harsh chemicals that could irritate your cat’s skin further. The formula is proudly made in the U.S.A. and features a signature clean and fresh scent. Our only concern is that it includes a small amount of tea tree oil, which some cats may be sensitive to.
6. Pet MD Medicated Shampoo
Pet MD Medicated Shampoo offers your cat effective relief from the itching and dandruff caused by demodectic mange. Bathing your cat with this shampoo two to three times a week will soon solve their skin infections. After the initial treatment period, you can reduce this down to just once a week or even less, if directed by your veterinarian.
Made in the U.S.A., this effective formula contains micronized sulfur, salicylic acid, and peroxide to degrease your cat’s skin. This shampoo is great for solving any skin conditions caused by bacterial and fungal infections, as well as helping remove dandruff scales to leave your cat’s fur looking clean and shiny.
7. Pro Pet Works Organic Oatmeal Pet Shampoo for Dry Skin
The Pro Pet Works Organic Oatmeal Pet Shampoo is designed to effectively tackle dandruff using a blend of natural ingredients. This hypoallergenic shampoo includes organic oatmeal, almond oil, aloe vera, and vitamin E to effectively soothe and control your cat’s dry and itchy skin.
The pH-balanced formula comes vet recommended as an excellent alternative to medicated shampoo. As this shampoo is soap-less, it won’t interfere with your cat’s flea treatments either, which is a great bonus if you need to use it regularly. The biodegradable and non-toxic formula is a great choice if you’re looking for a shampoo with environmentally-friendly ingredients.
8. Lively Pets Medicated Cat Dandruff Shampoo
The Lively Pets Medicated Dog Shampoo is also safe for cats, so don’t worry there! The maximum strength formula contains chlorhexidine and ketoconazole. Given its maximum strength, you may want to talk to your veterinarian to make sure this is a good choice for your cat. Also, make sure you use only the smallest amount as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
The antifungal and antibacterial ingredients will quickly get to work relieving any dryness and itchiness due to infections. This dog shampoo will also soothe your cat’s coat, as well as deodorizing and cleansing even the thickest, longhaired cat coats.
9. Mika Pets Shampoo
Mika Pets Dog Shampoo is formulated to be safe for both dogs and cats and contains premium colloidal oatmeal to help relieve irritated, dry, and itchy skin. It also includes aloe vera to promote healthy skin and fur.
This natural shampoo contains no phosphates, parabens, or other toxins that may cause a reaction, so it’s a good choice for cats with allergies. The pH-balanced formula has a coconut scent. It’s also certified cruelty free with the Leaping Bunny logo, so you can be confident that this is a true animal-friendly product.
10. Petway Petcare Cat Shampoo
The Petway Petcare Cat Shampoo uses a blend of degreasers and surfactants to remove grease and oil from your cat’s coat. At the same time, the formula is designed to be non-drying and won’t strip away natural oils from your cat’s coat. This shampoo is designed to quickly clean and deodorize your cat’s coat, leaving it soft and tangle free.
The pH-balanced formula is also paraben, phosphate, and sulfate free. You don’t need a large amount of this shampoo for an effective clean, meaning it offers good value for money.
There’s much to take into consideration when selecting the best shampoo to help treat your cat’s dandruff. It’s worth spending the time working out what type of shampoo your cat needs before buying one that may not actually help treat their dandruff. Let’s take a look through a few of the things you need to think about.
Does my cat need a bath?
Most times, the answer to that question would be no. But there are a few scenarios where cats do need baths, having dandruff being one of them. Skin conditions such as dandruff often respond well to being treated with a medicated or non-medicated shampoo, depending on the severity. Cats who have trouble with hairballs and excessive shedding can also benefit from regular baths. The only other circumstance in which you might need to bath your cat is if they’ve walked or rolled in something oily, sticky, or otherwise yucky!
Can I just use regular baby shampoo?
It might be tempting to try and save a few bucks by just using baby shampoo to bathe your cat, but this isn’t a good idea. Cat’s skin is even more sensitive than a baby’s, so by using the wrong type of shampoo, you can cause their skin to become drier and itchier in the long run. If you’re giving your cat a bath to try and reduce dandruff, then you’ll probably just end up making matters worse!
Why does my cat have dandruff?
There’s a whole manner of possible reasons, but the best thing to do is to speak to your vet. If they suspect a skin infection, they can take samples for analysis. It’s important to know whether your cat needs a medicated shampoo to fight a bacterial skin infection or simply a shampoo with soothing oatmeal to remove any mild itchiness.
Sometimes dandruff can be caused by a diet that’s lacking in fatty acids, or perhaps you live in an area that gets hot and dry during the summer. By finding the underlying cause of your cat’s dandruff, and treating it appropriately, you’re giving them the best chance of feeling better as soon as possible.
Things to think about when choosing a cat shampoo
Regular or medicated cat shampoo?
Cat shampoos for dandruff can fall into medicated or non-medicated varieties. The type you choose will depend on the severity of your cat’s condition. Your veterinarian will likely advise you if your cat needs a medicated shampoo.
If your cat has a bacterial or fungal skin infection, then no amount of shampooing with a non-medicated shampoo is going to help solve the problem. It’s always best to speak to your veterinarian if you suspect that your cat is going to need a medicated shampoo, as they can advise you as to what type you’re going to need.
Regular or non-medicated shampoos will soothe your cat’s minor skin irritations and help lift away excess oils. They do this by using a blend of ingredients, including things like colloidal oatmeal and aloe vera.
See also: the best cat shampoos of 2021 (not just for dandruff)
After our reviews and tests of the best cat shampoos for dandruff, we highly recommend the Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Cat Shampoo. The hypoallergenic formula is gentle and soap-free and uses colloidal oatmeal, as well as aloe vera, to gently soothe your cat’s itchy skin.
As the best value cat shampoo for dandruff, we recommend the Frisco Oatmeal Shampoo. As well as offering great value for money, this shampoo uses oatmeal, aloe vera, and coconut to send any itchy skin packing. The almond scent of this shampoo is quite strong — you might like it but it can be a little overpowering!
There’s plenty to choose from in our list, from strongly medicated shampoos capable of dealing with even the most stubborn skin infections to gentle hypoallergenic formulas to offer soothing cleansing power, so you’re sure to find the perfect option for your precious cat.
Preparing to shampoo your cat, as well as successfully carrying it out, might not be the greatest job in the world, but there’s plenty of satisfaction to be had from knowing that you’re going to make your cat feel much more comfortable afterward.
Featured image credit: Engin_Akyurt, Pixabay
- A Glance at Our Top Picks (2021)
- The 10 Best Cat Shampoos for Dandruff
- 1. Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Cat Shampoo — Best Overall
- 2. Frisco Oatmeal Shampoo — Best Value
- 3. Douxo Seborrhea Cat Shampoo — Premium Choice
- 4. Vetoquinol Vet Solutions Sebozole Shampoo
- 5. RX 4 Pets Cat Skin Irritation Shampoo
- 6. Pet MD Medicated Shampoo
- 7. Pro Pet Works Organic Oatmeal Pet Shampoo for Dry Skin
- 8. Lively Pets Medicated Cat Dandruff Shampoo
- 9. Mika Pets Shampoo
- 10. Petway Petcare Cat Shampoo
- Buyer’s Guide
- Things to think about when choosing a cat shampoo