10 Best Flea Shampoo for Cats 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks

Last Updated on: November 9, 2020

cat itchyWhen our cat first started acting erratic, we weren’t sure what was going wrong. She seemed restless, chewing and scratching at herself repeatedly. But after a short time, we realized what the issue was — fleas.

Naturally, this started us on a journey to find the best flea medications for cats. Since we needed something that would work immediately to kill the fleas and continue to work at keeping them away, we decided to try a shampoo.

Unfortunately, the first shampoo we tried was ineffective, which led us to begin our search for the best flea shampoo for cats available. If you’re frustrated with flea products that just don’t seem to subdue the infestation, then hopefully the following 10 reviews will help you find the right shampoo to eradicate your flea problem once and for all.

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Adams Plus Adams Plus
  • Kills flea eggs and larvae
  • Up to 28 days of protection against flea re-infestation
  • Can be used on any cat 12 weeks or older
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Veterinary Formula Veterinary Formula
  • Cheaper than other products
  • Leaves a pleasant odor behind
  • Soothes skin that’s irritated from flea and tick bites
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Advantage Treatment Advantage Treatment
  • Unscented
  • Cat-specific formula
  • A little goes a long way
  • Zodiac Zodiac
  • Affordably priced
  • Uses coconut conditioners for a healthy coat
  • Pleasant scent
  • Natural Chemistry Natural Natural Chemistry Natural
  • Made with natural, plant-based ingredients
  • Also fights black flies and mosquitos
  • Safe for any age kitten
  • The 10 Best Flea Shampoo for Cats – Reviews 2020

    1. Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo – Best Overall

    Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo

    When testing flea shampoos for cats, only one question drives us — does it eliminate fleas? After trying out many of them, one product stood out as the harbinger of death for the fleas infesting our poor cat, the Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo. Once we started lathering up our feline, the fleas started dropping off almost immediately, a major relief for us!

    One of the best things about the Adams Plus shampoo is that it doesn’t just kill the fleas on your cat, it prevents future outbreaks for up to 28 days. It accomplishes this by using an insect growth regulator. Plus, it’s one of the only products that also kills flea eggs and larvae, helping to halt re-infestation in its tracks.

    Most of our testers thought the fresh scent of this shampoo was pleasing, or at least acceptable. However, a few were put off by the smell, so individuals who are very sensitive to smell might not like it. But you should appreciate the nourishing extracts added to this shampoo to help condition your cat’s coat. Coconut extract, moisturizing oatmeal, and aloe all leave your cat’s coat feeling and looking amazing and free of pesky fleas.

    Pros
    • Kills flea eggs and larvae
    • Up to 28 days of protection against flea re-infestation
    • Can be used on any cat 12 weeks or older
    • Enriched to help condition skin and coat
    Cons
    • The scent isn’t pleasing to everyone

    2. Veterinary Formula Flea and Tick Shampoo – Best Value

    Veterinary Formula Flea and Tick Shampoo

    Looking for the most cost-effective solution to your cat’s flea problem? Well, this shampoo from Veterinary Formula Clinical Care might just be the best flea shampoo for cats for the money. It comes in a large 16-ounce bottle for a cheaper price than most of the similar products we’ve seen. Of course, that wouldn’t mean very much if this shampoo weren’t effective.

    Luckily, it’s one of the shampoos we had great luck with. It did an excellent job of curbing the first wave of fleas after a single application. We were also happy with the odor it left behind, which was pleasant and light. Even better, our cat stopped itching almost immediately. Though her skin was red and torn from scratching, it healed very quickly thanks to the aloe and lanolin in this shampoo.

    But there was one big problem. Soon, the fleas came back. It took about a week for us to notice our cat scratching again, and we soon found the offending pests. You can use this product every seven days, so we reapplied it with similar results. After carefully reading the bottle, we realized that it doesn’t kill eggs and larvae to end the infestation for good.

    Pros
    • Cheaper than other products
    • Soothes skin that’s irritated from flea and tick bites
    • Leaves a pleasant odor behind
    Cons
    • Doesn’t kill eggs and larvae

    3. Advantage Flea & Tick Treatment Shampoo – Premium Choice

    Advantage Flea & Tick Treatment Shampoo

    Advantage Flea & Tick Treatment Shampoo is a popular choice, albeit an expensive one. You only get eight ounces in a bottle that costs more than you’d pay for twice the amount of other products. Still, if it’s effective, then we’re willing to pay a premium for it. Thankfully, this product worked well, killing fleas and nearly wiping out the initial infestation.

    The Advantage shampoo is a great choice for those with a sensitive nose because it’s completely unscented. A little of the cat-specific shampoo goes a long way, so even though the bottle is small, it should last for a good while. But it’s thin and watery when you first pour it from the bottle, so be careful not to pour out too much and let it go to waste.

    As soon as we started lathering this shampoo in our cat’s fur, we could see the fleas start falling off. They continued to die for a couple of hours after the bath, requiring a second rinsing to remove them all. It was a good experience overall, though we’d like to see a bit more product for the price.

    Pros
    • Unscented
    • Cat-specific formula
    • A little goes a long way
    • You can watch the fleas start dying when washing
    Cons
    • Expensive for a small amount
    • Thin and watery

    4. Zodiac Flea & Tick Shampoo

    Zodiac Flea & Tick Shampoo

    We love affordable products, and the Zodiac Flea & Tick Shampoo is one of the most affordable flea shampoos for cats we’ve found. That wouldn’t mean much if it didn’t work, but we had good luck with this product. For the low price, you get a 12-ounce bottle that kills ticks as well as fleas. It also helps to nourish your cat’s coat with the infused coconut conditioners.

    The first time we used this product, we were disappointed by the lackluster results. But we revisited the directions and realized we hadn’t followed them as accurately as we could have. So, we started again, this time following the directions to the letter. Our results were considerably improved over the first attempt, with most of the fleas dying off in a single wash.

    Scents are always an iffy subject because smell is completely subjective. But most of us found this shampoo’s scent to be pleasant, and no one seemed to take offense to it.

    In the end, the Zodia Flea & Tick Shampoo was an effective product, but we preferred the Veterinary Formula Flea and Tick Shampoo in our second position that worked better and was priced similarly.

    Pros
    • Affordably priced
    • Kills ticks as well as fleas
    • Uses coconut conditioners for a healthy coat
    • Pleasant scent
    Cons
    • Doesn’t work if you don’t follow the directions carefully

    5. Natural Chemistry Natural Flea Shampoo

    Natural Chemistry Natural Flea Shampoo

    Many people are attracted to naturally formulated products such as the Natural Chemistry Natural Flea Shampoo. It’s made with plant-based ingredients like cloves, cedar oil, and cinnamon. It’s so safe for cats that it’s the only flea shampoo product we’ve seen that can be applied to any age cat or kitten, even little ones under 12 weeks. While we like this concept, it made us wonder about this product’s effectiveness.

    When first washing our cat, we noticed that this shampoo doesn’t lather well. No matter how we worked it, we couldn’t get it to foam up nicely. After the first wash, we noticed a major reduction in the number of fleas on our cat, but they weren’t eradicated. Luckily, this product plays nice with spot-on treatments, so we were able to use another treatment to help kill the remaining fleas.

    More than just annoying fleas, the Natural Chemistry Natural Flea Shampoo will also help fight black flies and mosquitos. We’re not sure how well it does against these insects but it’s pretty good at fighting fleas, though far from the most effective we’ve found.

    Pros
    • Made with natural, plant-based ingredients
    • Also fights black flies and mosquitos
    • Safe for any age kitten
    • Safe to use in conjunction with spot-on treatments
    Cons
    • More expensive than other options
    • Doesn’t lather well

    6. Lambert Kay Fresh ‘n Clean Flea and Tick Shampoo

    PetAg Fresh 'n Clean Flea & Tick Conditioning Dog & Cat Shampoo

    The Lamber Kay Fresh ‘n Clean Flea and Tick Shampoo comes in a large 18-ounce bottle that contains enough shampoo for many washes. Of course, the hope is that you’ll only have to do one! But it’s priced affordably considering the large amount you get, so we can’t complain.

    We did have good results from this shampoo initially. After the first wash, most of the adult fleas were dead and we could see them falling off as we rinsed the shampoo down the drain. Things seemed okay, except for the strong scent. It wasn’t particularly unpleasant, but it lasted much longer than the flea protection this shampoo offered.

    Though the scent of the shampoo lasted for two weeks, the flea protection lasted just a few days. Then, they returned as before, requiring another wash with the same results. It works, but it’s not the product that we’d recommend.

    Pros
    • Comes in a large 18-ounce bottle
    • Affordably priced
    Cons
    • The scent lasts for up to two weeks
    • Only kills adult fleas and ticks

    7. Oster Flea & Tick Dog & Cat Shampoo

    Oster Flea & Tick Dog & Cat Shampoo

    At first glance, the Oster Flea & Tick Dog & Cat Shampoo got us really excited. We’ve seen low-priced flea shampoos before, but this one is a fraction of the price of those! Naturally, we were also skeptical, but hope was flourishing. When we saw the large 18-ounce bottle it came in, we were even more sure we had a winner. Then, we actually used it.

    We washed our cat with the Oster shampoo, but nothing seemed to happen. No fleas died while lathering, and we didn’t see them falling off when we rinsed as we did with other shampoos. Because this shampoo is so gentle and safe for regular use, we decided to give it another go, this time using more product.

    The second time, we had more luck. Some of the fleas started dying off as we lathered, with even more following suit as we rinsed. But it took far too much product to get only a mediocre result. There were still plenty of live fleas left after the second washing. But they weren’t all that remained; the scent of the shampoo, unpleasant to some, also stayed behind for quite a while.

    Pros
    • Large 18-ounce bottle
    • Dirt-cheap pricing
    • Safe for regular use since it’s so gentle
    Cons
    • Not very effective at killing fleas
    • The scent is unpleasant to some

    8. Sentry PurrScriptions Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo

    Sentry PurrScriptions Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo

    One big problem with many of the flea shampoos we tried is that they only kill adult fleas. The Sentry PurrScriptions Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo, on the other hand, claims to kill adults, larvae, and eggs. Moreover, it claims to prevent re-infestation after use for as long as 30 days. Of course, if it made good on these claims, it would probably rank higher on our list.

    To be fair, this shampoo did kill a lot of fleas right off the bat. But they came back within the first week, so we got nowhere near 30 days of protection. Worse, it left our cat’s skin irritated. After reading the bottle a second time, we saw that this is a common side effect, as well as eye irritation.

    We did like how clean and fresh our cat was after bathing in this shampoo. But the harsh chemicals are too irritating for a cat’s skin, especially considering the average-at-best results.

    Pros
    • Kills adults, larvae, and eggs
    • Cleans and deodorizes
    Cons
    • Can cause skin and eye irritation
    • Doesn’t last for the claimed 30 days

    9. NaturVet Herbal Flea Cat Shampoo

    NaturVet Herbal Flea Cat Shampoo

    Like many pet owners, we don’t love the idea of inundating our cats with chemicals, so the NaturVet Herbal Flea Cat Shampoo that uses natural ingredients was attractive to us. It’s so safe that it can be used on cats and kittens of all ages, even ones under 12 weeks. This made us feel confident that it was certainly safe for our adult cats.

    But safety is only part of the equation — effectiveness also matters. Unfortunately, the NaturVet shampoo fell short in this category. It did seem to reduce the number of fleas we were dealing with initially. However, they returned in short order, and in several days, the problem was just as bad as before we had washed. This shampoo appears to repel the fleas rather than kill them. We’re looking for a solution that can hopefully eradicate the flea issue, so the NaturVet shampoo won’t earn a very high rating.

    Pros
    • Uses natural ingredients
    • Can be used on cats and kittens of all ages
    Cons
    • Fleas came back in just a few days
    • Seems to repel fleas, not actually kill them

    10. Sergeant’s Gold Flea & Tick Cat Shampoo

    Sergeant's Gold Flea & Tick Cat Shampoo

    If price were an indicator of quality, then the Sergeant’s Gold Flea & Tick Cat Shampoo would be at the top of our list because it’s one of the most expensive flea shampoos for cats that we’ve seen. We’d be willing to pay the extra cost if it were effective, but the Sergeant’s shampoo didn’t do much to impress us.

    It’s supposed to kill both fleas and eggs, as well as protecting against re-infestation. When we used it, there were still active fleas remaining after a wash. Some had died, but far from all of them. Within a few days, they were back as if we’d never put a dent in their numbers. A second attempt with the Seargen’ts shampoo yielded similar results.

    Pros
    • Kills fleas and eggs
    • Provides protection against re-infestation
    Cons
    • Much more expensive than competing products
    • Only killed some of the active fleas
    • Fleas returned in a few days

    3 cat dividerConclusion

    The last thing anyone wants is a flea infestation in their home. So, if you see your cat starting to scratch and get restless, then it might be time to enlist the help of one of the flea shampoos we’ve just covered in our reviews. To eradicate the infestation as efficiently as possible, we’re going to recommend to you the three products that we had the best luck with during our testing.

    Overall, the product we recommend most highly is Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo. In one wash, it managed to completely kill off all of the offending fleas on our cat. But the best is that it also kills the eggs and larvae, offering 28 days of protection against re-infestation and helping to stop the problem in its tracks.

    For a value solution, we suggest the Veterinary Formula Flea and Tick Shampoo. This affordable product effectively eliminates fleas, leaving behind a pleasant odor in its wake. It also soothes your cat’s skin, helping to alleviate irritation from bites and scratches.

    The Advantage Flea & Tick Treatment Shampoo is our premium recommendation. You can actually watch the dead fleas fall off as you wash with this cat-specific shampoo.


    Featured Image: Pixabay