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11 Best Kitten Shampoos of 2023 – Reviews & Top Picks

wet gray tabby cute kitten after bath_KDdesignphoto_shutterstock

Giving a kitten (or any age cat) a bath is probably not on your list of the top ten favorite things to do in life. Most cats and kittens do not enjoy this process. Since baths are not always very well received, it’s best to make sure they are useful and that the job gets done in one shot. Choosing the correct shampoo can make or break your kitten’s bath time.

With all the options on the market, it can be hard to choose which one will work best for your cat. We put together a list of the very best kitten shampoos. Each of these shampoos has its strengths and weaknesses. Hopefully, this list helps make this process just a little bit easier for you.

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A Quick Glance at Our Favorites in 2023

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Hepper Colloidal Oatmeal Pet Shampoo Hepper Colloidal Oatmeal Pet Shampoo
  • Feature iconAll-natural, moisturizing formula is gentle on kittens
  • Feature iconpH balanced and free of irritants
  • Feature iconContains hydrating oatmeal and aloe
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Frisco Hypoallergenic Frisco Hypoallergenic
  • Feature iconNo additives
  • Feature iconAloe vera to soothe skin
  • Feature iconExcellent price
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Four Paws Magic Coat Cat & Kitten Tearless Four Paws Magic Coat Cat & Kitten Tearless
  • Feature iconSuitable for kittens and older cats
  • Feature iconTearless formula
  • Feature iconAdded protein and lanolin to help with coat
  • TropiClean Hypo-Allergenic Gentle TropiClean Hypo-Allergenic Gentle
  • Feature iconFair price
  • Feature iconWill not irritate eyes or skin
  • Feature iconSmells great
  • John Paul Pet Tearless John Paul Pet Tearless
  • Feature iconGentle on skin
  • Feature iconTearless formula
  • Feature iconDesigned for kittens
  • The 11 Best Kitten Shampoos

    1. Hepper Colloidal Oatmeal Pet Shampoo — Best Overall

    hepper colloidal oatmeal shampoo

    Hepper’s Colloidal Oatmeal Pet Shampoo is our favorite kitten shampoo because it’s pH balanced and gentle on your kitten’s skin. This all-natural shampoo contains moisturizing ingredients like aloe vera and oatmeal and is free from irritants like phthalates, sulfates, soaps, and synthetic dyes.

    This kitten-safe shampoo is made in the USA and is specifically designed to reduce itching and irritation. Your kitten will emerge soft, clean, and smelling like a day at the spa! Keep in mind that although many cats love the subtle cucumber and aloe scent, some kittens may prefer an unscented shampoo.

    All in all, we think this is the best kitten shampoo out there.

    Pros
    • All-natural, moisturizing formula is gentle on kittens
    • pH balanced and free of irritants
    • Contains hydrating oatmeal and aloe
    • Pleasant cucumber and aloe scent
    • Made in the USA
    Cons
    • Some kittens may not like scented shampoo

    At Excited Cats, we’ve admired Hepper for many years and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool cat company!

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    2. Frisco Hypoallergenic Cat Shampoo – Best Value

    Frisco Hypoallergenic Shampoo

    If the TropiClean seemed like a good option, but it was a bit more than you wanted to spend on your kitten shampoo, the Frisco Hypoallergenic is an excellent option to consider. The Frisco Hypoallergenic Shampoo is the best kitten shampoo for the money.

    With this Frisco product, you will not get any paraben, dyes, added fragrances, or perfumes. When dealing with kittens, you want to keep things as natural as possible, and this shampoo accomplishes that. Another key ingredient in this shampoo is the aloe vera that helps soothe skin and nourish the coat.

    The Frisco Hypoallergenic Shampoo is a formula individually design for kittens, but it is excellent for sensitive older cats as well. The added vitamin B5, vitamin A, and vitamin E make this Frisco shampoo a perfect choice for your quickly growing kitten.

    Pros
    • No additives
    • Natural vitamins in the formula
    • Aloe vera to soothe skin
    • Excellent price
    Cons
    • No added scent makes it smell a bit funny
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    3. Four Paws Magic Coat Cat & Kitten Tearless Shampoo– Premium Choice

    Four Paws Magic Coat Cat & Kitten Tearless Shampoo

    Next on our list is the Four Paws Magic Coat Cat & Kitten Tearless Shampoo. This is a bit more expensive than some of our other choices, but it is a very safe and effective shampoo for kittens. The Four Paws formula is not designed explicitly for kittens only, but it does have kittens in mind with this being a tearless and gentle formula.

    The Four Paws shampoo contains protein and lanolin to help with coat care and maintenance. If your kitten has some tangled fur, this shampoo will help to clear it up.  The great news about this bottle of shampoo is that you can keep using it even as your kitten grows.

    Pros
    • Suitable for kittens and older cats
    • Tearless formula
    • Added protein and lanolin to help with coat
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Not hypoallergenic
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    4. TropiClean Hypo-Allergenic Coconut Kitten Shampoo

    TropiClean Hypo-Allergenic Gentle Coconut Shampoo

    No doubt about it, cleaning a kitten is a tough job. Having the right shampoo can make all the difference, and that is how the TropiClean Hypo-Allergenic Gentle Coconut Shampoo made it onto our list.

    The TropiClean is explicitly made for a kitten (or a puppy). It is a very mild recipe that is intended not to irritate skin or eyes. If your older cats have allergies, this is also a great option because of how easy it is on the skin.

    The addition of coconut in this formula helps to clean your kitten’s coat and also moisturize their skin. The coconut even smells good!

    If you have just recently treated your kitten with flea treatment, the TropiClean is gentle enough that it will not wash the treatment off. The only real downside that we had with this kitten shampoo is that it is not super strong. Although you won’t want to use something harsh on your kitten, if your little friend is truly filthy, the TropiClean might struggle to do the trick.

    Pros
    • Smells great
    • Fair price
    • Designed specifically for kittens or puppies
    • Will not irritate eyes or skin
    • Also suitable for older cats with allergy issues
    Cons
    • Not strong if the cat is filthy
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    5. John Paul Pet Tearless Cat Shampoo

    John Paul Pet Tearless Shampoo

    With the John Paul Pet Tearless Shampoo, we are going back to an option specifically designed for kittens. This is a very gentle formula for your kitten’s first bath or your older cat with skin sensitivities. Since this is a tearless formula, it will not hurt your kitten’s eyes or ears, either.

    The John Paul shampoo smells great and is likely a shampoo you will want to stick with as your cat gets older. The only real issue we have with it is that it is a little more expensive than some of our other choices.

    Pros
    • Tearless formula
    • Gentle on skin
    • Designed for kittens
    Cons
    • A bit on the expensive side
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    6. Burt’s Bees Kitten Shampoo

    Burt's Bees Kitten Shampoo

    Coming in at the number five spot is Burt’s Bees Kitten Shampoo. When it comes to skincare for both humans and pets, Burt’s Bees is a well-known name. This kitten shampoo is made with high-quality ingredients. The addition of buttermilk helps to soothe and soften skin.

    There are no sulfates or colorants in the shampoo, making it safe for frequent use. The product has 99.8% natural ingredients — hard to argue with that number.

    The only real complaint we had with the Burt’s Bees is that the smell and strength of this shampoo are quite mild. If your kitten needs a bath because they got into a mess, you will likely want to use something with a bit more cleaning power.

    Pros
    • Gentle on skin
    • Natural ingredients
    • Buttermilk to soothe skin
    Cons
    • Not very strong smelling
    • Not very strong when it comes to cleaning capabilities
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    7. Hartz Groomer’s Best Kitten Shampoo

    Hartz 3270012102 Groomer's Best Shampoos

    The Hartz Groomer’s Best Kitten Shampoo is a unique hairball prevention formula. This shampoo will work for cats and kittens, and although it can be used as a general-purpose shampoo, it is specifically designed to help wash away extra or loose hair.

    Once that hair is washed away, and a light brushing is carried out, it will help keep your kitten from having so many hairballs. There are some added conditioners in this formula. The conditioners will help to provide moisture and add to the health of the coat of your kitten.

    The Hartz shampoo does have a light scent to it but it is not overwhelming. Overall this is a great option when it comes to hairballs but not necessarily the best if you are looking for a hypoallergenic tearless formula.

    Pros
    • Great for hairball control
    • Good pricing
    • Leaves coat looking great
    Cons
    • Not all natural
    • Not hypoallergenic
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    8. Best Shot Ultra Wash Kittens Shampoo

    Best Shot ZX10012 Ultra Wash Kittens Shampoo

    If your kitten is over twelve weeks old the Best Shot Ultra Wash Kitten Shampoo is another option you may want to consider. The scent of the Best Shot is a very natural and clean smell, and it works hard to nourish the coat and skin.

    The formula includes what Best Shot calls “Coat Release Technology,” which helps to free shedding and reduce brushing time, something your cat may be happy about. If you like the Best Shot Formula, there is a conditioner that you can use in conjunction with the shampoo.

    This is a soap-free formula and is available in several size containers. It is a bit more expensive than other options, but it is a choice that even professionals will use on both dogs and cats. The chief complaint with the Best Shot is that, although the smell is pleasant, it fades very quickly.

    Pros
    • Helps with shedding
    • Less brushing required
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Smell fades quickly
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    9. Nature’s Specialties Peachy Perfect Tearless Shampoo for Kittens

    Nature's Specialties PEACH32 Tearless Shampoo

    The Nature’s Specialties Peachy Perfect Tearless Shampoo for Kittens is a conditioning shampoo that is good for both short and long-haired coats. Nature’s Specialties formula helps to protect against excess shedding as well. After using this shampoo, your kitten will be left with clean and smooth skin.

    Nature’s Specialties contains aloe vera, chamomile, sage, and other vitamins that work together to create an extra soft coat and a light fragrance as well. The major issue we have with Nature’s Specialties is the fact that it is not cheap, and the peach smell is not really preferable for all pet owners.

    Pros
    • Conditioning shampoo
    • Leaves fur very soft
    • Vitamins added to the formula
    Cons
    • Price is a bit high
    • Peach smell is not great
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    10. Espree Kitten Shampoo

    Espree 1004742 Kitten Shampoo

    Coming in towards the bottom of our list is the Espree Kitten Shampoo. This is a tear-free shampoo that is designed for kittens and any cat that has some sensitive skin issues. This is not an all-natural shampoo, and it is not filled with all-natural ingredients.

    This Espree product does not do much to help control shedding or scratching, and unfortunately, the smell is overpowering. While having a scent after a bath is not a bad thing, when that smell lingers for weeks, you know that the product may be a bit too harsh for a kitten. As far as pricing is concerned, the Espree is quite fair, right in line with many of the other top choices.

    Pros
    • Tear-free
    • Contains aloe vera
    Cons
    • The smell is way too strong
    • Not all natural
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    11. Furminator My Furst Waterless Kitten Shampoo

    Furminator 202005 My Furst Waterless Shampoo

    Last on our list is the Furminator My Furst Waterless Shampoo. This is a waterless shampoo designed for kittens older than six weeks. The Furminator is a gentle formula that can be used to clean your kitty’s coat.

    This shampoo does not contain parabens, artificial colors, or chemical dyes. In fact, it is a topical use spray dry shampoo that does not require you to give your cat a complete bath. However, the reason it is at the bottom of our list is that it’s just not that effective. If you spray this on your kitten, they will smell better, but are they cleaner? If you need a truly clean cat, opting for a traditional kitten shampoo is likely a better choice.

    Pros
    • Gentle on a kitten
    Cons
    • Smells strong
    • Does not really wash the kitten
    • Not all natural
    • Not hypoallergenic

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    Buyer’s Guide: How to Find the Best Kitten Shampoo

    Now that you have all the information you could ever want on the kitten shampoos available for sale, how will you decide which one is right for you? Although we recommend sticking with a choice from the top half of our list, it can help to know what makes one kitten shampoo better than another and whether or not you even need kitten shampoo.

    What Should I Look For In A Kitten Shampoo?

    These are the most important things to look for and consider when it comes to a kitten shampoo.

    • A formula specifically designed for kittens
    • Tear-free
    • No parabens
    • As many natural ingredients as possible
    • Little to no scent

    How Much Kitten Shampoo Should I Buy?

    Chances are you will not need very much kitten shampoo at all. It is not necessary to bathe your cat regularly unless they have a reason to be washed (see next question). One container of kitten shampoo should be more than enough to last you through the kitten stage. Make sure to follow directions on the shampoo bottle for how much to use on your cat; it will likely be a minimal amount.

    How Often Do Kittens Need Baths?

    You do not need to bathe your kitten regularly. One of the great things about cats is that they are perfectly capable of cleaning themselves. Most cats do a great job cleaning themselves; however, there are a few situations where you will very likely need to bathe your cat:

    • If your cat or kitten had a run-in with a skunk
    • If your kitten got into something that could harm them, i.e., if you are painting the house and the cat rubs up against the wall
    • If you have elderly cats or cats with health issues that don’t do an excellent job of cleaning themselves

    If your cat does not fall into any of the above categories, but you feel as though they need a bath, then try to make sure it is not more frequently than every four to six weeks. If you bathe your cat more often than that, they could have issues with dry skin. It is tough to introduce bathing to an adult cat. If you know you are going to bathe your cat somewhat frequently, it is best to start when they are young.

    As a note, long-haired cats could potentially need a bath from time to time if their fur is getting knotted. Look for a conditioning shampoo that will make brushing quite a bit easier.

    Can You Use Human Shampoo On Kittens?

    No. Even using kitten shampoo on kittens can cause problems. When you purchase a kitten shampoo, you should only use a small amount the first time to make sure that there are no adverse reactions for your kitten. Human shampoos are not manufactured and developed to work for kittens. The human shampoo will likely be too harsh and cause issues for your cat. Many people think that baby shampoo will work fine for kittens, but this is not true. Although baby shampoo would be better than adult shampoo, it is still not intended to be used on kittens.

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    3 cat face dividerConclusion

    Our buyer’s guide and reviews are intended to help make this process of being a kitten owner that much easier. If you want a gentle, pH-balanced formula that won’t irritate your kitten’s skin, Hepper’s Colloidal Oatmeal Pet Shampoo is a great option. As a bonus, if your older cat has any skin irritations, they will also handle this shampoo easily.

    If you are looking for the most budget-friendly kitten shampoo, then the Frisco Hypoallergenic is the way to go. Generally, the words hypoallergenic and budget-friendly do not go together. With the Frisco, you can get a quality product designed for a sensitive cat at a great value. Considering you may never even use your kitten shampoo, this can be a great choice to have on hand, should an issue come up.

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    Featured Image Credit: KDdesignphoto, Pixabay

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