bathing a kitten

Best Kitten Shampoo: Our Top Picks

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One of the most important things you can do for kittens is to keep them clean. With the right shampoo bathing a kitten can be a snap but with the wrong shampoo it can be messy mayhem. In this article, we will be discussing the best kitten shampoo based on reviews and top picks.

First on our list is Hepper Colloidal Oatmeal Pet Shampoo, which has been rated as the best overall kitten shampoo with a score of 4.8 out of 5 by real customers. This shampoo is made with natural ingredients and is gentle on your kitten’s skin. It is perfect for all kittens, even those with sensitive skin.

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Our second choice is Pro Pet Works All Natural Organic Oatmeal Pet Shampoo. It is also made with natural ingredients and is popular for kittens and other pets of all ages.

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If you’re looking for a shampoo that is specifically designed for kittens, Arm & Hammer Tearless Kitten Shampoo is a great choice. This shampoo is gentle and tearless, making it perfect for your little one.

Other top picks include Burt’s Bees for Kittens, Top Performance Baby Powder Pet Shampoo (great for removing stains too) and Pawtitas Dog and Cat Shampoo and Conditioner (if you are looking for a certified organic option).

Is Kitten Shampoo Essential?

Yes, we think so! After all, taking care of a kitten involves more than just providing food and water. Grooming is an essential part of keeping your kitten healthy and happy. That includes giving them regular baths with kitten shampoo! 

Here are four good reasons why kitten shampoo is essential:

pH Balance

Kittens have a different pH balance than us humans and other pets, so it’s critical to find a shampoo specifically formulated for kittens. Using human shampoo or even dog shampoo can cause skin irritation and dryness, which can lead to discomfort and even skin infections. Kitten shampoos are pH balanced to match the natural acidity of a kitten’s skin. This helps keep their skin healthy and moisturized.

Gentle Formulas

Kitten shampoos are specially formulated to be gentle on a kitten’s sensitive skin. They are free from harsh chemicals like phthalates, sulfates, soaps, and synthetic dyes, which are leading causes of kitten skin irritation and dryness. Instead, kitten shampoos contain moisturizing ingredients like aloe vera and oatmeal, which help soothe and nourish a kitten’s skin.

Preventing Fleas and Ticks

Regular baths with kitten shampoo will help prevent fleas and ticks from infesting your kitten. As you know, fleas and ticks can cause a host of health problems — including skin irritation, anemia, and other serious diseases. Look for kitten shampoos that contain natural flea and tick repellents like neem oil and citronella as these will repel those nasty parasites.

Bonding Time

Giving your kitten a bath can be a great bonding experience for you too. It allows you to spend quality time with your kitten, and it can help them get used to being handled and groomed. This can make handling your kitten much easier too for trips to the vet, pet sitter, or groomer.

Kitten bathing with an appropriate shampoo plays an important role in keeping your kitten healthy and happy. Using a pH-balanced, gentle kitten formula, is key to keeping your kitten’s skin moist, healthy, and not irritated. Regular baths with kitten shampoo can also help prevent fleas and ticks and provide a great bonding experience for you and your kitten.

gorgeous kitten sitting under a woolen blanket

Kitten Skin and Fur

Taking care of your kitten’s health means starting with the kitten’s skin and fur. Kittens have delicate skin that frequently needs special attention and care. Understanding the characteristics of kitten skin and fur can help you choose the best shampoo for your feline friend.

Kitten Skin

Kitten skin is thinner and more sensitive than tougher adult cat skin. This means that it’s easier for kittens to get irritated or injured. Kittens also have a higher body surface area to volume ratio, which means that they lose heat more quickly than adult cats.

Common skin problems that kittens may experience include dryness, flakiness, and itchiness. These problems can be caused by a variety of factors like poor nutrition, allergies, or parasites.

It’s important to use a shampoo that is gentle and moisturizing. Look for shampoos that contain natural ingredients like oatmeal and aloe vera, which can soothe and hydrate the skin.

Kitten Fur

As you know, kitten fur is soft and fluffy. But, sometimes it can get tangled and matted. This is because kittens have a thick undercoat which often becomes a mess if not cleaned and brushed regularly.

In addition to regular brushing, it’s important to get a shampoo that can help detangle and smoothen your kitten’s fur. Shop for shampoos that contain ingredients like special proteins or coconut oil, which nourish and protect the hair.

It’s really important to use a shampoo that is pH-balanced for young cats. This will help to maintain the natural acidity of your kitten’s skin and hair which, in turn, prevents dryness and irritation.

Taking care of your kitten’s skin and fur is an important part of keeping them healthy and happy. By using the correct shampoo and doing routine grooming you can help your kitten look and feel their best.

Ingredients All Kitten Shampoos Should Have

When buying shampoo for your kitten, it is important to know what special ingredients to check the label for. 

Here are three key ingredients to look for:

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is a natural ingredient derived from Aloe, a desert succulent plant. This gel-like compound is known for its soothing properties. When applied to the skin and fur, Aloe can help relieve dryness, itching, and inflammation on your kitten’s skin. Also, Aloe Vera moisturizes and nourishes the skin so that your kitten’s coat looks shiny and feels soft and healthy.


Good old Oatmeal (Yummy) is another natural ingredient that’s commonly found in kitten shampoos. Known for its ability to soothe and protect the skin, it’s a great choice for kittens with sensitive or inflamed skin. Oatmeal is a multi-purpose ingredient. It helps relieve itching and irritation and provides gentle cleansing.


Chamomile is a gentle, natural herbal ingredient derived from the Daisy-related Chamomile flowering plant that helps soothe and calm your kitten’s skin. It is often used in kitten shampoos because of its anti-inflammatory properties to reduce skin redness and irritation. Also, Chamomile helps to moisturize and condition the kitten’s skin.

When you’re shopping for a kitten shampoo, look for products that contain these gentle, natural ingredients. Never buy or use shampoos on your kitten that contain harsh chemicals or artificial fragrances, because these can irritate your kitten’s delicate skin leading to an infection. Use a gentle, natural shampoo, and your kitten’s skin and coat will be healthy and beautiful.

Ingredients to Avoid in Kitten Shampoo

When shopping for a kitten shampoo, it’s important that you understand the listed ingredients on the label. Some ingredients can be too harsh and potentially harmful to your kitten’s sensitive skin. 

Here are some commonly found ingredients in kitten shampoo that you should avoid:

Artificial Fragrances

Artificial fragrances might smell nice but they can severely irritate your kitten’s skin and cause allergic reactions. Buy shampoos that list natural fragrances like essential oils instead.


Parabens are chemical preservatives commonly used in human cosmetics and personal care products. While they may be okay for human use (no one really knows), some parabens have been linked to hormonal disruptions and other health concerns in pets. They should never be used on pets of any age or kind. Only buy paraben-free kitten shampoos to avoid this risk of harm to your kitten.


Sulfates are surfactants that create lather and help to remove dirt and oil from the skin and coat. However, they can strip the skin of its natural oils leading to dryness and irritation. Look for sulfate-free shampoos that use gentler surfactants like coco betaine or decyl glucoside.

By avoiding these harsh surfactants, you can help keep your kitten’s skin and coat healthy and itch-free.

Top 5 Kitten Shampoos

Selecting the right shampoo is essential to taking proper care of your kitten. With so many products on the market it can be hard to pick the best one for your little furball. To help you out, we’re listing the top five kitten shampoos for you.  

  1. Arm & Hammer Tearless Kitten Shampoo

One of the best kitten shampoos on the market is Arm & Hammer Tearless Kitten Shampoo. This shampoo is formulated with kitten-approved ingredients including almond scent, oatmeal, and baking soda. It is free from harsh chemical irritants like phthalates, sulfates, soaps, and synthetic dyes, making it gentle and safe for your kitten. This shampoo is pH balanced so that it won’t dry out your kitten’s skin.

  1. Burt’s Bees for Kittens Natural Tearless Shampoo

Another excellent choice is Burt’s Bees for Kittens Natural Tearless Shampoo. This shampoo is made with the highest quality of natural ingredients (99.7%!), including real buttermilk. This kitten shampoo is totally free from harsh chemicals, making it ideal for kittens with sensitive skin. It is also tear-free, so you won’t have to worry about any discomfort or irritation during bath time. This shampoo is gentle enough to use on a regular basis, every 4 – 6 weeks or as needed, so your kitten’s coat is always soft and shiny.

  1. John Paul Pet Tearless Odor Absorbing Shampoo

John Paul Pet Tearless Odor Absorbing Shampoo is a popular choice among pet owners for its all-natural tearless and low pH formula. It is made with quality ingredients that soothe and moisturize your kitten’s skin. This shampoo is made in the USA from all-natural botanical extracts and is free from sulfates, parabens, and artificial fragrances. It is gentle and safe enough for your kitty but strong enough for dirty puppies and adult dogs and cats.

  1. Breezytail PetO’Cera Cat Shampoo

For kittens with particularly sensitive skin, Breezytail PetO’Cera Cat Shampoo is a great choice. This shampoo is designed by a company that has an honest love of all pets. It is a gentle blend of eleven natural botanicals in a tear-free formula that won’t irritate your kitten’s eyes or skin. It contains all natural ingredients in a pH balanced formula that will soothe and calm your kitten during bath time. This vet approved shampoo is free of sulfates, phthalates, and artificial fragrances so it is safe for kittens with allergies or skin sensitivities.

  1. Vet’s Best Waterless Cat Bath

Last but not least, Vet’s Best Waterless Cat Bath is a top-rated kitten shampoo that is gentle and effective. This shampoo is made with a blend of natural ingredients, including Neem oil, Aloe Vera, and Oatmeal which help moisturize and nourish your kitten’s skin and coat. This shampoo is pH balanced, ensuring that it won’t dry out your kitten’s skin or coat. It is also free from harsh chemicals and synthetic fragrances, making it safe yet an excellent shampoo for kittens with sensitive skin. 

Choosing the right kitten shampoo is necessary for maintaining your kitten’s health and overall happiness. By utilizing any of the brands listed here, you can find the perfect shampoo for your friendly little feline.

a wet kitten being dried in a warm towel

How to Shampoo Your Kitten

Shampooing your kitten can be a challenging task to say the least! But, with the right approach, a heaping measure of patience, and the proper techniques, you can make it a stress-free and enjoyable experience for both you and your kitten. Here are some tips on how to shampoo your kitten:

Step 1: Choose the Right Shampoo

Using a good kitten shampoo is critical for your kitten’s coat to be clean, healthy, and free from all irritants. Look for a shampoo that is specifically formulated for kittens and is gentle on their delicate skin. Don’t use human shampoos or those that contain harsh chemicals, as they can cause your kitten to suffer skin irritation and dryness.

Step 2: Prepare the Bathing Area

Before you start bathing your kitten, make sure that everything you need is within reach. Lukewarm water is best — never use hot or cold water — and have a soft, dry towel nearby to gently rub your kitten dry after the bath.

Step 3: Wet Your Kitten’s Coat

Gently wet your kitten’s coat with the lukewarm water — be careful not to get water in the kitty’s eyes, ears, or nose. Use a cup or a handheld shower to wet the kitty’s coat thoroughly.

Step 4: Apply Shampoo

Squirt or pour a small amount of shampoo on your kitten’s back and gently massage it in, starting from their neck and working your way down the legs, across the ribs, to their tail, and finally to the rear end. Be mindful not to get shampoo in their eyes, ears, nose, or mouth.

Step 5: Rinse Thoroughly

Thoroughly rinse your kitten’s coat with lukewarm water, making sure to remove all the shampoo. Repeat the rinsing process until the shampoo is totally gone.

Step 6: Dry Your Kitten

Gently wrap your kitten in a soft, clean towel and pat them dry. Avoid rubbing them vigorously, as this can damage their coat and cause tangles. You can use a hairdryer on the lowest setting to dry their coat, but make sure not to get too close to their skin so you don’t burn your kitten.

(Remember to always use a kitten-approved shampoo, never use a human shampoo or harsh soap, and to be gentle and patient with your kitten.)

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should I Shampoo My Kitten?

It is generally recommended that you shampoo your kitten once every four to eight weeks or as needed. If your kitten gets especially dirty or has a skin condition, you may need to shampoo him or her more often. 

Can I Use Human Shampoo?

No, never. It is not recommended to use any human shampoo on your kitten. Human skin has a different pH than kitten skin, and using human shampoo can cause irritation and excessive dryness. Additionally, many human shampoos contain ingredients that are toxic to cats, like tea tree oil.

What If My Kitten Has Sensitive Skin?

If your kitten has sensitive skin, or hates getting wet, it is important to buy a kitten shampoo that is specifically formulated for the kitten’s needs like the Vet’s Best listed above. 

Best Kitten Shampoo

Always look for pet shampoos that are suitable for kittens and that are free of harsh chemicals and fragrances, and that contain soothing ingredients such as Aloe Vera or oatmeal. It is also a good idea to test the shampoo on a small area of your kitten’s skin before using it all over, to make sure they don’t have an allergic reaction. 

Now that you have reviewed the pick of the best kitten shampoo, you can make an informed decision on which product to buy for your kitten. Each of the shampoos listed above has its own unique qualities and benefits, so it’s important to consider your kitten’s specific needs before making a purchase.

For a budget-friendly shampoo that still provides excellent cleaning power, the Arm & Hammer Tearless Sweet Almond Kitten Shampoo is a great choice. This shampoo uses the power of baking soda to eliminate unpleasant odors from your kitten’s coat without irritating their skin or eyes.

No matter which pet shampoo you choose, it’s important to use it properly for the best results. Be sure to follow the label instructions and avoid getting shampoo or water in your kitten’s sensitive areas. When you choose the best kitten shampoo and provide the proper bathing care, your kitten can enjoy a clean, healthy coat that’s free from parasites and bad odors.

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