The best medicated cat shampoo you can buy

  • Medicated cat shampoo needs prolonged contact with the skin to provide the maximum benefit.
  • It may be tricky getting your cat to stay in the tub for 10 minutes, but giving the shampoo time to soak in will provide your cat with relief from irritating symptoms like itching and inflammation.
  • With powerful active ingredients like chlorhexidine and climbazole, our top pick for the best medicated shampoo for cats is Douxo Chlorhexidine PS Shampoo.
  • In addition to soothing itching, irritation, and dryness, this shampoo tackles bacterial and fungal skin infections and protects the skin against moisture loss.

The average cat spends about half of his waking hours grooming himself. Not only does grooming remove dirt, dust, and other debris from the cat's coat, but it also helps distribute the natural oils secreted by the skin to keep the cat's coat shiny and soft. Because cats spend so much of their time grooming, it hardly seems necessary to bathe a cat. There are, however, times when your cat can benefit from a good bath.

Your cat probably doesn't need shampoo and conditioner to keep his coat clean, but there are certain skin issues best treated with medicated shampoo. Medicated shampoo for cats can be used to treat bacterial skin infections, yeast infections, and other issues like skin allergies and dandruff.

If your cat is suffering from one of these skin conditions, talk to your veterinarian about the best medicated shampoo to treat the problem at hand.

If you've never bathed your cat before, you may be wondering where to even start looking for an everyday cat shampoo, let alone a medicated formula. Shampoo for cats is easy to find online, but the sheer volume of options can make it difficult to choose. Lucky for you, we've done the research to bring you our top picks for the best medicated shampoo for cats in different categories.

Here is the best medicated cat shampoo you can buy in 2019:

Keep scrolling to check out our top picks.

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The best overall

The best overall
With powerful active ingredients like chlorhexidine and climbazole, Douxo Chlorhexidine PS Shampoo tackles bacterial and fungal skin infections as well as other common skin problems such as itching, irritation, and dryness.

Occasional scratching is nothing to worry about, but if your cat is scratching more than usual, it could be a sign of a skin problem. Other signs of skin problems in cats include excessive grooming, bald patches, dandruff, greasy coat, and redness.

Because these problems have many potential underlying causes, you should take your cat to the vet for an accurate diagnosis. Your vet will be able to determine the best treatment for any underlying infections or related health problems and may suggest a medicated shampoo to relieve physical symptoms.

Our top pick for the best medicated shampoo for cats is Douxo Chlorhexidine PS Shampoo for Dogs & Cats. This shampoo uses active ingredients like chlorhexidine and climbazole to control bacteria and fungi populations while also addressing skin problems like irritation, allergies, and hair loss.

It contains moisturizing agents to soothe and repair dry, itchy skin with lipacid to help restore the skin's natural protective barrier. The shampoo has phytosphingosine-salicyloyl, a modified pro-ceramide, in it that offers anti-inflammatory and anti-seborrheic benefits.

Pros: Works for a variety of skin conditions, antifungal and antibacterial benefits, restores the skin's natural protective barrier, contains moisturizing agents to soothe itchy skin

Cons: May require repeated applications for maximum benefit, contains some artificial fragrance

Buy Douxo Chlorhexidine PS Shampoo for Dogs & Cats on Amazon for $14.80

The best for skin allergies

The best for skin allergies
Earthbath All-Natural Oatmeal & Aloe Shampoo contains natural moisturizers like colloidal oatmeal and aloe to soothe dry, itchy skin with coconut-based cleansers to clean and deodorize.

Your cat's skin is covered by a protective layer of fur, but it can be just as sensitive as your own skin. Cats can develop skin allergies to anything from dust and pollen to parasites, food ingredients, and even certain types of fabric.

The most common symptoms of skin allergies in cats are itching, scratching, dry or flaky skin, hair loss, skin odor, and scabs or red patches. The longer your cat's skin allergies go untreated, the worse these symptoms will get, and your cat may also develop secondary bacterial or fungal infections.

Our top pick for the best medicated cat shampoo for skin allergies is Earthbath All-Natural Oatmeal & Aloe Shampoo. Made entirely with natural ingredients, this formula is 100% biodegradable and free from soap, sulfates, and parabens.

It contains natural moisturizing agents like colloidal oatmeal and aloe to soothe your cat's dry, itchy skin with coconut-based cleansers to clean and deodorize his coat. This formula comes in a light, refreshing vanilla and almond scent or you can purchase the formula fragrance-free.

Pros: All-natural ingredients, scented or fragrance-free, 100% biodegradable, free from soap and sulfates, concentrated formula, relieves dryness and itching

Cons: Some customers disliked the scented formula

Buy Earthbath All-Natural Oatmeal & Aloe Shampoo on Amazon for $14.25

The best for bacterial skin infections

The best for bacterial skin infections
With three powerful active ingredients, PetMD Benzoyl Peroxide Medicated Shampoo offers antibacterial, antiseptic, and anti-seborrheic properties to relieve itching, scaling, and greasiness in your cat's coat.

When your cat's skin is scratched or cut, there is an increased risk of infection. Primary bacterial skin infections are fairly uncommon in cats, but they can develop when the skin is already injured due to intense scratching due to allergies or other skin problems.

Symptoms of bacterial skin infections in cats include itching, crusted skin, hair loss, pustules, and raised lesions. Depending on the underlying cause of the infection, your veterinarian may recommend oral antibiotics with topical medication or medicated shampoo to address physical symptoms.

Our top pick for the best medicated shampoo for bacterial skin infections is PetMD Benzoyl Peroxide Medicated Shampoo. This shampoo features three active ingredients: benzoyl peroxide for its antibacterial and anti-seborrheic action, sulphur for its antiseptic properties, and salicylic acid to lower skin pH.

Free from soap and parabens, this shampoo contains skin moisturizers, deodorizers, and degreasers to remove scales and excess oils from the coat, leaving your cat smelling fresh and clean.

Pros: Three powerful active ingredients, relieves itching and scaling, cleans and degreases the coat, antibacterial and antiseptic properties, soap- and paraben-free

Cons: Some users found the scent too strong, may require repeated applications at first

Buy PetMD Benzoyl Peroxide Medicated Shampoo on Amazon for $19.95

The best for yeast infections

The best for yeast infections
Featuring chlorhexidine and ketoconazole as the active ingredients, Curaseb Chlorhexidine Medicated Shampoo tackles a variety of skin problems including yeast infections, ringworm, and pyoderma.

You may not realize it, but Malassezia pachydermatis yeast cells are naturally present on your cat's skin at any given time. Yeast cells tend to occur in small numbers in the ears, around the anus, and in the vaginas of female cats.

When the immune system becomes weakened, those yeast cells can multiply rapidly, causing skin symptoms such as redness, inflammation, itching, and scaling. Yeast infections may also lead to increased oil production in the skin and patches of hair loss or hyperpigmentation.

The ultimate goal of treating a yeast infection is to reduce the number of yeast cells and resolve physical symptoms of the infection. Our pick for the best medicated cat shampoo for yeast infections is Curaseb Chlorhexidine Medicated Shampoo.

This shampoo features several powerful active ingredients, including chlorhexidine and ketoconazole, to treat a broad spectrum of fungal, bacterial, and yeast infections. It also cleans and deodorizes your cat's skin and coat, leaving behind a refreshing cucumber melon scent.

Pros: Chlorhexidine and ketoconazole active ingredients, works against yeast and bacteria, cleans and deodorizes the skin, made in the USA, free from soap and parabens

Cons: May not lather as much as some shampoos, ink on the bottle tends to bleed, contains some artificial fragrance

Buy Curaseb Chlorhexidine Medicated Shampoo on Amazon for $15.95

The best for fleas and ticks

The best for fleas and ticks
Not only does Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with Precor kill fleas and ticks on contact, but it contains an insect growth regulator to prevent eggs and larvae from developing for a full 30 days of continuous protection.

Cats are less likely to get Lyme disease than dogs, but they are still susceptible to other tick-borne diseases like cytauxzoonosis. A heavy tick infestation can also lead to blood loss severe enough to cause anemia, particularly in kittens.

Fleas are more of a nuisance than an immediate threat to your cat's health, but they cause intense itching and scratching. If your cat scratches too much, he could damage the skin and open himself to a secondary bacterial infection or other skin problems.

The best way to protect your cat against fleas and ticks is with a topical preventive or flea collar. If your cat already has a flea or tick problem, however, you'll need to bathe him with medicated shampoo to kill the existing fleas or ticks as well as their eggs and larvae.

Our top pick for the best medicated cat shampoo for fleas and ticks is Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with Precor. This shampoo contains active ingredients to kill fleas, ticks, and lice as well as an insect growth regulator to kill eggs and larvae. It also contains natural ingredients to soothe itchy, irritated skin like aloe, lanolin, oatmeal, and coconut extract.

Pros: Works quickly to kill fleas and ticks, contains insect growth regulator to protect against reinfestation for 30 days, cleans and deodorizes the skin and coat, affordable price

Cons: Chemical ingredients may irritate sensitive skin, strong smell may bother some cats, not for kittens under 12 weeks old

Buy Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with Precor on Amazon for $9.79
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