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Will Regular Cat Shampoo Kill Fleas? (Or Too Weak?)

If your cat has fleas you may be wondering if you can just use regular cat shampoo to sort the problem out…

Will regular cat shampoo kill fleas?

Regular cat shampoo can kill live fleas on your cat. However, this shampoo alone will not eradicate the entire flea problem. The chances are unless you treat it properly, they will just come back.

Mt Best Cat Shampoos

Name Image My Rating
01. TropiClean (Best Overall)
Papaya and Coconut Pet Shampoo
Click here for the price on Amazon #Ad
5 stars
02. Vet’s Best (Best Waterless)
No-Rinse Clean Waterless Cat Shampoo
Click here for the price on Amazon #Ad
03. Vet’s Best (Best Flea Treatment)
Flea & Tick Waterless Shampoo
Click for the price on Amazon #Ad

So, now you know. But, how often should you bathe your cat with fleas? What is the fastest way to get rid of fleas? What is the best cat shampoo? Keep reading for these answers, and much more…

How often should you bathe a cat with fleas?

You should bathe your cat with fleas at least once a month with a shampoo designed for cat fleas. This will help to stop the fleas from returning not just killing the live fleas on their body.

The problem is fleas lay eggs all over your home and if you just focus on the live ones on their body you will be caught in a vicious cycle of treating, them growing back, and on and on.

What is the fastest way to get rid of fleas on a cat?

One of the faster ways to get rid of fleas is using an oral cat flea treatment for cats (Click here to see the reviews, on Amazon #Ad). These get to work fast and eradicate the fleas if you have no time to waste.

Can I put baking soda on my cat for fleas?

Baking soda is not proven to get rid of cat fleas. It is better to use a purpose-made cat flea shampoo or use an oral flea treatment for fast effects.

The rumors of success with baking soda may have come from a combination of ingredients with baking soda not really doing much. And, the chances are it would have not got rid of the fleas for good.

Why does my indoor cat keep getting fleas?

Indoor cats can get fleas from several sources. For example, if you have a mouse problem (can the traps be dangerous for cats? click here) in your home, fleas can hop into your home from them and eventually end up on your cat.

Also, even though your cat is indoors it will inevitably be let out some time. For example, a trip t the vets, etc. On these rare occasions, your cat can pick up fleas from other animals, such as other dogs or cats.

What is the best Shampoo overall (Vet’s Best vs Tropiclean)?

This is the best shampoo overall (click here for the price on Amazon #Ad). The reason I like this is that it smells really nice, lathers up well, and has great ingredients.

Now that you know my overall best one. What about if you have a cat with fleas or just want a waterless shampoo instead? I got you covered, keep reading…

Why do you even need cat shampoo?

In general, cats do a great job of grooming themselves. They instinctively clean and groom their fur from as early as a kitten’s age. However, there are occasions when their normal grooming tactics, e.g. licking themselves, is not enough.

Sticky messes that are not to be licked

If your cat gets her fur in a big mess, such as getting paint, caked in mud, etc. Then ideally, you do not want your cat to go ahead and try and lick this off. Not only is it not practical, but it can also be a potential health risk, are you with me?

Health-Related Issues

Then there other issues like fleas, ticks, dandruff, etc. All of these issues cannot be resolved with your cat’s normal measures of just licking its fur.

Can’t you just use regular Shampoo?

You may be thinking to yourself, why the big fuss with Cat shampoo, I can just grab my own bottle of hair shampoo and be done with it, right?…


You can’t use normal, conventional hair shampoo on your poor kitty. But why?…

Simple, there are different PH levels in your shampoo, that just won’t work well with your cat. The PH levels in your shampoo at home is not compatible with your cat.

This is one of the reasons why there is cat-specific shampoo in the first place.

What should you be looking for?

In this section, I will give you an idea of important things to look out for before buying your cat shampoo.

Important Ingredients

Ideally, you want to look for a shampoo that has natural ingredients. This is a good sign of high quality and more quality for your cat’s skin & fur.

However, there are exceptions. If your cat has issues with fleas (more on this later), then you will need a shampoo that deals with this issue, that uses chemicals.

Chemicals to avoid

In general, there is a list of chemicals to look out for and avoid:

  • Petrochemicals
  • Sulfates
  • Parabens
  • and artificial dyes

Cats with sensitive skin

If your cat has issues with sensitive skin. Best to look out for specialist shampoos that deal with this. The reason being is, they have ingredients that cater to this issue in particular.

When I say “sensitive skin”, this includes other issues such as dandruff, itchy skin, etc.

My Best Cat Shampoo (Vet’s Best vs Tropiclean)

In this section, I will compare my best cat shampoos by Vet’s Best & Tropiclean. This will be based on overall best, best for flea treatment, and best waterless shampoo.

01. TropiClean Papaya and Coconut Pet Shampoo (Best Overall)

Click here for the price on Amazon #Ad


  • Smells great.
  • Great ingredients: Papya, coconut, etc. (Keeps fur soft).
  • 2-in-1: Shampoo & Conditioner (more value)


  • Smells good, but the smell does not last long.

Things I Like about this Tropiclean Papaya Shampoo…

First and full most, this shampoo smells great. You have to smell it to believe it. It will make your cat’s fur smell great. It lathers up well and has a great smell. This must be due to the great ingredients such as coconut, papaya, etc.

Another thing I like is the fact that it is not just shampoo, it also doubles up as a conditioner as well. Great value two in one product in my opinion.

Things I Do Not Like about this Cat Shampoo

My only gripe with this shampoo is the lastability of the smell. What do I mean? Well, it does smell great, no doubt about that. However, it doesn’t have that long-lasting lingering smell. After some time the smell wears off and you will need another shampoo. And, as you may know, it’s not good to shampoo your cat too much.

02. Vet’s Best No-Rinse Clean Waterless Cat Shampoo (Best Waterless)

Click here for the price on Amazon #Ad


  • Really easy to use.
  • Lovely light fragrance.
  • Helps with cat dandruff.
  • Has great natural ingredients.


  • The pump it comes with is not that effective.

Things I Like about this Vet’s Best Waterless Shampoo

I love the fact that it is really easy to use, childs play actually. I know this is subjective, but I love this smell. It is a lovely light fragrance, in my opinion.

It also helps with dandruff and the fact that it has natural ingredients, such as Aloe vera and oatmeal just adds to the appeal for me.

Things I Do Not Like about this Waterless shampoo.

It comes with a pump to funnel out the shampoo. However, maybe it’s just me, but, the pump is really not that great. It’s not a deal-breaker though, the worse case just apply it by hand.

03. Vet’s Best Flea & Tick Waterless Shampoo (Best Flea & Tick Treatment)

Click here for the price on Amazon #Ad


  • Gets rid of fleas & ticks.
  • Quick & easy to use.
  • Smells wonderful.
  • No added perfumes.


  • You need a lot to cover your cat.
  • Deals with fleas, but more will return.

Things I Like about this Vet’s Best Flea & Tick Shampoo

Firstly, it does the job. It will get rid of your cat’s fleas & ticks. Great! But there is more…

It’s really quick and easy to use and on top of this, it smells delicious. Well, I think so anyway! Also, it’s great to see they have achieved this great smell without loading the product with perfumes.

Things I Do Not Like about this Flea Shampoo

It does the job, as in it gets rid of the fleas that your cat may have. However, you may find that in time the fleas will return (what about the dirt? click here). I am not sure if this is the shampoo’s fault or not to be honest. But it does deal with the short-term issue at least.

Also, bear in mind, this is a waterless shampoo. Meaning you won’t be lathering it up with water. So what? Well, it means you will need a fair amount to fully cover your cat, are you with me?

Related Questions:

In this section, I will address some related questions about cat shampoo to help you. If you feel there are other questions you have, that are not covered, feel free to comment below and let me know.

Can you over-bathe your cat? Yes, you can over-bathe cats. Why? Because cats have natural oils in their fur that help to protect it. If you over bath them, it strips their body of these valuable oils.

If you want to have a general idea of what is classed as “over bathing” or what is acceptable, let me give you a guideline. Generally, long-haired cats can be bathed more than short-haired cats.

Long-haired cats should not be bathed more than once a week. As for short-haired cats. They can go months without a bath. In fact, some people don’t even bathe them. Really they only need a bath if they are covered in something unpleasant.

Can you use dog shampoo on cats? No, however tempting this may be, don’t do it. Dogs and cats have different needs. More importantly, they react to certain flea products differently from cats. These products are specially formulated with these reasons n mind. That is why it is not a good idea to mix them.

Lindsey Browlingdon