The Best Waterless Cat Shampoo

By Lynnae Williams Feb 1, 2023

You've probably noticed your cat spends a lot of time grooming themselves. While cats tend to be tidy animals, they can use a little assistance staying clean. That's when waterless cat shampoos come in handy. These formulations help freshen up your cat's coat and mask unpleasant odors between regular bathtimes. With so many waterless cat shampoos on the market, finding the right one is often difficult. To help you with your search, we've rounded up some of the best the internet offers.

This waterless cat shampoo from Vet’s Best is formulated with natural plant-based ingredients, including aloe vera, neem oil, vitamin E, and oatmeal. These ingredients not only thoroughly clean your cat’s coat, but they also soothe dry, itchy skin, leaving your feline friend smelling fresh and their skin healthy. The formula is easy to use. Simply apply it to your cat’s fur and massage it into their body. It doesn’t end there; the shampoo leaves the coat feeling soft and fluffy and shouldn’t interfere with topical flea or tick control products. 


  • Made with a calming peppermint scent
  • Won’t remove topical flea and tick treatments
  • Formulated by veterinarians
  • Helps soothe dry, itchy skin


  • Not suitable for kittens under 12 weeks old

Burt’s Bees Fresh Skin Waterless Cat Shampoo

Made with apple and honey, this cruelty-free waterless cat shampoo from Burt’s Bees is formulated with 99.7% natural ingredients and contains no sulfates or artificial colorants. The apple helps nourish your cat’s coat, while the honey gives it a beautiful shine. Moreover, it’s pH balanced and gentle on the skin. The formula is quick and easy to use; just spritz your kitty from head to toe, then brush the shampoo through their coat. 


  • Formulated without  sulfate, dyes, harsh chemicals, or artificial fragrances
  • Cruelty-free, never tested on animals
  • Leaves coats with a beautiful shine
  • Packed with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids


  • Only available in one size

Wahl Moisturizing Waterless Cat Shampoo

If you’re looking for a budget, waterless shampoo that you can use on your cat and dog, look no further than this product from Wahl. The formula’s chamomile and lavender extracts are known for their calming properties and naturally cleaning, conditioning, and moisturizing animal coats. As if that weren’t enough, it’s hypoallergenic and helps soothe dry skin, itching, and other skin conditions. Even better, its neutral pH and toxin-free ingredients won’t harm your furry friends.


  • Lavender can work as a natural flea repellant 
  • Gentles on your cat’s skin
  • Alcohol and paraben fee
  • Suitable for cats, dogs, and horses


  • The dispenser is difficult to use 

John Paul Pet Soothing Waterless Cat Shampoo

This waterless shampoo uses a combination of pure oatmeal, chamomile, sweet almond oil, and aloe to gently clean and condition your cat’s coat. The unique formula penetrates deeply into your cat’s skin to help eliminate oil and dirt build-up, leaving your cat’s fur shiny and healthy. All you have to do is apply the foam directly to your cat’s coat and use a brush or comb to spread it all over their body. It’s a painless process that’ll help keep your cat fresh and clean.


  • Lifts dirt from the skin and fur for easy removal with a brush or comb 
  • Contains moisturizing aloe, oatmeal, and sweet almond oil
  • Highly concentrated, so you can use less than other brands
  • Doesn’t irritate sensitive skin


  • The scent only lasts for about a day 

Furminator Super Shine Waterless Cat Shampoo

If your cat suffers from chronic hairballs, Furminator’s waterless shampoo will help stop them before they start. It also reduces shedding and does it all without rinsing. The formula contains a blend of omega fatty acids and plant proteins, which work together to leave your cat’s fur healthy and skin hydrated. We especially like that it’s suitable for kittens over six weeks old.


  • Free of parabens and chemical dyes 
  • Plant-based formula
  • Helps reduce hairballs and shedding
  • Rich in omega fatty acids and plant proteins


  •  Strong scent

Frequently Asked Questions

How often can I use waterless shampoo on my cat?

It depends on the ingredients used in the shampoo, so reading the labels is essential. Some shampoos contain mild ingredients, making them suitable for daily use, while others have ingredients that should only be used sparingly. Since cats love to lick themselves, they could end up ingesting the ingredients in the shampoo. If you have any questions, get in touch with the manufacturer.

How do I apply waterless shampoo to my cat?

Waterless shampoo is typically applied directly to your cat’s coat, and then a damp cloth or brush is used to get it into the fur. You won’t wash off the shampoo after applying, so it’s essential that the shampoo is made with safe ingredients.

About the Author

Lynnae grew up with pets all her life, so she has firsthand experience on how to best take care of your favorite companions. This teacher by day and writer by night has a mission to make sure all pets have what they need to live long and healthy lives.

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