Dry, flaky skin is a fairly common issue for our feline friends. While there are a number of reasons why your cat may have dry skin, there are just as many solutions to get rid of it. It’s important that you learn what’s causing your cat’s dry skin so you can combat it in the best way possible.

In this article we explore the causes of dry skin in cats, as well as the benefits of using a cat shampoo made to moisturize dry, itchy skin. We break down the different types of cat shampoo for dry skin in order to help you make the best choice for your beloved kitty. We offer you a list of great cat shampoo recommendations to get your fur baby on the path to looking and feeling their best.

5 Benefits of Using a Cat Shampoo for Dry Skin

Dry, itchy skin can be extremely bothersome for cats. Constant scratching in an attempt to relieve their itching can even lead to worse skin problems. Bathing your cat with a shampoo for dry skin comes along with a variety of benefits:

  1. Specifically formulated to fight dryness: Cat shampoos for dry skin are made to specifically fight dry skin and irritation that comes along with it. They contain soothing ingredients such as oatmeal, shea butter, aloe vera and other natural elements to moisturize your cat’s skin.
  2. Can help heal skin from serious skin conditions: If an underlying issue caused your cat to have dry skin, a cat shampoo made for dry skin will aid the healing and recovery process.
  3. Calming properties: Some cat shampoos for dry skin contain healing elements such as lavender oil. Lavender will help relax anxious cats, and it will also help fight bacteria.
  4. Shine up their coat: A cat’s coat will often become dull when they have dry, itchy or irritated skin. By using a cat shampoo for dry skin, not only are you soothing the skin but you’re renewing their coat it’s natural luster.
  5. It’s simply healthy: The cat shampoos for dry skin on our list of recommendations will promote health and aid in healing your cat from a variety of ailments. When shampoos contain oatmeal, shea butter and/or aloe, you cat will begin looking and feeling like themselves again.

Causes of Dry Skin in Cats

There are a variety of reasons why your cat may have dry skin. Indications that your kitty is battling skin dryness include dandruff and flakiness. You cat might also be scratching at their skin or licking themselves more than usual. Some causes of dry skin in cats are:

  • Allergies, whether seasonal or environmental
  • Poor diet
  • Noticeable changes in the weather
  • Fleas or other parasites
  • Overgrooming or incessant self-grooming
  • Fungal or bacterial infections
  • Serious health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease or hypothyroidism
If you aren’t sure what is causing your cat’s dry skin or you think it may be worsening, we definitely recommend seeking veterinary attention.

5 Components to Look for in a Cat Shampoo for Dry Skin

It’s wonderful that cat parents have a multitude of excellent shampoos to choose from for cats with dry skin. Look into the following components before making your final choice:

  1. Main ingredients: A good cat shampoo for dry skin will contain ingredients such as oatmeal, shea butter, avocado oil, aloe vera and essential oils with healing properties. Look for these when purchasing a shampoo for your cat.
  2. Multi-animal use: Some shampoos can be used for all of the pets in your home, including small animals and horses! The labeling of the shampoo will clearly state which animals can benefit from the formula.
  3. Age range: While many cat shampoos for dry skin can be used on kitties of all ages, some are not appropriate for young kittens. You’ll want to check the labeling for this information.
  4. Medicated: Some shampoos are medicated to combat severe skin conditions. They will contain ingredients to fight fungal and bacterial infections.
  5. Flea and tick treatment: If you use a topical flea and tick treatment on your cat, be sure to double check if the shampoo you are considering for your cat won’t wash away the treatment.

Overall Best Cat Shampoo for Dry Skin

Earthbath Oatmeal and Aloe Fragrance Free Cat Shampoo

Key Benefits:

  • Won’t wash off flea and tick treatments
  • Re-moisturizes dry and scratched skin
  • Fragrance-free for sensitive cats
  • 100% biodegradable and paraben free

This Earthbath cat shampoo is specifically formulated for relieving dry and itchy skin. Plant-based cleansers, aloe and colloidal oatmeal work together to moisturize your cat’s skin and soothe it if your cat has been scratching and causing further irritation. Earthbath shampoo for dry skin will heal your kitty’s skin and offer relief so they stop scratching.

If your cat has allergies or skin sensitivities, Earthbath shampoo will be safe for them to use. It’s free of parabens, phosphate and added fragrances. Due to the helpful ingredients which heal and soothe, this cat shampoo for dry skin from Earthbath is our overall top pick. We also like that it’s 100% biodegradable and appropriate for cats and dogs, which adds an element of convenience to pet parenting.

Pros:

  • Fragrance-free for sensitive kitties
  • Free of parabens, phosphate and added fragrances
  • Won’t wash away topical flea and tick treatment
  • Plant-based cleansers, oatmeal and aloe soothe and heal dry skin
  • Appropriate for cats and dogs

Cons:

  • Not recommended for pets under 6 weeks of age
  • Some customers attest that this is not the best shampoo for cats with greasy coats

Virbac Epi-Soothe Shampoo

Key Benefits:

  • Helps alleviate itchiness from tough skin conditions
  • Soap-free formula derived from oat-grains
  • Reduces bacterial and yeast adhesion
  • Soothes and cleanses skin while controlling itching

Runner-Up Best Cat Shampoo for Dry Skin: Virbac Epi-Sooth cat shampoo helps moisturize extra-dry skin which is the result of harsher skin conditions such as dermatitis or bacterial infections. If your cat is experiencing excessive itching from other underlying health issues such as parasites or allergies, this shampoo will be a massive help! The soap-free, oat-grain formula will soothe your cat’s skin while cleaning and hydrating it.

This innovative shampoo for cats with dry skin is formulated with glycotechnology, which disrupts the process of bacteria and yeast attaching to and affecting your kitty’s skin and fur. Other ingredients will stop further irritation of the skin and soothe excessive dryness. We like that this shampoo continuously works to moisturize your cat’s skin even after application. It’s appropriate for all pets at any life stage.

Pros:

  • Combats excessively dry skin
  • Helps heal skin affected by serious dermatological issues
  • Great for any pet of any age
  • Soap-free to avoid further drying out of the skin
  • Formula continuously works to moisturize skin after bath time

Cons:

  • Some cat parents report that this shampoo has a thicker consistency which can be hard to lather

Paws & Pals Oatmeal, Shea Butter & Aloe Vera Shampoo

Key Benefits:

  • Made with all-natural, vegan ingredients
  • Relieves painfully dry skin
  • Formulated with veterinarian recommended ingredients
  • Tear-free formula

Best Budget-Friendly Cat Shampoo for Dry Skin: This Paws & Pals cat shampoo for dry skin contains all of the best moisturizing ingredients – oatmeal, shea butter and aloe vera. This blend of natural ingredients works to soothe irritated skin and hydrate dry, sensitive skin. The tear-free, soap-free shampoo will even detangle matted fur on long hair cats. Whether your cat has dry skin due to fleas, allergies or dander, Paws & Pals shampoo can help your kitty feel like themselves again.

If you have cats and dogs in your home, you can use this shampoo for both species! It’s 100% natural and non-toxic. Other helpful ingredients in the shampoo include coconut oil and jojoba to promote rejuvenation of your cat’s skin and coat. You can purchase a large 20z bottle of Paws & Pals shampoo for cats with dry skin for only $13!

Pros:

  • 100% all-natural and non-toxic
  • Relieves excessively dry and itchy skin
  • Tear and irritant-free
  • Excellent for cats and dogs
  • Cost-effective

Cons:

  • May not be strong enough to address more serious skin conditions

More Top Cat Shampoos for Dry Skin

NaturVet Aller 911 Allergy Aid Skin Care Plus Aloe Vera Cat Shampoo

If your cat has dry skin due to seasonal allergies, we recommend this cat shampoo from NaturVet. It cleans your cat but also adds moisture to their dry, itchy skin through the use of aloe vera. You can use this shampoo daily to assist with hydrating your cat’s dry skin without stripping their coat of natural oils. Using this NaturVet cat shampoo for dry skin will leave your kitty’s skin feeling soft and their coat looking lustrous! This cat shampoo is made in the USA and can be used on your canine friends also.

Particular Paws Oatmeal Cat Shampoo

This cat shampoo from Particular Paws will restore the skin’s natural oils while relieving their dry, itchy skin. Ingredients such as oatmeal, shea butter and aloe vera will improve the texture of your kitty’s coat and promote health skin. If your cat has dandruff, flaking or hives due to dry skin, this cat shampoo will help! It doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals. It’s made from 100% safe, natural and non-toxic ingredients. After using Particular Paws oatmeal cat shampoo, your cat’s skin will be feeling and looking healthy and smooth!

Gerrard Larriett Aromatherapy Pet Care De-Stress Cat Shampoo

If your cat experiences stress during bath time, or has anxiety to due outside issues, this calming shampoo may be a great choice for you! Lavender oil works alongside aloe vera and chamomile to rehydrate your kitty’s dry skin while soothing and calming them. Lavender not only contains calming properties but it also fights against bacteria. This shampoo will be helpful to combat dry, itchy skin, and it will even help heal if your cat has a more serious issue like dermatitis. You can use this aromatherapy shampoo for cats and dogs with dry skin.

Bodhi Dog Waterless Lemongrass Dry Shampoo

We had to include a high-quality, waterless cat shampoo on our list! This one from Bodhi Dog is made with natural lemongrass extract to instantly deodorize your cat and moisturize their dry skin. It’s hypoallergenic, so it is safe for your cat with allergies, asthma or sensitive skin. This dry shampoo is formulated to clean your cat’s skin and fur while effectively leaving it hydrated and soft. You can use this waterless cat shampoo on other pets in your home such as dogs, ferrets and guinea pigs! It’s appropriate for all species at any life stage.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How can I soothe my cat’s itchy skin? – Using one of the shampoos that we recommended for your cat’s dry skin will help soothe their skin and keep it hydrated. Elements like oatmeal, shea butter and aloe vera help to rejuvenate the skin and rid it of irritation so your cat will stop scratching at their fur. In between baths you can use a waterless spray for cats with dry skin, or purchase a cat-specific lotion.
  • What can I do for my cat’s dry skin? – Brushing your cat weekly will help avoid dry skin irritation. Regular baths with a shampoo for cats with dry skin will assist in keeping your kitty’s skin and coat healthy, renewed and free of irritation. You can also use a moisturizing spray made for cats to keep their coat moisturized between baths and brushing. Make sure you don’t use a human shampoo or human lotion on your cat, as it can exacerbate the itching and dryness.
  • What can I do outside of bathing to help my cat’s dry skin? – Aside from shampoos, rinses and wipes, there are a few other solutions you can look into to relieve your cat’s dry skin. You can upgrade their diet to a more high-quality food, you can consider special feline supplements, you can make households changes such as adding a humidifier, or you may need to look into a prescription medication. We always recommend seeking veterinary attention for the best feline care advice.

Conclusion

Dry skin in cats is common and easily treatable through regular grooming and using products like a cat shampoo for dry skin. Thankfully there are seemingly endless options out there to help you get the relief that your cat deserves. We’re confident that the shampoos in our list of recommendations will moisturize, soothe and rejuvenate your cat’s delicate skin.

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