Quick and Convenient: 6 Best Waterless Cat Shampoos

While cats are generally adept at grooming themselves, there are instances where they may require some assistance. This could be due to getting into a messy situation or experiencing health issues that impede their grooming abilities, such as injuries. Additionally, kittens may need extra help in maintaining cleanliness. Learning how to bathe your cat can also have behavioral benefits as it familiarizes them with being handled, preparing them for future visits to the vet or groomer.

However, there are times when you need to quickly freshen up your cat or address unpleasant odors between regular bathing sessions. In such cases, a dry shampoo can be a convenient solution.

Our top recommendation for waterless cat shampoo is the WAHL Waterless No-Rinse Cat Shampoo. It features natural ingredients and a concentrated formula that can effectively spruce up your cat with just one pump of foam. However, there are other specialized cat shampoos available that may work even better for your particular feline’s cleaning needs.

Best Waterless Cat Shampoos

Best Overall – WAHL Waterless No-Rinse Cat Shampoo

The Wahl Waterless No-Rinse Oatmeal Pet Shampoo is a convenient option for cleaning cats between baths or when bathing is not possible. It is formulated without parabens or alcohol, making it gentle on a cat’s skin and fur without causing stinging or dryness. The dry shampoo contains moisturizing oatmeal extract and has a light coconut lime verbena fragrance.

The shampoo’s pH-balanced and softening formula helps relieve irritated skin by gently loosening dry flaking skin, dandruff, and loose fur, making grooming easier. The bottle comes with a foam applicator that produces a lather for easy application. Generally, one pump of foam is enough to fully bathe an adult cat. To use, you pump the foam into your hand, apply it evenly throughout your cat’s fur, then dry thoroughly with a towel and brush the fur. Afterward, your cat will have a clean and fresh coconut lime scent.


  • Foam applicator produces a lather for easy cleaning.
  • Free of alcohol and parabens.
  • Oatmeal formula helps exfoliate and smooth damaged skin.


  • Available in only one size and scent.
  • Some users found they needed more than one pump to adequately clean their cat.

Best Spray – Burt’s Bees Waterless Shampoo for Cats

Burt’s Bees Dry Shampoo is a gentle option for cleaning your cat’s fur without the need for water. It is formulated without sulfates, phthalates, petroleum, added dyes, or synthetic fragrance, making it safe and gentle for your cat’s skin. The dry shampoo contains honey, which adds luster to the coat, and apple, known for its nourishing and moisturizing properties for the skin.

To use this waterless shampoo, you simply spray it onto your cat’s fur and then comb it through thoroughly. The shampoo leaves your cat smelling fresh and relaxed until their next washing.


  • Never tested on animals and cruelty-free.
  • Enhances the shine of the coat.
  • Works well when paired with brushing.


  • Not safe for use around the eyes.
  • Only available in one scent and size.

Best for Hairballs/Shedding – FURminator deShedding Rinse-Free Cat Shampoo

The FURminator deShedding Rinse-Free Cat Shampoo is a dry shampoo that helps prevent hairballs by reducing shedding in cats. It is designed to be used in combination with brushing for optimal results. The formula is enriched with omega fatty acids, plant proteins, calendula, chamomile, aloe vera, and papaya extracts.

To use this shampoo, you work the foam into your cat’s coat, brush them down, and then towel dry.


  • Free from parabens or chemical dyes.
  • Cruelty-free.
  • Pairs well with brushing for maximum effectiveness.
  • Available in a wide range of sizes.


  • Not safe for use on kittens.
  • Should be used in combination with brushing for best results.
  • Can leave the coat feeling slightly greasy immediately after application.

Best for Fleas – Vet’s Best Waterless Cat Shampoo

The Vet’s Best Waterless Flea & Tick Cat Shampoo is a convenient and easy-to-use anti-flea foam for cats and kittens aged 12 weeks and older. It is a waterless shampoo that does not require rinsing and is designed to effectively combat fleas, flea eggs, and flea larvae. The formula includes natural peppermint oil and eugenol derived from clove plants, providing a plant-based solution for flea control.

While the product is generally safe when used as directed, it’s important to note that some cats can be sensitive to the chemicals in the shampoo. Close monitoring of the cat during and after use is recommended. It’s crucial to keep the shampoo away from the cat’s eyes, nose, mouth, and genitals. It’s also important to read and follow the instructions carefully. Additionally, the product should be kept away from human eyes, and hands should be thoroughly washed after use.


  • Targets fleas, eggs, and larvae.
  • Naturally calming peppermint smell.
  • Effective against ticks as well.
  • No water needed for application.


  • Not suitable for use with young kittens.

Best Hypoallergenic – Earthbath Cat Grooming Foam

Earthbath’s hypoallergenic dry grooming foam is a safe option for sensitive cats, including kittens older than six weeks. It is formulated with organic aloe vera, vitamin E, colloidal oatmeal, purified water, and organic fair trade shea butter. This cruelty-free product is highly rated and effectively eliminates dry skin, dirt, dander, and residues on cats’ coats without causing irritation. It has no fragrance or added scent.

The foam can be massaged into the cat’s fur, towel-dried, and left alone. Once the cat is thoroughly dry and brushed, their coat will appear healthy, lustrous, and experience reduced shedding issues.


  • Free from sulfates, alcohol, dyes, phthalates, and parabens.
  • Helps control shedding.
  • Contains organic ingredients.
  • Can be used up to three times a week.


  • Slightly less effective on extra thick fur.
  • Only available in one size.

Best Wipe – Pogi’s Grooming Wipes

Pogi’s Grooming Wipes are designed with gentle ingredients such as aloe vera, vitamin E, and Hawaiian awapuhi. These wipes are hypoallergenic and free from parabens, alcohol, and harsh chemicals, making them suitable for cats with sensitive skin. Additionally, they are biodegradable, which is a positive environmental aspect.

Each wipe has dimensions of eight by nine inches, providing ample space to handle tougher and messier grooming tasks. Pogi’s Grooming Wipes are available in both unscented and green tea leaf fragrance options, and you can choose from packs containing 100 to 400 wipes. It’s worth noting that while you can purchase them in bulk for convenience, these single-use wipes can be more expensive compared to other alternatives on the market.


  • Made with natural ingredients.
  • Biodegradable, contributing to environmental sustainability.
  • Option to choose between unscented or fragranced wipes.


  • The package may dry out if not sealed properly.

Read Also:Best Hairball Remedies for Cats

What to Look for in a Dry Cat Shampoo

When selecting a dry cat shampoo, consider the following factors:

  • Ingredients: Look for a dry cat shampoo that uses gentle and natural ingredients. Avoid products that contain harsh chemicals, artificial fragrances, or dyes that could irritate your cat’s skin or cause allergic reactions. Ingredients like aloe vera, oatmeal, or coconut oil can be soothing and beneficial for the skin.
  • Hypoallergenic Formula: If your cat has sensitive skin or allergies, opt for a dry shampoo specifically labeled as hypoallergenic. These formulas are designed to minimize the risk of skin irritation and allergic reactions.
  • No-Rinse Formula: Dry cat shampoos are designed to be used without water, so ensure that the product you choose does not require rinsing. Look for shampoos that can be applied directly to your cat’s fur and easily brushed or wiped off.
  • Odor Control: Select a dry cat shampoo with odor-neutralizing properties to help eliminate any unpleasant smells on your cat’s coat. Look for products that are specifically formulated to control odors and leave a fresh scent.
  • Ease of Application: Consider the application method and how easy it is to use the dry shampoo on your cat. Look for shampoos that come in a spray or powder form, as these are generally more convenient to apply and distribute evenly across your cat’s fur.
  • Safety and Non-Toxicity: Ensure that the dry shampoo is safe for cats and does not contain any toxic ingredients. Cats groom themselves by licking their fur, so it’s important to choose a product that is non-toxic if ingested in small amounts.
  • Effectiveness: Read customer reviews and product descriptions to gauge the effectiveness of the dry cat shampoo. Look for shampoos that effectively remove dirt, oils, and debris from your cat’s coat, leaving it clean and refreshed.
  • Suitability for Your Cat’s Coat Type: Consider your cat’s specific coat type when choosing a dry shampoo. Some shampoos may be more suitable for long-haired cats, while others may work better for short-haired breeds. Look for products that are suitable for your cat’s coat type to achieve the best results.
  • Veterinarian Recommendations: If your cat has any existing skin conditions or specific needs, consult with your veterinarian for recommendations on the most appropriate dry shampoo for your cat. They can provide guidance based on your cat’s individual health and requirements.
  • User-Friendliness: Look for a dry cat shampoo that is easy to brush or wipe off your cat’s fur after application. This makes the grooming process more comfortable for your cat and ensures that the shampoo is effectively removed.

Remember, while dry cat shampoos can be a convenient option for quick touch-ups and in-between traditional baths, they do not replace regular bathing with water and cat-specific shampoos. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper application and usage of the dry cat shampoo to ensure the best results and the well-being of your cat.

How often can I use waterless shampoo on my cat?

The frequency of using waterless or dry shampoo on your cat depends on several factors, including your cat’s individual needs, coat condition, and any underlying skin conditions. Generally, dry shampoo is designed for occasional use as a temporary solution between regular baths. It is not intended as a replacement for traditional water-based bathing.

Here are some general guidelines to consider:

  • Read the Product Instructions: Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer of the specific dry shampoo you are using. They may provide recommendations on frequency of use.
  • Consider Your Cat’s Coat and Skin: Cats with oily or greasy coats may benefit from more frequent use of dry shampoo, while cats with dry or sensitive skin may require less frequent application. Observe your cat’s coat condition and adjust the frequency accordingly.
  • Avoid Overuse: Using dry shampoo too frequently can potentially dry out your cat’s skin or coat. It is generally best to limit the use of dry shampoo to no more than once every few weeks, or as needed to address specific circumstances such as spot cleaning or odor control.
  • Monitor Your Cat’s Reaction: Pay attention to how your cat responds to the dry shampoo. If you notice any signs of skin irritation, redness, or discomfort, discontinue use immediately and consult with a veterinarian.
  • Regular Water-Based Baths: It’s important to maintain a regular bathing routine with water-based cat shampoos to thoroughly clean your cat’s coat and skin. Waterless shampoos are not a substitute for traditional bathing, as they do not provide the same level of cleanliness and removal of dirt, oils, and debris.
  • Consult with Your Veterinarian: If you have any concerns or questions about using dry shampoo on your cat, especially if your cat has specific skin conditions or sensitivities, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian. They can provide personalized advice based on your cat’s health and specific needs.

Remember, cats are generally proficient groomers and typically do not require frequent bathing unless there is a specific reason or health concern. Regular brushing and grooming can help maintain a healthy coat and reduce the need for dry shampoo. If you are unsure about the best approach for your cat’s grooming needs, seek guidance from a veterinarian or a professional groomer.