dogs & cats

chemical free cat shampoo

We aren’t the only ones in this house living a natural life. Kearney is too. Slowly but surely he is making the shift. His shift from Temptations treats to organic treats was tough, but now he loves them (almost as much as kale chips).

But this post isn’t about what he eats, it’s about how he bathes. Just like products that people use on themselves, there are many questionable ingredients in cat shampoo. So we cut through the red tape and make it ourselves.

His cat shampoo is super easy to make and smells good (in a non-toxic way). I enjoy the fact that Kearney can run off and lick himself dry without me worried about what he may be ingesting.


To make enough for one bath, here is what you’ll need:

1 – 1/4 cup of warm water
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable glycerin
12 drops of lavender essential oilcat-shampoo-ingredients

I only make enough for one bath at time because it has proven to not keep well in the past. It was a slightly different recipe, but a mistake I only want to make once… it was gross.

Mix everything together in the order listed above. I was on my last leg of apple cider vinegar when I made this batch, so I just mixed everything into its bottle.

After drawing your cat’s bath and gathering all the essentials (towel, cup, and cat shampoo), find the cat. Kearney has a keen sense for when it’s bath time and likes to play hard to get.


With the cat in the tub, I use the cup and pour water over his coat until he is pretty well soaked. Kearney is usually ready to give in once he is in the water and leans into my open hand while I pour with the other. Then, I take the DIY cat shampoo and pour it evenly over his coat massaging it in as I go.  Last step, rinse. I scoop up bath water with the cup and rinse his coat till I’m sure the shampoo has been washed out.


Kearney is so good that he lets me hold him over the tub and ‘ring’ him out. I wrap him up in a towel for half a second (that’s all he really stands for) and let him loose to do his thang.

Once your cat is dry praise your fluffy and fresh smelling friend for putting up with you. Don’t forget to tell them how good looking they are! They like that. I know this cat does.


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  • Reply
    April 11, 2015 at 10:30 am

    Will try it with distilled vinegar instead of ACV as I have run out. Maybe I’ll skip the lavender too and use evening primrose instead – are you sure that lavender wont be toxic for cats??

    • Reply
      this natural dream
      April 12, 2015 at 11:03 am

      Lavender is safe for cats, but absolutely feel free to play with the recipe and make it your own! Evening Primrose looks interesting; I might have to try that out. You’ll have to let us know how it goes!

  • Reply
    June 16, 2018 at 10:46 am

    I’ve read that lavender essential oil is very toxic to cats:

  • Reply
    November 16, 2018 at 1:50 am

    do not use essential oil for cats

  • Reply
    January 9, 2019 at 3:38 am

    Phenols in essential oils are extremely dangerous for cats. Using essential oils is irresponsible… Why do it? So they smell nice to you? Anything containing phenols is dangerous, so don’t do it just because you think they smell better. It’s cruel.

    Some oils can be used for things like flea control (cedar is especially effective), but you MUST use specially formulated oils that are phenol free or your unnecessarily harm your feline. Not to mention THEY probably don’t like having they’re sensitive noses pummeled by artificial scents. If they did, they’d be rolling in fields of flowers all day.

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