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Can You Use Shampoo On Cats – What You Should Know!

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One uncommon occurrence for most cat owners is bathing your cat; on the other hand, some cat owners like to give their cats regular baths. Whether you try never to bathe your cats or always have one planned, you have to think about the products you will use on your cat. Therefore, you’ll probably be asking yourself: can you use shampoo on cats?

You should not use a shampoo that is formulated for humans on cats. Human shampoo can be drying and irritating to cats, and adversely affect their pH levels. Only pet-approved shampoos with natural ingredients are safe for cats.

Human shampoo seems like it would be like any shampoo you can buy for your cats, but shampoos for cats are formulated differently from human shampoos. If you’re wondering what the difference could be between shampoos, keep on reading to learn more! 

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Can You Use Hair Shampoo On Cats

No, hair shampoo is not safe for cats.

It may be tempting to use your favorite hair shampoo on your cat because you love the smell of it, but it is not safe for your cat.

Here are some outcomes that might happen if you use shampoo designed for human hair on your cat:

  • Your cat will have an allergic reaction, which may lead to excessive itching
  • Your cat’s skin will dry out.
  • It could irritate your cat’s eyes, even if you are careful not to get it in his eyes.
  • Ingredients in the shampoo can make your cat sick if they are ingested, even in small quantities. 

Prolonged use of human hair shampoo on your cat will only make these side effects worse for your cat, so the best option for your cat is to skip the human shampoo. 

If the smell of your product is your primary determining factor in using human shampoo, look for a cat shampoo that has a similar scent. 

What Human Shampoo Is Safe For Cats

There are no human shampoos that are safer for your cat than cat shampoo. 

There are many chemicals in shampoo that humans do not like, so you can only imagine how bad human shampoo can be for your cat. 

Here are a few harmful ingredients in shampoo:

  • Sulfates, which are used to clean dirt and sebum from the human scalp
  • Formaldehyde 
  • Parabens
  • Phthalates
  • Dimethicone
  • Fragrances

 Different kinds of shampoos can have more or fewer ingredients that appear on this list, but the main thing to take away is that there are harmful ingredients in shampoos that cats should not be washed with.

Think about it like this: some shampoo can be immediately drying to your scalp, so imagine what it could do to your cat’s delicate skin. 

Can I Use Baby Shampoo On My Cat

Baby shampoos are very gentle, so they are safe to use on your cat.

If you do not want to purchase cat shampoo or forgot, your baby’s shampoo is a great option to get your cat through a bath.

Baby shampoos do not have any harsh chemicals in them, so they will typically be safe for your cat as well. Baby shampoo may be gentler than the cat shampoo that you would purchase at a pet store.

Baby shampoo, however, will not do anything to make your cat’s fur smell better. This may not be a concern for you unless your cat rolled in something foul-smelling. 

Even though baby shampoo is an option for you to use on your cat, shampoo explicitly created for cats should still be your top choice. 

Is Dish Soap Safe For Cats

Dish soap is safe for cats in a pinch, but dish soap should not become a regular part of your routine with your cat.

Dish soaps, like Dawn, have particular uses for your pet. For instance, Dawn is used to clean animals who were caught in an oil spill. Dawn can also be used if a skunk sprayed your pet.

Dish soaps help take the oil out of things, which can be highly effective for specific purposes.

However, that does not mean that dish soap or Dawn effectively cleans your animals every time you are washing them.

Dish soap can be too powerful and can cause your pet’s skin to dry out.

What Can I Use To Wash My Cat If I Don’t Have Cat Shampoo

You should not wash your cat if you do not have cat shampoo.

It could be tempting to use whatever you have around your home to wash your cat, but as we have already discussed, that is not a good choice for your cat.

Cats usually do not need to be suddenly washed, so you should make sure that you are always prepared with cat shampoo when you are planning to clean your cat.

You might think there are good alternatives to use around your house, but your best option is to wait until you have all the proper materials to wash your cat.

Can I Wash My Cat With Just Water

You can wash your cat with just water, but it won’t do much to clean your cat’s fur. 

If you don’t have any shampoo that is safe for cats handy, then you can wash your cat with just water in a pinch. 

Your cat won’t get a deep clean without shampoo. 

Your cat’s fur may be covered in heavy soil; in that case, only using water will at least get some of the dirt off.

Get your cat shampoo as soon as possible to clean your cat’s fur properly. 

How To Wash A Cat Without Cat Shampoo

Since you don’t have any shampoo, you’ll just be using water to wash your cat without shampoo.

Fill your sink or bathtub with a few inches of lukewarm water. The sink is the most accessible place to wash your cat since it is a smaller surface area. You can keep a bucket full of water nearby if you need some extra water suddenly.

You won’t need that much water because you do not have any soap to wash out of your cat’s fur.

A wide-tooth comb will be a good option for you since there is no shampoo. You can use it to comb away anything that is stuck in your cat’s fur.

Even though nothing is added to the water or your cat’s fur, it is still a good idea to give your cat a good rinse at the end of his bath. 

What Shampoo Is Good For Cats

You might be wondering what shampoo is good for cats if you can’t use human shampoo on your cat. Here are a few things to keep in mind and try when you are looking for pet shampoo.

  • Purchase your shampoo at a pet store.
  • Talk to your vet about the options you have, especially if your cat is experiencing something like fleas or dry skin.
  • See what the products can do for your cat and purchase accordingly.
  • Purchase shampoo that is designed for cats, not humans or other animals. 

Purchasing shampoo for your cat can be just as stressful as purchasing shampoo for yourself. Just remember that cats also have very delicate skin, so you will want to choose a shampoo that will be the most beneficial to them. 

Things To Consider

Since we spent this article talking about cat shampoo, let’s dive into the kinds of shampoo you can find for your cat. Surprisingly, there are many different kinds! 

Waterless Shampoo

There are shampoos on the market now that do not require water to use them. Technically, they aren’t shampoos then, but they do the same thing.

These products usually come in foam or powder that you put onto your cat. You can then massage it and use a brush to get the excess off your cat’s fur.

This is a good option if your cat is dirty, but you know they detest any water.

Shampoo Spray

This is like a waterless shampoo, but it comes in an aerosol can. It will also be brushed out when you are finished. 

This is an easy option if your cat also dislikes being handled by you. 

Special Concern Shampoo

Sometimes you will need a purchase shampoo for a specific reason. Here are just a few of the concerns you may be addressing when you look for a shampoo to purchase:

  • Combatting or treating fleas and ticks
  • Dry skin
  • Shedding fur
  • Thinning fur

Shampoos that are made with particular concerns in mind can help you treat your cat. 

If you are looking for a specific shampoo for your cat, your vet is an excellent place to start. Your vet can suggest the best kind of shampoo to purchase to help your cat’s issue.

Shampoo And Conditioner

Shampoo and conditioner combination products aren’t anything new, but you can find them for your cat too.

These products are good if you want to clean your cat and make its fur a little softer.

If you don’t believe the claims, then this is a product that you can probably skip.

Whatever your preferences are when it comes to your cat, good luck with the next bath!