“If you own dogs that you bathe regularly and you find that your cat needs her first bath, you’re probably wondering if your dog’s shampoo is safe to use,” said Dr. Conrad versus Dodo. “The answer is no,” and that’s because some shampoos made specifically for dogs contain ingredients that are incredibly harmful to cats.
Never use human shampoo on cats as they are unsuitable for cat hair and can dry out their skin. For a water bath, use a cleansing and deodorizing shampoo with natural ingredients. For cats with dry skin, try a dry skin conditioning shampoo.
Use kitten-friendly shampoo
Do not use human or dog shampoo; the detergents could dry out the kitten’s skin. Go for an unscented brand. Unscented dish soap is also a safe and easy option – it’s gentle and inexpensive. Cats have a strong sense of smell, says Bales.
The difference between flea control products for dogs and cats is a chemical called permethrin. According to the Pet Poison Helpline, this chemical is very safe for dogs and is commonly found in flea sprays and drops. However, cats are particularly sensitive to it and many of its variants.
A large plastic bucket, sink, or tub (lined with a non-slip floor mat) to use as a cat bath. Special shampoo for cats or kittens. Find a mild all-rounder with no harsh chemicals or perfumes. Never use human shampoo as it is not suitable for cat hair and skin due to the difference in pH.
Dawn Dishwashing Liquid is safe for cats as long as you use Dawn Original or Dawn Free & Delete. Other scented versions of Dawn contain artificial fragrances and colorings that may irritate your cat’s skin or respiratory system, especially in cats who already have skin conditions or medical conditions.
Pigeon soap can be used on your cat if you don’t have cat shampoo. However, pigeon soap is formulated for human skin and using it on cats can cause dryness and irritation.
If the shampoo doesn’t have these, your cat is unlikely to have a problem after using a dog shampoo even once. If you check the dog shampoo and find that it contains ingredients that are toxic to your cat, keep your cat locked up (away from the bathroom in case any chemicals remain) and call the vet.
Dish soap. Believe it or not, even the gentlest formulations of dish soap have proven to be very effective at killing fleas. The detergent will break down the flea’s exoskeleton and kill it within minutes, even after being diluted with water.
A wet shampoo for your cat can be made by combining one cup of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar, one cup of gentle liquid soap, and four cups of water. You can use this mixture like a regular cat shampoo. Remember to rinse thoroughly afterwards.