Hey Pet Parents & Pet Lovers,
Similar to a post I wrote before about whether you can use dog shampoo on cats, let’s cover the non-pet specific soaps you can use on your kitty!
Precautions & Safety
The main precaution before using any product (or anything in general with pets) is making sure that they are made out of the most basic ingredients, and don’t have chemicals that are lethal to them. It’s a bit of a balancing act, especially since not all basic ingredients are fine to use on your pets. For example, I use vinegar to clean a lot of my fish stuff as well as household items that Beau chews on or has the potential to lick, but vinegar is much too acid to clean your cat with. And as covered in the previous article, some shampoos/soaps made for dogs are actually toxic to cats because of ingredients like peppermint, lavender, tea tree, jojoba, and glycerin.
Remember, like humans cats will absorb these products through their skin, and even after a few washes they may still have some on their coat which they will potentially lick and in turn digest. You want to be very, very safe when using non-pet specific products!
Human Shampoos (Specifically Baby Shampoo)
The first question people usually ask is, can I use human shampoo on my little ones? Actually, sometimes yes! You’re looking for human shampoos that are made for babies though. Make sure to read the ingredients thoroughly though, and if there are any that you don’t recognize or are on the list we’ve provided above, stay away or do some extra research! As always I recommend using cat branded shampoos since someone has already done the job of making sure it’s not toxic for your kitty, but I understand that we’re sometimes in a pinch or your local pet store is out of stock. A lot of baby shampoos are going to use dyes, fragrances and other detrimental ingredients and are some brands will even hide behind the word “natural” even when they are not fully natural, so do yourself a big favour and do some reading to make sure your cat is safe!
Sometimes we think that the word natural means non-toxic, but this isn’t 100% true. Some natural ingredients can actually harm your cat, so make sure you’re looking for soaps such as pure castile soap. These are made from olive oil bases and are both chemical free and dye free. When using these soaps make sure to rinse your cat very well until the water is clear. Since there are a number of oils in this kind of soap, the residue may be tart or unsettling for your cat, so you want to make sure that they’ve been given a good wash before they start trying to lick themselves later!
I know, I know, I covered this in the past article, but it’s still important to bring up. It is possible to find a dish detergent that is gentle enough and safe for your cat to use, and one of the most popular is Dawn. Now, I will say again that I wouldn’t use Dawn often as it is meant to take out oils and will dry out your cat’s skin when used long term. It is very effective when your cat has gotten too dirty for themselves to clean or has fleas (although the latter I can’t speak towards since I haven’t had that issue, but I have done a lot of digging on forums and petcare blogs which have all stated positive improvements against fleas.) Please remember you are looking for the original one as it is the gentlest and doesn’t have any ingredients your kitty can’t handle.
You are looking for main allergens when choosing whether or not to bathe your cat in a product. At the end of the day, these are all great substitutes for infrequent bathtimes, but if you’re looking for longterm use