Can You Use Dog Shampoo on Cats?

Dog Shampoo on Cats

Generally, felines are known to hate having contact with water and would get upset when you bathe them.

They do not need to bathe as they spend a lot of time grooming themselves by using their tongues to clean the furs. This behavior is to ensure they maintain healthy skin which can affect their overall health. 

In a situation where your cat is dirty, has some contamination or infection of some kind, or smells repulsively for no certain reason, then you might want to bathe your cat. 

Since it’s not an everyday routine that you bath your cat, you might be caught unaware with an emergency bath at hand. But can you use dog shampoo on cats? 

The Skin


Even though it is mostly overlooked, the skin and fur of your cat play a vital role in their general well-being. Some of its functions include thermal protection, protection against irritants, and also acts as a health indicator for the cat.

A thick glossy fur is a sign of a healthy cat. It is also a very important tool in their interaction with their prey, other cats, and even humans.

This makes it important to ensure that a cat’s fur is adequately taken care of. Cats shed their fur naturally at certain times of the year, this helps to get rid of dead hair and protects the cat from mites and parasites that might be sitting under the skin.

If we notice that the fur of a cat is not looking good, but the cat is well taken care of, it could be an indicator that the cat is suffering from some sort of infection or have a physical or mental health problem.

When cleaning the cat, we should take note of the state of the cat’s skin and fur. We should look out for infections, wounds that they might have sustained from an attack or injury, or alopecia (missing patches of hair).

If you notice any abnormalities in these places, you should take them to your animal doctor to get a proper diagnosis.

To maintain the cat’s overall health, as well as the quality of their fur, we need to implement proper vaccination and deworming schedules

Is Dog Shampoo Safe for Cats?


Even though it isn’t necessary to bathe a cat, there are few instances where it might be required to bathe a cat.

Some of these instances are cases where they have something stuck into their fur and they are not able to lick it off, a foodstuff, or even some unknown fecal matter that might contain some bacteria or parasites.

Ingesting these things in the process of licking their fur to get clean can be more harmful to your cat than some phobia for water.

There are presently many specific shampoos for cats that have special formulas for your furry companion.

They may even be formulated for specific reasons, for example, long hair, dull skin, or for cats with specific skin conditions. 

These products should be confirmed by an overseeing body regarding their effectiveness. This implies they are suitable for a cat’s coat and skin, protecting your cats from defective products.

If you need to wash your cat, you may discover that you only have dog shampoo close by because dogs, for the most part, need washing more than cats, and subsequently, you might not have thought to purchase cat shampoo when a washing crisis happens. 

All in all, would you be able to use dog shampoo for cats? The appropriate response is no.

While it is acceptable that some dog shampoos can be used with little damage, this depends on the ingredients of the shampoo. Some of them might be safe to use temporarily, yet there are numerous which can represent a critical danger to your cat’s wellbeing.

Shampoo for cats 


While cats and dogs both have the same requirements when it comes to maintaining their fur for general wellbeing purposes, their furs are not the same.

They vary in terms of thickness, structure, and, most importantly, pH levels. The pH of cats is more acidic than that of dogs. Cats have a pH of 6 while dogs have a pH level of 7.5 (humans are just 5.5), even though this can vary depending on the structure of the animal. 

You should know that the type of animal is being considered when making species-specific shampoos. They are detailed to suit the individual species.

You can wash a cat with dog shampoo. It will get the cat clean and there may not be any visible issues with their wellbeing. Nonetheless, if you use a shampoo for dogs on cats regularly, the changes to the cat’s skin can be harmful.

It can make it harder for them to clean themselves, dry out the skin, and even protect themselves against parasites, which is contrary to the reason behind cleaning them in the first place.

Additionally, if your cat’s wellbeing is undermined in any capacity, this won’t help them. 

Another reason why you should never use dog shampoo on a cat is that it might contain permethrin. This is a bug spray and it is harmful to cats.

If the cat has any injuries or wounds, at that point coming into contact with permethrin can be risky. And if a cat was to breathe in enough of this substance, respiratory problems, muscle compression, and even death can happen. 

If you don’t have any shampoo for cats, with normal brushing and caring for your cat’s overall wellbeing, you should have little requirement for washing them.

Nonetheless, if they are dirty and have stopped cleaning themselves or are needing a bath for reasons unknown, you may not generally have a cat shampoo available.

On these occasions, you may ask yourself what options are accessible? 

Here are some tips on the best way to clean your cat when you don’t have any cat shampoo: 

● If you have a cat washing crisis, at that point, you can use dog shampoo on a cat when there’s no other option. Notwithstanding, you need to check the contents and watch out for any chances that there is any permethrin present.

● You can check whether using water alone would remove the dirt off your cat.

If you are using any material, like shampoo, whenever you are cleaning your cat, make sure that every bit of it is altogether washed-out from their furs else they may ingest it in the process of licking their fur and become sick.

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