Can I Use Baby Shampoo on My Cat (Will it hurt)?

If you are considering bathing your cat you may have looked at the best cat shampoos available (Click here for my best choice on Amazon). But, maybe you have even been considering other solutions, such as baby shampoo. But, can that really be used?

 

Can you use baby shampoo on a cat? Yes, you can use baby shampoo on a cat. However, it is not ideal and not really recommended. This is because cats do not need a bath unless they have really got uncontrollably dirty. Also, there is shampoo designed for them which is much safer.

Now that you know that it is ok, but not recommended (Click here for my article comparing two top cat shampoo brands Vet’s Best vs Tropiclean Cat Shampoo), let me explain why this is not a good idea. Also, other similar options to avoid, how to bath your cat correctly if needed and more. Keep reading…

Why shouldn’t cats really use Baby shampoo?

The reason I say this is not ideal is for two main reasons. I mentioned earlier, briefly, cats generally do not need to be bathed. The only exception to this is if they get exceptionally dirty. When I say “exceptionally” I mean, so much so they are unable to actually lick and groom the dirt off, are you with me?

For example, if she fell into a big bucket of mud or even worse, tar. In this situation, she could not physically clean this off. And you wouldn’t want her to attempt to lick this off, right?

Apart from these rare exceptions, cats typically groom and bathe himself ( Click here to see my article: Is it Bad to Give Your Cat a Bath?). Even if they do need to be bathed. Baby shampoo is not the ideal remedy.

This is because there are specific cat shampoos that are available on the market that are designed for their skin sensitivity and pH level.

However, as I said earlier it is possible to use baby shampoo. But you have to make sure that you use the correct one which is going to be mild enough for their skin so it does not cause irritation.

What is the difference between baby & normal shampoo?

bby vs adult shampoo

The biggest difference between baby shampoo and adult shampoo is the fact that they are advertised to not cause eye or skin irritation. The big sale is its “kind for kids”. The angle used in these advertisements is it’s allegedly “tear-free”.

This is the reason why people believe that baby shampoo is a better choice than an adult shampoo with regards to using it for cats.

How is this achieved?

They claim to achieve this by not using any Artificial Colours or other chemicals in the product. However in reality, if you really look into the ingredients of some of these products you will see there is not a lot different to the adult version.

In some cases you will find the same chemical agents and sulfates found in the adult version but with a  reduced quantity. Therefore, making it a solution should not be used for cats. And, questionable even for babies.

Will baby shampoo hurt your cat?

It depends on which one you use. If you go for an unscented shampoo then it reduces the chance of irritation and the alkaline level is closer to a cat’s. Therefore, there is less chance of it irritating your cat’s skin.

There are also some soaps, such as the castile soap, which has been known to be used with cats. This particular soap is known to have additional moisturizing qualities that will stop your cat drying out.

However, the best solution is to use actual cat shampoo, which has been specifically designed for their needs.

What is the difference between cat and dog shampoo?cat vs dog shampoo

You may be wondering could you not just go ahead and use a dog shampoo instead then? The reality is you cannot do this because most dog shampoos can be toxic and very dangerous for your cat.

The reason for this is, dog shampoo is formulated specifically for dogs. However, dogs have very different sensitivities to cats. Therefore the chemicals used in a dog product can cause severe irritation or even be toxic for a cat. Therefore, it is not advised to consider doing this.

Is Johnson’s Baby Shampoo good for cats?

If you have been searching the web for solutions or confirmation that you can use different types of shampoos for your cat.

You may have come across people discussing if it is a good idea to use Johnson’s Baby Shampoo for your cat. For that reason, in this section, I’m going to discuss if this is a good idea or not.

Firstly Johnson’s Baby Shampoo is called baby shampoo for a reason. This is because it is designed for babies and not cats. Are you with me?

Therefore it is not a good idea to use this on your cat. The reason why people gravitate to Johnson’s Baby Shampoo is because it is quite a mild shampoo.

If you do have to use baby shampoo, then most people look out for one that is unscented, not concentrated and does not have any additional chemicals in it.

The Johnson’s Baby Shampoo ticks a lot of these boxes. Which makes people believe it is a good solution to use for their cat.

How about short term usage?

On a short-term basis, to be honest, you may get away with using it. But regardless, it is not a long-term solution and I would not advice using it for your cat.

If bathing your cat is something that you need to do on a regular basis it is better to buy a specific cat shampoo rather than trying to cut corners.

Related question:

In this section, I am going to answer some questions related to cats and shampoo. If you feel there are some questions unanswered, feel free to drop a comment below.

Q: Can I use Dawn dishwashing liquid for my cat?

You may have heard rumors that you can use Dawn dishwashing liquid for your cat. People have discussed if this is a good idea to use for their cats, in particular for flea control. The reality is some cat owners have used Dawn liquid for their cats and swear by it.

According to this site the one that works is the original blue version. However, I wouldn’t advise this as a solution for your cat.

If you have a flea problem with your cat there is specific cat flea shampoo solutions (Click here to see) that you can get hold of instead of using Dawn for this reason.

Also if you do still consider going ahead with this, regardless of the warnings, make sure that you don’t consider using just any random dishwashing liquid, in the absence of the dawn original blue, because you really do not know what the effects will be.

Q: Is it ok to never bathe my cat?

Yes, you can get away with not bathing your cat. Think about it this way in the wild how do they survive without us bathing them?

The only exception to this rule is if they have a medical issue and they are unable to groom themselves. Or, you may have a rare issue where they fall into a substance that completely covers their coat.

In that situation she will be unable to clean themselves so you would need to help her. For example, as I said earlier, she fell into a whole bucket of mud, paint or tar. Obviously this is rare. You probably will never have to deal with this.

Q: Why is my cat licking obsessively after bathing with shampoo?

If you have recently bathed your cat and you have noticed that she is obsessively licking herself, you may be standing there and scratching your head wondering what this could be. For that reason, in this section, I’m going to explain what this may be and how you can get around it.

The chances are, if you see your cat behaving in this manner, it is because she is desperately trying to dry herself off after leaving the bath.

This can happen if you have not correctly rinsed her, before allowing her to leave the bath. And, it can cause issues. Why? Because the soap suds will effectively be licked up by your cat and then digested.

These soaps odds are not designed for a cat to digest and therefore can cause digestive irritations. Also, the leftover soap which hasn’t been rinsed off can dry out the skin.

Therefore it is important to completely rinse any soap suds before you allow your cat to leave the bath. Also, make sure that she is dried off properly once she leaves the bath.

Lindsey Browlingdon
 

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