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Can You Use Dog Shampoo on Cats?

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I got dog shampoo instead of a cat. But, I have a kitty in my home. Now, wanted to know can I use dog shampoo on cats, and if there’s a variation in canine and cat shampoo, Kim.

Well, have you also experienced something like Kim?

Coming across such a tricky question is part of my job. With my expert knowledge, I have written a blog on can you use dog shampoo on cats or not. As many people like Kim don’t really know about it.

Basically, it depends on a number of aspects. However, putting dog shampoo on cats is destructive, causing inflammation and health complications.

Can You Use Dog Shampoo on Cats

Can You Use Dog Shampoo on Cats?

If you ask me can I wash my cat with dog shampoo? I will say using dog shampoos on cats’ and kitties is dangerous. However, it depends on a number of variables. Shampoo for both pets is available in the market. Yet, it’s not a good idea to use dog breed shampoo on your feline friend.

The dog-oriented shampoo degrades the quality of kitties’ fur. It can cause health risks. As it is customized according to the requirement of the dog’s body. And, they have a different body system than cats.

Sometimes it can also vary from one product to other as there are many manufacturers who produce products that can be used for all kitties and dogs. In that case, the packaging will clearly indicate “for all pets” or “can be used for kitties as well as dogs” so, make sure to read the instructions well before buying.

Also, next time, when you wonder, can I use dog shampoo on a cat make sure to consult their customer service, or ask the pet store manager too. It would be better to go for cat-specific shampoo as it can have repercussions.

Sometimes you can try puppy shampoo on cats, as it is a great substitute because it is gentle. Nevertheless, I would still advise you to ask your vet before the application.

Now, you know Is dog shampoo safe for cats or not!

There are reasons you must not wash a cat with dog shampoo want to know? Then read our next section.

Why, Avoid Dog Shampoo on Cats

The answer to can I use dog shampoo on my cat is straight away no. They face various problems you can scroll down below to know why to avoid.

Why, Avoid Dog Shampoo on Cats

1. pH level Problem

An imbalance in Ph value is caused. You are aware that a cat’s fur differs from that of a dog. Their textures, lengths, and coat quality also differ. The feline shampoo is more acidic in nature as compared to dogs.

Cats’ shampoo has a 6 pH value whereas dogs’ one is 7.5. Yes, it is very minor, but it creates a tremendous impact when it comes to the softness quality, and shine factor.

This slight variation in PH vale can also lead to reluctant grooming habits. It can cause a difference in your cat fur too!

2. Attract Parasites

Dog shampoo attracts parasites and possibly your cat can get sick. Canine shampoo varies from one that is made for cats. It has a chemical formula tailored to the body type of the dog.

3. Insecticides in Dog Shampoo Is Not Good for Cats

Shampoo that is made for dogs includes Insecticides, it is used for the purpose of flea control. But it is not good for bathing cats.

 Insecticides in Dog Shampoo Is Not Good for Cats

You will notice permethrin in canine shampoo it is lethal for cats. As a result, it is your moral responsibility to refrain from using dog shampoo on cats. Also, read the chemical used in it and the percentage appropriately before purchasing.

4. Chemicals Are Harmful to Cats

Shampoo that is made for dogs contains substances such as selenium sulfite and tar helps for reducing skin inflammation.

However, these are toxic to cats because their bodies and coats are sensitive.

These chemicals in case used on a cat’s body can prompt flaky damaging skin and dandruff in cats.

5. Kittens Can’t Break Oils

Shampoo that is specialized for canines contains essential oils as it acts as a flea repellant. However, if an essential oil such as tea tree oil is applied to a cat’s body, it will cause a reaction. It can affect their fur quality and obstruct their skin pores.

Kittens, in particular, are unable to break oils. If they remain on their fur for an extended period of time it can cause issues for cats. As you are well aware cats clean themselves all day. And if you haven’t rinsed her properly she can lick oils which may lead to health problems.

Things That Happen After Using Dog Shampoo on Cats

Things That Happen After Using Dog Shampoo on Cats

Using dog shampoo on cats can have an adverse effect on your cat’s health. This is a crucial portion that every cat owner should read.

Respiratory Problem

Breathing pesticides can cause respiratory paralysis in cats. Furthermore, it can cause chronic anorexia, weakness in muscles thus it is fatal.

Diarrhea, Nausea & Vomiting

Feline friends may end up eating dog shampoo if you don’t thoroughly cleanse them well. This can cause her to vomit, feel nauseated, and have diarrhea, all of these symptoms can dehydrate your cats.

As a result, toxic ingredients which are present in dog shampoo can cause health problems like puke problems and diarrhea in cats.

Irritated Skin

Using dog shampoo on a cat can degrade their hair quality. If the dog shampoo is left on her fur for too long, it might dry up her skin and cause dandruff! It can promote skin irritation too.

Shampoos That Can Be Used On Cats

Using dog shampoo on cats is dangerous. Therefore, I have researched cat-friendly shampoo in this section.

Bathe your cat with these amazing and vet-recommended shampoos.

Shampoos That Can Be Used On Cats

Jungle Pet Aloe & Oatmeal Shampoo

The label of Jungle pet shampoo clearly states “for dogs and cats,” which is why I’ve included it in the shampoo for cats section.

Jungle Pet Aloe & Oatmeal Shampoo


It is ideal for itchy fur and flaky skin problems. Made of organic ingredients. It soothes the hotspots and skin problems. The properties of aloe fight against dry skin. You can use this shampoo on your cat and other species.

Burt’s Bees for Kittens Tearless Shampoo

Burt’s Bees Kittens Tearless Shampoo are specially made for cleaning the fur of kittens. They have used special formula for making it a tearless shampoo.

Burt's Bees for Kittens Tearless Shampoo


The finest thing is that it is produced from nice natural ingredients. The goodness of buttermilk calms the kitten’s skin and makes the texture of fur extra soft. It contains the right pH level which can work on adult cats too.

Doesn’t include artificial fragrances, chemicals and is marked 100% safe.

Dry Shampoo for Cats by Vet’s Best

No need for water to clean your cat if you use this cat dry shampoo, isn’t it amazing?

Vet’s Best has created a waterless cat shampoo that was developed by a veterinarian. They employed specially formulated itch alleviation chemicals. Aloe vera, oats, and vitamin E are all included.

Dry Shampoo for Cats by Vet's Best


You’ll want to cuddle your cat after using this shampoo. It softens the coat and offers extra care to their dry skin. It features a soothing scent and an easy-to-use application.


Can I use dog products on cats?

There are some factors attached to it. There are several companies that make goods for cats as well as dogs. Good soap, shampoos, and oral rinse are there in the market which is safe to use for all pets. However, if the products are designed only for dogs, you cannot use them on cats.

What will happen if I use dog flea shampoo on cats?

It’s never a good idea to use flea shampoo on your cat. It can lead to severe health problems. If you clean your cat with it her body will react in various ways as it is toxic for her. A cat can face breathing issues, vomit problems, weakness, diarrhea too.

Can dog shampoo be used on cats?

The answer to can you wash your cat with dog shampoo is simply no. You can’t use it to clean your cat because it will degrade the quality of her coat. As cat shampoos are acidic when compared to the ones made for dogs. Feline fur can become rough and brittle if you apply dog shampoo.
If the shampoo label says it’s safe for cats as well as for dogs, you can use it to clean your kitty.

Well, That’s a Wrap

Many animal owners have both cats and dogs at home, and they believe that using the same product will be effective. This is something that you must not do.

If you want to know you can use dog shampoo on cats then you can read above to know the reasons. As this is a tough question to answer.

You can use shampoo which clearly mentions “can be used on kitties.” There are shampoos that are suitable for both cats as well as dogs. If the product is only made for dogs then you must not use that on kitties.


  1. When you shouldn’t give your cat a bath — VetMed
  2. Medicated dog shampoo? – PetMD
  3. Pet care – AVMA

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