What Shampoo is Safe to Use on Cats?

Cat being give a bath in PawPurity's Flea & Tick Shampoo

You may think that any shampoo would be safe when it comes to cleaning your cat, but that’s not the case. Different shampoos have different pH levels, which can impact a cat's skin. They also may have ingredients that irritate your furbabies skin. This is why it's essential to use a shampoo specifically designed for cats. In this article, we'll share with you what ingredients in shampoos are safe to use on your feline friend and what are not. So, let's get started.

How do Dog and Cat Shampoos Differ?

We get this question a lot of times, as cat owners what to know what is the difference between cat shampoos and dog shampoos? People tend to believe that both are furry animals and that what works for their dogs would also work for the cats. But that’s not necessarily true. Dogs have hair; cats have fur.

There are many reasons why cat shampoos differ from their canine counterparts.

  1. For one thing, cats are much more sensitive than dogs regarding chemicals and artificial fragrances. This means that you must be careful when choosing a shampoo for your feline friend, as many of the ingredients in dog shampoos can be irritants for cats.
  1. Another difference is that most cats tend to have shorter fur than dogs do hair, so their shampoos don't need to be as thick or creamy. This means they are easier to rinse. And since most cats would rather avoid being bathed, this is a good thing.
  1. Finally, cats have softer and more sensitive skin than dogs. Therefore, it is essential to stay pet-specific while choosing shampoo products unless the label states it is formulated for both cats and dogs.  

What to Look for in a Cat Shampoo

There are thousands of commercially available shampoo brands for cats, but only some of them you can rely on for making your cat’s skin healthy and the coat shiny. So before buying a shampoo for your cat, consider the following;

  • The ingredients should be safe for cats specifically and should say it on the bottle. This is the most important thing to look for in a cat shampoo.
  •  Avoid harmful chemicals or nasty preservatives. When possible, go for all-natural shampoos, as they are innately gentler on the skin.  
  • The shampoo should not remove the natural oils from your cat's fur. A good shampoo will leave your cat's coat clean, soft, and healthy-looking.
  • Look for a shampoo that is easy to use and rinses off without leaving residue. The better shampoos don’t have sulfates, which means they won’t later as well and this is a good thing. Sulfates are not healthy for your cat’s skin so please read the labels.

Safe Ingredients for Cat Shampoos

When it comes to choosing an organic shampoo for your cat, you can prefer and look for some of the following good ingredients in the shampoo products:

  • Aloe vera
  • Chamomile
  • Lavender
  • Oatmeal
  • Yucca root
  • Red clover
  • Cedarwood
  • Buttermilk
  • Shea butter
  • Coconut oil
  • Olive oil
  • Vitamin E
  • Nettle leaf

What Should you Avoid in a Cat Shampoo?

You should be aware of a few harsh ingredients in the local cat shampoos.  We have listed some of the harmful ingredients below, but we urge you to visit our Health Center and read our in depth article Cat Shampoo Ingredients to Avoid.

 Avoid pH-Disrupting Shampoos

This means it is not too acidic or alkaline, irritating your cat's skin. A cat shampoo should have an average pH of 6.46, which differs from a human of 5.84. So always avoid human shampoos for your cats, as they can be slightly acidic.

 Avoid Artificial Fragrances & Dyes

You also want to ensure the shampoo does not contain fragrances or dyes, as these can also irritate. Some chemicals to be avoided are;

  • Alcohols
  • Camphor
  • Parabens
  • Phthalates
  • Stearates
  • Linalool
  • Benzaldehyde
  • Ethyl acetate

Avoid Harsh Preservatives

There are certain preservatives used in cat products, even by well-known pet grooming brands, that are so toxic and cancerous for cats. Kindly look for the following bad preservatives.

  • Formaldehyde releasers
  • Isothiazolinones
  • Sodium Benzoate
  • Parabens

According to the ACS’ Journal report of 2018, preservatives like parabens are toxic and disease-causing in pets.

The Takeaway

In conclusion, do your homework about what the shampoo is made of; ingredients do matter. While some shampoos seem good for temporary use, they may cause skin and coat issues down the road. There are a variety of shampoos available that are safe to use on cats, but it is always best to err on the side of caution. Always read the labels carefully and only use shampoos specifically designated for use on cats.

If you have any questions or concerns, contact us through the comment section or subscribe to our newsletter where we offer tips on how to keep your cat healthy.

Thanks for reading!

Share on:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You might also like

Why is My Puppy's Skin Peeling?Puppy Pyoderma

by Lisa Porter, Herbalist on 11-22-22
If you've just brought home a new puppy and notice its skin peeling, you may be wondering what's going on. Puppy pyoderma is a common skin condition in puppies that can cause the skin to peel, itch, and bleed. This article will look at what causes puppy pyoderma and how to treat it. So, if […]Continue reading

Can Dogs Skin Color Change? Hyperpigmentation in Dogs

by Lisa Porter, Herbalist on 11-21-22
We all know that dogs come in various shapes and sizes, but did you know that their skin color can also vary? This is because dogs can develop hyperpigmentation, an increase in the production of melanin - the pigment that gives skin its color. This can cause dogs' skin to become darker or lighter than […]Continue reading

Newborn Puppy Skin Problems & Conditions

by Lisa Porter, Herbalist on 11-18-22
If you're the proud owner of a new puppy, congratulations! Bringing home a new furry friend is always exciting. Unfortunately, newborn puppies are prone to developing a variety of skin problems and conditions. However, these problems can be easily cured with the right treatment. In this blog post, we'll discuss some of of the skin […]Continue reading

Free shipping

on orders of $25 or more

Easy Returns

Shipping to
Canada & Mexico

chevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram