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Can Dog Shampoo Be Used on Cats?

cat bath shampoo blogYou’ve decided it’s time to give your cat a bath but you’re out of kitty shampoo, so you reach for the dog shampoo instead. This may seem like a perfectly harmless swap, but pet owners should beware. Dog shampoo is not always safe for felines.

If the shampoo in question is a flea shampoo, steer clear. Certain insecticides that are safe for dogs, like permethrin, are toxic when used on cats. Even if the shampoo contains a flea-fighting ingredient that is typically safe for felines, it may contain a greater amount than safe for a small cat or kitten. To be sure, always consult with a veterinarian before using any product on your cat that’s labeled for canine use.

If you’re wondering why anyone would bathe their cat at all since they groom themselves, there are some situations when a bath is necessary. A weekly bath might reduce an allergic owner’s sneezing, wheezing, and other symptoms. Cats also sometimes get into something gross or sticky, which might warrant a trip to the bathtub. To be safe, opt for a feline shampoo that’s formulated for your cat’s individual needs.

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{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Heather September 2, 2015, 9:08 pm

    I did not know about the insecticide. Thanks for the info! I’ve used Dawn dish detergent to kill fleas on my foster kittens.

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