Is Baby Shampoo Safe For Cats?

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Baby skin is physically very sensitive. That’s why most companies of baby shampoo always try to use the most appropriate ingredients to protect babies from negative reactions.

Similarly, cat skin is pretty sensitive, too. Therefore, many cat owners wonder “Is it fine to use baby shampoo to bathe cats?” or “Is baby shampoo safe for cats?” If it is, then how much and how often should we bathe our cats with baby shampoo? If it is not, then what is the reason?

Our today article will help you answer those concerns!

What’re Ingredients in Baby Shampoo?

There are many brands of baby shampoo available on the market, and some of the most famous names include Johnson’s Baby, Aveeno Baby, Dr. Bronner’s, etc. Different brands make their product using different ingredients. Take Johnson’s Baby for example, as far as I know, the main ingredients in Johnson’s Baby baby shampoo are cocamidopropyl betaine, PEG-80 sorbitan laurate, sodium trideceth sulfate, citric acid, PEG-150 distearate, and fragrance. According to some studies, these ingredients are considered safe for babies.

Is Baby Shampoo Safe for Cats?

In general, the answer is YES. The ingredients in baby shampoo are not harsh because they are made to use for sensitive baby skin. So, they are safe for cats as well.

However, for the optimal safety, each time you bathe your cat with baby shampoo, you should do that quickly. That’s because the cat skin is different from our skin, so baby shampoo might have some ingredients that cats can be allergic to, or contain ingredients that cats don’t really need. Moreover, some kinds of natural oil, such as birch, cinnamon, thyme, oregano, tea and wintergreen, in baby shampoo might be good for baby skin but not good for the cat fur.

Is Baby Shampoo the Best Choice for Cats?

The answer is NO. But cat-specific shampoo is the best choice for cats!

Although baby shampoo is not harsh for the cat skin, it is not the best choice for cats because it is not specially made for the cat skin and fur. In other words, baby shampoo is safe for your feline friends if being occasionally used. Otherwise, it can trigger some skin problems.

On the other hand, cat-specific shampoo is made to work the best with the cat skin and fur. Moreover, this kind of pet product can help your feline friends treat their skin sickness and have a healthier coat. In addition, some cat shampoo products contain deodorizing and anti-flea chemicals whose jobs are killing and preventing fleas – what your cats, especially outdoor ones, really need.

How About Organic Human Shampoo?

Organic shampoo for human cleans the cats’ skin pretty well and gives them a nice fur, but it may contain some ingredients that cats can be allergic to, such as avocado oil, aloe oil, palm oil and chamomile oil. For example, aloe oil in organic shampoo can make cats vomit or have diarrhea.

So, if you run out of cat shampoo, organic shampoo can be a temporary solution. Just make sure the selected product doesn’t contain any ingredient that your cats are allergic to.

How Often Should You Bathe Your Cats?

In general, outdoor cats, long-coat cats and more active cats need more frequent baths than indoor cats, short-coat cats and less active cats. According to the National Cat Groomers of America, we need to bathe and dry our cats every 4 to 6 weeks for the health of their coat. Cats that have a skin problem or fleas (you might need a flea comb for cats in this case) require even more frequent baths with specially-made products to treat their problems.

Some Notes When Bathing Your Cats with Shampoo

Watch Your Cat After the Bath

You need to keep an eye on your cats after using any new shampoo on them. Watch them after the bath and keep on watching them the following days to know if their hair falls too much, or there is any skin problem or bad reaction (such as a sad face, vomit, stop being active or stop eating). If you see any of those reactions, then your cat might be allergic to some ingredients in the shampoo and you need to bring them to the vet immediately.

Bathe Quickly, Thoroughly and Carefully

Cats are famous for their hate to water. That’s why many people try to bathe their feline friends too quickly and do not wash all the shampoo in their skin. This is really bad! In fact, it is true that we need to bathe our cats as quickly as we can, but we also need to wash them thoroughly to make sure that all the shampoo is flushed away. While bathing, try not to let shampoo enter your cats’ eyes, nose, mouth, and ears.

Be Gentle During the Bath

Age is important when you bathe a cat. For kittens, use only a small amount of shampoo and mix it with water. Also, note that cats hate water, so ensure to comfort them, be gentle and talk to them like you are talking to a baby. Never shout at or do anything that might hurt your cats. These unkind behaviors only make them lose control, jump, try to run or even try to hurt you back.


So, “Is baby shampoo safe for cats?”. Now you know the answer! In general, baby shampoo does not contain harsh ingredients. Therefore, it’s a good choice to bathe your cat when you run out of cat shampoo in spite of not being the best choice.

Remember that the cat skin has different pH compared to our skin, so if we use human shampoo on cats so frequently, then it can cause some skin problems. Also, cats need shampoo products that contain anti-flea ingredients to keep them safe from fleas, but baby shampoo never has such kind of ingredient. Therefore, for the best solution, you should choose cat-specific shampoo products for your beloved feline friends.

Leave your comment below if you have any questions! Thank you for reading!

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