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Can you use dog shampoo on cats?

When it comes to our pets, we want to make sure that we are doing everything possible to keep them healthy and looking their best. So, when it comes time to give our cats a bath, do you know what shampoo is the best for them? In this post, we will explore whether or not dog shampoo can be used on cats. Keep reading for more information!

Is it ok to use dog shampoo on cats?

Not quite. While it's true that cats are often able to clean themselves quite well, there are still benefits to bathing them on a regular basis. For one, it can help get them used to the water in case they ever need a bath for an emergency. Secondly, regular baths can help remove any dirt or debris that may be stuck in their fur. And lastly, it can simply be a bonding experience for you and your cat. However, when it comes time to actually give them a bath, you should avoid using just any shampoo. Here's why

Dog Shampoo with Permethrin

Shampoos that contain flea and tick medication is the most important ingredient to avoid  when using dog shampoo on a cat. Certain dog shampoos have a unique flea medication that can be toxic to cats. Permethrin, a chemical found in dog flea medication, is safe for dogs but toxic to cats.

After administering the medication to your dog, most veterinarians recommend that you keep your dog and cat apart for a period of time to prevent the cat from getting too close. So It's recommended that not to use dog shampoo that contains permethrin for cats.

Dog Shampoo pH

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Most cat shampoo has a pH of 6, making it more acidic than dog shampoo, which is more likely to have a pH of 7.5. Even though it may not seem like a big difference, it will have a significant impact on the coat's shine and softness, as well as its ability to self-groom.

The wrong pH level can strip the natural oils from the skin, which can lead to dryness and irritation. For these reasons, it's important to choose a shampoo with  pH levels that are safe for cats or shampoo that is specifically designed for your cat's individual needs.

Dog Shampoo Essential Oils

Essential oils like tea tree oil, which can be harmful to cats and dogs, can be found in high concentrations in dog shampoos. Tea tree oil's antibacterial and antifungal properties make it a common ingredient in many products, despite the fact that dogs are particularly sensitive to essential oils. In Pride and Groom’s dog shampoos we do not use any tea tree oils.

Dog Shampoo with Coal Tar

Some dog shampoos contain Coal tar as a therapeutic ingredient because of its ability to fight bacteria. Tar, on the other hand, is of no use to cats, and coating their fur in it can impair their ability to groom themselves, leading to an increase in their dirtiness and stress.

Why can’t you use just any dog shampoo on cats?

Kitten under blanket, scared kitten

While both cats and dogs are classified as "pets," they are actually quite different animals. As a result, they have different needs when it comes to grooming. For instance, dog shampoo is designed to remove dirt and debris from a dog's thick coat of fur. However, this same shampoo can be harsh on a cat's delicate skin and fur.

In addition, dog shampoo is often scented, which can be overwhelming for a cat's sensitive sense of smell. For these reasons, it's important to use cat-specific or cat safe shampoo when bathing your feline friend. Cat shampoo is formulated to be gentle on their skin and fur, and it is usually unscented to avoid overwhelming their sensitive noses. By using the proper shampoo for your pet, you can help keep them healthy and happy.

We Recommend

Is There Shampoo for Both Dogs and Cats?

Cats and dogs can both use shampoo, as it is available for both species. Many pet shampoos are safe for both dogs and cats, in fact. A pet shampoo is a fantastic investment if you have a cat or dog. A list of the best products has been compiled

The MANE TAME is extremely simple to use, light, and frothy. No water is required. a quick and surprisingly thorough approach to revive a coat that has seen better days or simply extend the life of a groom.

Do you know a cat that might use a little something? Cats can benefit greatly from THE MANE TAME. They wouldn't acknowledge it, but they'll feel new after something quick and efficient.

How to Use?

Foam should be evenly distributed into the dry coat of your pet using your fingers and hands.

Pump a tiny amount onto a washcloth for the face and paws. Massage the paws, ears, mouth, nose, and eyes (avoid direct contact with eyes, obviously.


Freshening up a face, a paw, or a patch of muddy fur is easy with THE SWIPE. When your dog starts acting like, well, a dog, THE SWIPE is a must-have item to have on hand. It's nourishing like our shampoos and conditioner and loaded with our unique smell.

THE SWIPE is ideal for cats as well. Although they'd never admit it, they occasionally miss a spot. You just have to watch out for the cattitude when wearing a clean, wonderful-smelling coat.

Why can you use dog flea shampoo on cats?

You can use dog flea shampoo with natural ingredients or pet flea shampoo. Educate yourself and read the label to make sure that there are no dangerous to cat ingredients in you flea shampoo

Can you use dog flea shampoo on cats?

Though it may seem like a good idea to use dog flea shampoo on cats, it is actually not recommended. Dog flea shampoo is designed to be more harsh because dogs have a different pH balance than cats. This difference in pH can cause skin irritations and other problems for cats. In addition, dog flea shampoo often contains insecticides that are harmful to cats. For these reasons, it is best to use a cat-specific flea shampoo when treating your feline friend for fleas.

Can you use waterless dog shampoo on cats?

Waterless dog shampoo is a popular product for busy pet owners who don't have the time to give their dog a traditional bath. However, many people wonder if waterless dog shampoo is safe to use on cats. The answer is yes, waterless dog shampoo is perfectly safe to use on cats. In fact, it can be a great way to keep your kitty clean and smelling fresh between baths.

Waterless shampoos are gentle and won't strip away essential oils from your cat's coat. They're also convenient and easy to use. Simply apply the shampoo to your cat's fur, massage it in, and then wipe away any excess with a towel. Your cat will be clean and fresh without having to endure the stress of a traditional bath.

What is the Difference Between a Cat’s Skin and a Dog’s Skin?

A cat's skin is thicker and has a lower pH level than a dog's skin. Furthermore, cat skin has a lower pH level compared to that of a dog. The simple answer is that a cat's skin is more delicate than that of a dog.

The skin of a dog and a cat may serve the same purpose, but their differences make it impossible to use the same products on both. Chemicals can easily penetrate the skin of cats if they are bathed with products that are meant for canines. Dog shampoo can also dry up the skin of a cat.

What distinguishes dog shampoo from cat shampoo?

Cat shampoos are formulated for higher acidic skin pH levels, but dog grooming products frequently contain substances that might be toxic to cats. This is the fundamental distinction between cat and dog shampoos.

For instance, tea tree oil, which has antibacterial, antifungal, and skin-soothing properties, can be present in the dog shampoo. However, cats cannot use this essential oil.

Permethrin is also a component of dog flea shampoo formulations. Cats are extremely sensitive to the chemical permethrin. Skin absorption is sufficient to elicit intoxication in cats; they do not even need to lick the shampoo.

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Is Dog Shampoo Effective for Cleaning Cats?

Although not all dog shampoos might be the ideal option for your cat, some dog shampoos can be gentle enough to safely wash your cat.  Some pet shampoos may effectively clean both cats and dogs and work for both. It all depends on the other substances it contains and the pH range it supports.

Final Thoughts

There are a few things to keep in mind when using dog shampoo on cats. First, make sure that the shampoo is designed for use on your specific pet. Second, be sure to use a cat-specific flea shampoo if your cat has fleas. And finally, remember that waterless dog shampoo is perfectly safe to use on cats. By following these simple guidelines, you can help keep your cat healthy and happy.


PRIDE+GROOM was born because 4 New York City dog lovers wanted the same level of grooming products for their dogs that they themselves enjoyed. They looked (hard) but nothing was up to snuff. Or sniff. Like so many, we love our families and take pride in our homes, and we consider our pets to be integral parts of those entities. That said, we could not find an effective way to coif them that was on par with the way we tended to our children, our homes, or ourselves. These beloved pets are allowed on the furniture and in our beds, and yet even when fresh from the groomer, we knew they did not smell or feel as good as they could.

With the development of our coat-specific shampoos, conditioner and deodorizing spray, we think we found just the way to say thanks for being the best and the sweetest MVP of the house.

PRIDE+GROOM is the first dog grooming brand launched under a beauty platform, with formulas made in a clean beauty and scent lab. We know beauty is not only skin deep. We did a ton of research to create the entire line. Each product is formulated with its own unique blend of essential oils sourced from around the world.


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