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Cats are meticulous groomers and unlike dogs, most of them rarely need a bath. But on occasions when they do get dirty, can you use baby shampoo on cats?
Since most cats can spend years without a bath, a cat shampoo isn’t a thing most owners keep handy. So, can you use baby shampoo on cats and is it safe to do so in a case of emergency?
If you are contemplating whether it is safe to use baby shampoo on cats, you need to first understand that humans and cats have different skin pH levels.
Human skin is classified as acidic and generally has a pH level of 5.5. On the other hand, a cat’s skin pH level is 7.5 and slightly alkaline.
This may not seem like a big difference, but wrong type of shampoo can actually damage a cat’s skin making it itchy and dry.
Is it safe to use baby shampoo on cats? Or can you use baby shampoo on kittens?
Many many first-time owners ask these questions not knowing the exact difference between a human and cat shampoo. So here are the main differences between these two product categories:
- Ingredients: Human shampoos are harsher and have different chemical makeup.
- PH balance: As mentioned above, cats and humans have different basic pH levels. Thus, using normal shampoo can irritate and damage your cat’s skin and coat.
- Sensitive skin: Compared to us, cats have very sensitive skin that can easily become irritated. This is especially true for young kittens. So, can you use baby shampoo on kittens? We advise against it.
Despite the fact that baby shampoos are gentler, they are still formulated for different pH skin levels. So settle for a product that is specially formulated for your cat’s needs instead. So can you bathe a cat with baby shampoo? You can, but only occasionally when there is no cat shampoo available.
The cat shampoo products listed below are made of natural ingredients that will clean, soothe and protect your cat’s skin and coat. This list isn’t comprehensive, but it will give you an idea of what to look for in a cat shampoo.
The Earthbath Cat Shampoo is made of natural ingredients and specially formulated for the sensitive cat skin.
A mild cleaning formula and fresh cherry scent will leave your cat clean and smelling great after a bath!
It’s 2 in 1 use as a shampoo as well as a conditioner is one of the biggest benefits of this product. The downside is that, it can’t be used on kittens younger than 6 weeks.
This shampoo is specially formulated for cats and their skin pH levels and hence is highly recommended.
Most owners state that this shampoo worked great for their long-haired cats and managed to de-tangle their coat. However, some owners state that the cherry scent can be a bit overpowering.
The Espree Kitten Shampoo is a tear-free product and specially formulated for young kittens and nursing cats. It is made of 100% organic aloe and jojoba oil which are suitable for their sensitive skin.
This is a hypoallergenic shampoo for young kittens that never had a bath.
Besides making the coat clean, this shampoo also conditions it and won’t burn your kitten’s eyes. So the fact that it can be used on very young kittens is great. However, the baby powder aroma can be a bit strong for the nose.
So while you can wash a kitten with baby shampoo occasionally, find a shampoo formulated for kittens like this one instead.
Buyers stated that this shampoo cleans and soothes the skin and is safe for kittens. However, some of them didn’t like their kittens smelling like baby powder.
The Oster Oatmeal Naturals Cat Shampoo works to clean, condition and de-tangle the cats coat and also soothes and protects their skin. Therefore, it is best suited for cats with normal coat and sensitive skin.
Due to the higher surfactant levels, it removes the excess dirt more effectively.
On the other hand, the vanilla smell can be too strong for some cats which can cause them to show some resistance. But other than that, its a good shampoo for cats.
The answer is yes, but only occasionally when there is no cat shampoo available and only in a case of an emergency. Despite being gentle, baby shampoo isn’t formulated for cats and regular long-term use can cause skin problems in cats.
Your cat deserves only the best grooming and care. So treat her with one of the shampoos listed above. There is no need to use human products, when the ones designed for cats are safe, work better and are easily available.