Cats generally hate bath-time, but thankfully these furry creatures are excellent groomers and rarely need any help when it comes to cleaning themselves.
Still, there are times when our furry companions do need some human assistance when they get themselves into particularly messy situations. Disabled cats who are unable to groom themselves will also need extra help with getting clean.
In this case, you may find cat wipes a convenient solution to help keep your cat clean and looking great. These products are generally hypoallergenic, safe, and non-toxic – they do not contain harmful chemicals that might hurt your cat.
So, if you are wondering whether cat wipes are completely safe for regular use, read on for more details.
Are cat wipes safe to use?
Cat wipes are generally safe to use when you need to keep your pets clean and odor-free in between baths. These products are formulated for cats’ skin and should not cause any adverse effects. Cleaning wipes for cats are also non-toxic and veterinarian-approved, so you can spot-clean your kitty without giving her a full bath.
However, cats with very sensitive skin should avoid products with artificial fragrances. It is therefore highly recommended to choose wipes that are unscented and made of natural ingredients to avoid allergic reactions and skin irritation.
Another important thing to remember is that cat wipes should not be a substitute for a full bath in the event that your feline is suffering from a skin infection or flea infestation. They should only be used as mini-baths to temporarily remove dirt and debris caught in the fur.
Are cat wipes necessary?
We all know that cats are fastidious groomers. You have probably watched your pet as she cleans herself for hours daily. So, it is safe to say that most of the time, cats really do not need help from their humans to keep themselves tidy.
But, there are certain occasions when your cat’s natural grooming tools may not be enough to remove dirt and odor. Cats with long coats are at risk of matted fur and are more likely to catch dirt and debris as they move. Many long-haired cats also occasionally get feces stuck in their hair, which can be frustrating for cat owners.
Cat wipes become a necessity when you need to help keep your cat clean in between baths. These products also come in on long trips, or even a short trip to the vet if your furry friend accidentally eliminates outside her litter box.
Senior or disabled cats who cannot groom themselves will also need your help in keeping them looking clean and tidy.
In any of these scenarios, cat cleaning wipes are your most convenient option.
Benefits of using cat wipes
If you are a cat parent, there are several reasons why cleaning wipes should be included on your list of essentials.
When we think about cat wipes, we are usually just concerned about cleaning a dirty spot on our cat’s coat. Surprisingly, though, cat wipes do come with a number of other benefits, explained here:
- Cat wipes can help remove dander and excessive shedding. They are excellent not only for cleaning the fur, but also to remove any excess hair that might otherwise end up on your carpets or cause matted fur.
- If your furry friend is suffering from dry and itchy skin, she might get some instant relief from cat cleaning wipes. Wipes that contain aloe vera or oatmeal are especially helpful to alleviate skin irritation, due to the aloe’s moisturizing effects.
- Cats who enjoy destroying your garden plants or chasing smaller animals outside can be quite difficult to keep clean. Thankfully, cat wipes come to the rescue to remove stubborn dirt and bacteria without the need to bathe your kitty every time.
- Cat wipes are also formulated to soften and moisturize your cat’s coat and skin. Hence, cleaning wipes are not only great at removing dirt and other impurities; they may also boost your pet’s skin hydration and relieve any feeling of tightness or dryness.
- Cat cleaning wipes are one of the many travel essentials that every pet owner should have. If you are taking your cat on a road trip, wipes may come in handy for emergency clean-ups.
- Senior cats or cats with health issues might need a helping hand from time to time, as they can no longer groom themselves properly. Cat cleaning wipes are a great help in this case, especially after your cat has used the litter box.
Cons of using cat wipes
The downside of cat wipes is that not all brands might be suitable for your cat’s skin. In fact, some wipes might trigger allergic reactions, especially if they contain perfumes.
So, before using any cat wipes, test one on a small area of your cat’s skin first to check for any reactions. Symptoms like itchiness, redness, and irritation are all red flags that suggest your cat is allergic to the product.
Cat wipes features to look for
Here are some features of cat wipes that you should consider before making a purchase:
1. Durable and soft
There are a lot of different wipes on the market, and it can be quite overwhelming deciding on the right one for your fur-baby.
When choosing a cat wipe for your cat, remember that not all wipes are equal! Make sure to consider the durability and softness of the material. Some wipes, such as Booyah, are made of hemp or bamboo fibers that are completely natural and renewable. These extra-soft materials can give your kitty a helping hand when her natural grooming tools are not enough to remove dirt and odor.
Most cat wipes come in standard sizes that work well for a regular household cat. But what if you have a large-breed cat that loves playing outdoors? Cats like Maine Coons would definitely benefit from a larger-sized wipe whenever they get themselves into a mess – this will save you from using multiple sheets each time!
Although most cat wipes are specifically formulated for cats’ skin, not all of them contain the same ingredients. If you have a cat with extra sensitive skin, you might need to choose hypoallergenic cat wipes.
Hypoallergenic wipes use the minimum number of ingredients to minimize allergies and other skin issues. You will often find wipes that are made of natural ingredients and unscented versions more suitable for your cat’s delicate skin.
4. Antibacterial or antifungal properties
Antibacterial or antiseptic cat wipes are convenient to use between baths if your furry friend suffers from skin infections. These wipes are excellent at killing bacteria and ringworm without the need to bathe your cat all the time. They also help to freshen her up as they remove unwanted odors from her coat while soothing and moisturizing her skin.
However, you do need to remember not to use the wipes on your cat’s eyes – there is a separate product for that!
5. Fragrance free
Cats are much more sensitive than humans to smells and odors. As much as possible, then, you should try to avoid wipes that contain any added fragrances. Not only can these wipes cause your cat discomfort; they can also trigger allergies in pets with very sensitive skin.
6. Environmentally friendly
Along with other garbage, wet wipes can cause long-term problems in our environment since they do not disintegrate easily. They often end up in the landfill or, worse, in our pipes and sewerage systems, which can cause blockages. Even marine life can be affected as the wipes can find their way into our oceans.
Hence, as responsible pet owners, it is worth considering products that are made of biodegradable and renewable materials. Choose cat wipes that are not only good for Fluffy’s bum but also for the environment, such as those made of hemp or bamboo fibers.
7. Body part safety
Although most grooming wipes can be used to clean any body area on your cat, some should not be used on sensitive areas. There are wipes made specifically to clean your cat’s rear end, eyes, face, paws, or her entire body – so make sure to check the label before purchasing one.
The packaging of the wipes is another feature you might want to consider if you are looking for convenience. Wipes that are packaged in plastic cylindrical containers are often favored since they come with a complete seal on top, and are thus more effective at maintaining moisture. However, they might take up more space and are therefore not so travel-friendly.
On the other hand, wipes that come in traditional soft packaging are more compact and space-saving. They are perfect for fur parents on the go, especially if you are taking your pets on one of your long trips. The downside of these packages is that they do not seal very well, so your cat wipes will easily dry out within a couple of weeks.
Other alternatives to cat wipes
If you are cleaning a minor mess on your cat’s fur, then wipes are certainly the most convenient option to get the job done. These products are excellent at cleaning paws, ears, eyes, and bum instead of giving your furry companion a full bath. Simply pull out a sheet to wipe off the dirt and then throw it away.
But, if you are looking for other safe alternatives to save on costs, then a clean, damp washcloth can definitely do the same job for you. Just wet a soft towel with water and add a few drops of cat shampoo to effectively remove dirt from fur. You can also use the damp towel as an alternative to your cat’s full bath, especially if she hates the water.
However, in cases of extremely matted fur or if your cat has soiled herself for some reason, then wipes or even damp cloths might not be enough to solve the problem. Wipes are also not very effective at dealing with fleas and other skin infections. A full bath with a medicated shampoo is often the best approach to deal with any skin-related problems.
Wipes you should avoid
While wipes are becoming a more convenient option to keep our furry friends clean, knowing which types of wipe to use is very important. Any products not formulated for cats’ skin are clearly not a safe option. As much as we want to keep our pets clean and tidy, we also need to guard them against any products that can trigger allergies and irritations.
Here are the ones you must avoid:
1. Baby wipes
Baby wipes, both scented and unscented, should never be used on your cat since these products contain additives that are not safe for your pet’s delicate skin. These added chemicals include propylene glycol and other detergents that are not safe for cats.
Unless you get approval from your vet, it is probably best to use cat wipes instead of baby wipes to ensure that your cat does not suffer any allergic reactions.
2. Makeup remover wipes
Makeup removers are designed for human use and could prove harmful when used on our pets. Although these wipes are safe and gentle on human skin, they could be the total opposite on your cat. Makeup removers, although they have evolved over the years, still come with chemicals that can significantly irritate animal skin.
If you cannot find cat wipes to deal with a messy emergency, it is better to use a clean, damp towel than a makeup remover wipe. Alternatively, let your kitty do the job of cleaning herself until you can find suitable cleaning wipes for her.
3. Household soap
Cleaning your cat with water and common household soap might seem a harmless and easily accessible solution. However, soaps that are designed for human skin or any detergents intended for cleaning or disinfecting can hurt your cat’s sensitive skin.
If you need to help your cat groom herself, your best tool would just be plain water and a soft towel. Unless you have cat shampoo or cat soap on hand, it is better to avoid any household soaps as they can be harmful or toxic to your cat, especially if used repeatedly.
Cat wipes are safe products to use, especially for cats who can no longer manage to groom themselves properly. They are hypoallergenic and non-toxic to cats, making them an excellent alternative to baths.
Do make sure to choose the unscented versions, though, as most cats are quite sensitive to foreign smells. It is also recommended to choose cat wipes made of natural ingredients to avoid skin allergies and irritations, especially for cats with extra sensitive skin.
Image: istockphoto.com / catinsyrup