Can You Use Baby Shampoo on Cats

Can You Use Baby Shampoo on Cats

Generally, cats don’t like to take a bath because they don’t want to get wet, except of course for the Bengali breed that adores water. Also, contrary to common beliefs, they are not afraid of water and some are even strong swimmers just like dogs.

However, there are instances when there’s a need to bathe your cat using store-bought products like pet soap and shampoo. 

Can you use baby shampoo on cats?

Yes, you can use baby shampoo on cats but you should do it only if there is no cat shampoo around. The best grooming product for cats is and always will be a cat shampoo because it’s specially formulated for them. To make a clear point, baby shampoo is okay but not highly recommended. If and when you have to use baby shampoo, make sure it’s unscented and a ph-balanced one. 

Comparisons between a baby shampoo and cat shampoo 

While a baby shampoo or even other human shampoo is considered safe to use for cats it doesn’t mean that it should be habitually used.  While it may contain gentle formulas it may still have parabens, sulfates,  and colorants that are harmful to the skin and health of your cat. On the other hand, cat shampoos are specially made for cats. It maintains the health and luster of their hair while not irritating their sensitive skin.

Compared to human skin which has a 5.5 ph level and acidic, cat skin has a 7.5 ph level. Thus, your pet cat should only use a shampoo that’s well-suited for their ph level to avoid allergies and irritations. 

Various types of cat shampoo

Many pet product companies are manufacturing cat shampoos with unique formulations. They are clean your cat’s hair or fur, wash away dead cells, promote healthy hair growth, and make them smell good  Here are just some of the common types of cat shampoo that are commercially available today:

  • Traditional shampoo

This is the typical of cat shampoo that contains a gentle formulation for various types of cat skin. Some brands also claim to use only organic ingredients that are safe for cats. 

  • Waterless shampoo

The waterless shampoo is the best alternative if your pet feline abhors getting wet and taking a bath. It comes in foam, spray, and powder form. This type of will still ensure that your pet is well-cleansed and will keep their fur healthy and shiny. 

  • Shampoo and conditioner 

This type serves a dual purpose as it doesn’t only cleanse your cat, it will also make their fur shiny, manageable, and tangle-free. It’s also economical and most cat owners prefer this over the traditional type. 

Recommended cat shampoos for your cat

There are countless cat shampoos in the market. Here are three of the most recommended cat shampoos for your gentle felines:

 1. Earthbath All Natural Cat Shampoo 

This product is highly recommended by veterinarians because it’s ph-balanced, soap-free, and has all-natural ingredients. It’s perfect for pet cats with sensitive skin and contains aloe vera that moisturizes their skin. Most of all, it has a mild and pleasant vanilla and oatmeal scent plus it doesn’t wash off topical flea applications.

2. Pro Pet Works All Natural Organic Oatmeal Pet Shampoo Plus Conditioner 

This one is very popular among vets and pet owners alike. It has tons of good customer reviews and boasts of natural ingredients like almond oil and aloe vera. It has no colorants, alcohol, sulfates, or harsh chemicals and it’s completely fragrance-free. 

3. Burt’s Bees for Cats Hypoallergenic Shampoo with Shea Butter and Honey 

This cat shampoo is great for both grown cats and kittens and highly suitable for pet cats with sensitive skin. It’s fragrance-free and ph-balanced and doesn’t contain harsh chemicals, colorants, and sulfates. The product has shea butter to moisturize your pet’s skin and honey that provides shine and luster to their hair or fur. 

Is it essential for cats to take a bath regularly?

Generally, cats should only be bathed occasionally since they regularly do self-cleaning. They shouldn’t take a bath often because they have sensitive skin and will strip away the natural oils. Moreover,  regular baths can dry out the cat’s fur or hair.

Reasons why cats should be bathed

There are some situations in which cats should be bathed by their owners:

1. To get rid of fleas

When fleas infest your cat it results in physical and behavioral changes. If you notice that your cat is constantly scratching, biting, and intensely agitated or restless then your pet may have fleas. It’s essential to bathe your cat and use a flea treatment to resolve the problem. Other tell-tale signs that your pet has fleas include red lesions or scab-like bumps in their skin, pale gums, and muscle loss. 

2. If your cat has ringworm

Ringworm is a highly contagious fungal infection. Usually, the species that infect cats is called Trichophyton mentagrophytes that can also infect humans. Thus, there’s a great probability that you’ll also be infected. The infection can be treated with topical creams, oral medication, and regular baths. Make sure to isolate your pet from the rest of the household during the treatment period. See also our article on the cost of deworming a cat.

3. If your cat is a Sphynx or Peterbald

Cats like the Sphynx and Peterbald belong to the hairless breed and don’t have any fur at all. They have sweaty and oily skin, thus, they need to have weekly baths. It’s highly recommended to use a mild cat shampoo and warm water for this high-maintenance but lovable breed. 

4. If a toxic substance gets stuck in their coat.

Your pet cats may sometimes find themselves in unpleasant situations like being accidentally drenched with gasoline, motor oil, or toxic household products. If so, your cat should be bathed and thoroughly cleaned to avoid the ingestion of such substances.

5. If your cat is arthritic or overweight. 

If your cat is showing signs of arthritis or obesity they may not be able to groom and clean themselves well. In this case, it’s advisable to bathe them occasionally to keep their fur and skin healthy. 


Your pet cat may not like the idea of getting wet but bathing them occasionally is beneficial to their health and well-being. While it may be generally acceptable to use baby shampoo it’s advisable to stick to a cat shampoo when you bathe a cat. There are countless pet grooming products in the market that you can choose from which offer a ton of benefits to keep your pet cat well-groomed, clean, and healthy.