Is Palmolive Safe for Cats?

Is Palmolive Safe for Cats?

Cats are fastidious groomers that spend at least 50% of their daily waking hours just grooming themselves. They do not have to be bathed regularly; a once-a-month bath is plenty for them (except for the hairless breeds that should be bathed weekly). There has been much debate as to whether dishwashing soaps like Palmolive are safe for cats and if it is appropriate for their sensitive skin. In this article, let us find out if it is harmful or not for felines. 

Is Palmolive safe for cats?

No, it is not entirely safe for cats even though it can be used with caution. It is said to be effective in removing fleas and oil stains from your cat’s fur. However, it may cause serious damage to cats because of harmful chemicals that are not suitable for animals. Your cat may also ingest it since felines lick their fur often. 

While some vets may recommend its use, be aware that the side effects cannot be seen immediately and could cause long-term health issues. That being said, Palmolive can be used to remove heavy soil and oil from your cat’s fur, as well as to control fleas. It should be used only in an emergency, not as a substitute for a pet shampoo that is specially formulated for cats and developed for your cat’s skin pH levels. 

Reasons why Palmolive is potentially harmful to cats

These are the reasons why Palmolive may cause bad effects for cats:

  1. It is not specifically designed for a cat’s skin. 
  2. It is not safe for your cat since it dries out her skin and removes the skin’s natural defenses.
  3. It is not effective in eradicating fleas; it only removes adult fleas, which constitute a mere 5% of the flea population in your home. 

Palmolive dish detergent contains strong chemicals which can be toxic for cats. Felines have different abilities to metabolize drugs or poisons through the liver and are more sensitive to certain chemicals and ingredients than humans and dogs. Although the product removes fleas, odor, and oil, it is not natural. It is full of chemicals like synthetic fragrance and dyes. 

What are the uses for and ingredients of Palmolive dish detergent?

Palmolive dish detergent is a popular product in the USA with powerful cleansing ingredients and a pleasant aroma. It is formulated to remove grease on dishes and may be useful in removing excess oils in your cat’s coat. However, it may also strip the natural oils off your pet’s fur. 

These are the ingredients of Palmolive dishwashing soap:

Active ingredient – Triclosan, an organic compound with anti-bacterial properties. It is effective in killing germs since it stays on the dishes and on your hands. 

Inactive ingredients – Ammonium laureth sulfate, a mild detergent and emulsifier; lauryl polyglucose, which helps the soap to spread more easily on a surface; sodium chloride, magnesium, and sodium bisulfite. 

Potentially dangerous ingredients – SD Alcohol 3A, a potentially toxic grain alcohol; sodium xylenol sulfonate, which is thought to be carcinogenic and can cause irritation in the eyes, vomiting, diarrhea, and contact dermatitis. 

The complete ingredients list includes Triclosan, ammonium laureth sulfate, lauryl polyglucose, magnesium, water, sodium dodecylbenzene sulfonate, SD Alcohol 3A, lauramidopropylanine oxide, sodium chloride, fragrance, sodium xylene sulfonate, sodium bisulfite, pentasodium pentetate, D&C Orange 5, and quaternium 15.

If you use Palmolive for your cat in an emergency, use the green variant instead of the antibacterial kind. Rinse your cat well after using the detergent and be sure that there is no harmful residue left on her fur. After rinsing, apply a pet conditioner to restore the healthy oils of your cat’s coat. 

To remove the skunk smell off your cat, combine one quart of three percent hydrogen peroxide, one-fourth cup of baking soda and one teaspoon of Palmolive dish detergent. The solution is combustible, so do not store it after use– dispose of it properly.

What kind of soap is safe for cats?

The kind of soap that is safe for cats is a specialist cat shampoo that is mild and has no harsh chemicals or perfumes. Do not use human shampoo on your cat since it is not suited for cat hair and skin due to the different pH levels. Go for a cleansing and deodorizing cat shampoo with natural ingredients. If your cat has dry skin, use a dry skin and conditioning pet shampoo. 


Palmolive dish detergent is considered safe to use for cats, but only in an emergency. It helps remove oil and heavy soil from a cat’s fur and can control adult fleas.  However, it can be harmful to cats because it contains chemicals like SD Alcohol 3A, which is toxic. It is also not formulated for cats, dries up their skin, and removes the skin’s natural defenses.

Image: / Dmitry Kirichay