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Can I use dog shampoo on a cat?

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
My wife accidentally bought a bottle of "Fresh 'n Clean tearless puppy shampoo" for the cat. Do you think it's alright if we use it on the kitty? Or is there a great difference between dog and cat shampoos?
post #2 of 34
If it says "for dogs" or "for dogs only" anywhere on the bottle, absolutely do not use it! You could always try returning it to the store for the appropriate shampoo...
post #3 of 34
Most puppy shampoo's are mild. You can call the company and ask. Read the label. Most likely if it can be used on cats they will tell you on the back.
post #4 of 34
No - please take it back. Dog shampoos should not be used on cats as they have some ingredients that are harmful to cats - namely tea tree oil. Use a shampoo made just for cats or use a good quality people shampoo like Pantane or Nexxus (and use a conditioner too).
post #5 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
No - please take it back. Dog shampoos should not be used on cats as they have some ingredients that are harmful to cats - namely tea tree oil. Use a shampoo made just for cats or use a good quality people shampoo like Pantane or Nexxus (and use a conditioner too).
Not all dog shampoo's have harmful ingredients for cats though. It is true tea tree should not be used on cats, as well as tar. But if it says it can be used on cats it will be ok. And if it says Tea tree or tar on it and says it's ok for cats, sue their pants off!
post #6 of 34
NO!I had a professional groomer make that mistake, and my cat died three days later. Please don't use over the counter pet shampoos for your cat unless it is specifically says for cats only. The best thing to use, is just a few drops of Dawn liquid soap for dishes. Original not antibacterial or scented.
post #7 of 34
I agree, unless it says "FOR CATS" I wouldn't use it.
Why take the chance?
But frankly I wouldn't use any over the counter pet shampoo or medication.
I'd buy something from the Vet, it might cost more but in the long run the extra price would be worth it.
post #8 of 34
You mean I can't have a "lemon or grapefruit" smelling kitty
post #9 of 34
Don't use it unless it says it is safe for both dogs and cats - even if it is a puppy shampoo don't assume it is safe unless you read on the label it is okay for cats.
I use shampoo that is safe for both dogs and cats. Works for my Sphynx and for my dog with allergies.
post #10 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
You mean I can't have a "lemon or grapefruit" smelling kitty


I use good old Pantene shampoo and conditioner and my babies come outta the tub nice -n- clean and fluffy.
post #11 of 34
Most dog shampoos are not good to use on a cat. And they hide it in very fine print. Sometimes near the bottom of the back label. There are ingredients used in many dog shampoos that can actually be harmful to a cat.
post #12 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by SalemWitchChild View Post
Not all dog shampoo's have harmful ingredients for cats though. It is true tea tree should not be used on cats, as well as tar. But if it says it can be used on cats it will be ok. And if it says Tea tree or tar on it and says it's ok for cats, sue their pants off!

Really?!
The time I took Maisie to the vet and she pooped and vomited all over herself in the carrier, we stopped off at a pet shop to get some shampoo. You can see it here if you scroll down to shampoos ( Tee tree shampoo for dogs and cat )

http://www.johnsons-vet.com/cats/healthcare/

It was all they had apart from colour enhancing shampoos. I asked them if it was safe for cats and was told, 'We wouldn`t sell it it if wasn`t safe, would we.' And ' Why would they make it if it wasn`t safe?'
So I just used a few drops mixed into a bowl of warm water. Maisie was and is fine but I`m not going to use it again.

How can they still be selling it if Tea tree is so bad?
post #13 of 34
I use dog shampoo on my cat. Its an oatmeal type. I took the bottle in to the vet, and he read the ingredients and said it was safe, but to dilute it 10%. I've been using it for months and it works great.
post #14 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaffacake View Post
Really?!
The time I took Maisie to the vet and she pooped and vomited all over herself in the carrier, we stopped off at a pet shop to get some shampoo. You can see it here if you scroll down to shampoos ( Tee tree shampoo for dogs and cat )

http://www.johnsons-vet.com/cats/healthcare/

It was all they had apart from colour enhancing shampoos. I asked them if it was safe for cats and was told, 'We wouldn`t sell it it if wasn`t safe, would we.' And ' Why would they make it if it wasn`t safe?'
So I just used a few drops mixed into a bowl of warm water. Maisie was and is fine but I`m not going to use it again.

How can they still be selling it if Tea tree is so bad?
Yes, it is true that tea tree oil is bad for cats and yet some companies still make it and sell it. Some people still use it and have no problem with it. But there is evidence that it can be toxic to cats.
post #15 of 34
never use a dog or puppy shampoo on a cat why because cats lick themselves and dogs don't usually the dog shampoo is a lot stronger that a cat shampoo i would try to return it and get cat shampoo
post #16 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by mzjazz2u View Post
Yes, it is true that tea tree oil is bad for cats and yet some companies still make it and sell it. Some people still use it and have no problem with it. But there is evidence that it can be toxic to cats.
That`s terrible! I`m going to e-mail them and see what they have to say.
I used to use their flea drops but they didn`t work and I bought Kitty their cod liver oil and found that can be dangerous too.
post #17 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by hissy View Post
NO!I had a professional groomer make that mistake, and my cat died three days later. Please don't use over the counter pet shampoos for your cat unless it is specifically says for cats only. The best thing to use, is just a few drops of Dawn liquid soap for dishes. Original not antibacterial or scented.
You CAN use anti-bacterial dawn, that is what I have always used, and even on the label they have the picture of wildlife, it is the one they use to get tar and and stuff off ducks and other wildlife. I ONLY use anti-bacterial. Works amazingly.

I agree though, don't bother spending the money on fancy cat specific shampoos, just use Dawn, anti-bacterial or not.
post #18 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen View Post
You CAN use anti-bacterial dawn, that is what I have always used, and even on the label they have the picture of wildlife, it is the one they use to get tar and and stuff off ducks and other wildlife. I ONLY use anti-bacterial. Works amazingly.

I agree though, don't bother spending the money on fancy cat specific shampoos, just use Dawn, anti-bacterial or not.
Hi Jen! I'm going to respectfully disagree with you. I understand that you haven't had any problems with the antibacterial but I think for some cat's, it may be playing with fire. Every animal has varying internal organ functions and may be ok for ducks might not be for some cats. It's just like the tea tree oil. Some cats seem to tolerate it ok but many others don't. But cat's absorb easily throught the skin (which is also an organ). Or if someone else uses it and doesn't rinse as well as you may, the cat could be a heavy licker and ingest more then it can tolerate. For those who have never used the antibacterial Dawn, I'd stick to the regular. Just to be safe. I think it's always best to stay on the safe side.
post #19 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaffacake View Post
Really?!
The time I took Maisie to the vet and she pooped and vomited all over herself in the carrier, we stopped off at a pet shop to get some shampoo. You can see it here if you scroll down to shampoos ( Tee tree shampoo for dogs and cat )

http://www.johnsons-vet.com/cats/healthcare/

It was all they had apart from colour enhancing shampoos. I asked them if it was safe for cats and was told, 'We wouldn`t sell it it if wasn`t safe, would we.' And ' Why would they make it if it wasn`t safe?'
So I just used a few drops mixed into a bowl of warm water. Maisie was and is fine but I`m not going to use it again.

How can they still be selling it if Tea tree is so bad?

I wouldn't consider Johnsons to be a quality shampoo. But their tea tree is likely so diluted that it's not doing it's job for the dogs so therefore isn't having an effect on cats. Which is likely why they haven't been sued for it. Natural shampoo's are not controlled by any organization. So therefore that's how they can get away with it. Some other companies may put it on there by accident and then change it.

It astounds me this board has so very low of an opinion on cat specific shampoos. I realize cats do not get bathed as often. But even those that do bath more regularly are using dish soap (which strips). We have to remember that a cats skin does not have pours. And it takes months for them to rejuvinate skin. So what is mildly harsh for us is very harsh for them.

I'll shut up now.. I have a very strong opinion due to working in the pet shampoo industry for many years.. This by far is a topic that makes me very irritated when I hear so much information that IMO is wrong.
post #20 of 34
I use quality human shampoos - only recommend the dishsoap if you have nothing better to use and its not used on a regular basis.

Charlie does have a specific Pet shampoo for shows that the breeder uses on her cats.
post #21 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
I use quality human shampoos - only recommend the dishsoap if you have nothing better to use and its not used on a regular basis.
So it is alright for me to use my Bed Head/ Cat Walk shampoos and conditioners on the boys? Once I began going for salon quality products, I've never been able to go back.
post #22 of 34
I wouldn't recommend using anything that isn't formulated especially for cats without directly consulting my vet first. Human shampoos can dry out a cat's skin in short order. Dog shampoos can contain ingredients that are fine for dogs, but toxic for cats. I'm certainly not educated enough about the PH balance of a cat's skin to be able to say for sure that any human grade shampoo/conditioner is OK for their very sensitive skin.
post #23 of 34
If the petshop is selling color enhancing shampoos for cats I don't see why they aren't selling the basic cleansing shampoos....

Allsystems Crisp Coat and Biogroom is fine. Also Earthbath (which I personally don't use since I'm allergic to Aloe).
post #24 of 34
The ones (human) that I've used and work very well are Pantane and Nexxus - I also always use a conditioner on the coats - not just the shampoo so it never dried anyone's coat out

For Rex cats the Nexxus was wonderful - Spooky's coat was always super soft and sparkling when he got washed. It was also recommended by another rex breeder who is a hairdresser, so it was safe to use IMO.
post #25 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb View Post
I wouldn't recommend using anything that isn't formulated especially for cats without directly consulting my vet first. Human shampoos can dry out a cat's skin in short order. Dog shampoos can contain ingredients that are fine for dogs, but toxic for cats. I'm certainly not educated enough about the PH balance of a cat's skin to be able to say for sure that any human grade shampoo/conditioner is OK for their very sensitive skin.
exactly.... Using something NOT labeled for cats is kinda russian rulette... Thou for years many of us did... I know use something my vet okayed for both the cat and dog ... thou unless its truelly needed I dont plan on bathing a cat ... Kandie only had one bath in nearly 19 yrs
post #26 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abymummy View Post
If the petshop is selling color enhancing shampoos for cats I don't see why they aren't selling the basic cleansing shampoos....

This was not the kind of pet shop I would normally use but it was an emergency. It was the kind of place that sets up over night and then is gone a few weeks later. They didn`t seem too friendly or the kind of people who`d know much about pet-care. More like they had brought a load of cheap stock to get rid of.



Ok. E-mail sent to Johnsons. just waiting for reply and will let you know what they say.
post #27 of 34
Interesting. When I was a dog groomer the only shampoo was had was dog shampoo (I didn't own the place, I only worked there, so don't flame me). It was professional quality, no the pet store crap. We bathed cats all the time and never had a complaint from the owner (but we never used 'specialty' shampoos on cats, just plain or oatmeal if it had dry skin). I use dog shampoo on my cats all the time as well. Haven't had a single problem. Weird.
post #28 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gomer View Post
Interesting. When I was a dog groomer the only shampoo was had was dog shampoo (I didn't own the place, I only worked there, so don't flame me). It was professional quality, no the pet store crap. We bathed cats all the time and never had a complaint from the owner (but we never used 'specialty' shampoos on cats, just plain or oatmeal if it had dry skin). I use dog shampoo on my cats all the time as well. Haven't had a single problem. Weird.
Perhaps not so much "weird" as "lucky".
post #29 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
Perhaps not so much "weird" as "lucky".
VERY lucky apparently! I hope my former employer has stopped using the dog products since I've left.
post #30 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by SalemWitchChild View Post
I wouldn't consider Johnsons to be a quality shampoo. But their tea tree is likely so diluted that it's not doing it's job for the dogs so therefore isn't having an effect on cats. Which is likely why they haven't been sued for it. Natural shampoo's are not controlled by any organization. So therefore that's how they can get away with it. Some other companies may put it on there by accident and then change it.

It astounds me this board has so very low of an opinion on cat specific shampoos. I realize cats do not get bathed as often. But even those that do bath more regularly are using dish soap (which strips). We have to remember that a cats skin does not have pours. And it takes months for them to rejuvinate skin. So what is mildly harsh for us is very harsh for them.

I'll shut up now.. I have a very strong opinion due to working in the pet shampoo industry for many years.. This by far is a topic that makes me very irritated when I hear so much information that IMO is wrong.
Well ... I'm all for cat specific shampoos. But there also is no harm in using Dawn in a pinch. And it's perfect for cats with greasy coats. The trick is to rinse well with a mixture of vinegar and water, which helps get all of the soap out better and helps to restore the ph of the skin.

It makes me a little miffed to hear bad information as well. But all I can do is counter it with the best information I have from years of experience and having awesome teachers!
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