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Why Dawn Soap?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hey guys, after reading these boards for a while, it seems that the most and maybe only recommended product to bathe cats with is Dawn dish washing soap. Currently I am using this shampoo I bought at petco that is supposeably kills all fleas/ticks/lice on contact and kills flea eggs for 28 days. I've read that I should not use any OTC products to kill fleas even though my kitten doesn't have any. Should I switch to using Dawn or continue? From what I've read, OTC flea killing products are ineffective and might even be fatal to cats.
post #2 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by dN-WaKE View Post
From what I've read, OTC flea killing products are ineffective and might even be fatal to cats.
What you've read is correct. You're basically putting a pesticide or insecticide on your cat - even the vet sold only drops such as Advantage. Know the risks, research.

The reason most people suggest the regular Dawn is because it's a simple detergent. It's even safely used to clean up several species of wildlife after oil spills.

When you use a flea shampoo on a cat it's very easy to accidentally let the cat ingest some or use too much, simply miss rinsing a spot well enough (cats don't make washing them very easy so it can happen) or use a bit more then needed and you can make your cat sick. Especially don't use this as a regular shampoo.
If you want to regularly wash your cat read past threads about bathing cats as there are great tips!
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Would any other dish washing soap suffice like palm olive?
post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by dN-WaKE View Post
Would any other dish washing soap suffice like palm olive?
well, Dawn is know to be gentle [original formula] so that's why it's usually the one recommended. the feral forum i belong to often suggests Dr. Brommer's Peppermint Soap [it's also a liquid]. but the Dawn is less expensive & much easier to find.
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Do you have any opinions about Palm Olive? Because that's the one my household is currently using.
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by dN-WaKE View Post
Do you have any opinions about Palm Olive? Because that's the one my household is currently using.
I, too, am an advocate of Dawn for flea baths on kittens. I've never heard of anyone using Palm Olive.
post #7 of 15
Technically, if used correctly, any gentle dishwashing liquid can be used. However, after use you should check the coat for over dryness and apply conditioner or a vinger rinse to restore ph balance.
post #8 of 15
Personally, there are MUCH better products out there to use on a cat for a routine bath.

EVEN if a cat does need a 'flea' bath, pretty much any cat safe shampoo will smother and kill the fleas. As a dog\\cat groomer, I usually don't even carry any flea shampoos on hand, because of that fact. As someone else mentioned, why put harsh chemicals on a pet needlessly? This in my humble opinion, includes Dawn...though not dangerous to a cat or dog's immediate health, this product is outdated, considering all the wonderful natural pet products out there to achieve a clean pet. There are much better products out there, that ARE ph balanced for our pets, so something that is not ph balanced for them just isn't necessary, even to cut grease, get rid of horrific smells, or to kill fleas.

One of my personal favorite lines of shampoos\\conditioners is Therapet...you can find these on groomers.com
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abymummy View Post
However, after use you should check the coat for over dryness and apply conditioner or a vinger rinse to restore ph balance.
This is always my recommendation.

I can't recommend any other dish washing liquid other then Dawn. Only because I'm not familiar with their ingredients and any possible toxicity. And I only have experience with Dawn. The thing to stay away from is anything with tea tree oil in it.
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by faith's_mom View Post
Personally, there are MUCH better products out there to use on a cat for a routine bath.

EVEN if a cat does need a 'flea' bath, pretty much any cat safe shampoo will smother and kill the fleas. As a dog\\cat groomer, I usually don't even carry any flea shampoos on hand, because of that fact. As someone else mentioned, why put harsh chemicals on a pet needlessly? This in my humble opinion, includes Dawn...though not dangerous to a cat or dog's immediate health, this product is outdated, considering all the wonderful natural pet products out there to achieve a clean pet. There are much better products out there, that ARE ph balanced for our pets, so something that is not ph balanced for them just isn't necessary, even to cut grease, get rid of horrific smells, or to kill fleas.

One of my personal favorite lines of shampoos\\conditioners is Therapet...you can find these on groomers.com
I don't disagree with you but honestly I can find Dawn very easily, it's safe for the cat (I'm not bathing the cat every week), I don't consider it to be a "harsh chemical", and so don't see any reason not to use it. For me to get Therapet from groomers.com would be far more costly since I'd have to pay shipping, duty, and all those other lovely things so I doubt I would bother with it.

Merricks sent me some free cat food last year and by the time I paid the customs and duty for the weight of the cans, they cost me more than if I had just gone to my pet store and bought those cans so it was no freebie from Merricks.

A lot depends on where you live, how available certain products are, etc. For most of us here in North America, Dawn is safe and easily accessible and probably cheaper than pet-specific products.
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
I don't disagree with you but honestly I can find Dawn very easily, it's safe for the cat (I'm not bathing the cat every week), I don't consider it to be a "harsh chemical", and so don't see any reason not to use it. For me to get Therapet from groomers.com would be far more costly since I'd have to pay shipping, duty, and all those other lovely things so I doubt I would bother with it.
She's not exactly wrong about it being harsh. Dawn is a detergent and the ingredients in it do strip off oils - including the ones that need to be on the cat's fur. Use it on your own hair a few times and you'll see for yourself. Unfortunately a lot of shampoos are like this, too, as they're just detergents as well.


That aside, everyone should keep some Dawn around the house. It's cheap and can even get nasty motor grease stains out of carpet (*looks right to glare at DH*). And should the inevitable happen - your cat gets outside or is an indoor/outdoor cat, sneaks into the garage, etc - and gets into grease or oil, it works great for that.
post #12 of 15
As someone who show grooms entire male Maine Coons regularly (read stud tail into this), there ARE better products...however, Dawn is a decent product to use in a pinch.

I have used many many products for my cats. Dawn does a good job of it and so does heavily diluted Amway dish drops.

It just depends on what you're using the product for!
post #13 of 15
I like Johnson's Baby shampoo or Earthbath. I wouldn't have considered using dish detergent on hair or fur because it isn't meant for that.
post #14 of 15
Alright, so I'm really late on this one, but seriously, on the subject of Dawn...
It contains a de-greaser, which strips oils from whatever surface you're cleaning. The reason dawn is used in oil spill situations is because of the de-greaser, and affordability. It's actually pretty potent stuff. Potent enough for my car enthusiast fiance to refuse to wash his classic with it, although he uses dawn for absolutely everything else, haha.

Your cat needs to retain its natural body oils for a healthy coat, and although I'm sure washing it wish dish soap twice a year won't do much harm, would it be truly unreasonable to purchase a cat shampoo, when you think about how long it's going to last you at that rate?
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by WELDRWOMN View Post
I like Johnson's Baby shampoo or Earthbath. I wouldn't have considered using dish detergent on hair or fur because it isn't meant for that.
truthfully Dawn is GENTLER than baby shampoo ... Personally I love Dr Bronners
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