Bathing cats

Can I Bathe my Cat with Human Shampoo? - The Answer

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. Updated: August 2, 2020
Can I Bathe my Cat with Human Shampoo? - The Answer

Cats normally hate bathing time because they do not like water, they get wet, smell the soaps don't like being held to dry, they don't understand why it needs to be done. In addition, in the case of domestic cats there is no need to bathe them at all in order for them to be clean, because they have their very own cleaning methods. So when to bathe a cat? It will only be necessary if they are dirty with mud or any other type of debris. To do this, it is necessary to use the right products but, there are many questions such as this one that arise, as well as how to do it properly. This is why, in this oneHOWTO article we want to clear one of the most common questions cat owners hace: can I bathe my cat with human shampoo? Pay attention and discover the answer and many more interesting details.

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  1. Is it safe to use human shampoo on cats?
  2. How to bathe my cat
  3. Prevent your cat from getting dirty
  4. Homemade cat shampoo

Is it safe to use human shampoo on cats?

As is the case of other animals, including ourselves, there is an outer and thin layer of fat on the skin ,or an oily layer, which serves as protection for the dermis. This layer insulates the skin from harmful external agents such as the Sun and cold, not completely but enough to prevent any serious damage. Therefore, it is not good to wash their fur very often as this thin, protective layer is removed, especially when soaps are used. In addition, in our case, after many years of doing so our body gets used to using these products, but in the case of animals, like cats, their body never does. If we exceed the frequency in which we bathe our cat and we use strong products we will be damaging their skin even though you may not notice it, which can lead to problems such as dermatitis and allergies in this layer of the body.

So if you're asking yourself: "Can I bathe my cat with human shampoo?" The answer is NO, you cannot bathe them with normal shampoo because it is not adapted to the animal's skin type. Humans and cats have different skin pH, so our soaps are too strong for a feline's dermis and therefore will damage it. So what to do if you've bathed your cat with human shampoo? If you wash your cat with your soap, after washing it you will notice that the cat's skin is irritated, it itches a lot and feels discomfort and, used frequently, the cat's fur will start to shed more and more.

Those who want to bathe their cat may also have other doubts about the type of shampoo that they can bathe their cat with:

Can you use baby shampoo on cats?

Some people believe that if pH neutral soaps or baby shampoo is less aggressive on our skin and hair, then they may be good for animals too. The truth is that this is not true, although for us it is neutral and soft, for cats and other animals, it is not. We must think that our neutral pH is not the same as that of cats and that ours is acid or strong for them, so it will still damage their skin. So it is not a good idea to use these shampoos to wash our feline companion.

Can you use dog shampoo on cats?

The question about whether dog shampoo can be used on cats or is not very frequent, since many people think that being animals considered pets and with different similarities can use the same products without problem. Again, this is not correct and if we wash our cat with dog shampoo we can cause damage to the skin and hair. In addition, it is important to know that anti-flea or anti-parasitic shampoos for dogs are even more dangerous to cats than normal dog shampoos. This is because the antiparasitic product that the shampoo has is not suitable, especially in the concentrated amount, so even if we only use a small drop it can be toxic for them.

Can I Bathe my Cat with Human Shampoo? - The Answer - Is it safe to use human shampoo on cats?

How to bathe my cat

Now that you know about cat shampoos, you may be asking yourself about the proper way to to bathe your cat at home. You have to keep in mind that the main direction is to use cat shampoo, which can be purchased at any pet store or veterinary centers. In addition, you can choose between normal cat shampoo, according to their hair type and age, or use dry cat shampoo, perfect for those cats who can not stand water in any way.

It is vital that we do not force the animal, but that we gradually get him or her used to this situation and above all that we try to do it since the cat is a kitten. It is advisable to use a basin to reduce the space and quantity of water, the shampoo indicated for cats and that the water should be warm and never exceed 25 ºC. To dry your cat you will need towels and, if the fur is long, use a hair dryer at a distance and with warm air, as long as the animal does not become scared.

Cats are extremely clean and they clean themselves constantly, which is why it's not really necessary to bathe them unless they are extremely dirty. Bathe your cat once a month maximum if it's really necessary.

Can I Bathe my Cat with Human Shampoo? - The Answer - How to bathe my cat

Prevent your cat from getting dirty

Instead of thinking about bathing them frequently it is best that we contribute to their habit of keeping themselves clean with a series of tips to prevent the cat from getting dirty:

  • Keep your cat's sandbox clean and use cat-specific sand.
  • Do not let your cat leave the house often.
  • Keep cleaning your home, both the floor and other surfaces.
  • Make sure your bed and blankets are clean.
  • Make sure your drinker and feeder have enough food but do not let it overflow.
  • Do not stroke your cat if your hands are dirty.
  • Brush your cat a little every day.
  • Keep trash and food scraps out of reach.

Homemade cat shampoo

The best thing to do is to make a homemade oat shampoo for cats instead of using human shampoo, because this cereal is perfect to care for the skin and hair and is very soft, ideal for allergic skin and with a tendency to become irritated and/or suffer from dermatitis. Thus, it is a hypoallergenic shampoo that is perfect for small kittens, so it is a good idea to use it in a cat of any other age, except for those who need to use medicated shampoos prescribed by a veterinarian. To make this cat shampoo follow these indications:


  • 2 cups oatmeal in flakes or flour
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 liter of mineral water or distilled water


  1. Grind the oats until you get a powder or use the flour instead.
  2. Boil the mineral or distilled water and when it is still somewhat hot add it in a bowl to mix well with the oats.
  3. Add the baking soda and continue mixing until you see it even, you can use the blender to speed up the process.
  4. Add water if you see it's too thick or oats if you notice it is too liquid.
  5. Let it cool down and when it is at room temperature you can already save the mixture in the shampoo container that you have chosen.
  6. Always shake well before using.

If you want to read similar articles to Can I Bathe my Cat with Human Shampoo? - The Answer, we recommend you visit our Pets category.

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Can I Bathe my Cat with Human Shampoo? - The Answer