Can Cats Use Dog Shampoo?

In this article, we will be taking a look at the question “can cats use dog shampoo“? We have seen a number of different people ask this recently so decided to publish this post to try and help as many of our readers as possible.

Unfortunately, there is no quick and easy answer as there are a lot of “it depends” when it comes to using a dog shampoo on cats. In our opinion, it is usually not worth the risk when there are multiple high-quality cat shampoos that have been tried and tested by thousands of cat owners over the years.

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Can Cats Use Dog Shampoo?

As we mentioned above, it depends. Cat’s will usually lick themselves thoroughly as part of their own grooming routine helping to keep their coat cleaner than that of most dogs. Due to this, they usually require a much milder shampoo formula than that of dogs meaning if you use a dogs shampoo on your cat then it may be harmful to them.

Additionally, many of the shampoo’s designed for dogs on the market has a number of essential oils in them that can actually be harmful to cats. This is due to the essential oils being absorbed extremely quickly by your cat’s skin and then sent to the liver for metabolization. As cats cannot produce the essential enzyme required to break down most essential oils they essentially become a toxin in your cat’s body.

Additionally, the phenols and phenolic compounds found in essential oils can have negative effects on your cat as they can be very sensitive to them. The stronger the essential oil in the shampoo formula, the more phenols, and phenolic compounds are included meaning a higher risk to your cat.

Here is a list of essential oils that have been noted as poisonous to cats:-

  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Oil of Wintergreen
  • Oil of Sweet Birch
  • Citrus Oil
  • Pine Oils
  • Ylang Ylang Oil
  • Peppermint Oil
  • Cinnamon Oil
  • Pennyroyal Oil
  • Clove Oil
  • Eucalyptus Oil

The severity of the symptoms that you cat can develop from any of the above essential oils being absorbed through there skin from using dog shampoo can range drastically. Depending on the essential oil involved symptoms can range from slight drooling and vomiting to tremors and wobbliness to the more severe symptoms such as respiratory problems, increased or decreased heart rate, high or low temperatures, and even liver failure.

As essential oils are common in pet shampoos that have been designed for dogs, we recommend that you do not take the risk of using them on your pet cats.

Can Cats Use Dog Shampoo?

The Best Shampoo For Cats On The Market

In our opinion, the best shampoo for cats is definitely Earthbath All Natural Pet Shampoo. Always be sure to get the one pictured above that is specifically designed for cats as they also make products designed for dogs but they have a totally different colored label making it easy to tell the difference.

Features And Benefits

Although this is marketed as a two in one product of shampoo and conditioner, it is actually a three in one as it contains detangler to help detangle your cat’s fur and has proven to be extremely efficient at it.

It has been specifically designed with a milder formula that is perfect for cats and helps sensitive skin and fur.


Question – What are the ingredients of this product?

Answer – We have the full ingredients break down in the next section.

Question – Can I use this product on kittens?

Answer – Yea but the manufacturer recommends that they be at least six weeks old whereas we would only use it if they were twelve weeks or older. Always read the product label for the most up to date advice as ingredients do change.

Question – Are these shampoos cruelty-free?

Answer – Directly from the manufacturer’s FAQ. “Our products are animal cruelty-free and contain no animal ingredients or byproducts.”


As with any product we recommend we also hunt down some reports from third party independent cat owners currently using this on their pets. As usual, we have summarised their reports below but you can click the associated links to read the report in full from the independent cat owner if you wish.

  • This report comments on comments on how their cat often requires baths and this product works great, smells great and that their cat doesn’t mind it.
  • This report comments on how they use this shampoo for their elderly cat and how it has helped their cat return to its normal beautiful and fluffy self.
  • This report comments on how the shampoo lathers well and is very easy to wash off as well as how it smells good on their cat.
  • This report comments on also comments on how their cat doesn’t seem to mind being washed with this shampoo. They then go on to say how they like the smell of their cat after it has been washed using this shampoo.

Click Here To Read Independent Third Party Reviews Of This Product!

Nutritional Profile

The list below contains all of the ingredients in this cat shampoo:-

  • Purified water
  • Renewable Plant-derived Cleansers
  • Gentle Conditioner
  • Detangler
  • Aloe Vera
  • Vitamins A, B, D & E
  • Glycerin
  • Wild Cherry
  • Natural Preservative

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I Used A Dog Shampoo On My Cat, What Should I Do

If you have accidentally used a dog shampoo on your cat then our initial advice is to check the labeling on the product bottler. Some dog shampoos are cat-friendly and will label their products as such, if you see anything suggesting this is the case then your cat will most likely be fine. Check the ingredients list for any of the essential oils we have listed above too.

If the dog shampoo you washed your cat with does not state that it is safe for cats or contains any of the essential oils listed above we recommend that you see assistance from your local veterinarian. Be sure to take the shampoo product with you so the vet can see what has been used as well as have instant access to its list of ingredients.

Your vet will then be able to give you cat a checkup and offer the best advice to move forward with as well as prescribe any medication required.

Click Here To Read More Of Our Articles About Cats!