Can I use baby shampoo on my cat, or is it going to hurt him? Maybe you want to bathe your cat, and you are not sure if a baby shampoo is suitable in this circumstance, or your cat got dirty and needs to do an emergency bath, and the only thing available is the baby shampoo. What to do?

Baby shampoo can be used to bathe your cat in case of an emergency or once in a while. Baby shampoo should not be used routinely on cats. It is best to use a product like Johnson’s baby shampoo since tearless (not irritating eyes) or a similar mild and natural product.

Let’s see what are the alternatives.

Can I use baby shampoo on my cat,


Cat shampoo is made for cat PH, which is different from human PH. Humans pH average around 5.5 while cats PH should average at 7. Ph is a scale used to specify an aqueous solution’s acidity or basicity, the scale run from 1 to 14. A wrong PH can cause skin irritation and problems with your cat’s fur.

Cats shampoo should also contain cats friendly elements and less aggressive ingredients, like in normal human shampoo. Since many shampoo we use for our hair have different purposes like coloring, removing dandruff, stying etc., thus containing chemicals and ingredients hard on cats and even babies.

Baby shampoo are a softer and delicate version of shampoo normally available for adults. But, all types of shampoo can contain harmful elements, regardless if they are made for cats, babies or humans.

Even if a product has a label that says “cat shampoo,” it doesn’t mean that product is safe or better to use on a cat. Unfortunately, today’s shampoos have way too many chemicals, regardless if they are made for cats or humans.


We have to understand the best option for our cats once we have analyzed all the possible options. Therefore one has to read the label and avoid the following ingredients:

  • Parabens are a class of widely used preservatives in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. Concerns about endocrine disruptors have led consumers and companies to search for paraben-free alternatives.
  • Phenol was first extracted from coal tar, can cause liver and liver damage when absorbed
  • Sulfates such as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium Laureth sulfate (SLES) are derived from petroleum; SLS and SLES can irritate eyes, skin, and lungs, especially with long-term use. SLES may also be contaminated with a substance called 1,4-dioxane, which is known to cause cancer in laboratory animals. (ref.
  • Colorants
  • Pyrethrins derived from the chrysanthemum plant can become toxic during the manufacturing process.
  • Pyrergroids are used as commercial and household insecticides.
  • Permethrin is a medication. It is used to treat scabies and lice. Side effects include rash and irritation at the area of use
  • D-Limonene and Linalool can be natural but are derived from citrus and thus toxic for cats
  • Essential oils like citrus harmful to cats

Therefore, do not bathe your cat with products containing the above elements. Find natural alternatives or products that are less dangerous.


Baby shampoos are made with milder and ingredients, typically non-irritant and soft on the skin. Therefore it is the closest thing that can be used on a cat in the absence of alternatives. Therefore, C\can I use baby shampoo on my cat? Yes, buy not too often.

But, even baby shampoos can contain chemicals. If you do not have different types at hand, any kind will do; hopefully, if you use baby shampoo for your baby, you already bought a natural and chemical-free shampoo.

Typically, cats do not need bathing. They use their tongue to clean themselves, which is very effective. However, a cat owner may still decide to bathe a cat once in a while, help their fur and skin get rid of dead elements, or make their cat feel better, or even in case of emergency.

Remember that if you are using baby shampoo on your cat to rinse thoroughly and with a lot of water, you do not want to have leftovers on your cat. He may lick it later and ingest it, causing troubles and irritations.

If there is no cat shampoo available in those rare instances, baby shampoo is a great solution. But, it is not to be used as a routine solution.


If you do not have cat shampoo or baby shampoo, there are other alternatives to clean and wash your cat. Here some other things you can use to wash your cat:


If nothing else is there, dish soap is great to remove grease and oily substances from your cat. Use a few drops, and make sure to rinse it very well from your cat. Again, it is not to be used for regular and routine bathing


Castile soap is made out of olive oil. It can be a good alternative for a warm and nice bath for your cat. Castile soap is a vegetable-based soap that’s made free of animal fats and synthetic ingredients. It is natural, non-toxic, and biodegradable.


Wipes can be used to remove dirt from your cat and wash him in a specific part of his body. My experience from using wipes is that most of them contain soap. Therefore, you have to clean them with water after applying them to your cat the first time and clean your cat again to remove the leftover soap.


It is made of 1 cup of ground oatmeal with ½ cup of baking soda and 4 cups of water. Mix it and use it on your cat fur; you have to thoroughly massage your cat and leave the mixture on his coat for 5 minutes. Then wash it away.


It is made of 1/4 water, 1/3 vegetable glycerin, and 1/3 apple cider vinegar. It is a homemade cat shampoo. Vinegar is not the most liked element from cats, therefore as far as it is not used often, it is an excellent solution for washing your cat.


Coconut oil kills parasites such as mange, fleas, and ticks. Coconut oil is anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory. It prevents bites from parasites becoming infected and helps heal inflamed skin. If you have coconut shampoo around, it can serve the purpose.


Hand washing soap can be used to wash cats. Preferably you are already using a natural type of soap. Otherwise, if you are not sure, check if the soap contains too many harmful elements, such as the one listed above.


Dog products are designed specifically for dogs. Cats may get in danger for using products that are not specifically made for them. Some dog shampoos can be used on other pets and cats as well. If reading the label, it is written that the product can be used on cats, too, then it is safe to use.

It is better to read the label entirely and find out the ingredients of the shampoo and check if there are dangerous elements that should be avoided.

Furthermore, dog shampoo can contain pesticides that can be harmful to cats. Some dog’s shampoo contains permethrin which is very dangerous for cats. But, what happens if dog shampoo was used on a cat?

In the worst case, if there was permethrin and if inhaled by cats, it can cause respiratory paralysis, vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, hypersalivation, or respiratory stress. The remedy is to clean the cat from the shampoo and rush to the vet to get treatments for your cat.


If you decide to get a cat shampoo at the very end, what is the best cat shampoo to use? Here is a list of good and safer alternatives for your cat:

1.John Paul Pet Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs and Cats

About this product:

  • Specially formulated to gently cleanse, moisturize and soothe pet’s fur and dry, flaky sensitive skin
  • Relieves dry, itchy, flaky skin irritations to stop scratching and pain
  • Pure oatmeal, aloe, and chamomile cleanse without irritating sensitive skin and “hot spots”
  • PH balanced for pets


2.Burt’s Bees for Pets Hypoallergenic Shampoo with Shea Butter and Honey

About this product:

  • It cleans, softens dry skin, and conditions skin and fur
  • All-natural ingredients include skin-moisturizing shea butter and shine-boosting honey
  • This mild shampoo is pH balanced, especially for all cats and kittens
  • 100% SAFE


3.Espree Silky Show Cat Shampoo

About this product

  • A luxurious shampoo for long coats.
  • Cleans and Conditions Pet’s Coat
  • Provides amazing Shine to coat
  • Made with 100% Organically Grown Aloe Vera
  • Made in the USA


4.Arm & Hammer Tearless Kitten Shampoo for Cats

About this product:

  • This cat shampoo is a gentle
  • The natural ingredients in this pet shampoo effectively work together to tackle odors and keep your pet’s coat clean
  • Enjoy the warm and sweet almond scent left behind from this shampoo for kittens when you use this cat shampoo


5.TropiClean Gentle Coconut Hypoallergenic Puppy and Kitten Shampoo

About this product:

  • It is perfect for puppies, kittens and pets with allergies or sensitive skin, as it gently cleanses and moisturizes their skin and coat in a soothing lather.
  • The long lasting light tropical scent of coconut leaves your pet smelling fresh and ready for cuddles!
  • It is pH Balanced, Soap Free, Paraben Free and Dye Free. Made with naturally derived ingredients and safe when used as directed on puppies, kittens, and dogs and cats with sensitive skin 12 weeks or older.



Here are related questions and related answer you can find useful:

  • What human shampoo can I use on my cat?

It is better not to use human shampoo on cats. The closest thing that can be used is baby shampoo, hand soap, and prepare some homemade cat shampoo with vinegar or coconut oil.

  • Does Baby Shampoo kill fleas?

Baby shampoo can kill flew and eggs on your cat. Just bathe your cat thoroughly using hte baby shampoo. Dish soap kills fleas to.

  • Can you use baby shampoo on cats eyes?

Baby shampoo is made not to irritate eyes, so cats’ eyes are safe, but it is not a product specifically for cleaning eyes. If you need to clean cat eyes, use warm water with damp cotton. Chamomile is also delicate and can be used to clean cat eyes.


Using baby shampoo from time is not harmful to cats, but it is not a product for routine cleaning. There are better alternatives, and even homemade cat shampoo can be made to help our cat get the best care. I hope you found the answers you needed. If you have more questions or want to add anything, leave it in the comments below.