Can You Use Cat Shampoo on Dogs? A Surprising Answer!

cat and dog sitting together in a luxury tub_Susan Schmitz_shutterstock

You’ve just come back from the park, and your beloved Fido is covered in muck. You reach for the doggy shampoo but, oh no, you’ve run out! Now, the question arises: can you use Felix’s shampoo on your furry friend? The answer, my friend, is yes, you can use cat shampoo on dogs. However, there are a few exceptions to keep in mind.

Dog Skin Vs. Cat Skin

Just like dogs have different skin than us humans, they also have different skin compared to cats. Cats have super sensitive skin, so much so that some dog treatments warn against using them on cats as it can be fatal. Many sources claim that this is due to the pH of their skin, stating that a cat’s pH level is more acidic than a dog’s. However, this is a myth! Research shows that cats and dogs actually have a similar pH range. The truth is, their skin is just more sensitive.

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Image Credit: MPH Photos, Shutterstock

Dog Shampoo Vs. Cat Shampoo

Because cats have more sensitive skin, shampoos made for them contain gentler ingredients that won’t irritate their skin. Ingredients like oatmeal and coconut are natural, soothing, and ideal for cats. Cat shampoos also have fewer chemicals since cats clean themselves daily with their tongues, ingesting small quantities of the shampoo.

On the other hand, many dogs have double coats, so their shampoo needs to be stronger to penetrate the top layer and reach the undercoat. Additionally, dog shampoos are designed to remove grease, oils, and dirt effectively.

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Can You Use Cat Shampoo on Dogs?

Now, the answer to the burning question: can you use cat shampoo on dogs? The truth is, you absolutely can. It won’t harm your furry friend, and it will provide a better clean than just using water. However, there’s always a caveat…

For extremely dirty dogs with long and thick fur, cat shampoo might not be enough. Cat shampoos are gentler, so they may not have the cleaning power to penetrate the fur, lather well, or remove grease and oils. For these cases, it’s best to stick to a specialized doggy shampoo. However, if your dog has shorter hair or isn’t that dirty, using cat shampoo is a perfectly acceptable solution.

Puppy bathing

Pet Shampoo

If you have both dogs and cats in your household, using separate shampoos can be cumbersome. Luckily, many brands have created pet shampoos that are suitable for both Fido and Felix. These universal shampoos are ideal for multi-pet households, simplifying your grooming routine.

But keep in mind that if you have a gorgeously hairy Newfoundland or a similarly thick-coated breed, these universal shampoos may not be sufficient. In that case, you’ll need a dog-specific shampoo that is thicker and more concentrated.

Can You Use Dog Shampoos on Cats?

If you find yourself in a scenario where you need to bathe Felix with Fido’s shampoo, the answer is a resounding no. Dog shampoos aren’t suitable for sensitive kitty skin, so please resist the temptation to use them, even just once.

The Wrap Up

So, there you have it! You now know that you can use cat shampoo on some dogs. However, if you have a dog, we would generally recommend using dog shampoo since it will do a better job cleaning them. But, if you have both cats and dogs and want a streamlined grooming schedule and product selection, you can opt for pet shampoo designed for both furry companions.

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If you’d like to learn more about pet grooming, check out our article on using baby shampoo on dogs. And remember, for all your pet grooming needs, trust Katten TrimSalon – your furry friends deserve the best!

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