Can You Wash a Cat With Dish Soap?

by Hayley
Can You Wash a Cat With Dish Soap
Can Dish Soap Get Rid of Fleas

Can you wash a cat with dish soap? Most cat owners don’t have a specific pet shampoo, and cats are known to avoid water and baths. Unfortunately, human shampoos aren’t very safe for use on cats, which means that when your pet needs a bath, you might end up in a bind.

You can bathe your cat with dish soap, which is gentle and effective at removing grease, oils, and dirt from its fur and skin. However, it’s not ideal to use it on cats with known skin disorders.

Is It Safe to Wash Your Cat With Dish Soap?

Generally, it’s safe to wash your cat using dish soap. Yet, there are some factors to assume before doing so.

For most people, Dawn is the best choice for animal-friendly soap products. This product is made for wild animals in emergencies and has a low number of irritants. However, if you’re worried about your cat’s health, you can safely use the most non-toxic dish soap on your cat.

One of the first considerations is the scent of the soap. Cats have a stronger sense of smell than humans, so a light, pleasant fragrance can be very unsettling. Try using an unscented or a soap bar with a very subtle scent.

It’s also essential to avoid products with a solid or toxic scent. For instance, if your cat is sensitive to certain perfume types, avoid using citrus or lavender products.

A gentle and natural scent will help your cat feel more comfortable when bathing.

Can Dish Soap Get Rid of Fleas?

Over-the-counter flea medications and collars can cause long-term health issues for cats. They can also be life-threatening for young animals.

These flea medicines are incredibly potent because they have a coating made up of wax designed to protect the animals’ bodies.

You can use mild dish soaps to treat fleas and prevent them from laying eggs. It’s safer than traditional flea medications and can still kill adult fleas.

The trick to treating fleas is using a combination of compounds known as surfactants. These molecules work by reducing the water tension on the flea’s body.

Combining these substances allows water to enter the flea’s respiratory system and drown them.

For optimal results, it’s essential to use dish soap instead of over-the-counter flea medications. It can also help young cats get rid of fleas.

Read also: Best Flea Shampoo For Kittens

Why Should I Not Use Dish Soap to Wash My Cat?

Getting your cat clean with dish soap can help remove stains and grime that they can’t do on their own. It’s also safe to use once a week or whenever needed.

It’s important to remember that dish soap can cause serious health issues for your cat.

High Alkaline Content

Different skin compositions are important because cats have other organs than we do. For instance, the skin is the largest organ in our four-legged friends. It can weigh as much as 25% of our body weight.

The skin intends to protect cats from harmful bacteria and parasites. It needs to maintain a certain pH level to keep its natural protective barrier.

On the other hand, cats have a different skin composition. Their pH level can vary depending on their breed and diet. For instance, their skin can start at around 6.0 and go up to 8.

Since cats have neutral skin cells, they can’t use products that contain acidic or alkaline components.

On the other hand, dish soap has a pH level of around 10 or 11.0. It means it effectively removes the various grease and oils from the skin.

Over-washing your cat’s body with dish soap can weaken their immune systems and leave them vulnerable to infections.

Leaves Residue

If you have a cat, then an unscented dish soap will work as a temporary fix. However, it can leave a residue on your cat’s fur.

After washing my cat, I usually throw away all the soap. However, there will always be traces left on their coat.

After a while, your cat will start to lick its fur and ingest harmful chemicals. Contact your veterinarian immediately if it’s exhibiting signs of illness, such as vomiting or diarrhea.

Dries Skin

Due to their ability to clean oil stains, dish soap brands have become very popular. They are also great for keeping your cat clean.

Although they are great for cleaning plates, you should not use them to wash your pets often. They can also help prevent oil spill cleanup.

Some of the ingredients found in these products include sodium lauryl sulfate. These chemicals are known to remove grease and oil stains.

They also remove the natural oils from your cat’s coat to nourish and protect its skin. Your pet will be left vulnerable to infections and allergic reactions without these oils.

Unfortunately, using dish soap can dry out your cat’s coat, which can cause it to get tangled and eventually become untucked.

Read also: Shampoo Product For Cats Suitable For All Ages

How Can I Wash a Cat With Dish Soap Safely?

Getting your cat washed as quickly as possible is very important to prevent them from getting stressed or panicked. Also, keeping your cats in the bath for too long can cause them to get cold.

Get a Towel

Cats have a way of knowing when something terrible is about to happen to them, so they might hide or try to jump from their owners’ arms if they feel threatened.

Setup a Bath on Your Sink

It’s much easier to bathe your cat in the sink than in the bathtub. Just fill it with warm water and gently put it in the water.

Make sure that you don’t add dish soap to your cat’s water bowl. It will prevent it from getting into its ears and eyes.

Put Some Dish Soap

There are two ways to clean your cat’s coat. One method is to use dish soap, while the other one is to use a water solution. Some people prefer to use dish soap since it’s safer to use.

Doing so will not remove the dirt and grime on your cat’s coat. It also won’t clean its fur correctly.

Lather the Dish Soap

You don’t have to scrub your pet’s body to keep it clean aggressively. Just start noticing that its fur is getting clean.

Rinse Your Cat

Ensure that you clear all traces of dish detergent from your cat’s fur. This step will prevent your pet from ingesting any of the products. Then, you can dry them using a towel.

Use a Hair Dryer

This step can be a bit challenging for some people. On the other hand, it can benefit your pet if you have a hair blower.

They hate the noises these appliances make, and they’ll hide whenever they can. Sometimes, they might feel uncomfortable if you get too close to their bodies.

If you can’t get your cats to dry on their own, you have to do it with a towel.

What Type of Soap Is Safe for Cats?

Although baby shampoos are generally safe to use on cats, you should use them with caution since they contain harmful ingredients for animals. If you wash your cat multiple times a day, she might get hurt.

There are also articles suggesting that you bathe your cat with warm water and human soap. However, this method is not ideal for your cat since it can create a strong negative effect on them.

Human soap is also not safe to use on cats since it can cause harmful effects on their skin. Instead, use soap bars designed to remove all traces of toxic chemicals from the human body.

Some products, such as Palmolive, can be used as a one-off solution for your cat. However, You should never use them on their head and shoulders.

For sensitive skin, try products that will help to treat their condition. They should also avoid using harsh chemicals and artificial colors.


Can you wash a cat with dish soap? Although dish soap is a relatively harmless cleaning agent, it’s not the best choice for cleansing your cat.

There are a wide variety of cat-safe shampoos available for sale, and most of them are relatively inexpensive. Aside from being non-toxic, these products also have the proper pH and are made for this species.

If you have to bathe your cat, ensure you have all the necessary supplies.

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