Can you use Dog Flea Shampoo on Cats?

can i use dog flea shampoo on cats
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Is your cat scratching like crazy?  They may have fleas! 

All you have in the house though, is your dogs flea shampoo.  Should you use it?  After all, your cat is being driven nuts by those fleas and you want to give them immediate relief.

So, you look at the bottle and wonder, can you use dog flea shampoo on cats?  I mean if its safe for my dog, it should be safe for my cat.

Dog and cat products are formulated differently because each species of animal has different reactions to ingredients found in flea shampoos.

Please read on to see if you can use your dogs flea shampoo on your feline.

Adams Flea and Tick Cleansing Shampoo, 12-Ounce
SENTRY PurrScriptions Flea and Tick Shampoo for Cats, 12 oz
Vet-Kem Ovitrol Plus Flea and Tick Shampoo for Pets, 12-Ounce
Adams Flea and Tick Cleansing Shampoo, 12-Ounce
SENTRY PurrScriptions Flea and Tick Shampoo for Cats, 12 oz
Vet-Kem Ovitrol Plus Flea and Tick Shampoo for Pets, 12-Ounce
Adams Flea and Tick Cleansing Shampoo, 12-Ounce
Adams Flea and Tick Cleansing Shampoo, 12-Ounce
SENTRY PurrScriptions Flea and Tick Shampoo for Cats, 12 oz
SENTRY PurrScriptions Flea and Tick Shampoo for Cats, 12 oz
Vet-Kem Ovitrol Plus Flea and Tick Shampoo for Pets, 12-Ounce
Vet-Kem Ovitrol Plus Flea and Tick Shampoo for Pets, 12-Ounce

Best Flea Shampoos for Cats

Best Sellers

Adams Flea and Tick Cleansing Shampoo Key Features

  • Best selling
  • Effective at killing fleas and stopping flea life cycle
  • Comes in a larger 12 oz size if you have multiple pets to wash
Buy now on Amazon

Sentry Purrscriptions Flea and Tick Shampoo Key Features 

  • Kills fleas, ticks and lice
  • Smells great
  • Conditions your cat coats
  • Best priced option
Buy now on Amazon

Ovitrol Vet-Kem Plus Flea and Tick Shampoo Key Features

  • Kills fleas, ticks and loce
  • Prevents eggs from hatching for 28 days
  • Baby fresh scent
  • Conditions coat
  • Enriched with oatmeal, coconut, aloe and lanolin
Buy now on Amazon

Does your Cat have Fleas? How to Check your Cat for Fleas

Do you have a cat that won’t stop scratching?  Maybe YOUR scratching and getting bitten by something? You might be wondering, does my cat have fleas? 
Before treating your cat for fleas, you might wonder how do you check your cat for fleas. 
You should start with a thorough check of the top areas that fleas love to hide on your pet including the neck, face, ears and by their tails.
If you find black spots that look like dirt or actual fleas, you have a flea problem!  What do actual fleas look like?  They are black and brown and a bit bigger than a pin head. 
They move and jump super fast so if you spot one, there are definitely many more in your home and on your cat. 
Check out this short video that shows you stop by step how to determine if your cat has fleas.  

Did you know that most of the flea problem in your house and on your pet is due to eggs and larva, not adult fleas?
While you may start to fix the problem by bathing your cat in flea shampoo, you will also have to attack the fleas living in your house with yard and furniture sprays, washing bedding and toys and follow through with a flea collar and/or a topical flea treatment for your feline.

Tips for Buying Flea Shampoo for your Cat

Ingredients to Avoid in Cat Flea Shampoo

Is your flea shampoo safe for your cat?  While flea product specifically designed for cats should not contain toxic ingredients it is always a great idea to be vigilant and read the ingredients on the bottle. 

If in doubt contact the manufacturer and ask directly. 

Ingredients to avoid on the label include derivatives or synthetic forms of pyrethrins such as

  • allethrin
  • cypermethrin
  • deltamethrin
  • fenvalerate
  • fluvalinate
  • permethrin
  • phenothrin
  • tetramethrin and
  • etofenprox.

Additionally, according to petmd, any product containing large doses of citrus or peppermint extract are toxic to cats in very low doses and can result in liver damage, liver failure and even death.

Top Flea Shampoos: SAFE for Cats

How to Give your Cat a Flea Bath

Always make sure to read the instruction on the bottle, and follow them to the letter, before giving your cat a flea bath.

#1. Get a suit of armor.  Just kidding, but be prepared for a fight.  Usually if you have trained your kitten, then when they are adults, they won’t fight you as bad when it’s bath time.

#2. Wet your cat down to the skin in warm water

#3. Massage and lather the shampoo down to the skin

#4.  Read the instructions, but usually you would leave a flea killing shampoo on your cat for 3-5 minutes to ensure you’ve killed all the fleas.

#5.  Rinse well and towel dry your cat

#6. To be extra, comb through your cats fur with a flea comb.  This best selling flea comb from Safari Pet products can get the job done

#7.  Apply a topical flea treatment or flea collar to prevent any more fleas from infesting your cat

Just to be safe, watch this short video for step by step instructions.

Can you wash a cat with dog shampoo?

The answer is no.  Dog shampoos are formulated for dogs and may contain higher levels of certain ingredients than a shampoo made for cats. 

Cats also have different reactions to ingredients and some of the ingredients even in regular dog shampoo can be toxic to cats.  

Don’t risk it and purchase a products specially formulated for your feline.

Can I use Dog Flea Shampoo on my Cat?

Absolutely not.  NEVER use a flea product made for dogs on your cat.  Flea shampoos are specially formulated for each type of pet. 

Dog flea shampoo is NOT safe for cats…ever!

Ingredients such pyrethrins that are found in flea killing shampoo for dogs can seriously harm or even kill your cat. 

If you do not use a flea shampoo specifically made for cats, or flea products made for cats in general, they can make your cat very sick. 

You might also wonder if you can use a flea shampoo for cats on your dog? 

The answer is the same: unless the product specifically says it is for BOTH cats and dogs, do not use it on your pooch. 

It could seriously harm or even kill your dog.  Even then, we recommend reading the ingredients list to ensure that nothing in the flea shampoo could harm your cat or dog. 

We review the best 3 flea and tick shampoos for dogs proven to kill fleas in our post here.

Alternative to Flea Shampoo for Cats

If you do not want to use flea shampoo on your cat (maybe it is too young or pregnant or otherwise sick) there are alternative flea treatments you can use. 

Alternatives to flea shampoo for cats include using Dawn dish detergent, diatomaceous earth in your yard, throwing down Borax or salt onto your carpets/floors and vacuuming/sweeping regularly, flea collars, topical flea treatments and furniture sprays. 

Flea Shampoo for Kittens

Kittens, especially those under 12 weeks of age, are particularly vulnerable (because they are so little) to the flea killing ingredients in flea control products. 

Remember, the majority for your flea problem is because of all the fleas in your HOUSE.  The ones on your pet are a fraction of the one lurking around in your home.

Treat your home at the same time as you treat your pets and be vigilant.  Only consistent effort will get rid of fleas for good.

Try the alternatives above if you find fleas on your kitten and consult your vet if you can’t get rid of them yourself.

What if I accidentally used my Dogs flea products on my Cat?

If you accidentally used your dogs flea products such as topical treatment or flea shampoo on your cat, bathe your cat right away with regular soap to get the product off of your feline friend.  Then, call your vet immediately.  Time is of the essence.

Can I use cat flea shampoo on a dog

Do not use cat flea medicine or shampoo on your dog.  

If you are looking for a fast and proven solution to your dogs flea problems, and you want results, check out our post where we review the Best 3 Flea and Tick Shampoos for Dogs that are Proven to kill Fleas Fast.  

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