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Can I Use Dove Soap On My Cat? Useful Tips & Alternatives

Written by: Sophie Jeffares

Last Updated on May 13, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

dove soap

Can I Use Dove Soap On My Cat? Useful Tips & Alternatives


Dr. Tabitha Henson (Vet) Photo


Dr. Tabitha Henson (Vet)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Fortunately for us, cats are pretty good at keeping themselves clean. However, our mischievous cats can find themselves in places where they get a lot dirtier than they can handle.

If they get something toxic over their coat, such as car oil, you’ll want to clean them up quickly so they don’t ingest any toxins. Without cat shampoo, you may find yourself in a pickle and wonder if your soap can be used on your cat.

Dove soap is okay to use on your cat if you don’t have cat shampoo. However, it is formulated for human skin, and its use on cats can cause dryness and irritation.

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Dove Soap Ingredients

There is much more to a plain soap bar than meets the eye. Dove soap has a long list of ingredients. While they all appear to be artificial chemicals, many have natural origins.

The Dove Beauty Bar has the following ingredients:1

  • Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate
  • Stearic Acid
  • Lauric Acid
  • Sodium Oleate
  • Water
  • Sodium Isethionate
  • Sodium Stearate
  • Cocamidopropyl Betaine
  • Fragrance (Parfum)
  • Sodium Laurate
  • Tetrasodium Etidronate
  • Tetrasodium EDTA
  • Sodium Chloride
  • Kaolin
  • Titanium Dioxide

Dove Beauty Bar claims to be less drying than regular soap, and many reviews substantiate this claim. Still, some ingredients, such as sulfates and artificial fragrances, may be concerning for cat skin.

cat in bathtub
Photo Credit: 135pixels, Shutterstock

Is Dove Soap Safe for Cats?

Dove soap is formulated to be cleansing and nourishing for human skin. Cat skin, on average, is higher in pH than human skin. Ingredients in human-formulated soaps, like Dove soap, will be overly harsh on feline skin and disrupt the skin’s pH.

Keeping the skin’s pH within a natural range allows the skin to protect itself from harmful free radicals and allergens. Stripping back a cat’s skin pH with human soap can decrease the protective quality, leaving skin vulnerable to allergies and irritations. Infections can become more common in unhealthy, unbalanced skin.

For a cat with otherwise healthy skin, one use of Dove soap won’t cause significant harm. Human soap can be okay if it is the only cleanser on hand when a bath is vital.

groomer bathing a bengal cat in grooming salon
Image Credit: M-Production, Shutterstock

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Cat-Safe Soaps

Cat Shampoo

The best option for cleaning your cat is formulated cat shampoo. Species-specific cleansers will be adjusted for the biology of the animal’s skin, reducing any potential harm. Many cat shampoos offer targeted benefits such as anti-itch or extra moisturizing, so you can choose a recipe that will be favorable for your cat.

Hepper Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs, Cats and Other...
109 Reviews
Hepper Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs, Cats and Other...
  • Only Natural Pet Shampoo - Our vegan, plant-based formulation is made with safe and natural...
  • No Soap - A cat and dog wash free from soaps, glutens, dyes, DEA, sulfates and phthalates means it's...
  • Colloidal Oatmeal - Formula soothes and nourishes dry, irritated skin, providing itchy skin relief...

Grooming your pet at home can help you save money and avoid stress, but only if you're armed with a great pet shampoo. We recommend Hepper's Colloidal Oatmeal Pet Shampoo, which has a pH-balanced, pet-safe formula made with natural ingredients like aloe vera and oatmeal. You won't find any irritants like phthalates, sulfates, dyes, or soaps, and the soothing formula will keep your pet's skin moisturized and happy. Plus, the cucumber and aloe scent will make you feel like you've been to the spa!

At Catster, we’ve admired Hepper for many years and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool cat company!


Depending on what your cat’s coat has become contaminated with, you may be able to use water to clean them. Substances such as dirt or dust can be rinsed away without using a cleanser.

You can also use a damp towel to wipe away dirt to avoid a full bath. This tactic is practical and can easily pass as a friendly pat to your cat! Denser or oily substances may need extra power to lift away from cat fur.

Persian cat bathing
Photo Credit: 135pixels, Shutterstock

Baby Products

Human soaps are harsh on cat skin due to the pH imbalance. Adult human skin ranges from 5–5.5, while cats are 6.4–6.9. Interestingly, baby skin ranges from 6.3–7.5.

This disparity is why baby shampoos and other skin products exist independently from products formulated for adult skin. But you’ll see that the pH of a baby is within the pH range of cat skin.

If you use human products on your cat, baby shampoos or wipes will be much gentler!

Hepper Pet Wash Wipes - Soft Pet Cleaning Wipes...
  • Gentle Care For All Pets - Infused with moisturizing hypoallergenic ingredients & enriched with...
  • Deep Cleans From Head to Tail - Tackle the toughest dirt & messes with our extra strong pet wipes...
  • Freshness On The Go - Each dog grooming wipes pack contains 30 counts of premium dog wipes that...

Although cats are famously clean animals, even the best self-groomers need an occasional wipe-down. We recommend Hepper's Wash Wipes because they're gentle on skin but effective on dirt and grime. These USA-manufactured premium wipes have a hypoallergenic formula made with moisturizing natural ingredients to keep your cat's skin and fur happy and healthy.

At Catster, we’ve admired Hepper for many years and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool cat company!

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Final Thoughts

If your cat needs a bath ASAP and you don’t have cat shampoo, you may naturally reach for a human soap. Cleansers made for humans, such as Dove soap, are not designed for cats.

In the absence of an alternative, Dove soap won’t harm your cat but should not be used long-term. In the future, invest in a good cat shampoo for emergencies!

Featured Photo Credit: Amazon

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