Baby wipes are pretty much the best invention when it comes to cleaning up dirt and spills quickly and efficiently. They are so convenient to use and many households keep hold of a handy pack at home for complete convenience. They can also be easily stored in a bag for days out and can be particularly helpful for use with young children. The fact they can be used without the addition of soap and water can make them even more appealing.
Baby wipes in theory seem to be a particularly good idea for use on pets. Your furry friends can often get dirty and grimy in a blink of an eye and water is not always readily available when you need it the most.
Using baby wipes on pets is a pretty controversial subject and for cats in particular is a highly debated subject that we shall look into in more depth.
So, can you use baby wipes on cats? No. It is not a good idea to clean your cat with baby wipes. These types of wipes are made with chemicals that can irritate your cat’s skin and fur. They also often contain aloe vera or lavender which are known to be highly toxic for cats. Keep the baby wipes away from your cat at all costs!
It is always best to keep these types of predominantly ‘human products’ away from cats for their well-being. There are many types of chemicals that as human’s our skin can tolerate well however this is not the case for your kitty. They have much more delicate skin and therefore require much milder products.
What’s the difference between cat wipes and baby wipes?
Although using baby wipes on your cat is a pretty bad idea, there are wipes you can buy on the market that have been specifically designed for feline use. These are usually made with softer ingredients that your cat’s skin can tolerate much better.
This means that you can still reap all the convenience of conventional baby wipes whilst ensuring your cat stays healthy and happy.
So, what are the differences between regular baby wipes and cat wipes? Let’s look at some of the key differences between the two to get a better understanding of how these work and why one is most definitely better for cat overall.
What are baby wipes?
Baby wipes are usually made with aloe vera which is highly toxic to cats. Great for keeping baby’s skin soft and free from rashes, but not so much for your kitty. Indeed, there are still cat wipes out there that include aloe vera in small doses, but we feel it is a wise idea to give these types of cat wipes a wide berth.
Lavender is also another ingredient that is toxic to cats. It is often used in baby wipes and is usually what gives them the fresh, scented smell you experience. This is perfectly fine for human use, but we recommend you keep this ingredient as far away from cats as possible.
Soaps and detergents are great for all-round cleaning however these do not agree with your cat’s delicate stomach and skin and therefore should be avoided. Unfortunately, baby wipes contain lots of these types of cleaning ingredients.
Alcohol is another popular addition to baby wipes. It may be reasonably ok for human use (debatable) but it is not suitable to be used for cats. It is an ingredient that can be easily absorbed into your cat’s skin and could be fatal if enough is ingested.
What are cat wipes?
Cat wipes should not contain any harsh chemicals that are toxic to cats. Most of the good cat wipes on the market have been specifically formulated to be gentle on cat’s skin and you will find these do not include aloe vera. It’s important to read the ingredients list carefully though as some cat wipes still contain certain amounts of aloe vera.
Scented products are not necessary for cats. You will find that most cat wipes do not have much of a smell. This is partly since the ingredients used in cat wipes are not known for their pleasant aromas. You will not find lavender or any other ingredients that are toxic to a cat in these types of wipes.
Soaps and detergents are a great cleaning tool and you would expect all wipes to include this, but truth be told they are far too severe for your cat’s delicate skin. This is why you will not find these ingredients included in cat wipes as they have been specially formulated to avoid any irritants to felines.
Alcohol is not used in cat wipes. It is not a necessary ingredient for cleaning and is very toxic for cats to consume especially in large doses. This is why it is usually recommended that you keep hand sanitizer far away from cats and pets in general.
Baby wipes vs cat wipes chart
|May contain aloe vera
|Should be free of aloe vera (*read ingredient labels)
|May contain lavender
|Should be unscented
|May contain harsh chemicals
|Should not contain any detergents or soaps
|May contain alcohol
|Should not contain alcohol
It is true to say there are many ingredients used in regular baby wipes that are not included in wipes specifically designed for cats. This does not mean that cat wipes don’t work.
They are just formulated in a completely different way that helps to keep cats safe from ingredients that do not agree with their skin or delicate stomachs.
Cat wipes contain some great cleaning ingredients that are known to work very well. You should expect to see some of the following ingredients included in cat wipes:
- Purified water
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin A
- Hawaiian awapuhi
- Green Tea
- Cinnamon Oil
- Lemon Grass Oil
Do baby wipes hurt cats?
Yes, baby wipes can hurt cats, especially if used too frequently. Baby wipes often contain some harsh chemicals that are either toxic for cats or too strong for their delicate skin. These types of wipes can irritate your cat’s skin and can cause rashes and sores that can be particularly unpleasant for your kitty.
The bigger problem here though is ingesting these chemicals. We are all aware that cats have a very meticulous cleaning routine and for the most part do not rely on us humans to keep them clean day to day. They regularly lick their fur and skin to keep their coats clean and tidy.
If you choose to use baby wipes on your cat’s fur, the chemicals from these wipes will undoubtedly transfer to your cat’s fur. Your cat will usually be pretty quick at cleaning these chemicals off with their tongue and will ingest the ingredients that are left behind by baby wipes.
This can make your cat pretty sick and could be fatal depending on the levels of toxic chemicals they have ingested.
Are flushable wipes safe for cats?
Flushable wipes unfortunately are the exact same scenario as using baby wipes on your cat. It’s true that they can be much more convenient to use and will not clog up your toilet, but as far as cats are concerned there are no benefits.
Flushable wipes still contain the harsh chemicals that baby wipes do and therefore it should be noted that these should be avoided too.
Are dog wipes safe for cats?
Nine times out of ten you will find that wipes that are designed specifically for dogs are also safe for cats to use too. There are many harsh chemicals that dogs should avoid which fall in line with what is also toxic for cats.
Dog’s wipes are formulated in such a way as to avoid alcohol, soaps, and detergents and also ingredients such as aloe vera.
Although this plant is considered medicinal for humans you will be surprised how toxic it is for some animals including cats and dogs. We would consider dog wipes to be safe for cats providing they eliminate these harsh ingredients (sadly not all do, but that’s another article!).
Can I use baby wipes on my cats bum?
Baby wipes are not safe for use with cats under any circumstances. At times kitty’s bums can indeed get a bit dirty and messy, but it is not a wise idea to use a baby wipe to clean up this mess in what is often a delicate area of skin. It can cause irritations and skin reactions.
Cats clean by licking themselves and this also includes their bum. The chemicals from the baby wipes will likely get ingested which can cause severe complications.
If your cat has an extra dirty bum that needs cleaning, you can try out these wipes on Amazon that are specifically formulated for dog and cat butts.
Can I use baby wipes on my cat’s eyes?
No! Please do not consider doing this. This is one of the worst places where you can choose to clean your cat with baby wipes.
If you have ever used a baby wipe to clean your own eyes you will know exactly where we are coming from with this. It stings! And stings pretty badly too. This is due to the harsh chemicals used in baby wipes. In particular the alcohol element.
If you wish to clean your cat’s eyes we would recommend avoiding any products and bring it back to basics. A water-soaked piece of cotton wool will be sufficient enough to deal with this issue and will be gentle on your cat’s eyes without any stinging.
Can I use baby wipes to clean my cat’s ears?
Cats are pretty self-sufficient creatures and under most circumstances, you will not need to clean their ears. They like to do this type of thing themselves. There may be instances where your cat is not looking after themselves as they should be (possibly in old age) and therefore they need some intervention.
Once again, baby wipes are not the solution. They will likely irritate your cat’s ears and there is always a possibility of them ingesting the harsh ingredients that have transferred from the wipe to their skin.
Cat wipes are a much better solution for this and traditional cotton wool and water is also a great solution.
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