Cats are extremely well known for constant grooming and according to some sources they even spend as much as 5 hours a day just grooming themselves! But even the best need a little help sometimes and you might be wondering…
Can you use baby wipes on cats? The short answer is no, you can’t safely use baby wipes on cats. That’s because even the mildest unscented baby wipes contain some kind of ingredient that’s harmful or unpleasant to your cat. While not all are poisonous, there are much better ways to keep your cat clean.
Cats have unique biological systems and even though baby wipes are designed to be safe on our sensitive skin, the same rules just don’t apply to cats.
Let’s dive a little deeper into what makes baby wipes bad for cats and what alternative options you have.
Do Baby Wipes Hurt Cats?
Most baby wipes don’t hurt cats just by application, instead, it’s the risk of ingestion that you have to worry about. Considering that cats spend so much time grooming, you have to assume that whatever you put on their coat is going to end up in their mouth.
So the question isn’t just, “Are baby wipes safe for my cat’s skin” but also whether or not it’s safe for the ingredients to be ingested in small amounts!
Can I Use Baby Wipes On My Cat’s Bum?
If you want to play it as safe as possible then you should stick with wipes that are specifically designed for pet bottoms or at least designed for pets. That’s because there are just too many ingredients that are safe for humans but harmful to cats. If you’re in a pinch, then use a plain rag or paper towel but just make sure it’s moist before you use it and be gentle. Using a dry rag or paper towel on your cat’s bum can cause irritation will only make the dirty bum problem worse.
If you want to be extra prepared for the next dirty bum situation, I recommend you check out the special butt-friendly pet wipes from Glandex on Amazon or take a look at some of the other recommended wipes further down the page.
What Ingredients Make Baby Wipes Bad For Cats?
There are some obvious and some not-so-obvious ingredients in baby wipes that can be bad for cats and a lot of folks think that by going for unscented versions they can avoid anything harmful to cats. Sadly, that’s just not the case. To illustrate that, let’s take a look at one of the milder wipes from Pampers called Aqua Sensitive Water Baby Wipes. You can see them on Amazon by clicking here but the list of ingredients is as follows:
Water, Citric Acid, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Sodium Citrate, Sorbitan Caprylate, Sodium Benzoate, Disodium EDTA
The first ingredient that stands out is citric acid. Cats don’t like any kind of citrus (especially oranges) but it’s more than just an aversion- consuming essential oils from citrus sources can actually be poisonous to cats. Of course, something as mild as a baby wipe isn’t going to contain enough citrus to do serious damage but it will still be a bit annoying to your cat. It’s also completely avoidable.
I’ve even talked about how you can actually use the scent of citrus oils to keep cats off the counter so you can imagine how annoying it would be for cats to have any citrus smell on them! Even more so when you consider just how powerful your cat’s nose really is!
Next on the list, we see PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil which is a particular type of castor oil. Castor oil is actually quite safe for pets and used as a somewhat natural remedy for constipation. You can check out this video to learn more. But if you need to use baby wipes on your cat there’s a chance that constipation is the direct opposite of your problem. Again, the small amounts present in baby wipes aren’t likely to make a huge impact but you don’t want to needlessly expose your cat to a laxative, however mild!
Sodium citrate is another laxative that’s commonly used to treat constipation in cats. The rest of the ingredients are mild and primarily used to preserve the product and maintain its consistency.
Our Pampers example is pretty mild but in most cases, baby wipes have added fragrances or ingredients which were never intended to be ingested by anyone…let alone your cat!
What About Aloe Vera?
Aloe is one of the most ingredients in baby wipes and special wipes that are made for pets but according to some sources it causes “Vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, depression, anorexia, tremors, change in urine color.”
So what’s going on?
While it’s a subtle distinction, there are specific parts of the aloe vera plant that are safe for cats. The ASPCA lists aloe on its list of toxic plants but simply explains “The gel is considered edible.” Luckily the folks at Chewy have a bit more to say and they explain “The center of the aloe plant, which is green and aqueous, is safe for cats and dogs, however, the outer edges contain a white sap called the latex, which is toxic for animals. Aloe products and ingredients formulated for pets, like aloe vera extract, do not contain this latex.”
So aloe vera can be safely used in wipes but it’s important to make sure the wipes you’re using are actually pet friendly!
Best Cleaning Wipes For Cats (Instead of Baby Wipes)
Okay, we now know that baby wipes aren’t something we want to use on cats…but what can we use? There are plenty of great baby wipe alternatives on the market that will help keep your cat clean and safe!
Let’s take a look at my three favorite options.
Best Overall: Pogi’s Grooming Wipes
- Conditioning Ingredients - Aloe Vera, Vitamin E, and Hawaiian Awapuhi help clean, freshen and condition...
- Large Pet Wipes (8 x 9 inches) - Our quilted dog wipes are made big enough for even the largest dogs, and...
Ingredients: Purified Water, Aloe Vera Extract, Vitamin E, Awapuhi Extract, Cucumber Extract
If you want a simple wipe that’s similar to a baby wipe but is still pet-friendly this probably your best bet. It’s one of the lowest-priced wipes on the market and has thousands of 5-star reviews. Even though it’s directed towards dogs it’s still a great option for cats. Since the wipes are larger sized (8 x 9 inches), one wipe should do the trick for most cats. Unless you’re dealing with a particularly problematic back end in which case you might need a few more.
You can check out the latest price on Amazon by clicking here.
For Dirty Cat Butts: Glandex Wipes With Deodorizing Enzymes
- SUPPORTS ANAL GLAND HEALTH & PROPER HYGIENE - Convenient for daily hygiene can be use all over body on...
- DEODORIZING & FRESH SCENT - Contains natural DeoPlex enzyme to help eliminate unpleasant anal gland...
Ingredients: Purified Water, Cleansers, Aloe Leaf Juice, Natural Deodorizers, Vitamin E, Skin Conditioners, Moisturizer, Fragrance
If you’re researching baby wipes because you’ve got a cat with a particularly messy bottom or anal gland issues you might want to check out this product from Glandex. While it includes all the pet-friendly ingredients we’d expect, it also includes the DeoPlex enzyme which is also called saccharomyces ferment. Chemical of the Day explains that “Saccharomyces is a family of fungi…The saccharomyces ferment used in these deodorants is made by a company called Carruba, and sold under the name DeoPlex. It claims to be non-toxic and harmless, and contains live enzymes that help to break down odor-causing compounds.”
It’s an interesting approach to the odor problem and has plenty of happy pet owners behind it.
You can read the reviews and see today’s price on Amazon by clicking here.
Best for Dirty Ears: Pet Post Ear Cleaner For Cats
- ♦ MOST EFFECTIVE EAR WIPES for removing wax, dirt and debris. That means a happier cat and cleaner...
- ♦ VETS AND GROOMERS AGREE that the Petpost Cat Ear Wipes is safer than traditional treatments that use...
Ingredients: Water, Disodium Coco-Glucoside Citrate, Aloe (Aloe Barbadensis) Leaf Juice, Glycerin, Coconut Oil, Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol.
If you’re dealing with dirty ears then you most certainly want to avoid baby wipes! These wipes are purpose made for cat ears and feature all the ingredients we’d expect and none that we don’t want. While you could use these wipes on something other than your cat’s ears it’s probably best not to make a habit of it. Partially because these wipes contain disodium coco-glucoside citrate which is used to clean the ear and help break down debris and also because it wouldn’t be very cost-effective!
You can check out the latest price on Amazon by clicking here.
Why Is Your Cat Dirty?
If you’re wondering whether or not baby wipes are safe for cats you’re probably dealing with a dirty cat. Pet wipes are great for helping your cat keep clean but you also need to ask yourself why your cat is dirty in the first place!
In most cases, if your cat is consistently dirty or seems to have stopped grooming then you should consult your veterinarian to rule out a medical condition. As Animal Planet points out, “when a cat stops grooming, something’s amiss in his world.” In other words, it’s not something to be taken lightly.
While baby wipes aren’t safe to use on your cat there are still plenty of pet-friendly wipes on the market that will get the job done all while keeping your cat safe. But don’t forget to investigate why your typically clean kitty isn’t keeping up with their grooming!
After all, a pet wipe can help keep your cat clean but they should usually be doing a good job of doing that on their own!