The first of the Sphynx cat care questions are rolling in via email and the Facebook page () and today we answer “Is it safe to use human products on Sphynx cats?” By human products we are talking about shampoos, wipes and moisturisers.
Human skin and cat skin have different pH levels. Human skin is around 5.4 on the pH scale and human shampoos are around 6 on the pH to ensure cleansing without irritation. Cat shampoos should be around 7.5 on the pH scale because cat skin is naturally more alkaline than humans. It is ALWAYS advisable to use a product specifically designed for cat use instead of a human product, but infrequent use of a human product can be acceptable as long as there is no irritation caused by the product.
Be aware that human products have perfumes and colourants that can cause your cat to develop allergies if you are using them over a long period of time. Again…infrequent use (when you have run out of your cat shampoo for instance) is advised rather than long term use. Even baby wipes can cause allergies in your cat, so sourcing cat wipes specifically made for cats is always the way to go.
All shampoos are made of chemicals (as is everything on the planet) so asking for a chemical free shampoo is not a helpful question when buying a Sphynx cat shampoo. Man-made chemicals are not necessarily a bad thing either as they have been tailored to perform the exact task required, rather than having something “natural” that does the job in a less efficient manner. What you want to avoid when buying a Sphynx cat shampoo is a product that is overly perfumed or contains bleaches (sometimes in show cat shampoos to whiten fur). I prefer products that have a natural base with additives to help get the job done properly.
The best way to get a Sphynx cat clean is to first loosen the dirty skin oils with an oil, then shampoo afterwards. If you live in an area with hard water, or very chlorinated water, then think about using bottled water or distilled water to minimise skin irritation. Sphynx cat skin is not any different to a normal cat’s skin in that it is trying to keep a coat glossy and protect itself so that infection cannot get in. Over washing (more than once a week) will cause more oil to be produced, leading to more washing…leading to a nasty cycle for your cat. Wipe down with wipes, or with oils to remove dirty spots just in the areas required during the week.