HEALTH & CARE

House Plants Safe for Cats: Which Plant Should You Get?

Martha Harvey
Written by Martha Harvey

Do you want to spruce up your home by adding indoor plants? But you might be worried that your cat could be exposed to harmful, toxic plants. The good news is, there are numerous house plants safe for cats. In this article, we’ll look at some of them.

Our feline friends are so active and curious that sometimes, they will chew on plants, particularly its leaves, when they get near one. If you are to add a houseplant, you’d naturally want one that is non-toxic so that your cat won’t get sick in case they chew on the plant. The truth is, the list of houseplants safe for cats is quite long, which means you won’t be limited in choosing a plant to add to your place.

Aside from listing down 20 non-toxic houseplants for cats, we’ll also give you some tips on how to care for these plants. You will also learn essential pointers in deterring your cat from chewing or eating these indoor plants. But first, let’s start with a brief explanation on why you need to be careful with the houseplant you choose.

Do Cats Like to Eat Plants?

orange cat eating grass

Cats are primarily carnivores. But this doesn’t mean that they won’t chew on greens from time to time. Just like toddlers, our feline friends use their sense of taste to test things out.

Chewing or eating things is one way for cats to discover more about their surroundings, which explains why there’s always the chance for them to eat home plants.

Plants are also naturally attractive for feline friends because of movement. Plants with dangling vines like spider plant are naturally enticing to cats. Green leaves that swing gently with a breeze can also look delectable to felines.

Experts also say that the scent of certain plants like peppermint and lemongrass can be enticing for cats to taste. However, it is important to note that not all houseplants are safe for cats.

20 House Plants Safe for Cats

Our feline friends don’t always know what’s best for them, so it’s up to us to keep them safe. Choose one of the following non-toxic houseplants; then you won’t have to worry about kitty getting sick:

#1: African Violet

African Violet

This pet-friendly houseplant takes minimal indoor space, so this is a good choice if you live in an apartment or a condo. You can grow these in small pots. The African Violet is available in a range of purple hues. It is also a low-maintenance plant which thrives even without exposure to bright light.

#2: Air Plants

Tillandsia

Also called Tillandsia, air plants are one of the easiest plants to grow indoors. These plants can survive with the occasional water misting.

It’s still best to keep these plants out of the reach of your cats because although they are non-toxic, most felines won’t be able to resist chewing on the spindly leaves of air plants, and you may end up not having much of a plant to look at.

#3: Aluminum Plant

Aluminum Plant

Also known as the watermelon plant, the aluminum plant has attractive leaves in shades of green and gray. The leaves branch out in an umbrella-like pattern, which often gets the attention of pets like cats.

It is also possible for this plant to flower, although it is too small for cats to even notice. This plant is simple to please as well. As long as it is watered regularly and gets enough sunlight every day, then expect the aluminum plant to thrive for years.

#4: Baby Rubber Plant

Baby Rubber Plant

This plant is shiny and compact enough to fit in even small containers, so you might want to give it serious consideration if you are living in an apartment. It is also a low-maintenance plant with can thrive even if it is not receiving enough sunlight.

#5: Baby Tears Plant

Baby Tears Plant

This delicate-looking plant looks like a carpet of small green leaves spreading over the sides of the pot it is planted in. A native of the Mediterranean region, Baby Tears can be used as small hanging plants or in a terrarium.

It, however, requires a lot of attention. For one, it should be kept in a room with high humidity and exposed to sunlight regularly.

#6: Boston Ferns

Boston Ferns

Ferns are notorious for being toxic to cats, but the Boston Fern is one exception. Often set in hanging baskets, Boston Ferns can add texture and color to any room. These are also low-maintenance plants that can thrive even with minimal exposure to sunlight.

Cats, though, may find the wispy fronds of this plant too enticing to chew on, and the plants may not stay pretty for long. You can discourage the behavior by spraying the plant with a solution of water and vinegar.

See Also: DIY Cat Repellent

#7: Blue Echeveria

Blue Echeveria

This is a succulent plant native to Mexico and Central America. It is safe for cats and other pets. One good thing about this plant is that it can fill out any pot.

#8: Burro’s Tail

Burro’s Tail

Burro’s Tail is not exactly a houseplant. It is a garden plant which can grow up to four feet in length and up to three feet in width. It can take up to six years for this plant to mature, so patience is needed if you are to care for one. And because it is a slow-to-mature plant, you can still grow Burro’s tail inside your house.

#9: Cast Iron Plant

Cast Iron Plant

The name itself suggests how tough this houseplant is. This plant is native to Japan and named as such because of its ability to thrive even with minimal care or attention.

In the wild, this plant grows on forest floors. Suffice to say, this plant can grow in just about any part of the house. It is the ideal plant to grow in low-light areas of the house.

#10: Christmas Cactus

Christmas Cactus

The Christmas cactus has flat leaves with rounded teeth on the margins, giving it an appearance that can get the attention of our feline friends. This plant usually grows in container soils. It should be kept in indirect light.

The Christmas Cactus is a great plant to add to any indoor setting. It is easy to maintain and propagates easily, too. It also requires minimal watering which makes it a great choice for busy people.

#11: Echevarria

Echevarria

The Echevarria is an attractive succulent that can grow up to 16 inches in diameter. With its lance-shaped leaves, arching stems, and sweet pink flowers appearing in the summer, the Echevaria can be quite intriguing to our feline friends.

It’s a good thing that they won’t get sick if and when they chew any part of this plant. However, make sure to pay attention to the dead leaves of the plant. Remove those leaves unless you want them to become a nesting place for bugs.

#12: Money Tree

Money Tree

The money tree has been known especially in Eastern civilizations to invite luck. But more than its perceived ability to bring in good fortune, the money tree is also known to reduce toxins from the air.

It is thus a good choice if you have asthma or lung problems. Like most of the plants on this list, the money tree is a low-maintenance houseplant which can grow even if it is not receiving a lot of sunlight.

#13: Moth Orchid

Moth Orchid

If you’ve always wanted to have an orchid at home but feared that doing so would put your cat in danger, then the good news is that you can do so by growing Phalaenopsis Orchids. Also known as the moth orchid, this orchid can beautify your home for months. It is also easy to care for.

#14: Parlor Palm

Parlor Palm

This may be the best houseplant for cats, dogs, and other pets. It’s an indoor plant that can grow even when it is receiving minimal sunlight. It can also thrive in low temperatures. It doesn’t need much attention, too, as watering can be done weekly.

It grows in clusters with its arching and green leaflets creating a feathery canopy. It can also grow up to six feet in height. Aside from giving your place a nice touch of green, this plant can also be a good air purifier.

#15: Prayer Plant

Prayer Plant

The prayer plant is a lovely, non-toxic indoor plant known by many names such as peacock plant and rattlesnake plant. It is said to be called prayer plant because its leaves close up to form a shape that looks like hands in prayer.

Speaking of its leaves, these can grow large and give any room an attractive accent. Its leaves have distinctive patterns, too. The plant can also grow up to 36 inches.

#16: Ponytail Palm

Ponytail Palm

The ponytail palm is another good choice for a non-toxic indoor plant. It can warm up any space with its looks. But cats will also find it intriguing and enticing to play with, thanks to its bulbous trunk and ponytail of leaves.

The ponytail palm is a cute plant which is considered to be easy to grow. Speaking of growth, this plant can live for decades and even centuries. While it can grow up to 20 feet tall outdoors, the ponytail palm will grow to just around 3 feet when placed indoors.

#17: Swedish Ivy

Swedish Ivy

Contrary to its name, the Swedish ivy did not originate in Sweden. This fast-growing and low-maintenance plant is ideal for beginners because it does not require a lot of attention.

During the summer, you simply hang it outside in partial shade, and it should thrive. When the temperature goes under 50 degrees Fahrenheit, simply bring it indoors.

#18: Spider Plant

Spider Plant

The spider plant is a common houseplant found or placed in hanging baskets. It’s highly attractive to our feline friends because it is mildly hallucinogenic. It produces chemicals that can be fascinating to cats, similar to catnip.

Moreover, it can thrive in low light, so this is an excellent, low-maintenance indoor plant. It also doesn’t require regular watering as this task can be done weekly and the plant would still grow.

#19: Tradescantia Zebrina

Tradescantia Zebrina

This herbaceous perennial is commonly grown indoors. It has green, gray, and white leaves that clasp the stem at its base. Cats are known to be attracted to those soft, curling leaves. It can tolerate a wide range of conditions, making it an excellent houseplant.

#20: Wax Plant

Wax Plant

This non-toxic plant is known to be effective in promoting clean air indoors. It is called wax plant because of its thick and waxy leaves. Also known as the Hoya plant, it is a practical choice for most homemakers because it can live forever.

It can also grow big while creating attractive and fragrant flower clusters called porcelain flower.

See Also: What Houseplants are Poisonous to Cats

Safeguarding Home Plants from Cats

cat and orange

While the plants mentioned in this article are all safe for cats to chew on or wreck their foliage, this doesn’t mean that you will let your cats have unlimited access to your home plants. After all, letting your feline friend destroy these non-toxic houseplants would dampen your plans to add a touch of green to your home.

One way to deter your cat from playing with your houseplants is to make your greens smell bad to them. You can do so by sprinkling cayenne pepper around the leaves of the plants. Cats won’t even be thinking of getting near the plants.

Felines also hate smelling citrus so you can place orange and lemon peels in the pots along with the houseplants. An alternative is to spray the leaves directly with diluted orange oil or lemon juice. However, don’t use citrus oil extracts as these may be toxic to cats.

But what if your cat uses your houseplants as a litter box? One way to address this is to cover the soil with large pebbles around the base of the houseplants so that your pet won’t be able to dig them. You may also place pinecones around the plant to keep the cats away.

See Also: How to Keep Cats from Eating Plants

Wrap Up

cat and fallen plant

As you have learned after reading this article, houseplants and cats can co-exist. There are indeed many indoor plants safe enough for a cat-friendly place like yours.

Now that you have learned about the top 20 houseplants safe for cats, go ahead and buy an indoor plant that can add a touch of green to your home without posing a health risk to your beloved cat.

Which plant do you think will make a great addition to your home? Do you know of other houseplants that are safe for cats? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below. Next, check out our article on how to grow cat grass; this is another way to add a touch of green to your house while keeping your cat healthy and happy.

About the author
Martha Harvey
Martha Harvey

Martha Harvey is a skilled veterinarian and a member of American Veterinary Medical Association from Greeley, Colorado. She has 20 years experience of working in Animal Hospital. Martha loves all of her patients, but her favorite one is the Russian Blue cat Stitch, who lives with her.

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