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25 houseplants that are safe for cats

tabby cat sniffing herbs as they are being watered with white watering can

In order to keep your cat safe, it's important to decorate your home with pet friendly plants only!

© Bogdan Sonjachnyj - Shutterstock

There are few joys in this world more fulfilling than owning and caring for a pet. Except maybe caring for a plant? So what if you could do both at the same time?

By Justine Seraphin

Updated on the

Unfortunately, many plants and flowers can be toxic to cats and dogs. For example, lillies are extremely toxic to cats, so toxic in fact, that if they sniff or lick its pollen, it could be fatal to them. 

But - having plants and having pets is not mutually exclusive! You can keep plants in your home that are perfectly safe for your cat. You just have to know which ones they are. 

Be aware that indoor cats are much more susceptible to plant poisoning than outdoor cats. This is because, unfortunately, many indoor cats lack proper stimulation and find plants to be very fun games to play with when they are bored. So you should be particularly careful about the plants you keep in your home if your cat is an indoor cat.

In addition, all plants, even the non-toxic ones, are susceptible to making your cat sick with vomiting and/or diarrhea. So even if you do purchase plants that are safe for cats, make sure you store them out of reach of your feline friends, just to be on the safe side. 

And now, without further ado, check out these 25 awesome houseplants you can keep if you own a cat.

Low light indoor plants that are safe for cats

Low-light plants are perfect for people who don’t have very many windowsills or a lot of direct sunlight coming into their homes. As such, they’re quite easy to care for! And the ones below are perfectly safe for your cat. 

Rattlesnake plant (Calathea lancifola)

rattlesnake plant
Rattlesnake Plant ©Fabrizio Guarisco - Shutterstock

The distinctly shaped leaves of this plant make it extremely unique! It’s also very easy to care for, with a watering schedule that requires no more than a little bit of water when the soil is dry. Fertilize monthly in the spring and summer and keep at an ideal temperature of between 20°C and 26°C.

Bird’s nest fern (Asplenium nidus)

birds nest fern
Bird's Nest Fern©Phuttharak - Shutterstock

This squiggly green fern looks like a fancier version of kale - but unlike kale, it’s perfectly safe for your cat to nibble on. The Bird’s Nest Fern loves humidity, so it’d be a great addition to your bathroom. Water thoroughly when the soil feels dry to the touch, and keep in temperatures between 15°C and 26°C.

Friendship plant (Pilea involucrata)

friendship plant
Friendship Plant©Wigandt - Shutterstock

The friendship plant boasts beautifully patterned leaves that feel soft to the touch and are completely harmless to cats. As it grows, the plant will flower with pale pink buds. The friendship plant requires moderate light, thorough watering once the soil is dry, and temperatures of 18°C to 28°C. 

Ponytail palm (Beaucarnea recurvata)

ponytail palm
Ponytail Palm©The Handyman - Shutterstock

This beautiful palm boasts long, thin leaves that droop all around it - kind of like a miniature house willow. They’re great air purifiers and prefer low light.

Hanging plants that are safe for cats

Hanging plants really add a naturey vibe to your home. Hanging plants in your home is also a good way of trying to keep your cat away from your plants. So hopefully, you don’t have a little dare-devil at home who’ll be trying to jump on them 24/7. The below plants are ideal to place in hanging pots and are also safe for cats. 

Baby tears (Soleirolia soleirolii)

baby tears
Baby Tears ©Amelia Martin - Shutterstock

It’s a good thing this plant is easy to place in a hanging pot, because its dripping tendrils were practically designed to attract cats! But even if you did decide to keep it on a shelf, don’t worry, this plant is completely safe for cats. It needs regular watering and temperatures between 21°C and 26°C.

Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

spider plant
Spider Plant ©Coplay - Shutterstock

Spider plants grow very well indoors and are extremely resilient. In fact, they grow so well that their leaves often get too long - but don’t worry - you can simply trim them and replant the new clippings! They thrive in indirect bright light and temperatures between 15°C and 26°C.

Air plant (Tillandsia varieties)

hanging air plant
Air Plant ©luca85 - Shutterstock

Air plants are perfect for hanging pots and are extremely easy to take care of. All they need is a soak every week or two. There are many different varieties to choose from - but they’re all safe for cats. 

Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)

boston fern
Boston Fern ©JADEZMITH - Shutterstock

The Boston fern is extremely reliable - easy to take care of, resilient, and safe for both cats and dogs. All it needs is damp soil and a little food every two months. It’s a natural humidifier, so it’s perfect if your indoor air is a little too dry.

Flowers that are safe for cats

Some flowers are extremely toxic - to the point of being fatal - to cats. Some of these include Lilies, Daisies, and Azaleas. Fortunately, there are some beautiful flowers that you can keep in your home without having to worry about your cat’s health. Here are a few of them!

Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus)

sunflowers in vase
Sunflowers ©New Africa - Shutterstock

Sunflowers are one of the flowers you don’t have to worry about if you want to brighten up your home with a colourful bouquet. 

Roses (Rosa varieties)

cat playing with pink roses
Roses ©Anntuan - Shutterstock

If someone just gifted you a bouquet of roses - no worries, they are perfectly safe for your cat and also for your dog, if you have one!

Orchid (Orchidaceae varieties)

cat surrounded by purple orchids
Orchids ©Daykiney - Shutterstock

Orchids aren’t for the beginner plant owner, but they are beautiful and add a lot of elegance into your home. They do best in partial light, and need watering twice a week during the hotter months of the year. Orchids bloom once a year for up to three months (with the proper care), after which the flowers will die off and only return the following year! There are many different varieties of Orchids, but they’re all safe for cats.

African Violet (Saintpaulia)

kitten playing with african violet
African Violet ©JulieK2 - Shutterstock

These flowers can add lots of colour into your home - especially since they bloom year-around! They’ll need warmer temperatures as babies, but can do well in temperatures of 20°C and above once they’re adults.

Gloxinia (Sinningia speciosa)

purple gloxinia in pot
Gloxinia ©yevgeniy11 - Shutterstock

These colourful flowers are native to Brazil and absolutely LOVE sunlight. So your cat will probably be found napping close to them if you have one in a sunny spot of your home. But not to worry, these flowers are non-toxic to cats.

Other non toxic indoor plants for cats

If you’re not looking for any specific plant, but just want to spruce up your home a little all the while keeping your cat safe, the following plants could be perfect for you!

Parlour palm (Chamaedorea elegans)

parlour palm
Parlour Palm ©iluphoto - Shutterstock

Parlour palms are slow growers that can take several years to reach their full size. They may cohabitate with your feline friend for quite some time, but that’s not a problem, as they’re perfectly safe for cats.

Calathea Orbifolia (Calathea Orbifolia)

calathea plant
Calathea Orbifolia©febri ardi antonius - Shutterstock

These little plants decorate bedrooms and living rooms perfectly! They don’t like direct sunlight and prefer humidity - so your cat may not be crossing paths with it very often! 

Echeveria (Echeveria varieties)

echeveria plant
Echeveria ©panattar - Shutterstock

Echeveria is one of the few succulents that is non-toxic to cats. If you like succulents, go for this or Haworthia - and stay away from Jade and Aloe at all costs! These easy-to-care for plants only need a light watering once every couple of weeks.

Venus Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula)

venus flytrap
Venus Flytrap©Mimi SM - Shutterstock

This plant is non-toxic for pets and is super low-maintenance. It only needs one to two insects per month, so if you leave it outside on the windowsill, it can even fend for itself. But if you decide to keep it inside, don’t worry, it definitely won’t eat your cat.

Polka Dot Plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya)

polka dot plant
Polka Dot Plant©Charles G. Haacker - Shutterstock

These plants can grow quite tall in their native Madagascar, but they only grow to about 25cm inside our homes. Moderate is its middle name - both in terms of sunlight and watering. 

Watermelon Peperomia (Peperomia argyreia)

watermelon peperomia
Watermelon Peperomia ©Raining624 - Shutterstock

These little plants love indirect sunlight and light watering once its soil gets a little dry. They’re distinguished, classic indoor plants, and they’re perfectly safe for cats.

Bromeliad (Bromeliaceae family)

bromeliad
Bromeliad plants©Irina Kvyatkovskaya - Shutterstock

These tropical plants require lots of light and humidity. They also do best in a room with lots of air flow. But wherever you decide to keep it, don’t worry, it’s perfectly safe for your cat.

Herbs

cat smelling herbs as they are being watered
Herbs©Bogdan Sonjachnyj - Shutterstock

If you want to plant kitchen herbs such as basil, rosemary, or thyme, good news - they are perfectly safe for your cat to nibble on! These plants do best in direct sunlight and need regular watering.

Fishbone cactus (Epiphyllum anguliger)

fishbone cactus
Fishbone Cactus ©Ikhwan Ameer - Shutterstock

Also known as Zig Zag cactus, they get these unique names from the unique shape of their leaves! They’re not as spiky as your average cactus plant, so don’t worry, they won’t do any harm to you kitty. Fishbone cacti love humidity, so don’t hesitate to keep them in your bathroom!

Money tree (Pachira aquatica)

money tree
Money Tree©NeginMinaee - Shutterstock

Money trees are beautiful little plants that are perfect for purifying the air. And most importantly, they’re perfectly safe for your cat to play with.

Bamboo palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii)

bamboo palm
Bamboo Palm©Lamyai - Shutterstock

Bamboo palms can grow up to 1.5 metres tall, so if you’re looking for a plant that will decorate a lot of space and turn your home into a little jungle, this could be the one for you! Your cat might not be able to resist its drooping leaves, but that’s ok, they’re perfectly safe for them! 

Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, Hibiscus syriacus)

cat lying down next to hibiscus
Hibiscus ©iggie34 - Shutterstock

There are a lot of colour varieties to choose from in the Hibiscus family - and they’re all safe for your feline friends. Hibiscus can thrive both indoors and outdoors, and they’re great for attracting butterflies!

So what do you think? Which one of these plants will you be purchasing?

Frequently asked questions

What kind of plants will cats not eat?

How do you stop my cats from eating my plants?

What is a good homemade cat repellent?

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