25 Houseplants Safe For Cats

Key takeaway

Houseplants are a great way to add color to your home, but not all houseplants are safe for cats. Many houseplants are toxic to pets, so it’s important to do your research before bringing home a new plant to ensure that it would cause harm to your cat.

As a pet parent, you know that cats like to knock things over or eat plants. However, while plants might seem safe for pets, not all plants are. Many indoor plants are toxic to cats and can cause serious digestive problems and even death.

Owning a cat comes with plenty of responsibilities, but you should always ensure the plants you have in your home are safe just in case your cat tries to nibble on something when you’re not around to stop them. This article will discuss houseplants safe for cats and signs of plant toxicity in cats so you can keep your cat safe no matter what.

1. African Violet

African violet is a beautiful flowery plant that is a colorful addition to any home. These plants only need indirect sunlight and thrive in mild to warm temperatures ranging from 68 to 77 degrees. Of course, they require tons of water, but be careful not to overwater them.

2. Areca Palm (Butterfly Palm)

The butterfly palm can turn your home into a tropical oasis, but your cat might want to swat at or play with the palm fronds. Luckily, butterfly palm is completely safe for cats, but it requires bright light, and the soil should dry out between waterings.

3. Baby Tears

Baby tears plants have beautiful tendrils that can brighten up any room. Baby tears typically make great hanging plants indoors but be careful because your cat might want to play with the drooping tendrils. Luckily, even if your cat were able to reach an indoor hanging plant, it can’t hurt them. A baby tears plant is a great choice for those who want low-maintenance plants, and they thrive in warm weather with filtered light as long as you keep the soil moist.

4. Banana Tree

A banana tree is a large houseplant safe for cats that can make any room feel brighter. This dramatic accent plant is safe for all pets, but it requires slightly more maintenance. To keep a banana tree healthy, you need to provide bright light, regular watering, and rich soil.

5. Bird’s Nest Fern

Bird’s nest fern is a beautiful low-light houseplant safe for cats. This fern requires humid conditions, making it an ideal plant to spruce up your bathroom. Your fern should be planted in loose soil and fertilized monthly. If your cat is prone to knocking things off the kitchen counter, consider putting it in a heavy pot to prevent accidents.

6. Boston Fern

The Boston fern is another low-light, high-humidity plant that can thrive in your bathroom and only requires water once every two months. You can let your cat play with your Boston fern and swat at all the tendrils without ever worrying about their safety.

7. Bromeliad

Bromeliads are a statement plant that makes a beautiful houseplant safe for cats. They’re also low-maintenance and only require bright light and humidity.

8. Calathea

Calathea is also known as the zebra plant and has large tropical striped leaves. You can put a calathea anywhere in your home, but they prefer shady spots since too much sunlight can cause the color to fade.

9. Date Palm

The date palm is a large indoor plant safe for pets that looks beautiful in modern homes. Date palms need bright, indirect sunlight and should never be overwatered. Instead, keep the soil on the dry side.

10. Friendship Plant

The friendship plant has beautifully patterned leaves that are soft, so your cat might want to rub up against it. A small plant, the friendship plant thrives in low light and only needs a few hours of sunlight every day as long as it’s watered thoroughly. However, the soil should dry out between waterings and stay dry in the winter.

11. Gloxinia

Gloxinia is a great plant for sunny spaces. This cat-safe houseplant has beautiful blossoming flowers that add a splash of color to any room in your home. Gloxinia requires moist soil and plant food every two weeks.

12. Herbs

Many kitchen herbs are safe for cats and thrive in direct light, allowing you to keep them by a window throughout the day. Herbs must be watered regularly.

13. Mosaic Plant

The mosaic plant is native to the rainforest and has veining on its leaves, giving it gorgeous texture and flair. A small houseplant that thrives in low light, a mosaic plant only needs moderate watering and looks great in any room of your home.

14. Orchid

Orchids are beautiful indoor and outdoor houseplants that are safe for cats and dogs. Unfortunately, orchids only last for a few months out of the year, but they’re still worth it since they can add color to your home while looking elegant in any room. Orchids need partial light and watering once a week during the winter and twice per week in the summer.

15. Parlor Palm

A parlor palm is a green houseplant that can make it feel like you have your very own palm tree. The parlor palm is easy to care for and should be kept out of direct sunlight with soil that’s evenly moist.

16. Peperomia

Peperomia is a beautiful green houseplant with texture on the leaves that looks good hanging or on a side table. Peperomia should be placed in bright, indirect sunlight and should only be watered when the soil is dry.

17. Polka Dot Plant

Polka dot plants can grow up to three feet tall outside but typically stay small indoors. The polka dot plant is exotic and prefers bright indirect light and humidity.

18. Ponytail Palm

The ponytail palm is a fun little green palm tree that fits in any home. Be careful, though; the ponytail palm looks like something your cat will want to spend hours playing with and swatting at. Even though the ponytail palm is safe for cats, you might want to put it somewhere it can’t be knocked over. Ponytail palms thrive in dry soil and should never be given too much water.

19. Prayer Plant

The prayer plant is safe for all pets and has beautiful green leaves. It prefers bright indirect sunlight and warm temperatures. A prayer plant should also be fed at least once a month in the warmer months and be watered only when the topsoil is dry.

20. Rattlesnake Plant

The rattlesnake plant has unique leaves and thrives in low light. Taking care of a rattlesnake plant is easy and has a simple watering schedule but is ideal for temperatures of seventy to eighty degrees.

21. Royal Velvet Plant

Royal velvet plant is a beautiful purple plant that can add a small splash of color to your home. These plants are slightly higher maintenance and thrive in bright light, and should only be watered when the soil is dry to prevent rot.

22. Some Succulents

Some succulents are not safe for pets. However, most succulents, such as Echeveria, are safe for pets. Succulent care is simple, but they require direct sunlight and light watering every few weeks.

23. Spider Plant

Spider plants are easy to grow indoors for anyone because they don’t like direct sunlight. Instead, they prefer low light conditions and temperatures between sixty and eighty degrees.

24. Staghorn Fern

Staghorn fern can be put in a pot, hung on a wall, or put in a basket to keep it safe and away from pets. Staghorn ferns require loose soil and require bright or indirect light.

25. Venus Flytrap

The Venus flytrap is a low-maintenance plant that can rid your home of flies for good. All it needs is a few hours of direct sunlight a day and watering with distilled water.

Graphic listing houseplants that are not safe for cats

Which Plants Are Not Safe For Cats?

Now that you understand there are many houseplants that are safe for pets, it is even more important to understand that there are many houseplants not safe for pets, especially cats who might choose to play with or chew on plants. Common houseplants toxic to cats include1:

  • Amaryllis
  • Azalea/Rhododendron
  • Chrysanthemum
  • English Ivy
  • Lilies
  • Marijuana
  • Peace Lily
  • Philodendron
  • Pothos
  • Sago Palm
  • Tulips
  • Yew

Always do your research before bringing home a new plant to ensure they’re safe for your pets. Review ASPCA’s guide to toxic and non-toxic plants to ensure you’re buying one that’s safe for your pet.

What Are The Signs Of Plant Toxicity In Cats?

Many pet parents make the mistake of bringing home houseplants that are unsafe for their pets. Even if you don’t know whether every plant in your home is safe if your dog or cat were to consume it, you should always know the signs of plant toxicity in cats. Signs your cat has ingested a toxin include2:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Drooling
  • Excessive drinking and urinating
  • Fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat and weakness
  • Lethargy

If you believe your cat has ingested a dangerous plant or toxin, don’t wait to see if the symptoms go away on their own. Many houseplants are fatal to cats, including lilies.3

Houseplants Safe For Cats: FAQs

What are the most toxic houseplants for cats?

There are many types of houseplants that are toxic to cats and can result in death. Lilies, philodendron, aloe, and oleander are some of the most common houseplants that can cause your cat to have a bad reaction when ingested. While you can let your cat chew on some pet-safe houseplants, never let them chew on houseplants that might be toxic to them.

Can you have plants in a house with cats?

There are many plants you can have in a house with cats, and many houseplants are safe for cats. However, you should always do your research to ensure your plants are safe for cats, especially if your cats are prone to licking, chewing, or playing with plants. Indoor plants are appealing to cats who can’t experience the outdoors for themselves, so it’s always best to ensure all the plants in your home are safe for pets.

What plants will cats not mess with?

If you’re worried about your cats getting into your plants and causing a mess, try to mix plants with other plants cats don’t like. For example, cactus and other thorny plants can deter cats away from plants in the vicinity. You can also find plants that deter cats because they have an odor cats don’t like, such as rosemary.

How do I stop my cat from eating my houseplants?

Whether or not your plants are safe for cats, you might not want your cats chewing on your houseplants. Luckily, there are ways to deter your cats from eating plants, including adding smells to your plants that cats hate, such as citrus. You can add a lemon peel to the soil of your plants to keep cats away. Additionally, you can find plants cats don’t like, including thorny plants such as cactuses.

Owner potting houseplant next to cat

Final Notes

There are many types of indoor plants safe for cats, but that doesn’t mean all houseplants are. Since cats love to play, climb, and jump, no plant in your home can be placed in a cat-free zone, so it’s always best to only keep plants that are safe in case your cat ingests them. Before you purchase indoor plants, do your research to determine whether or not they’re safe for pets.

Many houseplants are toxic, so pet parents must know the signs of plant toxicity in cats to help them get the treatment they need as fast as possible if they consume a poisonous houseplant. Not sure what houseplants are safe for your pet? You can always ask a vet.

Dutch’s licensed vets can help you find plants that are safe for pets so you can still use plants to brighten up your home without worrying about your cat’s safety.

References

  1. “17 Plants Poisonous to Pets.” ASPCApro, 15 July 2020, https://www.aspcapro.org/resource/17-plants-poisonous-pets.

  2. Jennifer Coates, DVM. “Poisonous Plants for Cats.” PetMD, PetMD, 31 Mar. 2022, https://www.petmd.com/cat/emergency/poisoning-toxicity/e_ct_poisonous_plants.

  3. “Cat Poisoning Symptoms and How to Spot It.” Cats Protection, https://www.cats.org.uk/help-and-advice/home-and-environment/poisoning.