Liven Up Your House With These 20 Cat-Friendly Houseplants
Featured in our Tom Cat Mug, is cat grass, a type of cereal grain, also known as oat or wheat grass. It's loaded with vitamins and known to contain certain immune-boosting properties. Cat grass is a low-maintenance plant that is easy to grow, making it possible for both indoor and outdoor cats to enjoy!
Looking to brighten up your home with a bit of greenery without having to worry about your kitty being safe? Most pet owners already know that some species of houseplants (and even traditional holiday plants) can be toxic to our four-legged family members. But don’t fret, you can still put your green thumb to good use in your living room! Check out these 20 cat-safe plants you can grow indoors.
1. African Violet
Looking for a cat-friendly flower? The African Violet is a purrfect fit! This small, easy-to-grow plant comes in a range of purple hues and has soft, fuzzy leaves. It will fit right in with your fluffy feline! African Violets are fairly low maintenance and don’t require much sunlight.
2. Air Plants
These friendly little plants are easy to care for; just soak in water for five minutes about once a week. But they’re also nontoxic in case your cat decides to give them a taste! That being said, it’s probably a good idea to keep plants out of reach of curious kitties, as even nontoxic plants can cause indigestion and upset tummies.
If your cat has a penchant for hiding amongst your plants, give them a jungle of their very own! Try a cat tree that is almost literally a tree! Trees like this give your cat a fun, safe place to hide and let out their wild side - without the risk of eating plants and getting an upset stomach.
3. Spider Plant
Via Marco Verch - Flickr
Spider Plants are an indoor staple for a reason: these hardy plants not only work as natural air purifiers, but they’re also safe for dogs and cats! They will thrive indoors in either pots or hanging baskets, which help keep them away from curious leaf-munching cats.
4. Christmas Cactus
Unlike most other traditional holiday plants used to decorate, Christmas cactus is thankfully nontoxic to cats and dogs. Like other plants, it may cause some discomfort if ingested (as cats cannot properly digest most plant matter), but it is overall a much safer choice than other festive plants.
5. Parlor Palm or Arcea Palm
There are a few varieties of palm that thrive indoors and more importantly won’t leave your feline friends feeling sick! Palms like the parlor palm and the arcea palm are great for beginners. They don’t require much care and act as natural air purifiers as well!
6. Polka Dot Plant
Popular for adding an eye-catching pattern and color to miniature gardens or terrariums, the polka dot plant has become a favorite among houseplants for its bold pattern and variety of colors. But it’s also safe to have around pets, making it the purrfect choice!
7. Boston Fern
There are a few plants with the name "fern" that aren't actually part of the fern family. When grabbing a fern to grow indoors, you'll want to look for "true" ferns like the Boston and maidenhair ferns.
8. Friendship Plant
Named for the ease in which it can be separated and given to friends to grow, this friendly little plant is great to give as gifts - especially for pet lovers! It is safe for cats and dogs alike and is a great plant for beginner growers.
9. Phalaenopsis Orchid
While this orchid is kind of a mouthful to say, it’s one of the most common orchid varieties; you’re likely to find it in most floral shops. Nontoxic to dogs and cats, this orchid is safe to grow around your pets and add a splash of fresh flowers to your home!
10. Calathea or “Prayer Plant"
This small, colorful plant only grows to be about 6 to 8 inches tall, making it ideal to decorate bookshelves or end tables. Its leaves come in a variety of colors from red, cream, and green, and curl up at night (which is where the name“Prayer Plant” comes from!)
11. Xerographica Air Plant
Photo via homefortheharvest.com - CC.20
Like other air plants, the xerographica is grown without its roots being in soil and has a rosette shape with silvery grey leaves. It requires weekly watering with indirect light.
12. Bird’s Nest Fern
Resembling banana leaves, the bird’s nest fern has large simple fronds that are light green and wavy from a central rosette. Requiring medium filtered sunlight, it needs to be watered 1-2 times a week.
13. Echeveria Agavoides
stephen boisvert from Chicago, United States / CC 2.0
Echeveria is a small, stemless succulent that looks similar to an agave. It can include bright reddish or bronze tips with some varieties having red margins. The plant likes direct sunlight and very little water.
14. Majesty Palm
Glpinagelpinagel, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons (Photo Updated 8/1/22)
This easy-to-grow indoor palm loves the light and plenty of water. The plant showcases long green fronds and with proper care will slowly grow larger and more elegant over time.
15. Money Tree
Karl Thomas Moore / CC BY-SA
The money tree features a beautiful thick braided trunk with large green leaves. It likes bright, indirect sunlight and a good, but infrequent watering.
16. Pilea Peperomioides
This fun plant with its circular leaves is also known as the pancake plant or UFO plant. The pancake plant likes a lot of indirect sunlight and usually needs to be watered once-a-week.
17. Staghorn Fern
Native to Australia, the Staghorn fern with green and silvery antler-like fronds is an epiphytic fern. It likes indirect or diffused sunlight and should be watered once-a-week during the hot times of the year and less during the cold times.
18. Peperomia Plant
With its thick, fleshy leaves that can be many vagaries including gray, green, purple, or red, the peperomia plant is a perfect indoor plant that is drought tolerant for those that occasionally forget to water their plants. It like lots of indirect or filtered sunlight and its soil dry in between waterings.
19. Mosaic Plant
Challiyan / CC BY-SA
The mosaic plant, also known as the nerve plant, is a rainforest native that has beautiful pink or white veining on its leaves. It prefers moderate watering and low light like the ground level in a rainforest.
20. Haworthia Plant
The haworthia plant is an aloe-looking plant that’s safe for cats. It prefers bright sunlight with watering every one-to-two weeks, depending on the season.
Staghorn! My compatriot!! (I’m from Australia originally and we’ve always had one or two of them in the garden.) Here’s a handy hint for anyone who wants to try growing one — Staghorns love banana skins dropped into them for extra nutrients, so whenever you eat a banana, feed your Staghorn as well!
Also lovely to see Phalaenopsis orchids on the list. They’re my new favourite indoor plant and while I’m not able to have a cat where I live at the moment, it’s good to know Phalaenopsis is safe for both cats and dogs when I do one day have pets again! Thank you for a really interesting article.
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