cat friendly indoor plants

Your guide to cat friendly indoor plants

One of the considerations when buying an indoor house plant that I never considered was the fact that some of these plants could be quite toxic to our pet cat Butters. Of course, creating an environment which is safe for all including your furry friends is one should consider when they are looking at adding indoor plants to their home. When thinking about buying an indoor houseplant always consider that the elements that you are adding to your home can, unfortunately, be ingested by your cat. We learned this the hard way after our cat ate some of our peace lilies and fell terribly ill and a hefty veterinary bill followed.

Here is a list of cat-friendly indoor plants according to the ASPCA:

  • Haworthia (Haworthia)
  • African Violet (Saintpaulia)
  • Wax Plant (Hoya carnosa)
  • Venus Fly Trap (Dionaea muscipula)
  • Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)
  • Staghorn Fern (Platycerium)
  • Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii)
  • Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans)
  • Hibiscus (Hibiscus syriacus)
  • Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

Haworthia (Haworthia)

Haworthia

The Harwothia comes the succulent family of plants.  They originate from southern parts of Africa including countries such as Mozambique and Namibia. They have a similar look to Aloe’s as they sit in the subfamily of Asphodeloideae. They make a very popular indoor plant for their low maintenance factor. These thankfully are also nontoxic to animals, albeit an extremely touch plant to try and eat (not that I have tried).

The plant itself grows in a rosette formation and the leave can grow to almost a foot in diameter depending on the subspecies. Each stem can grow up to 50cm in length. Like many succulents, its leave is thick and fleshy but it also has the ability to grow a flower through the center of the Florette.

African Violet (Saintpaulia)

You may have guessed it, but this plant is native to African nations. Countries such as Tanzania and found in the southeastern tropical regions of Kenya. Today the African violet is a very common perennial indoor house plant. The plant itself is very cat safe and not toxic to your feline friends.

These plants are also well known due to their blooming violet in colour flowers which tend to be around 3 cms in diameter. The plant itself can grow to around half a foot tall and a foot wide. Their leaves are round and a deep green in colour and can grow quite large to around 8 cms.

Wax Plant (Hoya carnosa)

wax plant

The wax plant is native to Australia and parts of Eastern Asia. Today it is a very common indoor houseplant and as the same suggests has glistening waxy green foliage. It does also flower which gives off a natural sweet odour, making them tempting to your cats to have a nibble on. The good thing is that they are harmless to cats if they decide to chew on them (weirdos).

The flowers themselves can vary in different colours from white to a dark pink in colour. The flowers also have a beautiful unique star formation which grows in clusters. The reason the leaves have a waxy look to them is because they are covered in tiny hair, this hair gives the plant the sheen it is well known for.

Venus Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula)

venus-flytrap

Thankfully these carnivorous plants don’t eat cats. The popular and well known Venus Flytrap is famous for its teeth trapping leaves which are indeed used to catch insects and spiders. The crazy thing about these plants while safe for your cats as an indoor plant they literally are naturally prone to killing these bugs in your home and will digest a live bug that is worthy of consumptions. Double bonus! Gets rid of the pesky critters around your home.

This plant while not particularly an attractive plant does add a talking point to your home. It originates from the east coast of American through the coastal bogs of North and South Carolina. They are also fund through the northern parts of Florida.

Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)

boston fern

The Boston fern is a very common house plant and yes it is also very pet-friendly and will not harm your house pets. As the name suggests has a typical fern formation and is commonly found in humid forests and swampland. You can find these typically in its natural habitat through South America, Central America, Polynesia and in Africa but not in Boston. That being said you will typically find them in your local store that sells indoor houseplants. Suitable for both outdoors and indoors and can grow quite large depending on its environment. A great plant to add an abundance of green to any corner.

Staghorn Fern (Platycerium)

Staghorn Fern

The staghorn fern has become popular as an indoor plant due to is very unique shaped fronds (a type of leaf). It gets its common name due to this shape as you can see above highly resembles elk horns. These plants are native to tropical areas of the world including Australia, South America, South East Asia, and Africa. Yes, it also enters the list due to its pet-friendly characteristics and will not affect your cat if it ingests this plant on the rare occasion it may eat it.

Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii)

christmas cactus

The great news is we have a plant that is not only nontoxic to cats but is it’s also and easy to care for a plant making it perfect for the cat-loving plant killer. The plant gets its common name due to its obvious combination of Christmas colors. It is also known as the Thanksgiving cactus and the Easter cactus. Note that is extravagant and bright flowers come during winter periods of the year and are not an all year long wonder.

Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans)

parlor palm

The parlor palm is one of the most common houseplants and it is perfect for your indoor spaces because it is ideal for low light areas and it grows at a slow pace. It may sound like a reoccurring theme but yes this plant does appear in this list due to its nontoxic traits. The other beauty of this plant is its low maintenance and needs little watering, only ever water unless the dry is soil. As mentioned previously this palm while can grow up to 4 feet tall will take several years to reach its peak height.

Hibiscus (Hibiscus syriacus)

hibiscus

What makes the hibiscus a popular indoor houseplant are its large and very colorful flowers. As they blossom they make an amazing addition to your home adding that touch of wow and complimenting neutral colored homes. Like all the other plants on this list it is cat friendly and non-toxic to animals. In fact the hibiscus is know to have positive health effects on humans such being good for upset stomachs, high blood pressure, bacterial infections and good for reducing fevers. But this is about cats and who knows if they have such effects on cats as well.

Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

spider plant

The spider plant is popular as an indoor house plant due to its adaptable nature and the fact that it’s relatively easy to grow. It is also an indoor house plant which is suitable for cats just in case they decide to have a nibble. This plant will work in many different situations such as bright light or low light. It gets its name due to the plant growing noticeable in a spider like formation.  Don’t be surprised as they can grow quite tall for an indoor plant and in some cases grow up to 60 centrementres in height. It is a tropical plant and is native to Southern parts of Africa.

Why does my cat eat plants?

Now to understanding why your cat eats the plants in the first place. Well it seems weird right that seeing as cats are carnivores and can only survive when they eat meat (never feed your cat a vegetarian diet) as their primary source of nutrition. So it would seem odd to why they would to this right? The reality is we don’t really know why they do eat plants but if I was to make an educated guess as to why, it probably has something to with craving and feeling different textures in their mouth unlike their regular diet. So if you find that you have a cat that loves a nibble of the plants make sure that you check the list below to see if you have any of these in your home. If you want your cat to enjoy nibbling on a plant but not your beautiful decorative house plants, I would suggest purchasing and growing some cat grass inside. You can typically pick this up from your pet store. While it is safe, you may find that you will find your cat regurgitating it back up. Yes gross, but not harmful.

What plants are poisoness to cats?

Amaryllis
Aphelandra
Azalea
Castor Oil Plant (also see Ricinus)
Christmas Cherry (also see Solanum)
Chrysanthemum (also see
Dendranthema)
Codiaeum
Croton (also see Codiaeum)
Cyclamen
Devil’s Ivy (also see Epipremnum aureum)
Dieffenbachia*
Dumb Cane (also see Dieffenbachia)
Elephant’s Ear (also see Alocasia,
Caladium)
Epipremnum aureum
FernsHolly (also see Ilex)
Hypoestes phyllostachya
Hyacinthus
Ivy (also see Hedera)
Kalanchoe
Mistletoe (also see Viscum)
Nerium oleander
Oleander (also see Nerium oleander)
Ornithogalum
Senecio
Star of Bethlehem (also see Ornithogalum)
Umbellatum
Umbrella Plant (also see Schefflera)
Zebra Plant (also see Aphelandra)

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