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cat friendly house plants

26 Cat Friendly House Plants

Lots of us who are cat parents also love being plant parents. Though, sometimes I feel like keeping my cat alive is somehow much easier than keeping my plants alive. The good news is that I’ve been able to find some plants that are easy to care for while also being safe for my kitties!

Having house plants can bring a lot of benefits to your home, but they can also cause some serious issues if you choose the wrong ones. Not all house plants are cat friendly, which means your kitty could get sick if it chews on a toxic plant you brought home from the store. Like with all your other non-human friends, you want everyone to live in harmony. That’s why you need to make sure you bring home only cat friendly house plants when you’re out on a shopping day.

Below, I’ll briefly go over 26 different species of house plants that are safe for cats (and dogs!). To learn more about these beautiful house plants and how they can improve your home, read on!

house plants

Benefits of Keeping House Plants

While houseplants are nice to look at, this isn’t the only benefit to keeping luscious, leafy plants in your home. Surrounding yourself with houseplants has actually been proven to reduce stress and anxiety, which can improve your mental health and make you more productive while you’re at home.

Houseplants also help to naturally improve the air quality of your home since they absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, which can even reduce some odors if you have enough plants in the room. Between improving your cognitive health and giving you cleaner air to breathe, I’d say owning houseplants is definitely a win-win!

Why Cat Friendly House Plants are a Must

If you own cats, it’s essential that you bring home only pet-friendly house plants. If you don’t, your kitties could chew on the leaves of a plant that is toxic to them, which could make them extremely sick and even kill them depending on the type of plant you have. Even if you think your cats won’t chew on your plants, you might not know just how curious your cat is until you bring the plant home!

Even if you plan to have your houseplant out of reach, cat owners know more than anyone that our kitties are clever at climbing furniture and reaching spaces we’d normally never imagine them reaching. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to putting plants in your home, so any plant you get should be entirely non-toxic to your cats. This will guarantee that even if your cat does manage to climb and chew on your plant, it won’t make them severely ill.

money tree

1. Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica)

Before you ask, no, this tree unfortunately does not grow real money. It does, however, grow giant green tropical leaves that look beautiful anywhere in your home! Money trees can reach 7 feet in height if you take good care of them, so this is a long-term house plant if that’s something which interests you.

rattlesnake plant

2. Rattlesnake Plant (Calathea Lancifolia)

Be careful with this one: snake plants are extremely toxic to cats and dogs, but rattlesnake plants are perfectly safe! Rattlesnake plants are tropical plants native to Brazil with patterned green and purple leaves. It will need partial sun, well-draining soil, and can grow over 30 inches in height.

swedish ivy

3. Swedish Ivy (Plectranthus ParviFlorus)

Swedish Ivy is not to be confused with any other ivy types, including English Ivy. While other ivy types are highly toxic to cats and dogs, Swedish Ivy is completely non-toxic to them. Swedish Ivy has lots of small, round, bright green leaves that make it easily recognizable compared to other types. Your ivy will need bright, indirect sunlight and only require fertilizer in the spring and summer months.

air plant

4. Air Plants (Tillandsia)

Air plants are unique compared to every other plant on this list. As suggested by the name, air plants don’t need any soil and can grow with only air surrounding the roots! Most people hang these plants in little jars to display around their homes. They’re small at only a few inches tall and need little care, just bright indirect sunlight and the occasional water soak.

french thyme

5. French Thyme (Plectranthus Amboinicus)

If you want a multipurpose houseplant, consider French Thyme. French Thyme is a delightful herb that can add lots of flavor to many different recipes. It needs only occasional watering but prefers more sunlight than many other types of house plants, so plan to put it near a window. It mostly grows during the spring and summer, and you can usually get a few harvests out of just one plant.

christmas cactus

6. Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera)

Though it’s called a Christmas Cactus, you can really have these pretty plants all year long. The Christmas Cactus is popular thanks to their bright pink flowers that bloom around Christmas every year. It needs nutrient-rich soil and requires frequent watering during the summer months, but tends to have easier care in the winter months.

parlor palm

7. Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea Elegans)

Those wanting a larger, tropical house plant will be interested in the parlor palm. Parlor palms are attractive indoor palms with lots of skinny green leaves all over their branches. This plant is native to Mexico and is one of the most common house plants in the world. It needs well-draining soil and infrequent watering as parlor palms are particularly sensitive to overwatering. Since it is used to rainforest environments, it will enjoy being sprayed with water occasionally to increase the humidity around the plant and perk up its leaves.

burro's tail

8. Burro’s Tail (Sedum Morganianum)

If you’ve already guessed that this plant resembles a burro’s tail, you’re correct! This unique plant has lots of small, bulbous leaves that create long tails which hang out of its pot. If well cared for, these stems can grow up to 24 inches in length. Plan to put your burro’s tail near a window so it can get bright light, but don’t overwater it! Burro’s tails are a type of succulent, so they don’t need much water to thrive.

bamboo palm

9. Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea Seifrizii)

Though they look similar to parlor palms, bamboo palms are actually a different species. These palms are a bit shorter but still resemble parlor palms with their skinny green leaves. Keep it at a constant temperature in your home and water when the soil feels dry. Do this and you should not have any major problems with it.

spider plant

10. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum Comosum)

Spider plants are one of the easiest plants for house plant newbies to grow! Spider plants are quite hardy and recognizable by their long, spindly leaves that resemble spider legs. It will need bright to moderate light and watering once a week in the summer, changing to once every two weeks in the winter.

calathea orbifolia

11. Calathea Orbifolia (Prayer Plant)

Calathea Orbifolias are sometimes called Orbifolia prayer plants. These plants have giant leaves with green stripes and can grow three feet in height. At maturity, some leaves can even reach 12 inches in width! This plant likes to be watered frequently, so plan to water at least once per week as long as you remove any excess water from its saucer after watering.

haworthia

12. Haworthia

If you want a small, simple plant, you should consider a haworthia. Haworthias are small succulents that only grow to a few inches in height and have simple care requirements. Their stems are pointy and have polka-dot-like warts on them. Give them bright light and only water once every few weeks for a healthy (and cat-safe) succulent.

ponytail palm

13. Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea Recurvata)

Though this fancy looking plant looks like a palm tree, it is actually considered a succulent! These plants have long, hair-like stems that resemble a ponytail, giving them their cute name. They can grow up to 10 feet tall outdoors but typically only reach 4 feet if kept indoors. Make sure you keep it near a sunny window so it can get lots of sun. It only needs light watering as the soil should remain mostly dry.

bird's nest fern

14. Bird’s Nest Fern (Asplenium Nidus)

The bird’s nest fern resembles a bird’s nest with its long, wavy green leaves growing out of its center. This unique looking plant requires little care and only needs to be watered every 1 to 2 weeks. However, you can usually water less if it is kept in a less sunny area of your home.

african violet

15. African Violet (Streptocarpus)

Interested in adding a pop of color to your home? Take a look at African violets. These small house plants have bright purple and blue flowers on velvety leaves for a lush appearance. They like bright indirect sunlight, so put them near a sunny window in your home and keep their soil moist so they’re always hydrated.

venus fly trap

16. Venus Fly Trap (Dionaea Muscipula)

Venus fly traps are fun little plants that are easy to care for. These plants love water and should have moist soil at all times. You can mix their soil with sphagnum peat moss to help maintain this moisture for them.

gloxinia

17. Gloxinia (Sinningia Speciosa)

Gloxinia is a flowering plant native to Central and South America. These plants have giant purple, red, and white flowers that make them attractive in any home. They like moderate sunlight and occasional watering. However, you should make sure you don’t accidentally water the leaves, as they’re prone to rotting.

polka dot plant

18. Polka Dot Plant (Hypoestes Phyllostachya)

Polka dot plants are popular for their pink and green polka-dotted leaves. These plants do not like direct sunlight as their colorful leaves can easily be scorched. Keep the soil moist but not soggy and fertilize it monthly to keep it healthy. These can be found in well lit bathrooms as they thrive in moist environments.

boston fern

19. Boston Fern (Nephrolepis Exaltata)

Boston ferns are known for their tiny green leaves growing on several long stems. While these plants are not toxic to cats, you should still try to keep this one out of the way as eating the entire plant can still give your cat a tummy ache. Give it indirect sun and keep its soil moist and it will stay happy. These plants can be found in sunny bathrooms as they thrive in more humid environments.

orchid

20. Orchid (Dendrobium)

Orchids are beautiful plants but aren’t for newbies. These plants have colorful flowers but require specific care such as weekly watering, weekly fertilizing, and repotting throughout the year. However, they can make great house plants if you’re willing to keep up with their requirements.

baby's tears

21. Baby’s Tears (Soleirolea Soleirolii)

Baby’s tears have itty bitty leaves just about the size of teardrops all over them. These cute plants like moist, rich soil and grow quickly compared to other house plants. If you want lots of these in your home, they’re one of the easiest plants to propagate because they have such short roots.

bromeliad

22. Bromeliad (Guzmania)

Bromeliads are another colorful tropical plant species that look great in any home. These plants are slow-growing and can take up to 3 years to produce flowers. Try to keep them in a humid space in your home, but if you don’t have any you can spritz them with warm water occasionally. Indirect sunlight is best for these plants.

pygmy date palm

23. Pygmy Date Palm (Phoenix Roebelenii)

Pygmy date palms are special house plants as they can grow extremely large and eventually grow fruit. Because they are tropical, you should make sure the soil dries out before watering it again so the soil doesn’t get soggy. If well cared for, they can grow up to 12 feet in height, so don’t be surprised if you have to eventually move it outdoors!

friendship plant

24. Friendship Plant (Pilea Involucrata)

Friendship plants are bushy plants with quilted leaves ranging between green and brown in color. Their unique leaves make them a favorite among indoor plant parents. These plants like several hours of indirect sunlight per day and to be watered once per week. It’s a relatively low-maintenance plant that can really spruce up any room.

peperomia ginny

25. Peperomia Ginny (Peperomia Clusiifolia)

Peperomia ginnys have colorful, pointed leaves ranging from green to white and brown. These plants are actually in the pepper family and adapt easily to most environments. Make sure you water these plants significantly before letting them dry out almost completely and watering them again. They should also not get direct sunlight as that can kill them quickly.

cat grass

26. Cat Grass (Dactylis Glomerata)

Finally, the most cat-safe plant on this list is cat grass! Cats love to play in and even eat cat grass, as it tends to help with digestion. If you plan to grow cat grass in your home, make sure you cut some and leave it for your cats if they don’t chew it directly off the plant. This grass is easy to grow and needs very little care to thrive.

Final Thoughts

There are lots of options out there when it comes to cat-safe house plants. The next time you run to your local home improvement store, keep an eye out for any of the species on this list. By choosing these plants, you can spruce up your home while also keeping your kitties safe and sound.

Thanks to Lex Leigh for this Article!

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