Having greenery in the home brings a range of positive benefits from boosting our mood
and reducing stress to purifying the air and generally making any space more attractive (that is, assuming you’re looking after the plants so they’re not shrivelled…).
But what if you live with housemates that have four legs and go by names such as ‘Tiddles’? Some houseplants are poisonous to cats and it pays to know which are cat safe house plants.
Don’t go thinking this means you have to live in a green free home though – there are plenty of attractive houseplants that your kitties will be 100% safe around.
Let’s take a look at what’s hot and what’s not for your feline friends when it comes to indoor plants.
5 popular houseplants poisonous to cats
Every species of lily (there’s around 90 all up) are highly toxic to cats, with ingestion
potentially leading to rapid kidney failure. Peace lily’s are a common favourite as they’re also known for their excellent air purifying abilities, but not so peaceful for your dear cat friends. This house plant is toxic to cats so steer clear!
2. Aloe Vera
This popular indoor plant falls into the ‘caution’ category. Despite it having healing properties when the sap is applied to skin ailments, it can cause vomiting if ingested by cats. Best avoided.
3. Devil’s ivy (Pothos)
While there are many positives to this indoor plant (low maintenance, tolerates low light conditions and an attractive trailing plant) it’s a big no no for indoor cat owners. All parts of this house plant are toxic to cats and can cause severe burning of the mouth, throat and stomach if ingested, along with drooling, vomiting and difficulty swallowing. This also goes for humans…
4. Jade plant (Crassula Ovata)
Not all succulent plants are bad news for cats, but unfortunately the jade plant is one to avoid as it is poisonous for kitties. The leaves and stems can cause vomiting, depression and lack of coordination in cats and dogs if ingested. Like other plants listed, the jade is known for air purifying and is also the plant of prosperity in feng shui. Not so prosperous for your pets though…
5. Snake Plant / Mother in laws tongue (Dracaena trifasciata)
Nausea, diarrhea and vomiting are on the menu if your cat gives the leaves of this popular indoor houseplant a chew. Yet again another plant that contradictorily has health benefits including air purifying capabilities and is super low maintenance.
Okay, so now you’ve given away any toxic house plants, it’s time to rejoice in the options for cat friendly indoor plants. You’ll be pleased to hear that there are plenty to choose from.
Here’s five cat friendly house plants to get you started.
- Ponytail Palms
This beautifully decorative and very hardy palm is also technically a succulent and better still, is safe for cats. They thrive in indirect sun and are *almost* impossible to kill, but you can rest easy knowing that it won’t kill your cat.
- Boston Fern
For those who love a touch of the tropics in their home, this frilly fern will provide just that. They like humidity, so it’s important that the soil stays damp and they look fab in hanging baskets. And the biggest plus, they’re a cat friendly house plant.
- Spider plant
These kooky spiky leaved plants are easy to grow and particularly talented at removing toxins from the air – super hardy and cat friendly.
- Air plants
Thriving on, you got it, air (and occasional watering), these fascinating plants grow well attached to rocks or bark, indoors or out. They love some sunshine and are an attractive and non-toxic option for cats inside your home.
Coming in many varieties, the most popular is known as the Chinese Money Plant. The round Lilypad-like leaves are very attractive and won’t cause any harm to curious kitties having a sniff or chomp.
Cat friendly flowers
In addition to indoor plants that are safe for cats, it is also worth noting that plant toxicity
needs to be considered with flowers that you bring into your home or are in your garden.
Cat friendly flowers include:
- Snap dragons
- African violets
Not so friendly (please avoid):
- Lilies (as mentioned above with indoor houseplant variety – highly toxic)
- Baby’s breath
- Bird of paradise
What to do if your cat ingests a toxic plant
If your cat shows any signs of distress, contact your vet immediately and let them know of anything your pet may have consumed. Don’t attempt to diagnose or treat any ailments yourself.
Please note that the plants and flowers listed here are not an exhaustive list. It always pays to double check that the plants and flowers you plan on introducing to your home are cat safe plants for your indoor cats
I’m an indoor cat convert and created My Indoor Cat to help other indoor cat owners make the best choices for their cats and kittens.