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My two cats, Fred and Ginger, often chew on the leaves of my favorite houseplants, so I try to make sure that nothing within their reach is toxic. If your feline friends are also inquisitive (aren’t they all?), here’s a list of plants that are safe for cats.
I am both a gardener and a cat lover. Unfortunately, there are a decent number of houseplants that are toxic to cats, causing upset stomachs or worse. Even though I try to be careful, I will still find the occasional puddle of you-know-what with tell-tale pieces of greenery in it that must not have agreed with my cats. So, which houseplants are truly safe?
Common orchids of all kinds—cattleyas, phalaenopsis, oncidiums, epidendrums, encyclias, odontoglossums, dendrobiums, miltonias—are safe for cats. That said, if you are growing something rare, check it out on the ASPCA before putting it where kitty can munch on it. Learn how to care for orchids indoors.
2. Indoor Ferns
Indoor ferns of many types are okay for pets to be around including rabbit’s foot, staghorn, Boston, bird’s nest fern, and sword fern. Take note: Asparagus fern—also called lace fern—is not really a fern, it is in the lily family and many members of the lily family are deadly for cats, especially Easter lilies! See some of my favorite ferns to grow indoors.
Spider plants are a favorite with vets and are very easy to grow. See how to care for spider plants. Other safe foliage plants including pilea and peperomia, Swedish ivy, false aralia, polka-dot plant, Venus fly trap, Norfolk Island pine, prayer plant, sweet potato vine, cast iron plant (Aspidistra), iresine, and hens-and-chicks (Echeveria) won’t hurt the family’s favorite furball. Learn more about Norfolk pine tree care.
6. Flowering Plants
Blossoming plants such as gerbera daisies, fuchsia, impatiens, Christmas cactus, plumbago, camellias, night-blooming cereus, and hoya are all non-toxic to cats.
7. Kitchen Herbs
Don’t forget about herbs! Basil, rosemary, and thyme are culinary herbs that are totally safe for your cat if they take a nibble! See our herb growing guides.
Any kitty-friendly houseplants that you recommend (or would avoid)? By the way, rest assured that the poinsettia is not deadly-toxic to pets, as many of us have been told! Learn more about cats and holiday plants.