31 Cat-Friendly Plants That Are Safe for Your Furry Friend
Don’t scrap an indoor nature collection for the sake of Whiskers. Hear us out: You can have both healthy felines and green decor, as long as you make sure your plant babies won’t poison your cat babies. This means double-checking the scientific names with the ASPCA’s extensive list of plants that are non-toxic to felines and making sure you purchase the correct items.
In addition, keep in mind that much like humans, different cats react to plants differently so do your best to make sure your new plant is out of the cat’s reach. “It is important to be aware that any plant can cause cats to experience vomiting and diarrhea,” says Katja Lang, DVM, Medical Director at Heart of Chelsea Veterinary Group. “It’s best to place the plant in an area that is not accessible to the cat. Kittens and young cats especially love to chew on things they aren't supposed to.” And remember, just because your plant is safe for your dog, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s harmless for felines. So, before you make a trip to the nursery, browse our list of cat-friendly plants that are safe for your furry friend (and excellent additions to your home decor).
1. Ponytail Palm
These playful plants are major air purifiers. They prefer lower light, so they’re ideal for rooms that need some life but have little sunlight to give.
2. Air Plants
If you don’t have air plants yet, you’re missing out. They look delicate but are easy to take care of—just soak them in water every week or two. Experiment with terrariums, hanging planters, and tablescapes to elevate your space.
3. Calathea Prayer Plant
These tiny and brightly colored plants make perfect home office accents—just look at those beautiful striped leaves. Or why not update your bathroom decor? They love humidity, so plop one next to your shower or tub to really make them feel at home.
4. Rattlesnake Plant
The Calathea family is all about texture and vibrancy. The rattlesnake plant’s crinkly leaves make it a unique addition to your indoor garden and its low maintenance factor makes it a nice addition to your schedule.
5. Calathea Peacock
Noticing a pattern here? Calathea plants check all of the necessary boxes: non-toxic to cats, air-purifying, unique look and feel. This just may be our new favorite plant.
Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, Hibiscus syriacus
These beauties have big personalities and about 1,000 colorful options (yep). They also work well both indoors and out, especially if you want to attract hummingbirds or butterflies.
For a plant that’s known for being drought-tolerant, the Bromeliad blooms gorgeous flowers and long leaves. This one loves sunlight and can grow up to 20 inches tall, though there are smaller varieties available.
8. Peperomia Ginny
Unassuming in size, the Peperomia Ginny is super resilient and can survive in many different climates making it a great plant for beginners.
Impatiens are excellent balcony, walkway, and window box plants. They offer bright, cheerful colors and, as long as they get plenty of water, will bloom continuously.
10. Staghorn Fern
Some ferns are non-toxic to cats and dogs, while others could be poisonous. That’s why it’s important to check both the common name (like Staghorn Fern) and the scientific name (like Platycerium bifurcatum). In terms of maintenance, these guys are pretty easy going—with enough sunlight and water every one to two weeks, these wavy ferns will thrive.
11. Boston Fern
The Boston fern is like the BFF you can call at 2 a.m., no questions asked, and they’ll talk as long as you need. In a word: reliable. In two words: natural humidifier.
12. Bird’s Nest Fern
This crimpy-leaved fern loves indirect sunlight, humidity, and water. It almost looks like a pointier, fancier version of kale, except it won’t harm your cat if she takes a nibble.
13. Kimberly Queen Fern
Like royalty, it looks as though the Kimberly Queen Fern is wearing a crown. Unlike royalty, this princess is low maintenance and prefers staying out of the spotlight (i.e., bright sunshine).
If you’re a succulent lover and a cat parent, steer clear of jade and aloe. Instead, stock up on the blue-grey hued Echeveria or...
15. Haworthia Zebra
...Haworthia Zebra plants! These spiky, cacti-looking monsters are perfect alternatives to aloe plants. And they can also go for several weeks without water in case you’re the type of person who tends to forget to take care of your greenery (raises hand).
16. Spider Plant
Spider plants are the gifts that keep on giving. If they grow too big for their planters and spill over the sides, simply trim them and replant the new clippings. Voila! More plants.
17. Bamboo Palm
If you’re looking for a luscious plant that can take up a lot of space, look no further. Bamboo Palms grow up to around five feet tall and can turn a bland space into a miniature jungle.
18. Parlor Palm
Parlor Palms only grow up to two feet tall but these impressive plants feel much larger. They’re like miniature explosions of greenery—and a great compromise between a large bamboo palm and a tiny spider plant.
19. Majesty Palm
Bow down to the Majesty Palm, a palm from Madagascar that grows several feet tall. Its fronds are also concentrated towards the top of the plant, so even though it’s safe for cats, they’ll have trouble reaching up that high if they want to snack.
20. Neon Prayer Plant
Ideal in low to bright indirect sunlight, these striped plants add heaps of personality to a space. In terms of care, don’t ignore them, but don’t hover; they like their independence.
21. Money Tree
Money doesn’t grow on trees but this is the next best thing. This plant is adorable, stands several feet tall, and gets rid of toxins from cleaning products in the air. (These days, we’re guessing you may have plenty of those floating around.)
22. POLKA DOT PLANT
Not only is the Polka Dot Plant non-toxic for your four-legged roommate, but it’s also pretty to look at. Keep its soil moist, make sure it gets bright to medium light and watch it bloom into a beautiful mound.
23. Chinese Palm Plant
Talk about a tall drink of water! This stunner can grow up to eight feet tall but is less cumbersome than the Bamboo Palm. It’s native to tropical climates, so water accordingly.
If you’re considering giving a friend (or yourself) a congratulatory bouquet, you can’t go wrong with roses. Non-toxic to both cats and dogs, it’s a safer option than lilies or daisies. Plus it smells delish!
Nothing says “happiness” like a bouquet of sunflowers on the dining room table. Even a single yellow blossom can improve a space. (Just be sure you’re buying the real deal and not a daisy in sheep’s clothing. Daisies are toxic to kitties.)
27. CAST IRON PLANT
This is perhaps the perfect house plant for a cat owner. It requires very little attention (in fact, its name alludes to how much neglect it can handle), adds subtle personality to a room and requires an occasional grooming sesh (wiping down the large green leaves). Remind you of anyone you know?
28. AMERICAN RUBBER PLANT
Not only is the American rubber plant non-toxic to felines, but it literally removes toxins from the air. A little bright sunlight, regular watering and a pot large enough for a four-foot-tall tree (they can grow up to 10 feet!) is all you need. (Be sure to go with the American version, rather than the Indian Rubber Plant, which is actually part of the fig family.)
30. Peperomia Watermelon
Oval-shaped, with dark-green striped leaves and red stems, this plant resembles a watermelon to the tee. While it won’t bear fruit for your home, it’s non-toxic to your cat and it also removes toxins from the air.
31. Bromeliad Summer
When the seasons start changing and you want to bring a little bit of color in your home, go with the Bromeliad Summer. Fun Fact: In their native environments, these plants typically grow on trees so when transferred to other environments, they have minimal to no roots and absorb most of their nutrients through their foliage.