It’s safe to say those with cats love their pets! We’d do anything for them, including giving away all our peace lilies and jade plants in case our cats felt like munching away. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still have a home full of greenery! Here are 20 cat-safe houseplants to keep your feline friend safe all while satisfying your plant obsession.
When I brought in a stray, I had to make sure my house was kitty-proof. A big part of that was only including cat-safe houseplants throughout the home. We all know cats can be mischievous creatures and my cat Magic sure lives up to the expectations.
From knocking over plants to playing in the dirt, he of course is known for nibbling on the occasional plant or two. As long as he isn’t munching the entire plant, the occasional bite or two of these cat-safe houseplants will do no harm.
20 Cat-Safe Houseplants
To keep cats from your houseplants, try covering the soil with thick and pointy rocks or other pokey surfaces. You can also try hanging plants if your feline friend can’t help but get up to no good. Otherwise, these plants should be a-okay to have around kitties.
1. Cast Iron Plant
Let’s start things off with something a little indestructible, shall we? Just as the name suggests, the cast iron plant is pretty hardy and difficult to kill. Not only are they good for beginners, but they may even be able to handle a cat swat or two and easily make it onto this list of cat-safe houseplants.
They look similar to peace lilies, a popular houseplant that is highly toxic to cats. Arching leaves over 2 feet long and 4 inches wide are the main attraction. Come summer, you can place them on the deck where they can grow slowly and get lots of shade.
2. Spider Plant
By far one of the easiest plants to grow, spider plants have slender leaves that can be green and white striped. They grow long stems with tiny flowers that turn into tiny plantlets. You will get a ton of little spider babies from one plant.
This also makes them great hanging plants. To care for them, place them in indirect light and provide regular waterings.
3. Staghorn Fern
I adore my staghorn fern! Essentially the plant version of deer antlers, they are an artsy and trendy-looking plant that mounts on the wall. This is ideal for cat owners, keeping plants well out of reach. And even if they did somehow make it to the staghorn fern, they’re a cat-friendly houseplant.
Long, flat leaves extend over a root ball that drinks up the water. I like to set mine in a bowl and then turn the shower on to give them a nice soak, similar to how I water air plants.
Succulent lovers, you can safely grow haworthia in a cat household. With lots of different species out there, most are small houseplants with thick, fleshy leaves. They can have white bands or wart-like, but pretty markings.
They enjoy bright light when inside and partial shade when outside, because yes, you can bring them out there for the summer! Don’t overwater these guys but keep them moist during the summer.
A compact houseplant, there are over 1500 species of peperomia. Most have round, thick, and beautiful leaves. They are slow-growing and relatively low-maintenance plants that enjoy indirect sunlight.
6. Bird Nest Fern
A certified shade lover, birds nest fern has the cutest crinkly leaves. They can grow up to 3 feet long, with new leaves growing from the centre of the plant.
In nature, you can find them growing high up on the tops of trees. They enjoy warmth, humidity, and moisture, making the bathroom a great spot for these houseplants.
7. Rattlesnake Plant
The rattlesnake plant has some of the most beautiful leaves, full of purplish tones, variegated patterns, and wavy edges. The leaves can grow up to 30 inches tall.
Native to Brazil rainforests, they like partial shade and moist, well-drained soil. They aren’t as easy to grow as some of the plants on this list, but they sure are worth the effort!
8. Air Plants
Another unique and fun plant, I’m so obsessed with air plants that I even wore them as living jewelry. These plants cling to trees in nature, getting moisture through the air rather than having roots.
Since they don’t require soil you can also place them on the wall, in a hanging terrarium, or even make your own displays. Like a staghorn fern, you can soak them in water to hydrate them.
9. Bamboo Palm
If you’re looking for a big plant, the bamboo palm brings a tropical feel to any room. A type of palm (not bamboo), it can do well in varying lighting, ranging from medium to low light. As far as big houseplants go, this one is fairly low maintenance.
10. Money Tree
Money trees are a household favourite, known for bringing good luck to the home and a feng shui go-to. A fairly hardy tree, they can grow quickly and will happily take up a corner.
When purchasing, most nurseries will have the stems braided. You can continue to braid them at home to maintain the shape if desired.
11. Prayer Plant
Prayer plants get their name because they actually move throughout the day. The leaves lay flat during the day and slowly lift up in prayer at night. Beautiful and decorative, prayer plants like greenhouse conditions, meaning warm, moist air, and lots of fertilizer will make them happy
As an added bonus, this plant thrives in the dark too!
12. Ponytail Palm
In the wild, ponytail palms grow to be a full-sized tree. In the home, however, they can grow up to 6 feet in their old age if taken care of. One of the easiest trees to grow indoors, they have a bulbous stem that thin long leaves erupt from.
Every housewarming party has at least one orchid. If they have a cat, perfect because they are a cat-friendly houseplant. Good for beginners, orchids have arching flowers that can last for weeks. With the right balance of humidity, light, and temperature, an orchid can thrive for a long time.
14. Zebra Plant
Zebra plants can sure be a challenge to grow indoors, but they are well worth it. Not only do they have dark gorgeous leaves with white veins, but the bright yellow flowers are like no other. If happy, they will have 2-4 flowers a plant that lasts for 6 weeks.
15. African Violet
Compact, African violets don’t mind sticking to a small container. Known most for their flowers, they can bloom up to 3 times a year with violet, white, blue, pink, red, or combo coloured flowers.
To take care of them, avoid getting water on their leaves, remove any dead flowers, give them good drainage, and place them in bright, indirect light.
16. Lucky Bamboo
From offices to the kitchen, you can find lucky bamboo everywhere. They are said to bring good luck and make for a good gift, often coming braided or twisted. Very hard to kill, lucky bamboo can live in pure water or soil, tolerating both drought and moist conditions. Chances are, they can also handle a munch from a curious cat and easily join this list of cat-safe houseplants.
17. Christmas Cactus
Since poinsettias are quite poisonous to cats, a Christmas cactus is the perfect alternative for the festive plant. They bloom right around the holiday season, adding a pop of colour when it’s cold outside.
The blooms can be pink, red, purple, and orange. Native to rainforest, they need more water and less light than regular desert cacti.
18. Lipstick Plant
Here’s another flowering cat-safe houseplant for you! Lipstick plants have small, waxy, vine-like leaves. Easy to care yet impressive looking, they grow red tubular flowers in clusters that almost resemble lipstick tubes. They tend to bloom most in the summer and fall, but you can get plenty of blooms throughout the year from one plant.
19. Swedish Ivy
If you want ivy that’s okay for cats, try Swedish ivy. The thick stems grow straight up before they cascade down. Also known as creeping Charlie, the round leaves have scalloped edges and most often come variegated. Use them as a hanging plant or bring them outside on the deck during the summer.
2o. Polka Dot Plant
Polka dot plants make for another poinsettia alternative, with the most popular colouring being the pink leaves with white spots. An eye-catching plant, the spotted leaves also come in white, purple, and green varieties.
Some people also plant them outside as an annual. If your cat likes to go outdoors, this polka dot plant may also be a good option for the garden.
House Plants Poisonous to Cats
A ton of popular houseplants are not ideal to have in homes with cats. Some of the most common houseplants poisonous to cats include poinsettias, aloe vera, peace lilies, English ivy, and a ton more. To learn all of the poisonous houseplants and some alternatives to try, check out my full list here.