If you’re both a plant and pet parent, one of the most important considerations is finding plants that are safe for your pets. Well, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a compiled list of houseplants that are non-toxic to cats.
31 Non-Toxic Plants Safe For Cats List
With its fuzzy leaves and beautiful violet blooms, this ornate plant is safe for cats and is non-toxic to dogs, as well! While this plant might be one of the more daunting ones on this list, it’s actually easier to care for than you might imagine.
African Violet plants thrive in bright indirect sunlight and enjoy moist soil; to keep your African violets happy, don’t let them dry out too much. The African Violet has a preference for distilled water, so make sure not to use tap.
With enough care, your African violets will continue to produce fuzzy purple flowers throughout the whole year; it blooms for months at a time.
Air Plants (Tillandsia)
What’s not to love about this plant? Not only is it safe for cats, but it’s also practically impossible to kill! As one of the more beginner-friendly plants, air plants come in various shades of pink, purple, green, and even blue or white!
Air plants have pretty straightforward care. Keep them in low light or bright indirect sunlight and soak them in a jar of water once a week.
Aluminum Plant (Pilea Cardierei)
Aluminum plants belong to the Pilea family, so they have the same non-toxic qualities as their cousins, the Friendship Plant (Pilea Involucrata) as well as the famous Pilea Peperomioides. This easy-to-care-for houseplant produces shiny, aluminum-like ripples on its leaves.
This plant requires bright light and loves moist soil, so twice a week watering is expected. As one of the more undemanding houseplants, this beauty shines without much fuss.
Areca Palm (Dypsis Lutescens) ‘Butterfly Palm’
Another member of the palm family that’s non-toxic to cats is the Areca Palm. With its elegant long green leaves, this plant grows up to 12 feet outdoors but can be grown indoors, too.
Areca Palm houseplants have the same care as their palm cousins: well-drained soil and occasional watering will do this low-maintenance species well. As a tropical plant, high humidity is also preferred.
The delicate, tassel-like leaves of the Asparagus fern is non-toxic for cats and adds a zen accent to the home. One caveat, though: This plant is neither a fern nor asparagus!
Though this plant looks like it could fall apart at the touch, it’s difficult to kill! The asparagus fern requires part shade and constant watering for its feathery leaves to keep growing.
If your cats love to climb, this plant does too: Keep it in nearby a tree or trellis so that it can grow high and mighty.
Baby Rubber Plant (American Rubber Plant)
The baby rubber plant doesn’t actually produce rubber; however, this beautiful species looks like a miniature version of actual rubber plants, hence its name. Because it’s famous in the U.S, it’s also called the American Rubber plant!
Aptly called the Peperomia Obtusifolia for its round leaves, this non-toxic plant is perfect for both the cats and dogs in your family. It doesn’t need much water, as it’s similar to a cactus or succulent.
Once every other week will be fine, as long as this plant gets at least 3 hours of sunlight every day.
Once used as a plant to treat bee stings, the Bee Balm now stands as a plant that cats seem to adore. The pink blooms of the bee balm draw in cats and its citrusy scent keeps mosquitos away, too! (Related Article: Plants for Mosquitos)
This plant enjoys full sunlight and works best as an outdoor garden grower. A regular watering schedule is also needed to keep this pet-safe plant in full bloom and optimum growth.
Bird’s Nest Fern
With its wavy leaves and interesting growth habit, the Bird’s Nest fern plant is a unique-looking plant that doesn’t harm cats when ingested. Native to Southeast Asia, this plant definitely brings the tropics right to your home.
This lovely plant grows on trees as well as in pots, so it’s an adaptable species to add to your houseplants collection. It’s also a fast grower, so keep a lot of space for this plant!
This particular fern enjoys low light levels and constant watering. High humidity is also a must, as most members of the fern family come from tropical rainforests.
Among the list of plants that are safe for cats is the infamous Boston Fern (Nephrolepis Exaltata). Most gardeners avoid this plant for its difficulty in terms of care, but if you’re up for a challenge, this might be the plant for you.
Boston Ferns come from a long line of ferns from the Nephrolepidaceae family. As such, these plants have been around for millions of years. Ferns produce textured, non-toxic fronds that cats and dogs alike love to nuzzle, so this may be a favorite in your garden.
The key to Boston fern care is high humidity and moist soil. You may need to water this fern as often as thrice a week and keep an eye out for its leaves, which react quickly to subpar conditions.
As both a pet-friendly and beginner-friendly plant, Bromeliads are a multi-faceted houseplant that you and your cat will love.
This plant comes in several tropical leaf colors like orange and pink. Despite how complex it looks, it’s surprisingly simple to maintain it.
Bromeliads are forgiving and tolerant of under and overwatering; once a week is generally recommended. The sunlight requirements of this plant are also uncomplicated: morning light works best.
Cast Iron Plant
The nickname Cast Iron Plant comes from the similarity of this plant to a cast iron pan: it’s virtually indestructible. If you’re a low-maintenance plant and pet parent, this houseplant is non-toxic to cats and is foolproof.
To keep your cast iron plant happy, bright light and once a week watering will suffice. These plants bloom in the spring and summer and don’t require much upkeep. Over time, this plant grows up to 2-3 feet tall and produces dark pink flowers.
As one of the quintessential herbs for a pet lover’s garden, Catmint also happens to be very safe and gentle on cats, who love to play with this beautiful herb.
The breezy flavor and scent of this herb draws in cats’ curiosity and keeps pests away, so it serves a great dual purpose. (Related Article: Mosquito Repellent Plants)
To keep this multipurpose herb alive, 5-6 hours of sun and consistent watering are necessary. Other plants to try from this family include the peppermint, spearmint, and classic mint plant.
Contrary to popular belief, this palm is not named the Cat Palm after your favorite feline. Its full name is actually Chamaedorea cataractarum, named so for its cascading foliage native to Mexico. But, it definitely is non-toxic to cats and safe for both cats and dogs alike.
Like most members of the Palm family, keep this tropical plant in well-drained soil and give it bright indirect sunlight.
While most of the plants on this list thrive best in the spring and summer, the Christmas Cactus is a cat-friendly option that blooms in December. The blooming of its pink flowers is a particularly touching sight.
Like most Cactii varieties, the Christmas cactus can thrive on dry soil and doesn’t need much attention. All it needs is strong sunlight and twice a month watering to bloom beautifully.
Made up of juicy leaves and drought-resistant stems, echeverias are simple houseplants that thrive without too much attention. In general, the echeveria family of succulents is a safe selection if you keep cats and dogs at home.
Because these cute succulents store water in their bodies extremely well, you may only need to water it twice a month. Echeverias grow well with very bright light and at least 4 hours of sunlight.
Friendship Plant (Pilea Involucrata)
If you love sharing plants with your friends and family, definitely keep this non-toxic plant on your shopping list! Its nickname, ‘friendship plant’ comes from how fast this plant produces roots when cut.
Coming in rough-textured dark green leaves, this plant can handle stronger light levels. At least 4 hours of direct sunlight is great for a friendship plant. Be careful, though: this plant grows towards the light, so rotate your pot twice a week to keep growth straight.
The watering habits of this cat-safe plant are fairly easy: twice a week to keep its soil moist.
Haworthia (Zebra Plant)
With leaf tips resembling sharp claws, Haworthias belong to several succulent plants that are safe for felines. This plant generally doesn’t need much attention and adds a tropical touch to indoor spaces.
Haworthia plants grow beautifully even in low-light environments. Bright, indirect light is sufficient. At the same time, this plant only needs to be watered twice a month!
Honeysuckle is a vining flower that graces gardens around the world because of its sweet and delectable aroma. This tantalizing vine also happens to be enjoyed by cats, who simply love to be around it.
Like Catmint, honeysuckle plants draw in most cats because of the chemicals they release. In fact, the woody part of this plant is used for cat toys. It’s best to keep this plant outside with full sun and ample watering.
If you plan to keep this plant in your garden, just make sure to keep the berries away from both your cats and dogs, as it may prove to be toxic.
If you’re more of a flower lover, the beautiful flowers of the impatiens plant might be the best choice for your garden. Impatiens blooms come in a variety of red and purple and are harmless to cats and dogs.
Impatiens plants are straightforward in their requirements: Just 4 hours of light and daily watering. To keep this plant in full bloom, monthly fertilizer may also be necessary.
Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica)
Though this pet-safe plant resembles a miniature tree, it actually can grow up to 60 feet tall! This plant is great for cats and dogs and is a wonderful addition to your indoor garden.
While money doesn’t grow on trees, money tree plants have been said to bring in luck and abundance in the homes they grow in. What’s more, this auspicious plant isn’t demanding in terms of maintenance!
Once a week watering and at least 3 hours of sunlight suits this non-toxic plant.
Moth Orchid (Phalaenopsis Orchid)
For pet parents that adore varieties in colors and shapes, the moth orchid family may be just right for you. This species has wonderful blooms of pink, purple, white, and any color combination you can think of. All members of this family have plants that are safe for cats.
Orchid maintenance comes right down to soil and watering. Give your moth orchid specialized orchid bark and water only when dry.
Collecting moth orchids can be quite addicting, so if you want to expand your collection, this may just be the houseplant for you!
Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea Elegans)
If you love tropical vibes and easy to care for plants, the parlor palm might just be your best friend. This plant grows up to 6 feet tall in indoor environments and is one of the more large cat-friendly plants.
This popular palm native to Central America is adapted to low light and is perfect in the living room. As a non-toxic addition to your indoor jungle, give this houseplant well-drained soil and occasional watering.
Polka Dot Plant
If you like patterns and have a penchant for pink leaves, the polka dot plant might just be your best purchase. This plant is safe for cats and comes in shades of white, pastel to dark pink, and enjoys bright, indirect light.
Despite its freckled-face leaves and intricate colors, this plant is low maintenance. Low light may fade its leaves, so morning sun is perfect for this variety. Keep the soil moist and water this plant whenever it dries out slightly for good results.
Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata)
As one of the houseplants that resembles a mini tree, the Ponytail palm is safe for cats and has a lovely, curly leaf growth habit.
The ponytail palm is characterized by its woody trunk: while it can be kept in a pot, given enough space, this plant has the capacity to grow into a full-fledged tree! Unlike the rest of the palm species on this list, the ponytail palm isn’t actually a member of the palm family: it’s actually in the same species as Asparagus vegetables!
To keep this non-toxic ‘palm’ happy, treat it like a succulent: water when the soil is dry and wait for a week until your next watering.
Prayer Plant (Marantaceae Family)
For starters, the real name of the Prayer plant is actually several Maranta species, belonging to the Marantaceae family. So, prayer plant species like the Maranta Leuconeura and the Stromanthe Triostar belong under this category.
The prayer plant is called as such because of its ability to fold its leaves up at night as if they’re praying. Most plants from this category, however, are famously known for their high-maintenance needs.
If you ever come by a prayer plant, you’ll need to keep it in a high humidity environment and give it bright indirect light; water your prayer plant often, too, for best results.
With its leathery textured leaf, this close cousin of the rubber plant is one houseplant you’ll want to add to your collection. The ripple peperomia is far from toxic to cats and thrives on little care.
Light isn’t much of an issue for this pet-safe plant; it can be planted in areas with morning sun or bright. Water requirements for this plant aren’t too demanding, either: once a week is more than fine.
Ripple peperomias and baby rubber plants have similar maintenance requirements, as they’re both from the same family. In fact, many members of the peperomia family have plants that are safe for pet cats and dogs.
With an assortment of colors and iconic blooms, roses are definitely something to keep in the garden if you have pet cats. These popular flowers are safe for cats chemical-wise; however, you will want to keep your pets away from their sharp thorns.
Unlike houseplants, roses need full sunlight and consistent watering. No part of the plant is particularly toxic when ingested, so this is perfect for your more rowdy pets, too.
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum Comosum)
Though its beautiful leaves come in dazzling green-striped patterns, the Spider plant is a pet-friendly plant variety that is known for its low maintenance care. This plant is non-toxic to cats and comes in curly and straight varieties, too!
This curious plant has many names: Spider plants may be referred to as the ribbon plant and spider ivy. To make sure you’re buying the real deal, check for the scientific name Chlorophytum comosum whenever you purchase one.
Bright, indirect light is perfect for the spider plant. Keep it watered once a week and it’s sure to grow more of its curly leaves.
Belonging to the same family as the Boston Fern is this beautiful specimen that can be placed on your mantlepiece, as well as walls. This plant is usually placed on an elevated area, so both cats and dogs will have trouble reaching for this, to begin with.
Staghorn ferns prefer bright light in a diffused form and enjoy moist soil. If you ever manage to snag this rare, pet-safe plant, you’ll want to mount in on a piece of wood and spray its leaves twice a week.
As one of the most popular summer plants, Sunflowers brighten up gardens with their lustrous yellow color. They’re also harmless to cats and dogs and have great nutritional value in their seeds.
Some varieties of this flower can grow up to 12 feet tall with optimum care: Strong sunlight, daily watering, and consistent fertilizer. At least 6 hours of sunlight will suffice, but try to give this plant as much sun as possible!
This plant attracts cats and dogs so much that they may be tempted to bite off the leaves, so watch out in case that happens!
The watermelon peperomia is known for its luscious leaves that resemble juicy summer watermelons! While this plant may draw the attention of your feline pet, it’s not toxic to cats at all.
This plant belongs to the peperomia family, and so it has similar care to the baby rubber plant (Peperomia Obtusifolia) mentioned earlier. Give this pet-safe plant bright light and occasional watering for best results.
One fun way to propagate your water peperomia plant is to cut its round leaves in half and plant it in the soil, so it’s an exciting houseplant to try out your gardening skills on, too.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which plants are most toxic to cats?
Your pet is pretty resilient; cats don’t scare easily with most plants. However, there is one family of plants that you don’t want in your garden or indoor space at all: the Lily Family.
The plants that are most toxic to cats belong to the lily family. That said, any plant that has ‘Lily’ in its name should be added to your list of plants to avoid, as your cats may have an adverse reaction to them.
There are some varieties of Lily Plants that are extremely dangerous to cats. All parts of lily plants can induce kidney pain and failure if ingested by a cat, so it’s best to stay away from lily varieties if you have cats at home.
Here is a list of Lily Plants that are harmful to cats:
- Tiger Lily
- Day Lily
- Stargazer Lily
Are all the Plants on this list safe for both cats and dogs?
Definitely! Cats and dogs have similar preferences, plantwise. The houseplants on this list can serve as a general guide for most pet owners, not just cat lovers.