Plants for cats indoor

Article By- Linda Green

Contents

If you love your cat, it’s a good idea to make an indoor cat garden for her. Just follow this step by step guide to do this!

If you’re like me who loves her cats, you’ll surely approve of my idea of creating a CAT FRIENDLY GARDEN. Make an INDOOR CAT GARDEN–An oasis for your dearest kitty.

As I love growing plants indoors, I always keep care when choosing plants– if they are safe for my kitty. So the first thing I suggest you for creating an indoor cat garden is to avoid growing plants that are toxic to a cat.

Avoid Growing Plants That Are Toxic To Cats

Grow cat safe plants, make a list of plants that are toxic to cats– When doing this, leave the plants that contain calcium oxalate as they don’t possess a real threat and are mildly toxic. We also published a list of Plants that are toxic to dogs a while ago, take help of it. Again, you can exclude plants from your not growing list that contain ONLY calcium oxalate crystals like pothos, peace lily, philodendron or Chinese evergreen!

Many of our readers suggested through emails and comments that we should not label plants that contain calcium oxalate as toxic and we are in agreement.

Research to find out what are the most poisonous plants for cats! Some plants that can be toxic to cats are the flame lily, tiger lily, azalea, sago palm, oleander, cyclamen, daffodils, etc.

Grow cat safe plants, plants that cats love to nibble

Cats love to play with plants and to bite them sometimes; you already know that! I have a few terracotta planters, broken; due to my cat’s mischief. If you too have broken pots, look at these DIY ideas. So, is not it a good idea to grow plants that your cat will love to nibble? It’s easy if you have a window that receives some sun, you can create a Windowsill garden for your feline friend.

Here’re some plants to consider:

Valerian

Grow valerian. A medicinal herb, safe for cats. Most cats love rubbing, sniffing, and eating this plants and its healthy for them.

Catnip

Catnip is called catnip because cats like to nip it :P. Well, jokes apart, this edible herb contains an active ingredient called ‘Nepetalactone,’ this compound acts like a cat attractant.

Cat Grass

Kitten eating the grass

Cat grass is nothing but a mix of grasses– oat grass, wheat grass, rye grass, barley grass, orchard grass that cats love to gnaw on. You can grow them together in a wide container or window boxes. Learn how to grow Wheatgrass and its health benefits!

Mint

Grow mint family plants like spearmint, peppermint or any other type; it is not only safe for cats, but it also has many culinary uses, you and your feline both will love to smell this refreshing herb.

Also Read: How to Grow Mint Indoors

Lemongrass

Lemongrass is an exotic culinary and medicinal herb, and it releases fresh lemon like scent when crushed. The Pussycat rambling in your house will be very much interested in biting and smelling it. I also heard people saying it also deters mosquitoes but don’t know how much true it is!

Other Herbs

Also, these fours herbs rosemary, parsley, cilantro, and thyme are good for cats. You can create an indoor herb garden using them.

Also Read: How to Grow Cilantro Indoors

Cat Thyme

Cat thyme only looks like original thyme, which is my most favorite herb. I dislike its musty odor and haven’t tried myself growing it for my cat. But it’s true that most of the cats love this plant.

Spider Plant

This amazing air cleaning houseplant is completely safe for cats. Cats love to play with its wiry foliage, it can be a great entertainment piece of greenery in your indoor cat garden.

Choose the right type of planter

A planter that is wide and has space for your kitty to let her sit would be perfect. Wide planters are right; window boxes for example! Also, use sterilized soil to keep your pet safe.

Why Do Cats Eat Plants, and Should I Be Worried?

I’m very passionate about educating cat owners on the dangers of houseplants for cats. That’s because my own sister’s cat (that I gave her) died of acute kidney failure secondary to getting into dangerous Asiatic lilies from a bouquet several years ago.
While I want you to know what plants to be wary of, I’ll admit that I have at least 10 houseplants in my house. You just need to know which are potentially dangerous to cats as some are very safe. The majority of plants may cause drooling, vomiting and diarrhea when ingested by cats but not death.
Why does my cat eat plants?
Personally, I feel like cats are craving a different texture or the feel of fiber in their mouth. Keep in mind that cats are true carnivores; they only really need meat-sourced food. (Cats should never be made into vegetarians, as it can cause life-threatening amino acid deficiencies.) If your cat likes to chew on plants, I recommend purposely growing cat grass for them (often found in pet stores); it’s very safe, but can result in vomiting when ingested.

What plants are the most dangerous for my cat?
True lilies of the Lilium or Hemerocallis species are very toxic. Examples of some of these lilies include the following:

  • Tiger lilies
  • Day lilies
  • Asiatic hybrid lilies
  • Japanese show lilies
  • Easter lilies
  • Rubrum lilies
  • Stargazer lilies
  • Red lilies
  • Western lilies
  • Wood lilies

All parts of these lilies are highly toxic to cats! Even small ingestions (2-3 petals/leaves, the pollen, or even water from the vase) can result in severe, acute kidney failure. Learn more about these lilies here.

Cardiac glycosides like foxglove, lily of the valley, kalanchoe, Japanese yew, etc. are also very dangerous. Most of these grow outside, but it’s important you know the name of every plant that you bring into your house. This type does not cause kidney failure, but can cause life-threatening heart arrhythmias and death when ingested by dogs or cats.

Other common houseplants that cats like to chew on are Dieffenbachia or philodendron. These plants contain insoluble calcium oxalate—not soluble calcium oxalate (like so many websites erroneously mention) which causes oral pain when chewed on. This isn’t life-threatening, however, and typically results in foaming and frothing at the mouth. My advice is to keep these plants elevated and out of reach. If your cat does get into one, contact your veterinarian. She may suggest that you offer something tasty to flush out the mouth: a small amount of chicken broth, canned tuna water (not oil!), or even chicken noodle soup. If your cat continues to vomit, a veterinary visit is a must.

Can I have plants in my house and still keep my cat safe?
Yes, I keep one spider plant in my house to act as a “sacrifice” to my cats; they love to chew on the long fronds of this plant, and it’s very safe. My cats typically leave my other plants alone as they prefer the spider plant! That said, like the majority of plants out there, the spider plant can cause some vomiting when ingested. For the rare cat that devours large amounts of plant material, there’s a small chance that the long fronds of the spider plant can tie together and get stuck in the stomach. But a few bites? No biggie.
Here are my simple, cat-friendly (and plant friendly) rules:
No fresh cut flowers or bouquets of flowers in the house. If you can’t confidentially identify Lilium or Hemerocallis spp. (what we call “true lilies”) then it’s a big no-no.
When in doubt, take pictures of your plants and write down the genus name, if possible. You can call animal poison control and your veterinarian to be safe.
If you do want plants to coexist with your cats, consider these “cat-safe” ones; they are in a veterinarian’s house:

  • Spider plant
  • Wandering Jew
  • Christmas cactus
  • Bromeliads

Keep in mind that the majority of plants are relatively safe but may cause vomiting and diarrhea. Of course, if your cat is seen consuming any part of a plant, and you’re not sure it’s safe, call your veterinarian or ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center for life-saving information.

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian — they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.

Growing a Cat Garden – Plants Your Cat Will Love!

Karen Dell

Senior Editor • Backyard Cat Enclosures

07 September 2017

Growing a potted plant garden for your cat is rewarding for you and your precious pudda! Pick a sunny spot in your house or cat enclosure and place a few pots of your cat’s favourite and safe plants. It looks good, smells good and IS good for both you and your cat’s health! Make sure you plant them in pots shallow enough for your cat to reach the foliage.

Parsley

Benefits for cats

  • Contains vitamins A, C and E which are good for your cat’s metabolism and keeping their skin and coat healthy
  • Aids your cat’s digestion
  • Helps ease kidney and urinary tract issues
  • Anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties

  • Can have a catnip like effect – whoah buddy!
  • Aids your cat’s digestion in moderation (excessive consumption not recommended)

  • Triggers a pleasant feeling
  • Aids your cat’s digestion
  • Can help relieve stress in anxious cats

  • Deters pests from your cat run or enclosure
  • Aids your cat’s digestion in moderation (excessive consumption not recommended)

Wheat or Oat Grass – Commonly called cat grass

  • Aids your cat’s digestion
  • Helps control hairballs
  • Contains folic acid good for circulation
  • Contains vitamins E and B which are good for your cat’s metabolism and keeping their skin and coat healthy

Zinnias

  • Aids your cat’s digestion
  • Anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties

Marigolds

  • Deters pests from your cat run or enclosure
  • English Marigold helps keep your cat’s skin and coat healthy

  • Can have a catnip like effect – far out, dude!
  • Aids your cat’s digestion

Thyme

  • Aids your cat’s digestion (excessive consumption not recommended)
  • Helps control hairballs

Rosemary

  • Deters pests from your cat run or enclosure
  • Anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties

Violas

  • Non-toxic ornamental addition to your cat garden
  • Aids your cat’s digestion (excessive consumption not recommended)
  • High level air purification indoors or in their cat enclosure or run
  • Can have a catnip like effect – groovy!

Silver Vine

  • Can have a strong catnip like effect – time to bliss out!
  • Helps relieve stress in anxious cats

Pop on over to our guide to plants that are toxic for your cat to make sure anything you add to your cat garden is safe for your fur baby. Our Paws Playhouse cat run is the perfect play space to set up a potted cat garden. Have a peek at it here.

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Indoor Cats and House Plants – A Bad Mix

Whether our cats want to taste, hide in, knock over or go to the bathroom on our house plants, they should be kept away from them for a variety of reasons. In addition to avoiding a mess or ending up with damaged or even destroyed plants and flowers, there exist more serious concerns should your cat ingest parts of the plant. Avoid health problems in your cat, from minor digestive issues to severe poisoning, while safeguarding your plants at the same time.

Your Responsibility

Once we invited cats to share our homes with us, we took it upon ourselves to provide for all their needs. Whether due to fears that they will encounter an ill-fated end on our busy roads or that they will simply run away and not return, cats are increasingly being kept as indoor-only pets. This means that whenever they have a craving – whether it is hunger, voiding, curiosity or just plain mischievousness – the only place where they can satisfy it is within your walls. And it doesn’t matter if you’ve set up a specific space for each of their desires; they will often ignore your solutions and seek out their own. Willful, aren’t they?

Something Missing in Their Diet?

When cats lived “in the wild” (which even centuries ago was rarely far from human habitation), they fed themselves – I know, it’s hard to believe these pampered little layabouts could have once had the wherewithal to take care of themselves, but they did! And they weren’t as finicky about what they ate either.

What they invariably ate was meat, and pet food manufacturers respond to cats’ carnivorous nature by offering cat food that focuses on protein derived from meat sources. Cats did get plant matter to a small degree from inside the animals that they consumed, and perhaps this missing element is what drives them to sample our house plants.

But unlike the already-digested vegetation found in the stomachs of their prey, when cats eat plants directly, they usually regurgitate them afterward. This is because they lack the ability to break down plant matter all the way. This alone is not cause for concern, as cats will sometimes do this to clear their digestive tract. It becomes serious if you suspect the cat has been nibbling on one of the many plants listed as being highly toxic to felines.

Among the many common houseplants poisonous to cats, one of the most dangerous is the lily. Certain species of “true lilies” could lead to kidney failure if ingested. The other top five plants that are lethally dangerous to cats are:

  • Azalea
  • Cyclamen
  • Mistletoe
  • Oleander
  • Rhododendron

The Humane Society has an extensive list of plants that are hazardous to pets, detailing which parts of the plant are toxic. For a list that is more specific to cats only, see the list on the Cat Fanciers’ Association’s website. And 1st in Flowers offers an interactive list that shows pictures of the plants for easy identification and includes what health risk each one poses for your feline.

If you are sure your cat has been poisoned, proceed immediately to your vet, bringing a portion of the plant with you (and a sample of the vomit if there was any). If uncertain, hotlines are available to assist you. Call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 1-800-222-1222 or the Pet Poison Helpline (which charges a fee of $49 per incident) at 1-855-764-7661. Pay particular attention if your pet is exhibiting any of these signs:

  • Vomiting
  • Drooling
  • Increase in drinking and/or decrease in eating
  • Diarrhea and/or urinating more than usual
  • Change in breathing and/or heartbeat

Non-Fatal Plant Issues

Even if you have adorned your home with a pet-friendly assortment of house plants, you are still likely to have problems with your feline companion. Whether they rub up against a pot too heavily or do one of their famous paw pats to knock something off its perch, you may come home to find broken planters, soil scattered all over the floor – or on your carpet! – and a slowly dying plant.

Even secure planters may still be raided, their plants attacked and their soil dug into. And then there’s the inevitable vomit that must be cleaned up – and found first! – if your cat ate some of it. There’s nothing like walking into a room barefoot, only to discover that you’ve unintentionally located the spot where your cat retreats to deposit its indigestibles.

Another thing cats tend to do with plants that strike their fancy is to use their pot as a litter box. According to the National Gardening Association, “cat urine can burn the roots of your plants.” It’s as if cats are getting back at plants for the serious harm that some do to them!

How to Keep Cats Out of Plants

Perhaps instead of wondering how to keep cats away from your plants, you should consider keeping the plants away from where the cat can reach. If it is not an option to hang your plants or place them in areas that Tabby is unable to get to or prohibited from accessing, you will have to find a way to make the plant or its location unappealing. (And if your kitties keep avoiding their litter box, make sure that they always have fresh cat litter inside or they will continue to find untraditional places to do their business.)

Try to offend your cats’ sense of smell by applying Critter Ridder® in your planters, which is available in spray or granular form. In addition to this, present a tactile surface that will make stepping on the soil uncomfortable for delicate paws by placing a length of aluminum foil over the soil.

Or add rocks, pine cones or toothpicks sticking out of the soil. You can also try to tempt your cats away by giving them something else that will act as a greater lure for them. Give them their own plant, and make it one that they will enjoy, such as cat grass or catnip. These are edible for your cat, and stores offer them specifically for this purpose.

Suggestions for Pet Safe Plants

Whether your cat has yet to show an interest in eating or desecrating your plants or not, why not be safe and stick to ones that you know won’t harm your little companion. Here are some cat-friendly plants for your home that will give you peace of mind:

  • African violet
  • Ferns
  • Orchids
  • Spider plant
  • Succulents

Many of the tricks mentioned above also work for outdoor gardens that are visited by strays. Let us know if you have experience with these or other plants safe for cats or additional advice for how to stop a cat from peeing where it shouldn’t in the comments section below. Join us on Facebook and add to the discussion. Plus, don’t forget to subscribe to our eNewsletter for exclusive updates and more great resources!

16. Staghorn Fern

This fern has two different kinds of fronds and grows wild in Australia. The pet-friendly plant can be potted, mounted on a wall, or hung in a basket. The staghorn fern will do well in any room with bright or indirect light but never in a dark room. Depending on the weather and humidity, you can water it every one to three weeks. The more humidity, the less you need to water it. If you place it in a bathroom, then, you’ll need to water and mist it only every three weeks.

SHOP NOW: Staghorn Fern from The Sill, $39, thesill.com

Photo courtesy of The Sill

17. Bromeliad

If you want bring a tropical vibe to your space, look no further than a bright bromeliad. Bromeliads, which last three to six months, will liven up any room you put them in. They need plenty of air flow, so we suggest an open area with windows and indirect sunlight, such as a living room, kitchen, or bedroom.

SHOP NOW: Bromeliad from houseplantshop, $12, etsy.com

Photo courtesy of Etsy

18. Baby Tears

This plant’s dripping tendrils were practically designed to attract cats. Even if you place this high up in an indoor hanging basket, your clever kitty just may find a way to get to it. But don’t worry—it can’t hurt him. In addition to being a pet-friendly plant, this is also a good choice for beginner green thumbs. Choose a location with filtered light and keep the soil moist. If this plant gets thirsty, it will start wilting immediately. Water at any sign of thirst!

SHOP NOW: Baby tears from thelittlejugle, $8.95, etsy.com

Courtesy of Etsy

19. Friendship Plant

The friendship plant boasts intricately patterned leaves that are soft to the touch and harmless to your pets. The small plant grows 6–12 inches high, and can survive in low light as long as it gets a few hours of sunlight each day. Occasionally, the plant will flower with pale pink buds.

SHOP NOW: Friendship Plant, Premiere Succulents, $6, etsy.com

Courtesy of Etsy

20. Areca Palm

Want to wow your guests while also protecting your pets? Look no further than an areca palm. Also known as a butterfly palm, it grows up to five feet tall and has big, bold fronds. It will become a focal point in any room you choose to grace with its presence.

SHOP NOW: Areca Palm from Pottery Barn, $89, potterybarn.com

Courtesy of Pottery Barn

21. Mosaic Plant

Rounding out our list of plants that are safe for cats and dogs is the mosaic plant. This floating plant will take your backyard pond or courtyard fountain to the next level. As eye-catching as it is, you can hardly even blame your cat for being curious about the diamond-shaped leaves.

Joshua Hultquist/Getty Images

If you’ve got a cat at home, you’ll know they often like getting in amongst your plants and maybe even having a little nibble on a few leaves or flowers. Whilst you might be a bit upset if your houseplants lose some leaves or blooms to a hungry or curious kitty, it’s even more important to pick houseplants safe for cats.

I’ve brought together a collection of my favorite and most beautiful houseplants that are entirely safe for your cat, regardless of whether they admire them from across the room, or like to snack on some leaves.

I’ve confirmed the safety of all these houseplants from the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. I’ve tried to include a variety of flowering and non-flowering houseplants that will bring joy and beauty to your home and live in harmony with your cat and the rest of your family.

Peperomia

Peperomia is a large genus of over 1000 small perennial plants that make great houseplants. They are kept for their wonderful ornamental foliage, which comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors.

Peperomia provide real interest to an indoor space, and most have succulent characteristics, meaning they will tolerate infrequent watering, making them a good option for the slightly less diligent gardener.

With no delicate flowers to damage, even if your cat was to take a nibble of some leaves, or be a little rough with it, it won’t spoil the wonderful look of these plants.

Some of the most popular varieties, and my personal favorites are the Peperomia caperate, Peperomia obtusifolia, Peperomia graveolens. Check out my article all about peperomia plant care.

Echeveria

These compact succulents are beautiful and have such amazing variety. There has been a major resurgence in growing succulents at home, particularly in decorative arrangements in all kinds of containers.

Echeveria have quite high light requirements but are otherwise really easy to look after. They will still survive in lower light conditions but tend to become leggy. Even if they do become leggy, you can cut the tops off them and replant them to regain the desirable rosette shape that echeveria naturally have.

You can also propagate echeveria really easily from cuttings or leaves and it’s really rewarding to grow a whole collection of echeveria from just one or two plants. I’ve got more information on propagating echeveria here if you are interested.

When looking for houseplants safe for cats, look no further than echeveria. They are not only safe for cats but can also take quite a bit of abuse from a curious cat. Cats tend not to bother with echeveria, as they don’t have large wavy leaves that cats seem to like to play with and chew on.

Even if your cat has a nibble, they are harmless. Even a pot that is knocked over by your cat shouldn’t cause too much trouble, as the thick and fleshy leaves of the echeveria are so resilient that they are hard to damage much.

With hundreds of interesting echeveria of all different colors and shapes, this is a species that I could never get bored of. Look out for the particularly beautiful “Blue Prince”, “Perle von Nurnberg” and “Black Prince” cultivars. If you want to learn more, read my article about how to care for succulents indoors

Aspidistra (Cast Iron Plant)

The cast iron plant is our next option as a great cat safe houseplant. Completely harmless to cats, whether they ingest or come into contact with the plant. They’re not known as the cast iron plant for no reason either. They are amazingly resilient to neglect and the foliage is as tough as nails. It would need to be some cat to do much damage to a cast iron plant.

Cast iron plants are ideal for low light locations in your house. The leaves become darker and more vibrantly green in low light conditions and they seem to thrive perfectly well.

My own cast iron plant is in my hall, where the only natural light comes from a skylight, that really only provides good light on bright sunny days. It’s probably one of the healthiest plants in my house despite this. Read my article all about cast iron plant care if you want to learn more about this awesome plant.

Phalaenopsis Orchid

My all-time favorite houseplant for so many reasons, and one which is perfectly safe for your cat. There aren’t many houseplants safe for cats which have more beautiful blooms than the phalaenopsis orchid.

Phalaenopsis, or moth orchids, sell by the tens of millions every year and it’s no surprise why. They bloom for up to 4 months at a time and the blooms are numerous and jaw-droppingly beautiful.

Whilst the flowers of phalaenopsis orchids are quite delicate, and the flower spikes look like they could snap if they were looked at the wrong way, they are actually reasonably resilient and fairly easy to care for with just a little knowledge.

Phalaenopsis orchids are now really affordable due to the massive upsurge in commercial cultivation. Usually cheaper than a bunch of flowers, and with blooms that last for months, rather than a week or two, I think its well worth taking the risk of your cat doing a little damage to this plant.

Phalaenopsis orchids do well in the lower light conditions of most homes, unlike a lot of other orchid species. They only need to be watered once the potting media is dry and will cope well in the lower humidity conditions of most homes, although do best in 50% to 70% humidity.

rchids will rebloom time and time again for decades if looked after correctly, so if your cat does a little damage to your orchid, you can pick a better location for it the next time it flowers. It might even be an excuse to get another orchid and build up your collection.

I have loads more information about phalaenopsis orchids on this website and have written a whole series of articles about caring for them. If you want to know more, check out the orchid section, or read more about phalaenopsis orchid care for beginners here.

Nerve Plant (Fittonia)

Nerve plants are ideal for terrariums, containers and windowsill gardening. They have stunningly beautiful foliage that is typically red, green or pink. They have characteristic veins on their leaves which contrast with the color of the leaves.

Such a beautiful plant deserves a place in every home, and they have been confirmed to be completely safe for cats, and in fact for dogs and humans too, so you needn’t have any concern about the safety of having this plant in your home.

Nerve plants thrive best in quite high humidity, so are particularly suitable as a terrarium plant. Terrariums are all the rage these days and are fun to build and maintain and can be a real statement piece in your home.

Nerve plants only grow to a maximum height of 50 cm usually, so are a good option if space is limited. You should keep nerve plants well watered, but you need to ensure well-draining soil to prevent root rot from the soil becoming waterlogged. Read more about nerve plant care here.

Wax Plant (Hoya carnosa)

Hoya plants are an evergreen plant, that comes in a number of varieties, many of which are either climbing or trailing, so are a great option to train to grow up a trellis, wire, or to hang down from a planter.

They are resilient, succulent plants which produce some of the most exquisitely beautiful flowers that you will find in an indoor plant. They grow pendulous heads of waxy looking, five-pointed star-shaped flowers.

Take another moment to look at the picture above to see just how amazing these flowers are. They look almost surreal like they were delicately crafted with wax by a master craftsman. To add to the appeal, wax plants have a beautiful scent, which is most prominent in the evening.

Wax plants require bright light but don’t do well in direct sunlight. A north facing window is ideal. Moderate temperatures and regular feeding will bring out the best in your wax plant. If you’d like to learn more, read about caring for my favorite variant, the Hoya carnosa compacta here.

As for your cat, I can’t promise you they will leave the flowers of this one alone, but the flowers are numerous and the plant grows strongly, so you shouldn’t be too concerned if your cat takes an interest.

Prayer Plant (Maranta leuconeura)

Moving on from a plant with exquisite flowers, to one with stunning foliage. The prayer plant is a great option to grow indoors due to beautifully decorated foliage and interesting features. The most common species of prayer plant is the maranta leuconeura, of which there are a number of interesting cultivars, all with variations in their foliage.

My favorite cultivar is undoubtedly “erythroneura“, which has well demarcated red veins on its foliage. An interesting feature and the reason prayer plants get their name, is that they fold their leaves upwards at night, as if in prayer. This can be really interesting to watch, as the shape and appearance of your plant changes dramatically over the course of 24 hours.

It is believed prayer plants developed this ability to prevent water from gathering on their leaves in the cool of night, where the prolonged standing water would predispose them to fungal and bacterial disease.

Prayer plants thrive in moderate temperatures of 65°F to 75 °F and bright, but indirect sunlight. Well-draining soil is essential and take care to avoid overwatering. Get these aspects of care right, and you can enjoy the beauty of this plant for a long time to come. Your cat will be perfectly safe to interact and explore the interesting foliage of the prayer plant without risk of harm.

Haworthia Fasciata (Zebra Plant)

Being a compact, succulent plant, Haworthia are tough and will tolerate less delicate treatment really well. They are compact, rarely growing to more than 20 cm in height. Even the odd rough treatment from your cat won’t bother the zebra plant. Another really good option for a succulent arrangement in a quirky container, or just for growing on a bright windowsill.

Zebra haworthia, like many other succulents, will produce offsets which can be propagated easily, so your collection can grow quickly. This can help you grow a few reserve plants in case some are given rough treatment by your cat.

The main thing to be careful with haworthia fasciata is to avoid overwatering. Water thoroughly, then let the soil dry out completely before watering again. Another tip is to pot it in a fairly small container relative to the size of the plant. The lower ratio of potting media to plant roots will reduce the risk of overwatering by letting the potting media dry out faster.

Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans)

Parlor palms are slow growing, low maintenance and a good option for indoor areas with lower light. They look best in a group, which helps them look bushier and more attractive, counteracting the natural growth habit, which is to grow up straight, which can leave a solitary plant looking a little bare.

Parlor palm is a houseplant which is both safe for cats and also safe from cats. It isn’t going to be troubled in the least by having your cat around, and even if they like to play with the appealingly draped palm fronds, your cat wont do too much damage to the plant.

Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens)

The second palm on this list is the elegant and slender Areca palm, which grows in a cluster of tall stalks with feathery fronds. It is another low maintenance option, and suitable for low or medium light conditions in your home.

Areca palms are fairly slow growing, and mature plants can be quite expensive. Opting for a smaller plant is more affordable and is a good option as a tabletop plant. Full-grown, Areca palms will grow to about 6-8 feet tall in most indoor spaces, growing about 6 inches per year.

Another plant which will tolerate a playful kitten or adult cat alike and won’t cause your cat any harm whatsoever. Definitely my favorite indoor palm and one I would recommend as an attractive houseplant safe for cats.

Check out my article about Areca palm care which goes into all the detail you’ll need to grow and care for this awesome plant.

African Violet (Saintpaulia)

Not the easiest of indoor plants to keep in good condition, but entirely suitable and safe for cats. african violets are persistently popular as a flowering houseplant due to the beauty of their blooms, and keeping them in good condition can be very rewarding.

I’d recommend potting your african violet up in a specific african violet potting mix, or make your own from, following these specific instructions. african violets can be a bit of a nightmare to get the watering right, so pay close attention.

Water using room temperature water that has been allowed to sit for 48 hours to let the chlorine and chloramine evaporate and take care to avoid getting foliage or flowers wet. Alternatively, use rainwater or distilled water. You need to take care to neither leave african violets in waterlogged soil or to dry out, as both are really detrimental.

Bright, indirect light is ideal and you should turn the pot frequently to avoid your plant reaching for the light. Fertilize your african violets with a high phosphorus fertilizer, to promote healthy blooms.

By the time you have perfected your care of african violets, you’ll be wondering how you ever had time to own a cat. But seriously, african violets wouldn’t be so popular if they weren’t such a pleasure to grow and enjoy, so why not give one a go.

Staghorn Fern (Platycerium)

It’s not hard to see where the staghorn fern got its name, with the distinctive foliage on this interesting houseplant. They can be grown outside in warm climates, but are more popular as an indoor plant. Totally safe for your cat to interact with, they have versatility in where they can be placed in an indoor space.

Staghorn ferns are epiphytic plants, meaning they do not naturally grow in soil, rather they grow attached to trees, with their roots being used as an anchor. The best way to grow a staghorn is mounted to wood, or in a really loose potting medium such as orchid bark mix.

They generally need quite high light levels, and this is one of the reasons staghorn ferns can sometimes struggle in indoor conditions. It’s a tough balancing act though, as they need bright light, but not too much if any direct sunlight. It might take you some adjusting the position of your staghorn fern to get things just right.

Staghorn ferns like to be kept evenly moist, and will absorb water through their leaves as well as their roots. They will likely need watered about once per week, depending on the potting media.

Make sure to water all parts of the plant each time to maximize water absorption. A good misting of the leaves every few days is also a really good idea to keep your staghorn fern in top shape. Fertilizing a few times per year is plenty for staghorn ferns.

Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

Spider plants have to be one of the most common, low maintenance and adaptable houseplants you can choose. Not as showy or as obviously beautiful as some of the other options on this.

However, they are interesting and bring a good splash of green into an indoor space and they are tough and resilient. Perfectly safe for cats, and so easy to care for, you could probably delegate the gardening duty to your cat.

Well-draining soil, bright, indirect light, and not too much water and you will keep your spider plant perfectly happy. Spider plants will tell you when they are happy by producing plenty of little offsets which can be separated and propagated with easy.

Xerographica Air Plant

Xerographica air plants are a great option to start an air plant collection, as they thrive in the drier conditions found in many of our homes, unlike some other species of air plants.

Xerographica air plants also tolerate higher levels of light than some other air plants. Place your air plant in really bright light, without too much direct sunlight and water once per week by submerging it in water.

After watering, shake the excess water off the plant and ensure you dont leave it in direct sunlight when drying, as this can easily cause sunburn to the plant.

Tough and durable, and due to being another epiphyte, there are so many options to place and mount xerographica air plants. A good option, and very fashionable to be grown in an open terrarium. Totally safe for your cat, and unlikely to be damaged by rough treatment. A good starter houseplant due to their ease of care, but be warned, collecting air plants can be wildly addictive.

Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)

Boston ferns make a great first impression in any indoor space with their feather-like foliage and long arching fronds. Boston ferns are particularly popular in hanging or wall mounted containers, where the fronds can drape elegantly over the sides, but can, of course, be planted in a normal container and are very versatile.

Similar to many indoor plants, bright, indirect light is ideal, so avoid dark corners or direct sunlight from a south-facing window. Boston ferns like moist soil most of the time, so a well-draining, but moisture retentive soil is a good option. Achieve this with a peat moss based medium, with added perlite, to ensure sufficient drainage.

Humidity requirements are quite high, so get your mister at the ready, or think about putting yours in a well-lit bathroom.

The foliage of boston ferns can be quite intriguing for cats, so expect them to show some curiosity, but rest assured they are totally safe for cats to interact with.

Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii)

Not what might immediately spring to mind when you say the word cactus, but trust me that they are. Sharing some key similarities, but many difference to their cousins, the desert cacti, Schlumbergera are a variety of jungle cactus. Named the Christmas cactus due to the fact that they flower around the holidays.

One of the most popular winter flowering houseplants, Christmas cactus is something a bit different and is sure to brighten up your home. Whilst many people only keep a Christmas cactus until it has finished flowering, they are not too hard to care throughout the year and can be encouraged to rebloom year after year with some simple care tips.

They will thrive in normal indoor conditions and can handle the lower humidity conditions found in many of our homes. Plenty of water is needed during active flowering and growth phases but cut well back in their dormancy period before the next round of blooms.

I find cats are often quite attracted to the Christmas cactus, and mine always seems to get a bit beaten up, but as long as my cat is ok, then I don’t really mind too much. Christmas cactuses are to be enjoyed, and as long as both me and my cat are having fun, then I’m happy to keep my Christmas cactus around.

Of course, placing your Christmas cactus somewhere relatively out of reach of your kitty might be an option, but cats do have a way of getting to most locations, so it may not be worth trying.

Ponytail palm (Beaucarnea Recurvata)

The Ponytail palm (Beaucarnea recurvata) is a wonderful cat safe houseplant that looks great, and your cat will also love it. The curving leaves may be a little too tempting for your kitty to avoid playing with, but your cat will be perfectly safe.

Ponytail palm is not in fact a palm, but is actually a type of succulent. This makes it an easy care plant that will tolerate a little neglect and be relatively maintenance free.

I hope you have enjoyed this rundown of my favorite houseplants safe for cats. The good news is that there are loads to choose from, so your indoor space needn’t be lacking some greenery or some beautiful blooms, even though you have a cat to care for.

Check out the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center if you want to browse their list of plants that are safe for cats and also the ones that are toxic and should be avoided.

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