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10 Cat-Safe (and Dog-Safe) Non-Toxic Houseplants

Cat staring at plant inquisitively

When you bring a kitten or cat home, there are plenty of preparations to make, but one thing that many people don’t realize is that you have to be careful about what houseplants you keep. There are multiple houseplants that are toxic to cats and even dogs, especially when ingested. With it being part of many pets’ natures to nibble and chew on things that they’re curious about, it’s important to ensure that you only keep indoor plants safe for cats and dogs to be around.

From polka dot plant to prayer plant, where do you start? We’ve put together a list of 10 beautiful cat-safe plants that are also safe to keep around dogs, so you can keep up the green and natural look of your home without putting your pets at risk.

10 Cat-Safe Houseplants

#1: Calathea Peacock

This plant is notable for its uniquely patterned leaves, adorned with wavy stripes that take on both light and darker shades of gorgeous green. Thankfully, you can enjoy the look of this visually striking plant in your home without putting your cat or dog in danger. In fact, when Calathea Peacock leaves start to get old and die, they’ll shrivel and fall to the floor, and cats are known for loving to bat them around like a new toy. 

#2: Spider Plant

Spider plants are some of the most popular houseplants that you can find on the market, and rightfully so. Thriving in minimal light and able to retain water for a very long time, they’re a notoriously low-maintenance houseplant, known for being displayed in hanging baskets and pots. Thankfully, this spiky-leaved, ribbon-like plant also makes its way onto our list of cat-friendly plants, so you can keep it around your pets without fear.

Spider plant in white pot on blue desk

#3: Ferns

There are plenty of species of fern out there, including the Boston Fern, Staghorn Fern, and the Bird’s Nest Fern, amongst many others, coming in various shapes and sizes. Whether you choose a fern with more clustered leaves, longer and wavier foliage, or elegant, thinner strands of green, ferns are generally completely safe for cats and dogs to be around and can even offer nice textures for your kitty to investigate and tickle itself with.

Note: the Asparagus Fern isn’t actually a fern but a lily, which are toxic to animals.

#4: Zebra Plant

The Zebra Plant is a stunning succulent with long sharp leaves detailed with textural bumps and imperfections. It’s basically like a tiny aloe plant, but while you may know that aloe is dangerously toxic to both cats and dogs, the Zebra Plant is totally pet-safe. This miniature succulent looks great on a window sill and won’t be causing any trips to the vet.

#5: Palms

Bringing some small palm plants into your home is a great way to transplant a little bit of tropical energy into your indoor decor. With their deep green, elegant leaves, palms fit nicely into most aesthetics; however, it’s worth noting that some of them can be toxic to pets. Make sure that if you choose a palm, you pick one that’s known for being non-toxic, such as:

  • Areca Palm (Dypsis Lutescens)
  • Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea Elegans)
  • Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea Recurvata)

#6: Roses

The most romantic of all the flowers is the rose, known for its ruffled petals, delightful smell, and spiny, spiked stems. If you’re trying to express your love for a significant other this Valentine’s Day, don’t fear for your pets, as roses are totally non-toxic to dogs and cats, and along with this, they can do wonders for masking the smell of a litter box.

Cat lying on path amongst pink rose bushes

#7: Cast Iron Plant

The Cast Iron Plant is known for its wide green leaves, which can sometimes be laden with white dots and spots, and as its name suggests, it’s a durable plant. Great for both indoor and outdoor planting, this plant can handle poor weather conditions along with being fairly drought-resistant, non-toxic to pets, and highly capable of withstanding feline attackers.

#8: American Rubber Plant

Also known as baby rubber plant, this plant is notable for looking fake, even though it’s very real. With wide, disk-like leaves that are shiny and waxy, this plant lives up to its name by appearing to be made of rubber. This makes it a great decorative plant for indoor settings and windowsills, while it’s also totally safe to keep around your pets.

#9: Rattlesnake Plant

The Rattlesnake Plant is a uniquely stunning plant with long and wavy dark green leaves laden with even darker green spots and patches. It thrives best in cooler climates, making it better for indoor planting if you live in a hotter area, but either way, it’s totally pet-friendly and safe for both cats and dogs.

#10: Hibiscus

Hibiscus is a popular flower known for its stunningly wide white petals and pleasant scent. It’s also one of our favourite indoor plants that are mostly safe for cats, as our feline friends actually enjoy its sights and smells, similar to the way that we do. Most hibiscus are safe but we advise to always do your research on specific varietals. If in doubt, asking your veterinarian is always best. Flowers are a great addition to an indoor garden, so knock yourself out with a hibiscus!

What Now?

Now that you know what plants are safe for cats and dogs, it’s time to get shopping and display that green thumb to the world! To find houseplants not toxic to cats and other pets, simply visit a trusted plant store, or even just your local one. If you’re a little unsure about a purchase, they should be able to guide you in the right direction.

For all pet parents, consulting with your veterinarian when you have questions is always best. This is true of plant safety and anything else! The quality of your relationship with your veterinarian will determine many of your pet's health outcomes.

Remember, regardless of your cat’s behavior, having a good pet insurance policy in place in case of accidents and illnesses (and allergic reactions) can save a lot of heartache. Get a quote from PHI Direct today to learn more.