Several plant species can be quite toxic and harmful for your cat. However, that doesn’t mean you have to forgo house plants entirely. There are a ton of cat-friendly plants available in all shapes, sizes, and colors.
We’ve listed 25 of our favorites, with a bit of information on how to care for each one, but this is by no means is this list exhaustive. For a complete list of plants that are harmful and safe for cats, check out the ASPCA’s Toxic and Non-Toxic Plant List!
1. Air Plants — Tillandsia Variants
Air plants are a great way to add subtle accents to your home without stealing the show. And they’re super easy to care for as well. Just soak them in water once a week, and they’ll remain thriving.
2. Hibiscus — Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis, Hibiscus Syriacus
If you’re looking for bright color options, check out hibiscus plants. With over 1,000 different colors and foliage options, you’re sure to find one perfect for your home. They work well both inside or outside your home and have been known to attract hummingbirds and butterflies.
3. Impatiens — Impatiens Variants
These flowers are similarly shaped to pansies although they lack the trademark “face” pattern. However, these are extremely beautiful flowers in their own right. They’re bright, vibrant, and will constantly bloom as long as they receive plenty of water.
4. Echeveria — Echeveria Lilacina
If you love having houseplants but have no green thumb to speak of, try succulents. They’re akin to cacti in that they don’t need much water. However, some succulent varieties can be harmful to cats, so steer clear of Jade and Aloe. Instead, stick with the simple Echeveria.
5. Haworthia Zebra — Haworthiopsis Attenuate
If you’re looking for another succulent variety to shake things up, the Haworthia Zebra might be right up your alley. They have the same spiky fronds that you’ll find on an aloe plant, but they’re completely safe for your feline companion.
6. Spider Plant — Chlorophytum Comosum
Ask any veterinarian which houseplants they’ll recommend for kitty, and the Spider Plant will probably be near the top of their list. They’re not just safe for your cat, but they also help purify the air in their surroundings.
7. Bamboo Palm — Chamaedorea Seifrizii
If you’re looking to make a statement with your plants, consider the Bamboo Palm. They don’t grow as tall as some of the other plants on this list; however, they are much denser, creating a miniature jungle your cat can safely hide in.
8. Money Tree — Pachira Aquatica
If you’re looking for a mini tree, you can’t go wrong with the Money Tree. And according to folklore, these plants can bring good fortune and prosperity to those who care for them.
9. Chinese Palm Plant — Trachycarpus Fortunei
These elegant palms are a simple way to add a tropical or Asian flair to your home. However, these plants can grow very big (up to 8 feet) and do so very rapidly. They also require a little bit more water than the average houseplant.
10. Roses — Rosa Variants
There’s no need to worry about whether your rose bouquet is going to bother kitty or not. They’re completely harmless to them—minus the thorns.
11. American Rubber Plant — Peperomia Obtusifolia
The American Rubber Plant may start small, but don’t let it fool you. They can grow up to 10 feet tall if not limited. We recommend putting them in a pot-sized for a 4-foot tree and keeping them in a bright corner of a living room.
12. Sunflowers — Helianthus Annuus
Nothing brightens up your day quite like a bouquet of sunflowers. And there’s no need to worry about your cat if you’d like to fill a vase with some. Just be certain that you’re getting sunflowers, and not something else. Some sellers may try and pass off daisies, which are toxic to cats.
13. Boston Fern — Nephrolepis Exaltata
While not the most colorful plant around, this might just be your kitten’s favorite. Their long fan-shaped leaves provide a unique feeling that your cat will have a hard time not batting around. And if they get a bit too rambunctious and take a bite, it’s perfectly safe.
14. Friendship Plant — Pilea Involucrata
Friendship Plants have some of the most uniquely patterned leaves you’ll find. They’re soft to the touch—almost velvety—and completely harmless for your cat. Requiring only a few hours of sunlight each day, the Friendship Plant is rather resilient and great for busy people.
15. Basil — Ocimum Basilicum
Many herbs are quite toxic to your cat; however, such is not the case with basil. This herb is super easy to grow with a kitchen windowsill being an ideal station. These plants not only look and smell great either but taste amazing too. Feel free to snag a few leaves to chiffonade and mix into your pasta sauces and salads!
16. Parlor Palm — Chamaedorea Elegans
The Parlor Palm is very similar looking to the Bamboo Palm but at only a fraction of the size. They provide a great burst of greenery wherever they are placed without overpowering the area.
17. Majesty Palm — Ravenea Rivularis
If you’re looking to fill a space in an otherwise empty room, you might want to consider a Majesty Palm. The fronds of the plant open near the top and fill out whatever space they’re occupying.
18. Bromeliad — Guzmania Lingulata
If you’re looking to add a tropical flair to your home, nothing works quite as well as a Bromeliad. These brightly colored striped plants can bloom for months provided that they have adequate airflow and indirect sunlight.
19. Rattlesnake Plant — Calathea Lancifolia
It’s hard to confuse the Rattlesnake Plant with any other house plant due to its snake-like leaves. They have an almost scaly, striped appearance with distinctly purple undersides sure to add character to any room.
20. Calathea Prayer Plant — Calathea Orbifolia
The Prayer Plant is another colorful and ornately patterned plant of the Calathea plant genus. They’re also known to thrive in high humidity areas and purify the air of whatever space they’re in.
21. Calathea Zebra — Calathea Zebrina
Calathea plants in general are safe for your cats to be around. The Zebra variety has extremely distinct broad-striped leaves that make a great accent for any room.
22. Purple Velvet Plant — Gynura Aurantiaca
Not every household is aiming for a bright, cheery vibe. Sometimes, a spooky elegance is a tone you’re looking for. And the Purple Velvet Plant can help you achieve it. Its spiky leaves are two-tone in color with dark green and purple gradation. And to top off its eerie feel, the plant will sometimes bloom orange flowers.
23. Cast Iron Plant — Aspidistra Elatior
This plant lives up to its name and is one of the hardiest plants around. They need very little active attention and pretty much take care of themselves. Just an occasional watering and sunlight will keep these plants strong and healthy.
24. Swedish Ivy — Plectranthus Verticillatus
Although named Swedish Ivy, this plant isn’t a true ivy. And that’s great because true ivy plants can be highly toxic to cats. If you do opt for this long viny creeper, good luck keeping your cats from playing with it all day long!
25. Bird’s Nest Fern — Asplenium Nidus
Who said you couldn’t liven up your bathroom with flora? The crinkly-leaved Bird’s Nest Fern thrives in low light, humid conditions found in areas just like your bathroom! Just be sure to get it some sunlight now and then.
Choosing the Right Plants for Your Home
When looking for the perfect plants for your home, remember to consider your kitty. There are many plants out there that can be particularly toxic to your little loved ones. If in doubt, please be sure to consult the master list of safe and harmful plants from the ASPCA.
- Related Read: 5 Health Benefits of Cat Grass
Featured Image Credit: Candid_Shots, Pixabay
- 1. Air Plants — Tillandsia Variants
- 2. Hibiscus — Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis, Hibiscus Syriacus
- 3. Impatiens — Impatiens Variants
- 4. Echeveria — Echeveria Lilacina
- 5. Haworthia Zebra — Haworthiopsis Attenuate
- 6. Spider Plant — Chlorophytum Comosum
- 7. Bamboo Palm — Chamaedorea Seifrizii
- 8. Money Tree — Pachira Aquatica
- 9. Chinese Palm Plant — Trachycarpus Fortunei
- 10. Roses — Rosa Variants
- 11. American Rubber Plant — Peperomia Obtusifolia
- 12. Sunflowers — Helianthus Annuus
- 13. Boston Fern — Nephrolepis Exaltata
- 14. Friendship Plant — Pilea Involucrata
- 15. Basil — Ocimum Basilicum
- 16. Parlor Palm — Chamaedorea Elegans
- 17. Majesty Palm — Ravenea Rivularis
- 18. Bromeliad — Guzmania Lingulata
- 19. Rattlesnake Plant — Calathea Lancifolia
- 20. Calathea Prayer Plant — Calathea Orbifolia
- 21. Calathea Zebra — Calathea Zebrina
- 22. Purple Velvet Plant — Gynura Aurantiaca
- 23. Cast Iron Plant — Aspidistra Elatior
- 24. Swedish Ivy — Plectranthus Verticillatus
- 25. Bird’s Nest Fern — Asplenium Nidus
- Choosing the Right Plants for Your Home