Safe Houseplants for Cat Lovers

There are a bunch of reasons you can come up with if you are debating acquiring a plant for your home. You can use it to include some life into your living room, add some greenery to your design, freshen up the air or you can just enjoy seeing it grow and flourish. The table below showcased 3 of the safest plants for cats, actually.

However, those of you who have a cat (or more, we don’t judge) you care for in your household must be careful before you go ahead and get a new plant. That’s because there are some species out there which might be harmful to your little pet.

Luckily, we took the time and scoured the internet to find the necessary info that you need to know before you take this step. Also, we compiled a list of plants your cats will love (or tolerate, if we take into account their precious behavior) as well as some plants that are to be avoided. Without further ado, let’s get to it.

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Houseplants safe for cats that will also purify the air

Those looking for the best houseplants for cats might want to pay attention here. That’s because you may find all sorts of plants out there on the market but not all of them are appropriate to your lifestyle or safe for your cat.

You will find out that there are plenty of houseplants that are not poisonous to cats and you don’t have to worry that they will just act as decoration either because the following examples are proven to increase the quality of the air inside your home. Seems like a good deal, right? By taking this into account, you and your cat will benefit in equal measure.

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  • The Spider plant

If you are looking to introduce some decorative flair with healing qualities as well into your home, then we highly recommend the spider plant. It is completely safe for all the inhabitants of your home, its ruggedness will allow it to adjust right away and because it is able to sprout dozens of shoots, you can take out your inner gardener as you clip away and cultivate.

However, you will need someplace high up to locate it because it tends to dangle and you wouldn’t like to come home and encounter a disaster caused by your cat – don’t blame it, those shoots are asking for it.

  • Show me the Money… tree

The money plant, or tree, is proven to reduce the toxins from the air – such as formaldehyde – and it also works great for people dealing with lung issues like asthma. People living in a city dealing with pollution might benefit greatly as well. Those in touch with things like Feng shui will love it since it is believed to bring prosperity and luck to its owners. Suffice to say that your cat won’t be affected whatsoever by its presence.

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  • Boston fern

This plant would look great in your home. Also, there are a lot of people who call it a living air humidifier. You and your cat will love it, especially if you live in places with harsh winters which require you to pump up hot, dry air for heat.

  • Palm trees

Don’t think about those huge trees found in Miami. In fact, there is a variety of palm, including one that’s a perfect fit for your home. Your pets will definitely not get sick or icky, at most they will get curious. Those with a beginner’s green thumb might want to look at the areca palm since it is a plant that doesn’t need much maintenance.

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  • Wax plant

Let’s go smaller, shall we? This cute little hanging plant will fit perfectly anywhere inside your home. That is because it is really sturdy, capable of helping you and your cat deal with harmful chemicals like smog, paint or gasoline.

  • Cast Iron plant

Perhaps you begin to see a pattern. As the name appropriately suggest, the Cast Iron plant is a really sturdy form of vegetation that is also truly beautiful. A worthy example of non-toxic houseplants for cats, cast iron plants are perfectly adjustable for living indoors, in complete harmony with your Felix.

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  • Tradescantia zebrina

On our way to finding the ideal cat-friendly houseplants we have come across this interesting little fellow. Perhaps this is the most vividly colored item from our list of living air purifiers. It is a completely non-toxic plant that will make your eyes water with joy due to its lush display. Also, it seems that cats really love to touch its curling soft leaves.

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  • Bamboo

What? Doesn’t bamboo grow to be huge? While the idea of growing bamboo indoors might seem some kind of a stretch, you can easily come across potted bamboo which will only grow as much as its container will let it. This way you won’t have to worry about your home turning into a jungle any time soon.

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The benefits of bamboo are represented by its capability of detoxifying the air inside any apartment or house. Besides improving the quality of your air and not being too high-maintenance, having bamboo inside your home will definitely spruce up the environment.

Let’s take it outside

There might be some of us who aren’t satisfied with having plants only in our living room. If you are curious about which plants you can garden and not pose a threat to your cat – since he or she is perfectly comfortable of being outside – then we have some options for you.

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Here are some herbs

Catnip is definitely among the best-known houseplants that are not poisonous to cats but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t look out for more vegetation in your life. Growing some herbs will bring a wonderful addition to your meals by bringing in some extra flavor while not posing any dangers to your cats.

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  • Coriander

Also known as cilantro, coriander is a herb highly used as a key ingredient in a lot of countries’ cookery. More often, you will find it used in the dishes from China, Mexico or Southern Asia.

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  • Parsley

Another commonly used herb that is also completely safe for your cat is parsley. The most common fate of parsley is to end up as garnish or it can also be sprinkled over rice or potato dishes. Those tabbouleh salad aficionados will vouch that it is a key ingredient, so you might want to take this into account.

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  • Basil

A proud member of the mint family, basil – as its brethren – is completely harmless to cats. We think that you don’t need any recipes which incorporate basil since it is an extremely common ingredient.

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  • Dill

This little buddy works great with fish, working tremendously with salmon to entice your taste buds. You know who else loves fish, right? That’s right, your cat, so don’t keep these two at arm’s length.

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  • Chamomile – make it German

Last but not least, we didn’t forget about the tea drinkers out there. German chamomile shares its family with daisies. On hot summer days few things are more relaxing than enjoying a fresh cup of (iced) tea. Here’s the trick: while chamomile is great for us, it is important to note that the English kind is toxic to cats.


Let’s put cooking aside for a bit and talk about your love of planting flowers that look AND smell great. Here are some that won’t bother your cat one bit:

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  • Petunias

Listen up, newbies! Petunias, which come in great varieties – about 35 species – are extremely easy to tend for. Also, they smell amazing and blossom in truly beautiful colors. You and your cat will love them.

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  • Cornflowers

Also known as Bachelor’s Button, cornflowers are completely safe for cats. If you are a big fan of flowerpots, introduce their beautiful blue looks to your décor. Another benefit is that the flowers are edible and can improve the look and taste of your salads.

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  • Moon Orchids

These are for those of you who really like a challenge. These plants are a bit more demanding, but if you live in the right climate area you can benefit from their gorgeous scent right in your home.

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Should your cat be allowed to eat plants?

There are plenty of questions that a cat owner can ask, like “how to keep cats from eating houseplants?” and so on. However, since your pet is an actual living animal, should you even be putting restrictions around him or her?

Sure, no one wishes that their pet would get poisoned or anything of the sort but let’s put all this aside and find out what plants are safe for your cat, should the little fuzzball wish to have a taste.

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We all know that felines are ferocious carnivores but that doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t like to help themselves on some fun, yet nutritionally redundant snacks. Also, cats can eat grass just like dogs do in order to clear their insides from hairballs and other such things. Here are some forms of vegetation completely safe to eat (we are still talking about your cat, remember?).

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  • Catnip

So we are finally here, talking about the elephant in the room. Catnip is really easy and cheap to grow at home. A pack of catnip seeds, a pot, some soil and you will have something to get your little kitty stoned out of her mind.

A lover of sunlight, catnip would be better off outside but you should be careful of the unwanted outsiders who would like a whiff. Should your cat desire to take a bite, he or she will definitely not be harmed.

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  • Herbs

We brushed on this subject previously, but it wouldn’t hurt to take another look at it. Bean sprouts are something we use to add some texture to our sandwiches or salads. They aren’t a danger to your cats either, as long as they eat them in small amounts – you know, since they are mainly carnivores they don’t really need vegetables.

Valerian root is another herb perfectly fine for your cat to have a taste. However, you must know that, while for us it induces sleep, valerian root might jumpstart your cat into action.

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  • Oat grass

This one is usually called ‘cat grass’ and for a good reason. Cats just love it. You just have to plant some seeds in a pot and wait for a couple of weeks. Soon, you will have a thick patch of grass which your cat can thoroughly enjoy. Be careful though, or Felix might eat the whole thing.

Houseplants toxic to cats

Last but not least, let’s talk about those plants that you wouldn’t want your cat around. There are more than 700 plants which contain substances that can intoxicate your cat, but don’t worry, we won’t go through the whole bunch.

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  • Asparagus fern

Also called the emerald fern, this plant is definitely toxic to cats. Should your cat eat its berries then things like vomiting or diarrhea can happen.

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  • Dieffenbachia

Commonly dubbed the dumb cane, this plant can cause severe oral irritations, so you might not want to keep it around your curious feline buddy.

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  • Elephant ear

Taro, ape, cape or pai, this plant comes with many names. Its effects are similar to those of Dieffenbachia so again, keep your cat away from this one as well.

Hirt's Gardens Peace Lily Spathyphyllium-House Plant-4" Pot

  • Lilies

We first thought of talking about particular species, but let’s keep it on the safe side and exclude all lily species from your cat’s environment, just to be safe. Vomiting, increased salivation, oral irritation are just a few of the symptoms your pet would have to suffer from.

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  • Cyclamen

This pretty little flowering plant can really hurt your little one. Although you might enjoy taking care of it and watch it grow, it just isn’t worth risking your cat’s health.

The bottom line

Cats and houseplants can definitely become good pals and together they can really turn a house into a home. Hopefully, we gave you some helpful pointers in finding the right forms of vegetation to purify your environment while keeping your cat in a good mood (and good health) as well.

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Last update on 2022-06-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Cristina is a licensed veterinarian who has been a cat owner since she was 12. She is passionate about giving useful advice to pet owners across the world. Her favorite topics range from pathology and novel therapies to infectious diseases and animal welfare. Her work has been featured in many online publications from The Pet Friendly House to Alpha Paw, Animal Wellness Magazine, and

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