11 Easy And Cat-Safe Plants

Though we love them, cats can be little terrors when it comes to your houseplants. From making new beds (or even toilets) from your houseplants to making eye contact with you while knocking a plant off its shelf, there’s no doubt it can be challenging to keep both plants and cats.

The worst of all is when they decide to make a snack out of your well-cared-for plants. Not only is it heartbreaking, but it can be perilous for your cats if you happen to have the wrong plant lying around.

This goes for even the most disinterested of cats, who might turn round and chomp away at your plant after never taking an interest in it before.

It’s much safer to have plants that are classified as pet-safe. That way, if your cat terrorizes your plants, you can always propagate any healthy parts left, and avoid any hefty vet bills.

However, it is worth knowing that if your cat (or any other pet) does take a large chomp out of one of your safe houseplants, it is worth knowing it will probably still upset their stomachs.

Interested in growing some cat-safe, low-maintenance houseplants? Here’s what you need to know.

1. Ceropegia Woodii ‘String Of Hearts’

The String of Hearts plant is a great choice for any home, even one with cats. As this is a trailing plant, it can be a curious attraction to your cats, so make sure you keep it out of reach.

The good news is that it looks fantastic in a hanging basket, and if you can place it where your cats cannot reach (out of climbing or leaping distance), a String of Hearts will look fantastic in any room.

This semi-succulent plant comes from Southern Africa, but it’s grown all over the world as a houseplant.

As you might imagine, a dark area will not do for this plant. It needs bright and indirect light for most of the day, preferably with a few hours of direct sunshine to keep the plant healthy.

Make sure you give this plant a succulent soil mix, or another type of sharply-draining soil, as it hates wet feet!

Allow the soil to mostly dry out during the growing season – and completely in winter – before watering again, and water it as close to the base as you can get.

It also helps that this plant is super-easy to propagate. You can either do this by taking stem cuttings or wind a whole healthy vine onto the surface of a fresh pot of compost, making sure that the vine has good contact with the soil.

If you have a mature String of Hearts that’s producing tubers on the vines outside the pot, you can also separate these from the vines and plant them up, which will produce new plants!

Make sure you propagate this plant during the growing season for the best results, as not all props will be successful at the best of times.

2. Chamaedora Elegans ‘Parlor Palm’

A Victorian house plant favorite, the Parlor Palm is easy to care for even in the most challenging of environments, even where there is no natural light, as long as it gets fluorescent light for most of the day.

This plant softens the look of any room, and it also helps that it is considered cat-safe.

Your cat may sit on the plant or nibble its leaves, but it will do more damage to the plant than the plant will do to your cat.

Give this plant indirect light, and well-draining soil, and keep the watering consistent, not allowing the plant to dry out completely.

It’s a slow-growing plant, but its easy-going nature more than makes up for it. 

3. Chlorophytum Comosum ‘Spider Plant’

Spider plants are a houseplant classic for a reason. They are easy to look after, look pretty cool with their trailing plantlets and strap-like leaves, and are pet-safe.

They don’t need a lot of light, provided that they get indirect light for most of the day, and when it comes to watering, if you can keep it regular and consistent, giving your plants a drink when the top two inches are dry, these plants are a breeze to look after.

But when it comes to cats, there’s something you should know about this interesting plant. It does attract cats like a magnet.

This is because it causes hallucinations in cats when ingested, and the narrow, grass-like foliage will always attract them, too.

Apart from that, this plant is safe for cats, though you might have to do an emergency clean-up if your cat throws up after eating a leaf or two.

So if you do decide to go for a spider plant or two, it’s worth putting them in hanging baskets, away from your cats (especially avoiding your cat’s acrobatic abilities).

4. Cryptanthus spp. ‘Earth Star Bromeliad’

If you want to grow a houseplant that looks very unusual, a terrestrial Bromeliad such as a Cryptanthus is a good way to go.

It also helps that it is safe for cats, though it will be unlikely that you’ll grow it on a windowsill. These plants need constant moisture as well as humidity and light, and the easiest way to achieve this is to grow them in an enclosed environment, such as a terrarium.

Because they stay fairly compact, they are perfect plants for small terrariums, and it also means your cat can’t uproot them or nibble on them, either.

If your cat does get a little curious about this plant, it’s not the end of the world, as it is pet-safe.

5. Fittonia spp. ‘Nerve Plant’

Nerve plants are some of the most delicate-looking, with their lightning-like patterns and smaller leaves.

While you can grow them outside of terrariums, they are much better suited to enclosed environments where they can get all the moisture and humidity they need.

Similarly to Earth Star Bromeliads, they stay on the smaller side, which means your plants won’t outgrow their new homes in a hurry.

But if you do decide to grow Fittonia plants on your windowsill, you can do so knowing that your cat won’t be harmed if it tries to make a snack out of these plants.

6. Hypoestes Phyllostachya ‘Polka Dot Plant’

Maybe you’re bored with solid-green, leafy tropical plants. In this case, the Polka Dot Plant is the next one to try!

This cheery plant comes in a variety of colors, including pink, purple, white, and red, with contrasting spots all along the foliage.

They’re not happy with colder temperatures, so it is best to grow them in warm rooms that are  draft-free.

At maturity, they can reach about 2 feet tall, spreading about the same, depending on the variety you go for.

Bright and indirect light is a must for this plant, but if you want to give this plant a boost, it’s worth placing it somewhere that gets morning sunlight, which will give the plant higher light without the risk of sun scorch.

Use a houseplant compost amended with some perlite or pumice, which will help sharpen up the drainage. Don’t allow this plant to dry out completely, as it will damage it.

Try to keep the soil damp but not wet, so check the soil regularly, watering when the top half-inch of compost dries out.

Cats may be attracted to the curious look of this plant, but a nibble or two won’t harm your furry friends, as this plant is considered non-toxic.

7. Peperomia Obtusifolia ‘Baby Rubber Plant’

Named after its striking resemblance to a young Ficus elastica or a Rubber Plant, Peperomia obtusifolia is a very easy plant to care for.

It features thick, leathery leaves, and looks perfect in any room, whether you choose a variegated or solid green variety.

Similar to a Ficus elastica, this plant requires sharp drainage, so a houseplant compost amended with perlite or pumice will help prevent root rot and fungal problems.

Keep it somewhere light and indirect, preferably with a little humidity and plenty of air circulation. 

8. Phalaenopsis spp. ‘Moth Orchid’

Not only are Moth Orchids beautiful, but they are also safe for homes with cats.

If you haven’t grown an orchid before, it can be a steep learning curve, but this species is by far the easiest one to start with.

Water it with distilled water, plunge the pot into a bucket, and let the potting media soak it up for about ten minutes, then allow it to drain.

Provide bright and indirect light for your orchids, as well as higher humidity levels, and watch this plant thrive and rebloom again and again under your care.

Don’t forget to give the plant the occasional feed with a good-quality orchid fertilizer, and reduce the amount of watering when the plant goes dormant.

When it comes to keeping this plant around cats, it’s a good idea to keep this plant out of reach anyway.

While they are safe for cats, Moth Orchids are quite fragile, especially the flowers whether they are just emerging or are fully open, and it can take ages for them to rebloom, so preventing damage to your Moth Orchids is important!

9. Pilea Peperomioides ‘Chinese Money Plant’

The Chinese Money Plant, botanically known as Pilea peperomioides, is another houseplant classic worthy of any collection, no matter if you’re just starting on your houseplant journey, or you have quite a few already!

It’s very easy to care for, provided you give it well-draining soil, some morning sunshine (if possible), and plenty of water.

A regular houseplant compost will do fine for a while, but it can often mean that the plant doesn’t have enough drainage, so amend it with a handful or two of perlite to prevent water from pooling at the roots.

Another great thing about the Chinese Money Plant is that it’s super easy to propagate, and it will often do most of the work for you by growing plantlets at the base.

These can be separated and planted up separately to create new plants, or you could leave the plantlets in the same pot and watch your plant turn into a huge Pilea!

While this plant is not toxic to cats, dogs, or even humans, it’s worth putting it well out of reach to avoid any damage, especially if your cat is prone to hurricane-fits of destruction!

10. Schlumbergera spp. ‘Holiday Cactus’

If you’re a fan of heirloom plants, where your plants may outlive you if you give them the right care, one of the best choices for homes with cats is Holiday Cacti.

There are a couple of species to choose from, including the Thanksgiving Cactus and the Christmas Cactus. 

Both look pretty similar, with pendant thick stems and leaves, and flowers that appear in numerous shades, including pink, white, red, and purple.

For best results, put your Schlumbergera in a bright and indirect window, giving it full darkness at night, and amend a houseplant compost with one part perlite to sharpen up the drainage.

11. Tillandsia spp. ‘Air Plants’

Some of the most unusual plants you can grow are Air Plants, particularly those from the Tillandsia species, and it helps that they are safe for cats.

These unique plants don’t even need soil to survive, as they grow naturally on tree branches and other plants in the wild.

This means you can go wild with your plant displays, whether that’s mounting your Tillandsia plants on driftwood, in glass terrariums, or in hanging planters with no soil.

You will need to pay close attention to watering and humidity, as they can be fussy, depending on the species you go for.

Bright and indirect light is best, though they will do okay with some darker levels. Use a fertilizer specially formulated for air plants, and be careful not to get the base of the plant too wet, or let moisture sit on the leaves for long periods.

Final Thoughts

It’s always a good idea to buy plants that are safe for pets if you have cats or other pets in your home but keep in mind that your plants may still get damaged from time to time, so it’s worth keeping your plants well out of reach!

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