et’s face it: your feline fur baby has the ultimate say in how you choose to fill and decorate your space! Your sweet kitty has to approve those new throw pillows you purchased on a whim during your last retail therapy session, the new sheets you bought last winter, and even the treats you found on Target clearance that just don’t cut it the way that the super overpriced, high-end treats do.
They even have to approve the plants you’re thinking about adopting, because not every plant is super friendly with your cat. If you want a seamless transition for your kitty to go from being an only child to having a plant sibling or two (or eight, we won’t judge!), it’s pretty important to do the research and know which plants you think you can take care of, which will thrive the best in your space, and how well it will get along with your cat. Luckily, we’ve done all the research for you.
Surprisingly, or maybe not so surprisingly, there are plenty of beautiful and hearty indoor plants that are both easy to take care of and pretty easy going with your cat. Cats can have sensitivities and even full-fledged potentially fatal reactions to certain plant species, like poinsettias and lily of the valley.
Since there are lots of plants that your cat can’t handle, it’s important to know which ones are actually 100% safe for your cat to smell, rub against, and nibble on without having any reactions. Remember though that all cats are a little bit different, and even if they don’t have a physical response to the plant, they might just not like it!
That’s why we’ve provided several different options with care instructions so that you can find the perfect ones for both your living situation and your fur child.
Here’s what you can find:
- Important plants to avoid!
- Cat-friendly plants for dark spaces
- Cat-friendly plants for bright spaces
- Signs to look for if your cat has been poisoned by a plant
Plants to Avoid at All Costs
These plants are very much not friendly with your cat, so be sure to stay away!
When it comes to plants that cats are sensitive to, one thing to note is that the sensitivity levels can range from being poisonous by smelling the plant, all the way to not affecting your cat unless they ingest it.
Regardless, the safest way to keep your cat away from any potential reactions is to just keep the plants we’ve listed below away from your space and your cat entirely. There’s no set of rules for how a cat will react, so even if one plant is said to only hurt your cat if they ingest it, your cat might be super sensitive and unable to handle even a whiff of it.
That being said, these are the plants that you should just keep far away from your cat, directly from PetMD!
- Amaryllis (Amaryllis spp.)
- Autumn Crocus (Colchicum autumnale)
- Azaleas and Rhododendrons (Rhododendron spp.)
- Castor Bean (Ricinus communis)
- Chrysanthemum, Daisy, Mum (Chrysanthemum spp.)
- Cyclamen (Cyclamen spp.)
- Daffodils, Narcissus (Narcissus spp.)
- Dieffenbachia (Dieffenbachia spp.)
- English Ivy (Hedera helix)
- Hyacinth (Hyacintus orientalis)
- Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe spp.)
- Lily (Lilium sp.)
- Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis)
- Marijuana (Cannabis sativa)
- Oleander (Nerium oleander)
- Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum sp.)
- Pothos, Devil’s Ivy (Epipremnum aureum)
- Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta)
- Spanish Thyme (Coleus ampoinicus)
- Tulip (Tulipa spp.)
- Yew (Taxus spp.)
A lot of the plants on this list are popular outdoor plants, such as rhododendrons, daisies, mums, and daffodils, just to name a few. Luckily, if your cat is a strictly indoor cat and doesn’t wait for the door to open to bolt outside, it is safe to have these plants in your yard or as landscaping around your home! Just be sure to wash your hands and change any clothes that were in contact with these plants after handling them or weeding around them before you give your cat any loving or before you feed them!
Unfortunately, there also super popular and low maintenance indoor plants that are toxic to cats, such as the familiar pothos plants, also known as “Devil’s Ivy,” and peace lilies.
However, there are also lots of beautiful indoor and outdoor plants alike that are cat friendly, so your feline friend can nibble, chew, and sniff your indoor greenery to their hearts content! Read on to find out what plants are totally safe for your kitty based on your living situation!
Cat-Friendly Plants for Dark or Light Spaces
Some plants do best in low light while others do best in high light, but either way, these plants will get along with your cat!
Whether your living space doens’t have a lot of windows, or they don’t get much direct sunlight where they’re positioned, or if your apartment has abundant sunshine, there is a plant for you and your kitty!
Having plants inside your home can really brighten up any space, whether that space is already sunny or not. A lot of indoor plants also act as natural air purifiers, so you can turn your dusty and cat dander heavy air into fresher and cleaner air. Just make sure you yourself aren’t allergic to any of the plants you decide to bring into your home!
Being both a cat and a plant parent is a rewarding role to take on, but it is important that you know what your plant is going to like in terms of light, space, and water. Just like your cat’s needs are tailored to their personality, you should get to know your plant’s needs and wants too.
For the darker living spaces, there is good news! Not all plants really love a lot of sunshine, and several actually prefer it on the darker side. If your home isn’t the sunniest spot in the neighborhood, you can still be a plant and cat parent, and you’re doing it responsibly knowing that your cat will get along perfectly fine with your plant of choice!
Here are some indoor, cat-friendly plants that love the shade and indirect light!
- Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
- Fittonia (Fittonia albivenis)
- Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)
- Baby rubber plant (Peperomia obtusifolia)
- Areca palm (Dypsis lutescens)
- Chinese money plant (Pilea peperomioides)
All of these plants are relatively low maintenance and pretty hearty plants, but they are also different and bring a different kind of beauty to your home! With so many options, rest assured you can find one that is perfect for your home, yourself, and your fur baby.
On the other hand, if you find yourself living in a bright place with sun facing windows and tons of natural sunlight throughout the day, there are lots of plants that thrive with the sunshine and will love living in your window or bright living space, while also being friendly with your cat.
Here are some indoor, cat-friendly plants that love the sunshine and need direct light to thrive most!
- Papyrus (Cyperus Papyrus)
- Ponytail palm (Beaucarnea recurvata)
- Areca palm (Dypsis lutescens)
- Money tree (Pachira aquatica)
Each of these plants offer lush greenery and promise beauty, but their water and soil preferences are a bit different! If you decide to have one of these beauties in your bright windows, make sure to do thorough research on their likes, dislikes, and basic needs to ensure a happy, thriving plant for both you and your cat!
How to Know if Your Cat Has Been Poisoned By A Plant
Even the most careful owners have had cats acccidentally ingest a poisonous plant - here’s the symptoms to watch out for and what to do!
Cats are naturally mischievous and curious creatures, so it can sometimes feel inevitable that your cat will get into something they shouldn’t at one point or another. Since they don’t know themselves what plants can be harmful to them, any lush greenery that is accessible to them can look like the perfect playtime toy or afternoon snack!
Ingesting, eating, or nibbling on certain plants can be toxic for cats, just as the simple act of brushing against a poisonous plant can irritate their skin.
Common symptoms to watch out for in a cat that has been potentially poisoned by something are pawing at their mouths, drooling, vomiting, having diarrhea, rapid breathing, and skin inflammation.
If you notice any of these symptoms or more severe ones like tremors, seizures, or increased thirst, take your cat to the nearest and most available vet hospital as soon as possible.
Having both a cat and plants in your home is absolutely possible, and plants can really bring a boring space to life! Knowing which plants are not only optimal for your home, but also totally safe for your cat will save you a lot of worry and hassle! There are lots of plants that your cat can freely nibble on and play with, making both you and your furry friend happy.
Happy plant shopping!