Filling your home with colorful and vibrant houseplants can bring a sense of peace and make you feel a bit closer to nature. You can fill any home with a bit more color and a bit more life with just a few tropical plants. However, when you have little feline friends in the house, it’s important to have cat-friendly house plants around to keep them safe.
Although some plants can add flair and natural beauty to your living room, sometimes the most beautiful ones can potentially be toxic to cats. Some house plants can grow leaves that are poisonous to consume, so it is crucial to keep these plants away from your cats. Still, it’s impossible to completely keep curious cats away who loves to explore around the house and nibble on new plants.
Let’s take a look at some potentially harmful house plants and our favorite non-toxic ones! Learn what can happen if your cat accidentally eats a house plant and what to do if they do!
Are All House Plants Cat-Friendly?
Unfortunately, not all house plants are cat-friendly. Some plants have toxic properties that, when consumed, can cause severe health effects on the gastrointestinal tract that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other more serious issues.
An example of a toxic house plant is the Dieffenbachia plant. Although it has gorgeous, large green leaves, the Dieffenbachia can irritate and cause swelling around a cat’s mouth if ingested. In severe cases, it can lead to severe vomiting and diarrhea.
Another common house plant that can cause problems for cats and dogs is the Aloe plant. Despite having many medicinal uses, the aloe plant quite toxic when consumed by pets. Aloe contains anthraquinone glycosides which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in pets.
One more house plant that you should keep out of a cat’s reach is the Caladium. The Caladium is a lovely and unique-looking plant with splashes of red dots on its light-green leaves. However, the Caladium plant contains calcium oxalate crystals that can cause pain, drooling, and difficulty swallowing in pets. Remember to keep these plants out of your pet’s reach!
What Does It Mean for a House Plant to Be Cat Friendly?
A cat-friendly house plant is a plant that will not bring about any negative effects if your cat accidentally consumes any part of the plant. Even though cats shouldn’t be eating any house plants, you never know what mischief they might find themselves in. However, as long as there are no harmful toxins in the plant, those plants should be perfectly safe to have around the house.
Another way to ensure that a plant is pet-safe is checking if the plant is ASPCA-approved. The ASPCA or the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is an organization founded to “provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.”
The ASPCA is dedicated to ensuring all animals are provided safe environments. Any ASPCA-approved plant does not contain any harmful toxins, so you can rest assured that your cat will be fine.
What Happens if a Cat Eats a Toxic House Plant?
Depending on the kind of plant your cat gets into, there are a few possible symptoms your cat may show if they eat a toxic house plant.
- Difficulty breathing
- Irregular heartbeat
- Allergic reaction
Some house plants may cause a few of these symptoms simultaneously, while other plants can cause even more severe effects. Some toxic house plants can cause kidney issues, heart problems, and difficulty with digestion if not treated immediately. If your cat accidentally eats a toxic plant, you should first remove any plant material from their hair, skin, and mouth. Keep a close eye on them to ensure they do not experience any negative effects.
If you notice any unusual signs, you should take your cat to the vet as soon as possible to avoid any serious health issues. Your vet may prescribe your cat medication to encourage your cat to vomit to rid its system of any toxins they may have consumed from the plant.
What Are the Best Cat-Friendly House Plants?
You still want to decorate your house, but you also don’t want your cat to get sick if they eat your plants. Here is a list of some wonderful house plants that are safe and will spruce up your living room. These plants are also ASPCA-approved, so you can ensure that they are safe for cats.
Air Plants are unique and can add a fun twist to any living room. These plants are easy to take care of because they do not require soil, and they are capable of being place anywhere in a room, even as a hanging plant from the ceiling. More importantly, even if you catch your cat trying to nibble on an Air Plant, rest assured that they are safe for pets.
Parlor Palms are short, growing only about two feet tall, but can add plenty of character to any room. With its lush green leaves sprouting from its bamboo stems, the Parlor Palm promises tranquility and peace. Knowing that this plant is also safe for cats will also bring you some peace of mind.
Calathea Prayer Plant
Another small plant that can grow up to eight inches, the Calathea Prayer Plant can grow beautiful, bright-green striped leaves that immediately catch your attention. The Calathea is an excellent plant to keep on a bookshelf or a small desk while not overwhelming the rest of the decor. Besides being relatively low maintenance to grow, this plant non-toxic and pet friendly.
Despite being named after a venomous creature, the Rattlesnake Plant is one of the most popular cat-friendly house plants. Part of the Calathea family, the Rattlesnake Plant is a fabulous-looking specimen that desires attention. The Rattlesnake Plant has green leaves with unique patterning and purple underneath.
Yet another intimidating name for a plant, but rest assured, the Spider Plant is also very pet-friendly. The Spider Plant is a playful and quirky house plant with long and spiraling leaves sprawling out from every side. Spider Plants are excellent for any beginner plant owner because of its low maintenance, allowing for a rewarding growing experience.
Polka Dot Plant
The Polka Dot Plant is easy to spot because of its lovely coloring of pink and green, growing up to three feet tall. Not only does the Polka Dot plant spark plenty of light in any setting it is placed, but this plant is also pet-friendly and non-toxic. So you can enjoy all of its beauty without worrying about your cat getting sick.
The Rubber Plant is a treasure of a house plant because it can grow up to ten feet tall, is non-toxic, and is extremely vibrant with its textured green leaves. Not only is the Rubber Plant extremely pet-friendly, but this plant removes the toxins from the air. So if you want to buy some pet-safe plants, the Rubber Plant is a good way to go.
Related: Rubber Plant Care: Top 9 Tips for Easy Growth & Maintenance
Ponytail Palms are one of the most popular house plants in the world. They are not toxic to pets and can thrive under almost any light condition (bright light to indirect sunlight to low-light environments). This plant can withstand some neglect even if you forget to water it from time to time!
Also known as the Sword Fern, the Boston Fern makes a beautiful and fashionable hanging plant with it’s arching, sword-shaped leaves. Although it is completely safe to have around pets, you can put the Boston Fern in a hanging basket to display in your kitchen or patio. Plants aren’t meant to be consumed, so having a few hanging plants to brighten up your room is perfect to keep away from your cat.
The Christmas Cactus is another one of our favorite indoor plants for its brightly-colored pink and lilac flowers! This amazing houseplant has long-hanging stems that make it perfect to hang in your kitchen or living room during the holidays. More importantly, the flowers and plant aren’t toxic at all and won’t cause any harm to your precious pets!
Related: Christmas Cactus Care: How to Keep Your Cacti Alive & Healthy
Where Can I Buy Cat-Friendly House Plants?
If you are looking for somewhere to purchase a couple of pet-friendly plants, look no further! Planted Pot has you covered. We at Planted Pot strive to provide consumers with beautiful and eye-catching plants that will bring to life any room in your home. Some of our best-selling, cat-friendly house plants available on Planted Pot are the Spider Plant and the Calathea Rattlesnake. Both are excellent choices to add a bit of nature to your house while providing an environment safe for cats.
Final Thoughts – Cat-Friendly House Plants
Providing some natural color to your home with house plants can be rewarding as long as your cats are safe. The last thing pet owners want to do is bring their furry friend to the vet because they swallowed a poisonous leaf.
Doing your research before purchasing any house plant and making sure they are ASPCA-approved will help determine if whatever plant you choose is pet-friendly. After all, you want a beautiful household that’s safe for your beloved cat!