Houseplants make beautiful additions to our home. The only problem is that many popular plants are very toxic to dogs and cats. If your pet is curious enough to sample a leaf or stem, they may end up unwell very quickly. To help keep our pets safe, we’ve assembled a list of the best cat friendly plants that still look beautiful in your home.
We’ve curated this list across different plant types – ranging from ancient palms, tropicals, and desert cacti – to help you find the perfect plant that’s also pet-safe for your furry friends. We also made sure the plants featured here are easy to care for, readily available at your nursery and affordable, so any pet parent can bring some greenery home.
The Ponytail Palm is a great plant to bring home whether you find a tiny version to adorn your windowsill or a bigger variety that you grow in a large pot on the floor. It brings the miniature look of a full-sized tree to a scale right for your living room. The Ponytail Palm also lives a secret identity – it’s not a palm or a tree: it’s actually a member of the agave family! Regardless of its origin, it has a distinct look with it’s pronounced trunk and care-free leaves. Adds a Bohemian vibe while also being perfectly cat and dog friendly in case your pet samples a leaf or two since the Ponytail Palm is completely non-toxic and safe for pets. It’s easy-going nature and non-toxic makeup make the Ponytail Palm our top pick for cat friendly plants.
If your heart is set on a true palm for your home that’s also safe for your cats or dogs, look no further than the Parlor Palm. Also a top pick of ours for its air purifying qualities and gorgeous dark green leaves, the Parlor Palm is an all-around great plant that is also non-toxic to pets. We love Parlor Palms because they are affordable and readily available at local nurseries in a variety of different sizes, making it easy to find the perfect palm for your home.
While not the easiest plant to care for on our list, if you’re looking for a plant to add some indoor tropical vibes while being 100% pet safe, the Stromanthe Triostar is a great bet if you’re not a plant newbie. The beautiful leaves with colorful green, pink and cream swirls will add beauty to any interior.
Stromanthe Triostar can be a little fussy though, requiring well-balanced humidity and waterings to truly thrive. If you’ve mastered caring for Prayer Plants or other Calatheas, the Stromanthe Triostar will likely be an easy addition to your plant collection.
For a truly unique plant that is also incredibly safe for pets, take a look at the Staghorn Fern. These plants get their name from the dramatic, antler-like appearance of their leaves. These plants can be grown in a variety of different ways – kept in a traditional plant pot, a hanging basket, or even mounted to a board.
In the wild, these plants attach themselves to trees and can reach many feet in diameter. They are easy to care for as long as you keep them hydrated and ensure that your home as medium to high humidity. Allowing your Staghorn to get too dry will lead to decline. If you’re up for a truly unique looking plant, a Staghorn Fern can be a great addition to your home that’s also one of the best cat friendly plants.
Korean Rock Fern
Another member of the fern family, Korean Rock Ferns sport a more classic look compared to their Staghorn Fern cousins. With delicate fronds and lush green leaves, they are the icon fern that date back to 360 million years ago! Taking home one of these is literally taking a step back in time to an ancient world.
Like other members of the fern family, they require high humidity and regular water to balance keeping their soil moist without keeping the plant in standing water and soggy conditions. If you’re up for the task, a Korean Rock Fern can be a great, cat friendly plants to bring home!
Another tropical stunner that also does best in medium to high humidity households is the Calathea Rattlesnake. The beautiful textured leaves make an instant statement alone, or it can compliment an existing collection of tropical plants you may already have. And the best part: it’s completely non-toxic to cats and dogs if accidentally ingested.
Like other members of the Calathea family, the Rattlesnake variant loves moderate amounts of humidity and water, and does well with medium to bright indirect light.
For those who crave a truly unique (and tiny!) plant that’s also amazingly adorable, the Hoya Sweetheart may be a great plant for you – or to gift to a loved one! This cute, heart-shaped plant is easy to grow and is also pet safe for very curious cats and dogs that may be even more curious than you are about this plant.
The Hoya Sweetheart can also be found in it’s traditional all-green appearance, but nurseries are also starting to stock variations of the classic Hoya, with beautiful cream swirls to make this plant as unique as you.
As the name implies, the Holiday Cactus is a desert plant that becomes popular during the holiday season since that’s also when the plant creates beautiful pink flowers. And unlike the toxic Poinsettia plant which is another holiday staple, the Holiday Cactus is one of the best cat friendly plants you can take home at any time of the year.
While they are cactus plants, Holiday Cactus plants love conditions a little less extreme than traditional cacti. They require some humidity and regular waterings, although they prefer to remain on the drier side. They make great plants at any time of the year but will be especially beautiful during the end of year holiday season where established plants that are receiving the right care will reward you with beautiful purple-pink blossoms.
The Spider Plant is a great addition to our list of the best cat friendly plants. Not only is it non-toxic, but its branching nature leads it to be a popular hanging plant, hopefully helping it avoid curious cats and dogs entirely. Very long leaves with variegated green and cream patterns define this plant, adding a cool, boho vibe to any room.
They’re easy to care for and can thrive in most indoor environments, making them not just great for pets, but a pick as an all around great houseplant. Beyond its chill nature, Spider Plants are great at air purification, making them one of our top picks for plants that can remove dangerous chemicals from the air.
Last but not least is another great Calathea pick – the Calathea Pinstripe. At first glance, this plant may not appear to be real. It’s enchanting purple leaves with narrow pink detailing make it one of our top picks for purple leaf plants for more experienced growers.
While not impossible, Calathea Pinstripes do best in medium to high humidity environments and will decline quickly without regular waterings. But they are worth the extra care for their beautiful foliage. If you’re looking for a truly unique plant and up for the challenge, the Calathea Pinstripe is a truly statement piece houseplant that has the added benefit of being safe to grow around pets.