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Indoor houseplants that are safe for cats

Indoor houseplants that are safe for cats
by Dr Grant Hampson

Read time: 5 min

Table of contents:

  • Which plants are safe for cats?

  • Risks of toxic houseplants to cats

  • Cat-safe houseplants

  • How KatKin can help your cat be the healthiest it can be

Which plants are safe for cats?

There are many indoor plants which are safe for cats, but we have compiled a top list featuring 11 of our favourites. To ensure your cat is not harmed by plants in your home, let us help you choose from the following selection:

  • Kentia Palm

  • Parlour Palm

  • Maidenhair Fern

  • Boston Fern

  • Chinese Money Plant

  • Calathea (Sanderiana, orbifolia, zebrina, triostar)

  • Dwarf Banana Plant

  • Watermelon Peperomia

  • Spider Plant (Chlorophytum)

  • Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra)

  • String of Hearts (Ceropegia Woodii)

Learn more about each of these cat-safe indoor plants with the help of our guide.

Risks of toxic houseplants to cats

There are a number of houseplants we can enjoy that are safe for our cats. But many plants are toxic. If eaten, there are many different levels of toxicity symptoms from the spider plant that acts as a hallucinogenic for our cats to more dangerous or deadly consequences.

Make sure you keep any plants you know or aren’t sure of out of the reach of any curious paws.

If you suspect that your cat has ingested anything other than their delicious KatKin fresh food, it’s always a good idea to get in touch with your vet.

Plants to absolutely avoid

There are some plants out there that are just plain bad news for our cats. One of the biggest risks are lilies.

These beautiful blooms are loved by many because of their big, bright flowers. But even just one close encounter with a lily can be harmful to your cat.

Every part of the lily plant is toxic for cats – the stem, leaves, petals, pollen, and even the water in the vase. If they ingest any part, it can cause irreparable kidney damage or failure, which can be fatal within 3 days.

The most common way your cat might accidentally eat some lily is by brushing up against the flowers. The pollen is very sticky and attaches to their fur, which they then lick off while grooming. If you think your cat might have ingested some lily, you should take them to your vet immediately.

Signs your cat ate something they shouldn’t have

If your cat shows the following signs, they probably got a bit too nosy and eaten something they shouldn’t have.

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhoea

  • Drooling/salivating excessively

  • Confusion or incoordination

  • Loss of appetite

  • Extra thirsty

  • Having fits or seizures

  • Irritation of the eyes, gums, or skin

  • Lethargic/unwilling to move

If they have a sudden onset of any of these symptoms, make sure you take them to the vet ASAP to get them checked out.

Cat safe indoor houseplants

Despite the scary side effects of the toxic plants, thankfully, there are plenty of indoor plants that you can have in your home that won’t harm your cat. Hooray!

Kentia Palm

This beautiful palm originates from a small island off the coast of Australia, and came to the UK in the 1800’s. Being an indoor plant, safe for cats, it has become increasingly popular - understandably so, who can deny that luscious green? Keep it in low to medium light and watch those leaves fan out.

Parlour Palm

Another long-leafed vision in green, this indoor plant comes from Mexican and Guatemalan rainforests. For this reason, it prefers higher humidity and bright indirect light (much like our cats do). Not only is it cat-safe, but it has air-purifying qualities. What’s not to love?

Maidenhair Fern

This cat-friendly fern has soft-looking fronds with bright green, flat leaves. It grows on waterfalls in the rainforest and requires a lot of moisture, which is ideal for a kitchen or bathroom. But don’t let your cat get too close – their leaves turn brown if they’re touched too much.

Boston Fern

Sticking on the fern train – the Boston fern is another tropical, cat-safe indoor plant, this time from South America. The Boston fern is probably what comes to mind when you imagine a fern houseplant – they’re loved for their fluffy-looking stems and easy-to-care-for nature.

Chinese Money Plant

This disc-leaved, cat-friendly plant (which can grow up to 15 cm in length) is originally from the Yunnan and Sichuan provinces of southern China. This particular houseplant was first known to come to the UK in 1906 – that’s over a century of money-making. We just hope they put it in an ISA.

Calathea (Sanderiana, Orbifolia, Zebrina, Triostar)

You might recognise Calatheas; there are several dozen species of them in various shapes and sizes and typically have eye-catching green and white leaves with a purple underside. All variations of this plant are safe for your cat.

Dwarf Banana Plant

Despite its name, the dwarf banana plant can actually get pretty large. While we can’t confirm whether you’ll get to harvest your own bananas, we can guarantee that it’s cat-safe. Thanks to their tropical origins, they love hot, humid areas with plenty of sunlight – perfect for your conservatory.

Watermelon Peperomia

The leaves on this indoor plant are safe for cats, and look good enough to sink your teeth into with leaves resembling your favourite summer fruit. Luckily if your cat decides to have a taste, they’ll be totally fine. Bonus fact – they’re pretty easy to care for, as well as being rather fun to look at.

Spider Plant (Chlorophytum)

Spider plants are a bit of a funny one for cats. We’re sure you’re no stranger to this spindly number. In the wild, it’s most commonly found in tropical parts of Africa and Australia, but in the UK, they’re very happy sitting in your bedroom or lounge. These long-leafed plants are technically safe for cats, however, they are very partial to having a nibble. Why? The leaves have hallucinogenic effects and make your cat feel a little high. So enjoy your spider plant but keep out of reach.

Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra)

Cast iron plants are as sturdy as their name suggests – they’re almost impossible to kill. Tall, with beautiful deep-green leaves, these are really unique plants to keep in your home. They originated from China and Vietnam and are a good starter plant for anyone wishing to start their green-fingered journey.

String of hearts (Ceropegia Woodii)

We’ll end our list of safe indoor plants for cats with a KatKin favourite, and not just because they are very easy to look after. The sweet, heart-shaped leaves of this viney plant are totally iconic and they are a home-gardening favourite. Hang it on a high shelf with the leaves dangling down – just make sure your cat can’t swipe the leaves off, it’ll look very sad otherwise.

How KatKin can help your cat be the healthiest it can be?

Now you have all the information about safe indoor plants for cats, you have our permission to go forth and truly embrace being the plant parents we know you are. But remember, cats aren’t herbivores (as much as they like to think they are). Feeding your cat the most nutritious fresh cat food is the best way for your feline to thrive.

That’s because here at KatKin, we use 100% fresh-cooked human-quality meat, providing your cat with the natural diet they were born to eat. Plus, we tailor the calories specifically to your cat so that they get exactly what they need every day. (And then, when they’ve had their dinner, they can take a nap under your lovely new plants). Try our fresh food today, and see your cat flourish alongside your plants.

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