The qualifications for a perfect indoor plant may be a bit different for pet lovers. You may try to browse plants at a nursery but end up thinking, “This plant is beautiful, but what happens when my cat nibbles on it or knocks it over?” Fortunately, just because your furry friend is top priority doesn’t mean you can’t have an indoor jungle. Here are the top five cat-friendly indoor plants that can live harmoniously with both cats and humans.
1. Boston Fern
Boston ferns are considered nontoxic to both dogs and cats. This makes them a great alternative to some other ferns and similar plants such as asparagus ferns, which do have toxic effects.
Because they’re so full and bushy, your ferns probably won’t much care if your kitty takes a few bites of the lower leaves. And often, these ferns are so densely planted that a cat won’t find any loose soil in the pot to use as a litter box.
Another benefit is that Boston ferns look great in heavyweight wrought iron plant stands that are too solid for a cat to knock over. If you don’t have the floor space for that, ferns can thrive in hanging baskets as well.
2. Cat Grass
If your cat likes to chew on houseplants, cat grass may be the perfect way to give him or her something green to chew on. Like the other plants on this list, cat grass is non-toxic. But it’s also fast-growing, so when your cat instinctively chews on it, the grass will quickly recover.
Although it may not have aesthetically interesting leaves like some other houseplants, cat grass can be a great wellness plant for you and your cat. You can grow it in a box (the size of a litter box or larger) so your kitty can use it as a bed as well as snacking on it. Your cat, and maybe even your bare feet, will appreciate having a tiny lawn indoors, especially in the middle of winter.
3. Air Plants
Air plants, also known as tillandsias, can be the ideal choice if your cat views every potted plant as a litter box. Because they absorb both water and nourishment through their leaves, these plants can survive and even thrive with literally no dirt in sight.
Air plants are also one of the easiest type of plant to suspend by a window where your cat can’t reach them. But this is mostly for the plant’s sake since air plants don’t grow back quickly. If your cat does take a bite out of one, don’t worry; they aren’t toxic to cats.
Hoyas are trailing, waxy-leaved plants that come in several shapes and colors. Not only are they non-toxic, cat-friendly indoor plants, but they’re great for hanging in baskets or placing on a high shelf. These placements allow the elegant vines to trail down at their leisure.
If your cat does manage to break a piece off of a hoya, these vines can take root easily to grow you a whole new plant. Keep in mind that if your pet does eat too many hoya leaves, he or she may throw up. Even though considered non-toxic, the leaves are also indigestible.
5. Some Succulents
Succulents are a mixed bag. But the good news for pet owners is that several of these cute, trendy plants are totally cat-friendly indoor plants. Once you’re armed with a plant identification app, you can safely buy succulents such as Haworth, echeveria, and burro’s tail without worry.
Once you’ve chosen your succulents, simply place them in a covered fairy garden, a hanging succulent wreath, or even a tiny pot that’s glued in place so your cat won’t knock it over. One benefit of choosing tiny plants is that if there’s only a square inch of soil in the pot, your cat probably won’t try to use it as a litter box.
These plants are all relatively carefree and offer plenty of cat-friendly benefits in addition to being nontoxic. With a little extra planning, designing your pet-safe indoor jungle can be easy and fun.
Check out our website for other great indoor plants and their benefits.