No one knows why cats love houseplants so much. Perhaps it’s the leaves they love to eat or the plant’s smell. However, not all plants are great for cats. Some may be deadly. Knowing and understanding the kinds of plants that suit your pets is up to you.
Every pet owner would love a guide to return to whenever they encounter a problem involving plants and their cats. Moreover, low-light indoor plants are always a plus since pet owners often have less time to care for other things in their homes.
Off the top of our heads, Spider Plants, the Watermelon Vine, and even some succulents are safe for cats and could be a great addition to your home.
Here’s a helpful guide to the different kinds of low-maintenance houseplants. Perhaps one of them could be a good fit for you.
What is Toxic for Cats?
Do you know what’s great about cats in the USA? There are just so many different kinds! But every one of them has one thing in common. They love to jump into and sleep in anything and everything but their homes.
They look for places with direct sunlight or high shelves that are out of reach. You cannot prevent a cat from fiddling with your houseplant, so investing in one safe for cats is best.
Every plant has its personality, much like cats. Different kinds of succulents, pothos plants, and even snake plants can be highly toxic for cats. One plant can be a lot more harmful than the other. Since cats are used to nibbling on leaves, we need to look for plants that will not upset their stomachs.
Toxic plants can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and burns. If your cat has ingested a large quantity of a plant, it is best to go to the doctor for an opinion.
Brightly colored plants in the United States, such as many flowering plants and some groovy succulents, could contain toxins that can harm a cat’s stomach lining. Moreover, any plant that oozes or sprays a liquid when threatened, or even plants with thorns, can hurt your cat.
You should especially protect kittens and unique breeds such as Persian or Punchface cats. Crossbreeds are often prone to allergies and get sick quite quickly.
Kinds of Houseplants that are Toxic for Cats
You should consult your doctor before deciding the kind of houseplants you wish to bring into your home. Different breeds are allergic to various plants, and proceeding with caution is best.
According to PetMD, here are some plants you should steer clear of;
- Castor Bean (Ricinus communis)
- Autumn Crocus (Colchicum autumnale)
- Azaleas and Rhododendrons (Rhododendron spp.)
- Mum (Chrysanthemum spp.)
- Cyclamen (Cyclamen spp.)
- Yew (Taxus spp.)
- Lily (Lilium sp.)
- English Ivy (Hedera helix)
- Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis)
- Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum sp.)
- Devil’s Ivy (Epipremnum aureum)
- Spanish Thyme (Coleus ampoinicus)
- Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta)
So the next time you look for plants, perhaps the list above could come in handy when crossing out toxic plants.
Why are Flowers Bad for Cats?
Lily plants and some other flowering plants are dangerous for cats because of the pollen within the flower. This is one of the major causes of kidney failure in cats. If someone has recently gifted you lilies, keep them out of reach from your cats.
Signs Your Cat Needs Urgent Care
Recognizing symptoms in time can save your cat from plant poisoning. Here are some of the common signs that show poisoning in cats.
- Irritation or burns and itchiness situated around the mouth
- Swollen and watering eyes or mouth
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Difficulty breathing
- Liquid dripping from the mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Excessive thirst
Contact your family vet urgently and bring in your cat for a check-up if these symptoms persist.
Are Some Low Light Indoor Plants Safe for Cats?
So now that you know all the plants that can be toxic for cats, what about plants that are safe for cats? The question is, can you keep houseplants if you have cats?
The answer is yes. You can opt for many different kinds of low-light indoor plants, even if you own multiple cats.
Many indoor houseplants pose no threat to the animals that coexist in the same space. Here are the top 8 houseplants safe for cats in the USA.
Prayer Plant (Scientific Name: Marantaceae)
So what if you can’t have a flowering plant? There are still many plants that you can own which will be safe for your indoor cats. The Prayer Plant is one such kind. These plants love humidity, so feel free to place them in your bathroom once a day and turn on the hot shower.
Make sure you do not expose them to fluctuating temperatures, or they may give up on you. These plants are well known to flourish in low light, even though bright sunlight can lead to a better color on the leaves.
Prayer plants are great for meditation. Who wouldn’t want to pray near a plant that raises its leaves towards the sky during the night? That’s where they get their name from!
Nerve Plant (Scientific Name: Fittonia Verschaffeltii)
Now here’s a plant with an odd name. You must be wondering why they are called nerve plants. Perhaps it’s because of how sensitive they are!
Nerve plants are not low-maintenance houseplants. Even though they are safe for cats, growing them can be challenging. This is because they do not tolerate a lot of sun or heat. Their leaves are highly sensitive and are best kept away from direct sunlight.
These low-light plants need good soil and humidity to grow and flourish. Install drainage holes in your pot and make sure you plant them deep in the soil.
Spider Plant (Scientific Name: Chlorophytum Comosum)
Cats love spiders, and they love spider plants just as much! These low-maintenance houseplants are great air purifiers! This means that they are healthy both for you and your cats!
These low-light indoor plants are known to remove formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene from the air. These chemicals exist in our atmosphere due to paint thinners, paints, and oils, along with the carbon dioxide emission from our cars.
The chemicals can cause vision and hearing loss in the longer term, along with loss of memory or motor skills. They have the same effect on pets, so it’s excellent that Spider Plants can remove them from our atmosphere.
Spider plants cannot absorb much water, and it’s best to water them sparingly or plant them deep within loose soil to drain out the excess water. These plants do not need direct sunlight. You can leave them in indirect sunlight, and they’ll continue to grow relatively fast.
Caring for this plant will give you vibrant colors, beautifully shaped leaves, and close to no demands. You do not even need to water it that often.
This low-maintenance plant is safe for cats and great for interior design. If you want that boho look, get a Rattlesnake Plant.
These plants are not that hard to care for. They must also be placed in loose soil that drains out excess water. You can keep changing their soil for the best results and put them in direct sunlight so their leaves don’t burn off.
Instead of watering the leaves of your plants directly, invest in a spray that you can use to spritz water onto them. This will prevent your plant from dying before its time is up.
African violets can be placed on shelves, in the corner of rooms, and in high places. Try to avoid putting these flowers in cold temperatures. African Violets can survive in low light; short bursts of direct sunlight can help them bloom better.
African violets are known to bloom throughout the year. All they need is some care. Do not throw water directly onto the leaves of flowering plants, try to periodically fertilize their soil, and avoid overexposure to extreme temperatures.
These plants may seem dangerous, but they will cause no harm to your cats. They are known to be deadly for flies but are precious plants otherwise. Venus Flytraps are low-maintenance, low-light plants comfortable with short bursts of direct sunlight.
Try to place your Flytrap in areas where it can feed on flies all year round. Try to provide natural, undistilled water to your Venus Flytrap once in a while and keep it relatively wet.
These plants are every cat’s delight. They grow quickly, stay low, and are beautiful decorations for hanging pots or terrariums. They are also easy to get and look a lot like moss.
Try not to expose this plant to direct sunlight, which can burn its leaves. Unlike the other plants mentioned above, this plant likes staying moist, so water it often.
Last but not least, here’s a plant that will require some legwork! These ferns are safe for cats and are a great investment. Boston Ferns will keep you busy as you try to set the conditions ideal to help them grow.
Moist soil and indirect sunlight are Fern’s best friends.
How to Prevent Cats From Getting Into Dangerous Plants
If you really want to keep some houseplants, low-light indoor plants that are not safe for cats, some tricks can prevent them from getting into the plants.
Make Them Inaccessible
The best way to prevent a cat from getting into a plant is to seal it off or take it away and place it in a room where your cats aren’t allowed. Keep the doors closed and locked, and ensure the cats cannot access the room even if they want to.
Plants in High Places
You can always hang plants from the ceiling. Make sure there is no way a cat can jump on them, using the support of the wall beside it.
Place a cover of beads or stones onto the soil of your plants. This will make the soil inaccessible to a cat and prevent her from digging up the plant.
Distract the cats through treats or catnip!
Explain to the cat that the plant is out of reach. Try to use the reward and punishment method, using treats.
You have many choices when it comes to plants safe for cats in the USA. You even have a choice to invest in houseplants that are toxic for cats, as long as you take the necessary precautions.
Make sure you invest in houseplants that are safe for the whole family. This includes your pets. These pets depend on you for survival, and so do the plants. Try to give both of them a safe environment in which they can flourish.
Both plants and pets can be great companions. However, you need to treat them with the same respect that they give you. Choose safely, choose wisely, and always consult a doctor!
You may also like the following houseplant articles:
- How Much Oxygen Does a House Plant Produce?
- Why Are My House Plant’s Leaves Curling Up?
- How to Kill House Plant Bugs
- Why Is My House Plant Dying
- Why is My Houseplant Wilting
Hi! I’m Sophia, and I love plants – especially an expert in growing house plants. I stay in Chicago, United States of America, and through my blog and social media platforms, provide tips and tricks on how to grow healthy, vibrant plants indoors. Check out more here.