Blog written by Kristy DeSmit, a cat mom and writer living in Edmonton, Alberta.
Which house plants are safe for your feline friends and which ones should you avoid?
Many of us have seen our cats chewing or pawing at plants, especially grass. The reasons for this attraction are unknown, but it might have to do with the texture or a cat’s need for fiber to help with their digestion.
If your cat explores window ledges and tables where you have potted greenery or floral arrangements, it’s important to check that your plants are non-toxic in case your pet accidentally ingests a leaf, stem, or flower.
While some cats may get an upset stomach when they consume plant matter, not all episodes are life-threatening. However, if you suspect your cat ate a toxic plant, call your veterinarian immediately. Troubling symptoms include repeated vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, or change in appetite, breathing, or heartbeat.
The best precaution you can take to limit your cat’s exposure to toxic plants is to be aware of the types of plants you bring into your home. Check the lists below to see if any of your existing plants could be dangerous. Consider switching those plants out with non-toxic, silk, or plastic alternatives and store your plants in areas that are inaccessible to your cat.
Keep your cat entertained by creating a stimulating space with toys and scratchpads. You could even try growing cat grass to discourage them from getting into your other plants or flowers.
Many plants, herbs, and flowers are cat-friendly. These plants are generally safe to have in your home and around your fur babies:
- African Violet
- Baby’s Breath
- Baby’s Tears
- Bottle or Bamboo Palm
- Cat Grass
- Cat Mint
- Christmas Cactus
- Gerber Daisy
- Herbs (Basil, Cilantro, Dill, Thyme, and Rosemary)
- Most fern varieties (Boston, Bottle, Bold Sword, Hare)
- Phalaenopsis Orchid
- Spider Plant
- Succulents (Blue Echeveria, Hardy Sedum, Haworthia, Sepervivum)
Plant toxicity can vary from mild to severe. These plants and flowers should be avoided as they could be poisonous to your curious critter:
- Asparagus Fern
- Bird of Paradise
- Butterfly Iris
- Calcium Oxalate plants such as Dieffenbachia or Philodendron
- Herbs (Lavender, Oregano)
- Ivy (English, Devil’s)
- Lilies (Day Lilies, Easter Lilies, Lily of the Valley, Red Lilies, Tiger Lilies)
- Sago Palm
- Succulents (Aloe Vera, Jade Plant, Kalanchoe, Ragworts)
If you didn’t find the plant you were looking for on this list, you can search the complete database of poisonous plants for a comprehensive list.
Happy Cat, Happy Home
It’s possible for your house plants and cats to co-exist in the same space. By taking proper measures, such as buying non-toxic plants, hanging or placing plants up high, and ensuring your cat has enough toys to satisfy their hunting instincts, you can create a safe and enriching environment for your cat and a green space for yourself.