“What greater gift than the love of a cat.” - James Herriot
Cats and Your Plants
Plants to Avoid
Protecting Your Plants
Our cats are always trying to figure out how things work - our homes, and sometimes even our hands, show evidence of their curious scratching, rubbing, licking, and biting. There always seems to be something new to explore at home, and our house plants aren’t immune to the inquisitive paws (and mouths!) of our feline housemates.
Cats and Your Plants
While you might look at your house plant and think it seems harmless, many of our favorites can be toxic to cats! Knowing which plants are safe or not, is very important to make sure our house is healthy and happy - for all our friends that call it home.
At first, it seems a little silly that our carnivorous kitties would be trying to take a snack on our leafy plants. Our cats are actually driven by instinct to nibble on plants at home. Even your cat knows that a healthy diet, with some leafy greens, is helpful for getting all the different vitamins and nutrients they need! While their instincts encourage them to take a nibble, what they don’t know, is which plants are good to chew on or not. It’s important for pet owners to make sure that there are no tempting green treats at home their pets could end up getting hurt by!
Plants to Avoid
Some classic houseplants are actually among the most dangerous for your feline friends! Plants like Azaleas, Boston (and other types of) Ivy, Cacti, Daffodils, and especially Lilies are among the biggest culprits. These plants are beautiful and very popular, but could have very upsetting, and even life-threatening, side effects for your pets. Seeing as your cats won’t know the difference between these and other leafy guests in your home, it’s best to be cautious or avoid these plants if you have pets.
While there are some plants that could be dangerous for your cat, it certainly doesn’t mean that you can’t have a home full of beautiful foliage! There are lots of cat-friendly options to choose from for a home that’s safe for your entire family. Here’s some of our favorites:
Bird’s Nest Fern: This fern has striking, spear-shaped leaves and a reputation for growing right on trees like a bird’s nest! They are an excellent pet-friendly choice. This fern will thrive at room temperature with a mix of direct and indirect sunlight. An East-facing window is the ideal location to get your plant best of the gentle morning light. Make sure that you keep the soil moist, but avoid dampening the leaves - this will maintain healthy roots while avoiding rot. These ferns are the best of everything: easy to care for, while also being safe for your cat if they steal a nibble.
Stromanthe Triostar: This plant is sure to steal the spotlight in your home with its gorgeous red, green, and white foliage. Stromanthes have unfairly earned a reputation as divas that are difficult to care for. The trick to keeping yours happy and thriving is to keep the humidity high. This tropical native will thrive with the right moisture. Try misting often, or keeping a tray with water and pebbles nearby (or directly under your plant!), so they can benefit from the evaporation to make their own little tropical oasis. With some ample bright but indirect light, this is a stunning plant that performs year round - while keeping your cat safe.
Spider Plant: These plants are nearly foolproof! Not only are they exceptionally easy to care for, but their elegant, long leaves make for a striking statement in your home. These plants are 100% safe for your cats, and will love you back by helping to purify the air of your home! All your Spider Plant needs is a little light and occasional watering. The combination cat-safe and air-cleaning powers of this plant make it the best choice for a happier and healthier home.
Protecting Your PlantsJust because your plants are non-toxic doesn’t mean that we are enthusiastic about our cats chewing them to bits! Your cat might be craving vitamins, but sometimes they can go a little overboard. Try keeping your plants out of easy reach for your kitties by wall-mounting or hanging them. There are also some sprays that are safe for your plants and cats, but serve as a deterrent. Try spraying vinegar or Bitter Apple to discourage wandering mouths.
Houseplants and a cat-friendly home can easily go hand in hand. To make sure that your home is safe for all of its inhabitants, take a minute to look up any new plants you want to bring home and make sure that everyone benefits from your new floral friends.