Live greenery and florals add welcomed color and interest to any indoor décor. They’ve also been proven to increase indoor air quality, and the results of several studies have either proven or suggested that indoor plants can also effectively reduce stress levels, boost productivity, sharpen attention span, and can even improve your overall outlook on life. Given the many therapeutic benefits they provide, combined with the fact that they enhance visual appeal, it’s easy to see why you’re considering bringing in a houseplant or a few into your home.
While there’s no denying that live plants offer a wealth of benefits, there’s just one problem: the kitty that lives with you. Felines are curious by nature. They love to explore and always seem to be sticking their nose into places where they don’t belong. A houseplant is sure to spark your furry companion’s curiosity and there’s no doubt that she’s going to sniff around and maybe even gnaw on the leaves and blooms from time to time. Try as you might, every cat parent knows, no matter how much you try to train them, felines tend to be obstinate (love them as you do, you have to admit that’s true) and will do whatever they please.
With that said, if you’re thinking about bringing live greenery into your home, you really need to take your kitty into consideration. Several species of houseplants are toxic to felines, which means that if your four-legged friend rubs or munches on them, there’s a chance that she could experience an allergic reaction and in the worst case scenario, could even perish. Sure, you could put your plants in out-of-the-way locations, but let’s be honest: cats are agile and can perform serious acrobatic feats, so even if you think you’ve found a safe spot, there’s no telling if your furry-faced buddy will get into trouble. So, how can you avoid a potentially dangerous and very sad situation, yet still fill your house with plants? The solution is simple: opt for species that are known to be non-toxic to cats. By doing so, if your kitty decides to make a leaf a mid-day snack, you won’t have to worry about any adverse reactions and dire consequences – though we can’t promise that you won’t have to clean up a mess.
To ensure the health and safety of your furry friend, we’ve put together a list of feline-friendly houseplants for you. The following plants aren’t only beautiful, but they’re also ASPCA-approved, so they won’t harm your kitty. With any of these species, you’ll be able to fill your home with beautiful living accents that will purify your indoor air, enliven your décor, and allow you to take advantage of all of the other benefits that houseplants provide. As an added bonus, many of the varieties on this list are also safe for dogs, so if you have pooches, you can rest easy knowing that your entire furry family will be safe from harm.
With a name like “Cat Grass”, it’s only fitting that we start our list of feline-friendly houseplants off with this species! It’s ideal for cats. Not to be confused with catnip, which is a member of the mint family of plants and kitties also love, cat grass, on the other hand, it’s a specific type of plant, but rather, is a mixture that’s derived from the seeds of a variety of plants; barley, oats, wheat, and rye, for example. Not only is cat grass safe for your kitty to eat, but it’s actually good for her! That’s because it’s packed with nutrients, so if she does end up nibbling on this houseplant, she’ll get a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals; in fact, you might even encourage her to chew on the leaves!
Cat grass is super-easy to grow. You can purchase kits at your local pet store, which will come complete with everything you need to get your kitty-friendly houseplant started, including the seeds, the soil, and even the container. Simply assemble, set it in a spot where it will receive plenty of sunlight, and water as needed. Within about a week, it should start to bloom. With cat grass, you’ll not only have an interesting houseplant, but your furry friend will also have her vey own organic garden that she can munch on safely.
Bird’s Nest Fern
Next on our list of feline-friendly houseplants is the bird’s nest fern, which also seems fitting, as cats do tend to love birds. Native to rainforests, bird’s nest ferns grow high up within the crooks of trees in their natural habitat. They feature a collection of spoon-shaped fronds that stand erect and arise from a rosette in the middle of the plant. The fronds are bright green in color and can grow up to 5 feet long; however, when grown indoors, the fronds usually reach a maximum length of 2 feet.
Bird’s nest fern does require a bit more care than other species of feline-friendly houseplants. They require ample amounts of warmth, moisture, and humidity, so a sunny spot in a bathroom would be the ideal location. As long as it receives these three requirements, a bird’s nest fern should flourish. A simple, yet lovely houseplant, the bird’s nest fern is, of course, non-toxic to kitties, so there’s no need to worry if your four-legged friend explores.
In our opinion, the orchid is one of the most stunning cat-friendly houseplants. There are literally thousands of varieties, many of which are natural, and many more hybrids that have been created by horticulturists. No matter what variety you choose, orchids feature showy blooms that grow on a tall, thin stalk, which are accented by thick, deep green leaves that extend out of the base of the plant. Orchid blooms can be virtually any color of the rainbow, including shades of red, pink, purple, white, yellow, orange, and even green and blue! No matter what color you choose, there’s no doubt that orchids will create a stunning display to your home.
Of course, because they’re on our list of feline-friendly plants, you won’t have to worry if your kitty takes a nibble. To further add to the appeal, orchids are super-easy to care for. In nature, with the exception of desserts, orchids grow in virtually every climate, and indoors, as long as they’re provided with plenty of sunlight and are watered when the surface of the soil starts to feel dry, orchids should flourish indoors.
We’re sure the name has piqued your interests; after all, who couldn’t use a little more money? While this plant provides a different types of green, we think it’s just as valuable – if not more so! Money tree, also known as “Guiana chestnut”, is a species of tree that is native South and Central America. While it grows in nature in these locations, thanks to its hardiness, the money tree has become one of the most popular houseplants; particularly among cat parents.
The money tree became popular as a houseplant in the 1980s in Taiwan, where it was commonly used among homeowners who practice the art of feng shui, as it is believed to usher in positive energy. The trunk of the tree features three, five, or seven stems, which are braided by nurseries to create a unique look. At the top of the tree, thick, glossy leaves that are dark green in color that form into a spike at the end grow. The money tree grows quickly indoors, and can add up to 2 feet in height each year. In nature, they can reach up to 60 feet tall, but when used as a houseplant, they usually don’t stand more than 8 feet tall; however, if you’d prefer to keep it smaller, like a bonsai, you can train the money tree. To ensure it maintains its health, the money tree just needs to receive adequate water and sunlight.
Red Prayer Plant
The red prayer plant is simply stunning. The leaves are thick and have a glossy finish, and around the edges, they’re dark green in color, while a vibrant green hue spans down the center of each leaf, and reddish-pink veins span stretch out from the central vein. It’s dubbed the “pray plant” because the leaves lay flat during the day, and at night, they fold up, similar to praying hands. The prayer plant grows relatively slowly, but once it reaches full maturity, it can stand up to a foot tall. They’re exceptionally popular houseplants, not only because they’re stunningly beautiful, but also because they’re animal friendly, making them a popular choice among pet parents. While there’s no denying that the prayer plant is stunning, it’s important to note that it’s one of the most high-maintenance plants on our list of ASPCA-approved cat houseplants. These tropical plants need conditions that mimic a greenhouse in order to thrive; they need to be kept warm and moist, require a gentle flow of air, and ample fertilizer. If they’re kept in conditions that are too cool or too dry, they can lose their leaves and even develop fungal infections. On the other hand, if they receive too much sunlight, the leaves can become faded brown splotches can develop on the leaves.