I think it’s safe to say that we all love a houseplant. Here in the My Three Cats household, we have tons of them. The two main plants that we have are spider plants and orchids, both being cat-friendly house plants. It is very important to know what houseplants you are bringing into your home for the safety of your cat(s).
Benefits to houseplants
Before we get to the cats (a sentence I never thought I’d type), I thought it would be good to discuss why we like to have houseplants in the first place. Not only do they enhance the appearance of our homes, but studies also show that houseplants: boost moods, increase creativity, reduce stress and eliminate air pollutants. Speaking shortly, houseplants make us feel good.
Toxic houseplants and their symptoms
Knowing the symptoms that can show on cats if they have consumed a toxic houseplant is beneficial. Here is a list of symptoms of poisoning:
- Breathing difficulties
- Difficulty swallowing
- Excessive drinking/frequent urination
- Overall weakness
- Irregular heartbeat
- Rashes/red skin
- Ulcers in mouth
- Pale gums
Looking on the Cats Protection website, I found a very useful page showing toxic/non-toxic plants. The website lists toxic plants as well as plants to take caution around. This is because they may not necessarily be toxic, but some parts of the plant could cause harm. I would highly recommend having a little look at this site: https://www.cats.org.uk/help-and-advice/home-and-environment/dangerous-plants
Three of the most common toxic houseplants are:
- Lily (all parts of a lily are toxic to cats)
- Mistletoe (all parts of mistletoe is toxic to cats)
- Hyacinths (the bulb of hyacinth is toxic to cats)
Some plants are not necessarily toxic but caution is advised:
- Aloe vera
- Asparagus fern
- English ivy
- Jade plant
- Bird of paradise
Enough of the bad plants, let’s go through some cat-friendly houseplants. I have found my research for this section from PetPlan who make it very clear that just because a plant isn’t considered toxic, doesn’t mean it won’t make your pet ill. I guess that goes for a lot of things though really? Sweets aren’t toxic to humans but if you eat too much you’re bound to feel sick.
Not to be confused with a money plant which is a jade plant, “Pachira aquatica” are low maintenance for artificially lighted areas. They like moderately humid rooms and can be watered until water runs from the drainage holes (they should also be dried out between watering).
In most cases, Hibiscus plants are safe for cats, but the Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) is a type of hibiscus that can harm animals. They require bright, humid conditions with good ventilation, protected from direct sunlight. Indoor hibiscus needs lots of water in hot weather and much less in cold weather. You should water until you see it come out of the drainage holes.
Whilst spider plants are considered non-toxic to cats, it is still advised that cats eating the leaves may pose a potential risk. Spider plants contain chemical compounds that are said to be related to opium – these compounds can result in an upset stomach, vomiting and diarrhoea. They like even moisture and are to be kept in bright to moderate indirect sunlight.
Herbs – including basil, sage and rosemary
Most herbs are safe for cats. Garlic and chives are the most dangerous for your cat – all members of the allium family (onions, leeks, scallions and shallots) are toxic to felines. Even a small ingestion can cause damage to their red blood cells, leading to anaemia or even death.
Growing catnip requires minimal effort or care. Catnip is definitely not toxic to cats, however, like most things, if they eat too much of it they can get an upset stomach leading to vomiting or diarrhoea. Catnip doesn’t need much water, but if you see it wilting, give it a deep watering.
Knowing your cat-friendly houseplants
There are just a few of the most common cat-friendly houseplants that you can keep in your homes. Will you be getting any of these to spruce up your house? Or do you already have any of the plants?
Information in this post has been created by research and opinions of My Three Cats. We do not provide medical advice. If your cat experiences any issues regarding cat litter, please get in touch with your vet immediately.