As is well known, houseplants provide a good indoor climate, good air quality and are also extremely decorative. But as an owner of one or more cats, caution is advised. In addition to many plants that are cat-friendly, there are some that can be dangerous and are sometimes even poisonous. You can find out what these are and which plants you can safely place in your home in the following article.
Which houseplants are good for cats?
Fortunately, there are some cat-friendly plant species that are compatible with the green thumb of cat owners. This means you don’t necessarily have to give up your preference for a green home once a cat enters your home. Please remember that every cat reacts individually to substances. The saying “the dose makes the poison” should also be kept in mind. If your cat nibbles excessively on plants, provide it with cat grass, for example, and clear away decorative plants. Get medical advice to see if gastrointestinal problems are the cause.
Safe cat plants
Suitable plants for chewing:
Your cat can nibble on these plants as long as they are untreated:
- Ornamental grasses: cat grass, catnip, valerian, cat chamomander, wheat grass, oat grass, callisia repens, meadow (sow grass seed in a pot as a resting area).
Suitable decorative plants:
- Green lily (caution: seeds are poisonous and must be removed)
- Anise hyssop
- Money tree
- Banana plant
- Blueberry bush
- Coconut palm
- Chinese reed, “gold bar” (Attention: danger of cutting)
- Dwarf pepper
- Curry herb
- Staghorn fern
- Maidenhair fern (Venus hair)
- Herbs: lavender, lemon balm, mint, marigold, parsley, basil, dill, fennel, sage, chervil, lovage, dandelion, thyme, marjoram
- Woolly creeper
- Cyprus grass (beware of cutting)
- Mountain palm
Tip: Some cats love to nibble on plants. By offering your pet other options – such as cat grass or similar – your furry roommate will have a less plant-damaging and more cat-friendly alternative.
Caution: Be careful when choosing fertiliser. It is better to use natural fertilisers and avoid the use of pesticides and the like.
Plant-proofing your cat household.
When a cat moves in with you, you should check your household for harmful plants.
- Identify any existing plants and check their toxicity. If you are unsure, it is better to separate them. Alternatively, put them in an inaccessible room or hang them in hanging baskets (inaccessible to cats).
- Sort out all poisonous plants. Maybe there are neighbours or friends who would be happy to have a green roommate. 😊
- If a decorative plant is nibbled on a lot by your cat, put it away.
- Observe your cat’s preferences and place suitable plants (cat grass, etc.) for him.
- Provide variety. Many cats nibble plants out of boredom.
Which houseplants are poisonous to cats?
Keeping or caring for cats means responding to the cat’s needs in a species-appropriate way and taking care of its safety. When choosing houseplants, the well-being of our beloved little darlings should always be taken into consideration. Some houseplants are (extremely) poisonous and can even cause life-threatening side effects in our graceful fellow inhabitants – usually when eaten. You can find poisonous plants and other poisonous things here.
Good to know: Not only the plant parts can be poisonous, also fertiliser in the potting soil, flower water in the saucer and various pesticides can lead to symptoms of poisoning in the cat. If you suspect poisoning, consult a veterinarian immediately.
Furthermore, it is well known that the dose makes the poison. With some plants, even the smallest amounts are enough to cause poisoning in cats. Keep in mind, however, that even the most non-toxic plant can cause unpleasant side effects if eaten in large quantities.
Unfortunately, many of the most popular houseplants are anything but cat-friendly. Nibbling on the plant parts or drinking the flower water can cause serious poisoning symptoms. Either make sure that your cat does not have access to these plants, or buy only non-toxic plants for cats.