What Indoor Plants Are Safe for Cats?


Quick Answer

Safe indoor plants for cats include many common culinary herbs, such as oregano, basil, thyme, sage and parsley. Miniature roses, camellias and African violets are also safe, as are zinnias and gerbera daisies. Boston ferns, parlor palms, Swedish ivy, spider plants and grape ivy are good choices as foliage plants.

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Full Answer

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals maintains more comprehensive lists of plants that are safe and unsafe for cats at its website. Because plants that are safe for one species are not always safe for another, the ASPCA has separate lists for dogs. Pet owners who have both dogs and cats in the house should choose plants that are safe for both species. With cats, safe placement is also a consideration as some cats leap at hanging baskets, creating an injury risk. Cats can also experience mild digestive upsets, vomiting and depression from eating plants that are technically nontoxic to them.

Cats have an instinctive urge to nibble at greenery, and providing attractive plants just for them can save houseplants wear and tear. Most cats like catnip, and many enjoy wheatgrass or plants grown from commercially marketed seed blends for cats. Valerian is another good choice for a cat's personal garden.

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