House plants fill your home with greenery and flowers, adding impact to every room. There's a huge variety to choose from, whether you're looking for bright flowers, height or dramatic foliage. However, if you have a cat, choosing house plants can be a worry, as cats are prone to eating greenery and many house plants are toxic to pets. So, to help you make safer choices, we've created a guide to some of the best cat-friendly house plants to buy.
The charity Cats Protection has a list of indoor plants that are safe for cats, so if there's a plant you would like that's not on our list, their website is a good place to check. You'll also find filters on many house plant websites, such as Patch Plants and Beards & Daisies, which let you search through all their pet friendly plants for sale.
If you're looking for large cat-friendly house plants, why not try a kentia palm or parlour palm? Or perhaps a hanging plant like string of hearts to improve the look of a shelf? There are also lots of easy-to-grow house plants that are also cat friendly, from spider plant to Chinese money plant and even pineapple plant. Whatever type of house plant you're drawn to, we've plenty of options to suit you and your cat.
Pineapple plant (Ananas comosus)
This plant isn't toxic to cats, but you can't eat the pineapple, as it's ornamental. The fruit, which is held on a stem in the centre of the plant is surrounded by attractive, swordlike leaves, making it a striking house plant to have in your home. It does best in a warm, bright spot as it's native to South America.
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H x S: 90cm x 90cm
Cast iron plant (Aspidistra elatior)
The cast iron plant is an easy care plant that’s perfect for beginners. Keep it out of direct sun and it won't need much watering. This attractive plant, with big oval leaves, can cope with some shade and will brighten a dull spot indoors.
H x S: 60cm x 60cm
Boston fern is in Nasa's list of top 10 air-purifying plants, so this is a great house plant to add to your home. It’s native to tropical areas of South America, so needs a warm spot out of direct sun. Keep the compost moist and mist regularly to keep humidity levels high.
H x S: 90cm x 90cm
- Buy Boston Fern from Van Meuwen
- Buy Boston Fern from Patch Plants
- Buy Boston Fern 'Green Lady' from Crocus
Calathea orbifolia is known as the prayer plant, because its leaves fold up at night, like someone putting their hands together in prayer. It has beautiful round leaves with silvery green stripes. Place it somewhere with bright, indirect light and keep the soil moist. Mist regularly.
H x S: 75cm x 40cm
String of hearts
Place string of hearts on a shelf or in a hanging basket where its long stems can trail over the side. Named for its heart shaped leaves, it’s a great choice for a bright spot out of direct sun.
H x S: 1.5m x 10cm
Chinese money plant
Chinese money plant (Pilea peperomioides) is a low-maintenance house plant that will do well in a place that gets bright light. It’s also known as pancake plant due to its round leaves that can reach 15cm across. Water when the soil dries out.
H x S: 30cm x 30cm
Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera)
This attractive cactus is known as the Christmas cactus because it flowers over the festive season. In its native habitat it grows in shady, humid forests, so it will thrive if its compost is kept moist, but not soggy. The flowers are usually red, white or pink, but can also be purple or yellow. Stand on a saucer of wet gravel to increase humidity around your plant.
Flowers: November to January
H x S: 45cm x 45cm
Spider plants are popular for being low-maintenance and they're perfect for beginners. If you’re looking for something a bit different, why not try the variety 'Bonnie', which has been bred for it's extra curly leaves? It will cope with a bit of neglect and it is easy to make new plants from.
H x S: 40cm x 60cm
Kentia palm was a popular plant in Victorian times and is still a classic today, perfect for adding height to the corner of a room. It needs bright, indirect light and will thrive as long as it isn’t placed in direct sunlight or in a draughty spot. Keep the compost moist but don’t overwater and mist every so often.
H x S: 3m x 2m
Perfect for a steamy bathroom, the maidenhair fern has graceful leaves on delicate arching stems. If you don’t have a humid spot, mist it regularly. Keep its compost moist and place in a bright spot out of direct sunlight.
H x S: 50cm x 40cm
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Easy to grow and very low maintenance, house plants are a great way to bring the outside in.
Money tree stores water in its trunk so be wary of overwatering. The plant is said to bring good fortune, hence the name, and it’s not too tricky to look after – water once the top couple of inches of compost has dried out and mist every few days. It needs a bright spot out of direct sun.
H x S: 1.2m x 50cm
Musa acuminata ‘Dwarf Cavendish'
Musa acuminata 'Dwarf Cavendish' is has large leaves, which add an exotic feel to indoor displays. This compact variety shouldn’t reach any higher than 2-3m. Give this plant plenty of light and keep the compost moist.
H x S: 3m x 1.2m
Enjoy the exotic blooms of moth orchids, which flower intermittently throughout the year, up to three times if they are happy. To keep your orchids content and healthy, put them in a humid room such as a bathroom or kitchen. Moth orchids are popular because they are easy to grow. Choose a room where the temperature won't drop below 15ºC.
Flowers: up to three times throughout the year
H x S: 70cm x 40cm
This hairy succulent is also known as the prickle plant, because of the white hairs along its leaves. It's easy to look after – simply place it in a sunny spot and don't water it too often, only when the compost has completely dried out. It's rare to see flowers indoors, but if it does the flowers are small and yellow.
H x S: 20cm x 20cm
Calathea sanderiana, also known as the pin stripe plant, for its large, striking leaves, which have a purple underside. This plant likes a warm room, in a spot that gets bright, indirect light. Mist every few days and water regularly, around once a week or once the top two inches of compost has dried out.
H x S: 60cm x 60cm
Watermelon peporomia (Peperomia argyreia)
This attractive foliage plant is ideal for brightening up a table or shelf in a warm room. Make sure it has bright, indirect light rather than strong sunlight and mist every few days, especially during the summer. It is named for its leaf markings, which resemble the pattern of a watermelon's rind.
H x S: 30cm x 30cm
Zebra plant (Haworthia fasciata)
This succulent looks a bit like Aloe vera, which is toxic to cats, but this attractive striped plant is not toxic and safe for pets. It's often sold as 'Alba'. Make sure that you are buying this particular plant and not something that looks similar. Don't overwater and keep in a bright spot, out of direct sunlight.
H x S: 20cm x 20cm
Grape ivy (Cissus discolor)
Bring colour to your house with this climbing vine, which has stems that can grow up to 2m long. The dark green leaves are variegated, with silver markings and purple undersides. It can be grown as a climber in a pot or placed on a shelf where its trailing stems can hang down. It likes bright, indirect light and regular misting.
H x S: 2m x 50cm
If you want an easy cat-friendly house plant, try the parlour palm. It will add height and impact to any room, with its exotic leaves. The parlour palm can tolerate some neglect, but to keep your plant looking at its best water around once a week in the summer, once the top inch of compost is dry.
H x S: 1m x 80cm
This tender fern makes a good house plant with its evergreen, blue-green leaves that look good year round. A humid, steamy bathroom is the ideal place for Golden polypody, but if that's not possible, mist regularly and keep the compost moist. Avoid overwatering though.
H x S: 1m x 50cm