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10 cat-friendly houseplants that are easy to take care of

Is your furry critter stopping you from getting plants? Here are 10 cat-friendly houseplants that are pretty easy to care for

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Illustration by Alex Cochran, Deseret News

You’ve always wanted to have houseplants, but you have two problems: you aren’t good at keeping plants alive and you have cats. Some cat owners might be hesitant to get plants for their homes since certain plants can be toxic for animals. Cats are notorious for sinking their paws, and their teeth, into wayward objects around the house.

If you’re a cat owner dreaming of owning a few plants, your dream can become a reality. Here’s a list of cat-friendly houseplants that are easy to take care of.

Cat-friendly houseplants

Just because you have a few critters running around your home doesn’t mean you can’t try out your green thumb. Check out these pet-safe houseplants.

  1. Spider plant.
  2. Boston fern.
  3. Air plants.
  4. Peperomia.
  5. Ponytail palm.
  6. String of heart plant.
  7. Echeveria.
  8. Polka dot plant.
  9. Baby tears.
  10. Rosemary.

Spider plant

Spider plants are a plant beginner’s favorite. Their long, spindly leaves can grow quite quickly (with proper care). Plus you only need to water them once a week — but since spider plants are so thirsty, they’ll be OK if you accidentally overwater them.

But most importantly, spider plants aren’t toxic. So if you catch your cat nibbling on your spider plant, it’ll be just fine.

Plant care: If you’re a plant novice, you’ll love spider plants. Here’s how to keep your spider plant happy.

  • Place in bright or moderate, but indirect, sunlight.
  • Water once a week.
  • If possible, keep in a humid spot in your home.

Boston fern

Boston ferns are beautiful, bright green plants that’ll brighten up any space. Easy to hang (and keep out of your cat’s paws!), Boston ferns are a classic houseplant, known for their pointy foliage and small leaves. When it comes to Boston ferns, patience is key — they have a reputation of growing slowly.

Plant care: Boston ferns are a little more high-maintenance, but still fairly easy to take care of.

  • Keep in a stable environment, with decent humidity and warmth, and medium indirect sunlight.
  • Water often to avoid too-dry soil.
  • Mist your Boston fern daily.

Air plants

It seems like air plants defy nature — how can a plant thrive without soil? Luckily, because they don’t require soil, these little plants are easy to care for. Air plants are probably the lowest maintenance, and the coolest, plant on this list of cat-friendly houseplants.

There’s another bonus to air plants: you can easily hang them, keeping them out of reach of your furry friends.

Plant care: Taking care of your air plant will be a piece of cake.

  • Place in bright to medium indirect light.
  • Keep away from AC/heating units to avoid drying out.
  • Soak in a bowl of water, for 20 to 40 minutes, every one or two weeks.


If you’re looking for a colorful plant to liven up your home, peperomia would be a great choice. Peperomias are known for their thick leaves that can come in a variety of colors — green, red, purple, marbled and much more. They’re also forgiving if you neglect them for a week, making them ideal for plant beginners.

Plant care: Peperomias are relatively easy to care for.

  • Plant in a pot with drainage holes.
  • Keep in a spot with medium to bright indirect sunlight.
  • Water every one to two weeks — make sure the soil is completely dry before watering.

Ponytail palm

Ponytail palms are adorable little trees that can thrive both outside and inside. When kept as a houseplant, they’re often kept in shallow pots and can stay quite small. But over time, they could potentially grow as high as six feet tall.

Luckily, when kept inside, ponytail palms are very low maintenance. Both you and your pet will love keeping this little palm in your home.

Plant care: Since ponytail palms are from semi-desert regions, they’re easy to care for.

  • Try to place in the brightest spot in your home.
  • Water every one to two weeks — make sure not to overwater your plant.

String of heart plant

If you’re a fan of plants with a lot of vines, you’ll love a string of heart plant. String of hearts have long vines covered in heart-shaped leaves, so they’re ideal for hanging pots. And since they’re succulents, string of heart plants are easy to take care of.

A quick warning — even though string of hearts are cat-safe house plants, there’s no guarantee that you can keep your string of heart safe from your cat. You might find your furry friend batting at the vines every once in a while.

Plant care: String of hearts grow fast and are great for beginners.

  • Keep in indirect, filtered sunlight.
  • Water once a week, but make sure the soil is completely dry before watering.


When you picture a succulent, chances are you’re probably picturing an echeveria. They have a pretty floral shape and thick green leaves, making them incredibly popular among those with a black thumb. They’re typically quite small, but can grow to up to 12 inches tall over time.

Plant care: Because they’re succulents, echeverias are easy to care for.

  • Keep in bright, direct light.
  • Water when soil is dry — usually once or twice a month.

Polka dot plant

Polka dot plants are known for their colorful, polka-dotted leaves. They’re typically pink with green spots and will add a nice splash of color to your space. Polka dot plants typically stay small when grown as houseplants, so they’re ideal for a spot on your bookshelf or desk.

Plant care: Polka dot plants require a little more maintenance.

  • Place in bright, indirect light.
  • Water when the top half-inch of the soil is completely dry.

Baby tears

Baby tears add a breath of fresh air — they spill out of their pots with shorter vines, covered in small leaves. While baby tears are typically grown outdoors, they can thrive just as well indoors. And baby tears can grow quickly when they’re properly cared for.

Plant care: Baby tears are easy, once you get used to them.

  • Keep out of direct light and place in filtered light.
  • Water as soon as the leaves wilt.


If you’d like to grow some herbs that are safe for pets, rosemary is a great option. Not only are rosemaries a great plant to keep on your kitchen windowsill, but you’ll get access to fresh herbs anytime. Rosemary grows well indoors, but a quick warning: it could grow to be pretty large.

Plant care: Keeping rosemary indoors isn’t complicated.

  • Keep in bright, direct sunlight — no shade.
  • Water as soon as the a few top inches of soil are completely dry.

Plants that are toxic to cats

Hopefully you’ve been inspired to buy a few of these pet safe houseplants. Now you know what plants to look for, but here are some plants that are toxic to cats:

  • Lily.
  • Aloe vera.
  • Pothos plants.
  • English ivy.
  • Eucalyptus.
  • Rubber plant.
  • Snake plant.
  • Dumb kane.
  • Sago palm.
  • Philodendron.