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The appeal of houseplants is understandable—the verdant gems instantly freshen up a room while helping to improve one’s creativity. However, it can be a shock that many popular house plant varieties, such as monsteras, lilies, pothos and aloe vera, are highly toxic to cats. There's always a chance that even the most-behaved pet will be tempted to nibble on the leaves, so it's vital that your indoor greenery is deemed nontoxic. If you already have a few plants hanging around your home, we recommend checking out the ASPCA's extensive list of indoor and outdoor plants to avoid if you have pets. For those looking to invest in new greenery, we've gathered a list of our favorite houseplants that are safe for your cats. From low-light beauties to tropical gems that thrive in the bathroom, these plants will boost your mood—and your cat's too.
Bird’s Nest Fern
This wavy-leafed fern thrives in high humidity and indirect sunlight, making it an ideal option for your bathroom. To ensure your plant thrives, make sure to water your plant at least once a week, but never directly in the center of the plant—this can lead to rot in the plant's dense nest.
Resilient and adaptable, spider plants are a great option for those with not-so-green thumbs. These leggy beauties survive both in a range of lighting conditions and only need to be watered once a week. Plus, spider plants have been shown to help remove toxins from the air.
This striking plant gets its name from the reptilian-like patterns adorning its wavy leaves. While you only need to water the sun-loving plant once a week, it's a good idea to spritz its leaves if they are looking a little dry or less vibrant. Also, the calathea rattlesnake exhibits a phenomenon where they move their leaves from day to night—surely, your cat will be thoroughly entertained by the movement.
Tropical Delight Guzmania Bromeliad
Add a little tropical flair to your living room with the help of a bright bromeliad. Place your plant by a bright window and only water it once per month—this will encourage its flowers to bloom as brightly as possible. You should also be prepared to mist your plant often, as bromeliads naturally thrive in high-humidity climates.
Pilea Peperomioides Plant
The pilea peperomioides, more commonly known as the Chinese money plant, is a popular option for those looking for something low-maintenance but eye-catching. Stick it in a sunny area of your home and water it only when the top soil is dry, and you're bound to have a bountiful money plant. Pro tip: peperomioides are prone to getting mealybugs, so make sure to wipe down the saucer-like leaves often.
Neanthe Bella Parlor Palm
Not all palms are pet friendly, but the ASPCA says the parlor palm is nontoxic to cats. Native to the rainforests in Mexico and Guatemala, the tropical beauty thrives in bright, indirect light. If you notice the tips of the fronds turning brown, this means your plant could benefit from the occasional misting.
This unexpected choice brings a sense of elegance into a room with its silvery, gray-green leaves and sculptural shape. Olive trees require at least 6 hours of direct sunlight to survive, so try putting it near a south- or west-facing window. Let the soil dry out at least halfway down the pot before watering.
Dark Purple Orchid
They may be a little high maintenance, but there's not a more sophisticated houseplant than an orchid. These flowering plants do best when placed in a warm, humid spot in your home that gets a fair amount of indirect light. You can expect the flowers to wilt and fall, but if you continue to care for your orchid thoroughly, it will bloom the next season.
For those that love to cook, basil is a safe and versatile herb to keep on your kitchen counter as it's nontoxic to pets (even if they decide to take a nibble). You'll want to keep your mint and oregano plants out of reach from your cat though—it can cause them to have digestion issues if consumed.
Earning its name for its charming shape, the hoya heart will lend a playful air to your home office. The succulent thrives in bright direct light, but it can tolerate bright indirect light conditions. Also, it's best to wait until the soil is completely dry in the pot before watering your hoya.
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