16 Safe Plants for Cats [Vet-Approved]

A cat surrounded by photos of safe plants for cats

Thinking of adding more greenery to your space? If you’re a cat parent, you may be asking: what plants are safe for cats? Many pet parents are wondering if spider plants, succulents, vine plants, basil plants, and so on are safe for cats.

Sploot Veterinary Care is here to give answers! We’ve rounded up the most commonly asked questions regarding safe plants for cats. Read on to learn how to have a cat-friendly collection of plants at home!

What’s in This Guide

A cat in a field of flowers representing safe plants for cats

1. Is the Spider Plant Safe for Cats?

Spider plants are loved for their air-purifying qualities and easy-care nature, Spider plants add a touch of greenery while keeping indoor air fresh. 

Is Spider Plant safe for cats? The good news is that this simple but beautiful plant is safe for cats. The ASPCA lists the spider plant as non-toxic to cats.

2. Are Succulent Plants Safe for Cats?

  • Scientific name: varies
  • Safe Plant for Cats?: Some species are safe; some species are toxic

There are many kinds of succulent plants. Generally, these plants are loved for their diverse shapes, colors, and low-maintenance requirements. In addition, succulents bring a modern elegance to any space — whether they’re placed on a desk, a bookshelf, or anywhere else in the home.

So are succulent plants safe for cats? This depends on the species of the succulent; some are safe for cats while other species have toxic properties. We recommend checking these plants’ cat safety (or toxicity) from a species level —as there are numerous sources generalizing succulents as a safe plant for cats.  

As a starting point for plant lovers, here are species of succulents that are safe for cats:

a. Blue Echeveria (Echeveria secunda)

This is the quintessential succulent with chunky leaves forming a rose-like pattern. Nothing beats a classic — and the good news is that this plant is non-toxic to cats.

b. Zebra Haworthia (Haworthiopsis attenuata)

This unique succulent adds an exotic touch with its dark green leaves and white stripes. The good news is that this succulent plant is also feline-friendly and considered non-toxic to cats.

c. Burro's Tail (Sedum morganianum) 

Well-loved as a hanging plant with long formations of chunky leaves, the burro’s tail is not a succulent that one commonly sees. It’s a great conversation starter or a succulent alternative to other types of hanging plants. The good news is that burro’s tail plants are considered non-toxic to cats, making it an excellent plant for households that have a cat.

d. Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii)

The Christmas cactus is not a true cactus. Furthermore, it doesn’t quite look like a cactus either; its smooth, spineless, chunky ‘leaves’ (which are actually flattened stems) are spread out — with beautiful, fuschia flowers here and there. Like the other succulent plants in this section, the Christmas cactus is non-toxic to cats.

A Christmas Cactus, one of the safe plants for cats
Christmas Cactus

3. Are Vine Plants Safe for Cats?

  • Scientific name: varies
  • Safe Plant for Cats?: Some species are safe

Admired for their trailing beauty and versatility in both hanging baskets and climbing arrangements, vine plants add a lush, cascading charm to indoor environments. 

So are vine plants safe for cats? The good news is, there are certain vine species that are considered non-toxic to cats, such as the following:

a. Swedish Ivy (Plectranthus australis)

Swedish Ivy features trailing stems with rounded, scalloped leaves. It's easy to grow and makes an attractive hanging plant. The Swedish is also one of the vines that are safe for cats and is even recommended by the Pet Poison Helpline as a pet-safe plant.

b. Lipstick plant (Aeschynanthus radicans)

A trailing plant with bright red flowers that resemble lipsticks, the lipstick plant or lipstick vine gives any home a welcome splash of color. Just like the Swedish ivy, this plant is safe for cats and is also recommended by the Pet Poison Helpline as a pet-safe plant.

4. Are Basil Plants Safe for Cats?

Cherished for their aromatic leaves and culinary versatility, basil plants provide freshness and fragrance to the home (and to home-cooked meals). 

So are basil plants safe for cats? If you plan to keep a basil plant in your home’s herb garden, the plant is safe for your feline companion.

5. Are Palm Plants Safe for Cats?

  • Scientific name: varies
  • Safe Plant for Cats?: Some species are safe

Revered for their tropical allure and ability to evoke a sense of paradise, palm plants bring a touch of exoticism to indoor landscapes.

So are palm plants safe for cats? This depends on the species of the palm plant. As a starting point for cat parents looking to get cat-friendly palm plants, here are species that are considered safe for cats:

a. Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans)

A graceful houseplant adorned with delicate, feather-like fronds, lending an air of botanical elegance to indoor settings. The parlor palm is a safe plant for feline companions and is considered non-toxic to cats.

b. Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata)

Characterized by its distinctive swollen trunk and cascading, ribbon-like foliage, the Ponytail Palm is a low-maintenance succulent tree that adds a quirky yet stylish accent to indoor settings. This unique, palm-tree-like plant is also considered non-toxic to cats.

c. Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens)

With its graceful arching fronds and air-purifying qualities, the Areca Palm introduces a sense of relaxation to any interior space. The good news is that this species of palm is also considered non-toxic to cats, making it a welcome addition for homes that have cats.

An areca palm, one of the safe plants for cats
Areca Palm

6. Are Bamboo Plants Safe for Cats?

  • Scientific name: Bambusoideae
  • Safe Plant for Cats?: Yes, if the plant is considered a true bamboo.

Esteemed for their graceful appearance, rapid growth, and symbolism of prosperity and luck, bamboo plants infuse spaces with a serene and auspicious atmosphere.

So are bamboo plants safe for cats? ‘True’ bamboo, is considered non-toxic to cats. A few examples of true bamboo plants include the following:

a. Golden Bamboo (Phyllostachys aurea)

Whether the golden bamboo plant is meant to be a striking focal point or a gentle privacy screen, its rustling leaves and delicate demeanor evoke a sense of tranquility and natural beauty. Being an example of true bamboo, this plant is also non-toxic to cats.

b. Black Bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra)

Black bamboo is a captivating bamboo species that adds depth and sophistication to any space, inspiring admiration and fascination. This species of bamboo is also classified as “true bamboo”, a group of plants that are not considered toxic to cats

Note:  The non-toxicity of ‘true bamboo’ is worth emphasizing in this section because lucky bamboo and heavenly bamboo, which are NOT ‘true bamboo’ plants (but still have the name ‘bamboo’), are considered toxic to cats. 

7. Is Money Tree Safe for Cats?

Treasured for its distinctive braided trunk and folklore of attracting wealth and good fortune, the money tree is a popular choice for plant lovers. The good news is that this lucky plant is also safe for feline companions.

A money tree, one of the safe plants for cats
Money Tree

8. Are Rosemary Plants Safe for Cats?

Valued for its fragrant foliage, culinary uses, and simple beauty, rosemary plants bring both flavor and charm to kitchens and gardens. If you’d like to add this to your herb garden, this plant is a safe addition for households with a cat. Rosemary plants are considered non-toxic to cats.

9. Is Boston Fern Safe for Cats?

Adored for its feathery fronds and ability to thrive in low-light conditions, Boston ferns add a lush, verdant elegance to indoor spaces. The good news is that this sturdy indoor plant is also safe for cats.

A boston fern, one of the safe plants for cats
Boston Fern

Final Thoughts on Safe Plants for Cats

As a final reminder, we encourage cat parents to check if a plant is safe or toxic to cats before bringing the plant home. To learn more about common toxic plants for cats, check out our article: Toxic Plants for Cats to Avoid.

Aside from the comprehensive articles by Sploot Veterinary Care, the vast databases of the ASPCA and Pet Poison Helpline are great references.

Sploot Veterinary Care: Primary & Urgent Care for Cats

At Sploot Veterinary Care, we offer primary and urgent care for cats, all under one roof.  Whether you need a routine wellness exam for your cat, a quick check-up, or pet urgent care, we are here for you. 

Our vet clinics are open 365 days a year, until 10 pm. We welcome same-day appointments as well as urgent intakes. Feel free to book an appointment online or through the Sploot Vets app — as for urgent intakes, feel free to call our team.

Till next time, we’re with you every pounce of the way!