Top 10 pet safe houseplants

Houseplants add life and beauty to our homes while contributing to better air quality and increased mental wellness. However, if you’re a pet owner, it’s important to be cautious about the types of plants you bring into your space as some can be toxic to our furry friends.

Houseplants can be a great addition to any home, providing beauty and air purification benefits.

However, if you’re a pet owner it is important to take caution when selecting houseplants as some species may be toxic to our furry friends. From Lilies to Aloe Vera, many common plants have the potential to cause serious harm if ingested by cats or dogs.

Do you know which houseplants are safe for your pets? Read on to find out more.

Why are some houseplants toxic?

Some house plants contain toxins which can be harmful to animals when ingested. These toxins may cause irritation to the digestive system, vomiting, drooling, nausea and difficulty breathing. Some of these toxic compounds can even damage vital organs such as the liver and kidneys.

Calcium oxalate is a type of chemical compound found in some houseplants that can be toxic to pets. When ingested, the calcium oxalate crystals can irritate the mouth and throat, leading to drooling, vomiting and difficulty breathing. Ingestion can also cause longer-term health problems such as kidney damage and potentially even death.

Common houseplants known for their high levels of calcium oxalate include: Philodendron, Dieffenbachia, Monstera deliciosa, Caladium, Elephant Ears, and Peace Lilies.

While these plants are beautiful additions to any home or garden, pet owners should take extra care when bringing them into the home and consider where they will be placed or opt for pet-safe houseplants.

Fortunately, there are so many pet-friendly houseplants can satisfy your green thumb and add life to your home, all while keeping your pets safe.

Top 12 pet-friendly houseplants

Here’s a closer look at our top 12 pet-friendly houseplants:

  1. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum): Known for its hardiness and ability to thrive in low light conditions, the spider plant is a classic choice for both plant enthusiasts and pet owners. It’s non-toxic to pets, easy to care for and can hang from baskets or shelves or sit on countertops.

  2. Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata): Another popular choice for pet-friendly houseplants is the Boston Fern. It’s a great choice for those looking to add a pop of green to their home and is known for its ability to purify the air in your space. 

  3. Prayer plant (Maranta leuconeura): The Maranta or prayer plant is known for its vibrant foliage, which is marked with bold, colourful patterns. It’s the perfect houseplant for a tabletop or desk as it's small, yet visually interesting. Another non-toxic houseplant.

  4. Haworthia: If you’re looking for a sturdy and visually interesting succulent option, the Haworthia is perfect. It has thick, spiky leaves that come in many colours and is well-suited to small pots or containers. It’s also incredibly low maintenance, making it a great choice for new plant parents.

  5. Neanthe Bella Palm (Chamaedorea elegans): This palm is also known as the parlour palm or the good luck palm. It’s a popular option thanks to its bushy foliage. The Neanthe Bella is very low maintenance, requires minimal watering, and is non-toxic to pets too.

  6. The Kentia Palm (Howea forsteriana) is a beautiful houseplant that is often used as a decorative piece in home and office spaces. It's a low-maintenance palm species with graceful, arching fronds that can reach up to 10 feet in height when fully grown. With lush, green leaves they are a great statement plant. Plus they thrive in medium light conditions, making it a wonderful choice for any room in the home.

  7. Asparagus Fern: Despite the name, the Asparagus Fern is not actually a fern but a flowering plant from the lily family. It’s an attractive indoor plant with delicate, green foliage and small white flowers. As far as care goes, it prefers moist soil and bright, indirect light, making it ideal for placing in a bathroom or other humid area.

  8. Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra elatior): If you’re looking for a low-maintenance option that requires minimal light and watering, the Cast Iron Plant is for you. Its thick leaves give it the ability to withstand extreme temperatures, and it can even survive in the dark corners of your home. It’s non-toxic to pets and has a sleek look that adds elegance to any space.

  9. The Money Tree (Pachira aquatic) is a popular choice for pet owners. This evergreen tree is known for its braided trunk and vibrant, glossy green leaves. It can reach heights up to 10 feet when fully grown, making it an excellent statement piece in homes and offices. Despite its large size, the Money Tree is incredibly easy to care for and requires minimal watering and sunlight to thrive.

  10. Echeveria: This succulent is characterized by its plump, rosette-shaped leaves which come in a wide array of colours, from dusty blue to deep purple. It’s easy to care for, as it can go days (or even weeks) without water, making it ideal for those who may forget to water regularly. Echeveria is non-toxic to pets.

  11. Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera): The Christmas Cactus is known for its vibrant, festive blooms that appear around the holiday season. This cactus variety is non-toxic to pets and has low levels of acidity, which can cause skin irritation in some animals. It’s also easy to care for, requiring minimal sunlight and watering.

  12. The Staghorn Fern (Platycerium Bifurcatum) is a unique looking houseplant that's non-toxic to pets and easy to care for. It's characterized by its large, flat fronds that resemble the antlers of a deer and can be hung from the wall or placed on shelves or tables. The Staghorn Fern will thrive in bright, indirect sunlight, and prefers high levels of humidity. For optimal hydration, mist the fronds regularly with water. 

What are the best pet friendly houseplants for dogs?

Some of the best pet-friendly houseplants for dogs include species that are pretty robust and can handle a bit of knocking over...or chewing!

Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata): This evergreen perennial is one of the most popular houseplants and is known for its dramatic, long leaves with yellow edges.

Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens): This hardy palm is known for its lush green foliage and ability to tolerate low light conditions. It’s a great option for homes with pets since it’s non-toxic and fairly low maintenance, requiring minimal watering and pruning every few months.

Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum): Mentioned above - but this classic houseplant has been around since Victorian times and still remains a popular choice today due its easy care requirements and attractive foliage. The Spider Plant grows quickly, producing new shoots that cascade down from the main stem like spider legs. It prefers bright, indirect light and moist soil, but doesn’t require too much attention overall.

ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamifolia): If you want a plant that looks impressive without being high maintenance, then this could be a great option! The ZZ Plant has glossy green leaves that resemble bamboo stalks which makes it an eye-catching choice for any room in the home.

What are the best pet friendly houseplants for cats?

Cats are famously curious creatures and may be more likely to sample houseplants than dogs. Fortunately, there are plenty of pet-safe options for cats as well!

We've found that cats like to jump up and play with hanging foliage, so if you're going for cat-safe plants like a String of Hearts, Rex Begonia Vine (Cissus dicolor), Spider Plants or Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera) be careful of your cat pulling bits off and maybe position high up.

Ferns are a great choice for cat owners. Boston fern, Maidenhead fern and the Golden polypody (Phlebodium aureum) are all safe choices with cats around.

If you want some flowers, try moth orchids.

Or opt for plants with striking leaves like the Prayer Plant (Maranta leuconeura) or Calathea orbifolia or Chinese money plant (Pilea peperomioides).

If you want something more exotic try a Pineapple plant (Ananas comosus).

For a complete list of plants that are safe for cats, check out this list from Cats Protection

No matter your lifestyle or home decor style, there’s a pet-friendly houseplant out there for you. From hardy ferns to colourful succulents, these houseplants are perfect for adding life and personality to your home while keeping your furry friends safe.

We hope you found this blog post helpful! If you are looking for more information on houseplants, be sure to check out our other blog posts.

And if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us! We would love to help you choose the perfect plant for your home!