Showing posts with label non-toxic plants. Show all posts
Showing posts with label non-toxic plants. Show all posts

Monday 13 May 2024

Nine house plants safe (non-toxic) for domestic cats

Here are nine houseplants which are safe for domestic cats. It is nice to see a list of safe houseplants because so many articles write about plants that are dangerous for cats. And many plants are. The most dangerous, as you might know, is the Lily but here are some safe ones.

Baby Rubber Plant: according to a very good source, the ASPCA, this plant is safe for cats and dogs. The plant likes filtered light and the potting soil should have plenty of organic material. It's a plant which helps to remove impurities from the air and I believe it comes in different shades of green and variegation.


Ponytail Plant - Ponytail Palm - Beaucarnea recurvata

The Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata) is a captivating houseplant with a unique appearance. Despite its name, it’s not a true palm but belongs to the Asparagaceae family. Here are some key details:

  • Appearance: It features long, slender, arching leaves that resemble a ponytail, hence its name. The swollen base of its stem gives it the nickname “elephant’s foot.”
  • Size: In the wild, it can reach up to 4.5 meters (about 15 feet), but indoors, it typically grows to around 2.5 meters (8 feet).
  • Care Tips: Light: Place it in bright, indirect light (near a north-facing window or set back from a south/west-facing window).
  • Soil: Use free-draining houseplant compost.
  • Watering: Water sparingly—allow the compost to dry out completely between waterings.
  • Pruning: It doesn’t require pruning, but you can trim brown tips for aesthetics.
  • Winter Care: Reduce watering during dormancy.
  • Pet-Friendly: Good news—it’s not toxic to cats or dogs!

African Violet - Saintpaulia

African violets, also known as Saintpaulia, are charming little houseplants prized for their vibrant blooms and fuzzy leaves. They are not actually violets, but rather part of the Gesneriaceae family, and are native to the tropical rainforests of Tanzania and Kenya in eastern Africa.

Here are some tips for caring for African violets:
  • Light: African violets prefer bright, indirect light. Avoid placing them in direct sunlight, as this can scorch the leaves.
  • Water: African violets should be watered from the bottom to avoid getting water on the leaves. Allow the soil to dry slightly between waterings.
  • Humidity: African violets prefer high humidity. You can increase the humidity around your plants by placing them on a tray filled with pebbles and water, or by using a humidifier.
  • Temperature: African violets prefer warm temperatures, between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Fertilizer: African violets can be fertilized with a weak solution of liquid fertilizer once a month during the growing season.

Spider Plant: These are pretty, grow well when hung (keeping them away from most cats), and quickly produce new leaves and baby plants if nibbled upon.

Rattlesnake Plant: Also known as Calathea lancifolia, this plant has beautiful striped leaves and is safe for cats.

Boston Fern: With shaggy fronds, Boston Ferns are a great choice for cat-friendly homes.

Polka Dot Plant: The Polka Dot Plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya) features colourful, spotted leaves and is non-toxic to cats.

Remember, every cat is different, so always be mindful and observe your pet’s behaviour around plants. 😺🌿

Sources for above: Gardeners World, Bing,, Typically Tropical.


Cast Iron Plant - (Aspidistra)

Certainly! The Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra elatior) is a robust perennial native to Japan and Taiwan. Here are some key details:

  • Appearance: It features lush, dark green, glossy leaves that grow straight out of the soil in a clumping fashion.
  • Size: Typically reaches 1-3 feet in height (30-90 cm) and spreads out to about 2-3 feet (60-90 cm).
  • Flowers: Small, brownish-cream blooms appear near the soil surface in late winter or early spring, but they’re often inconspicuous.
  • Hardiness: Hardy in USDA zones 7-11, making it suitable for shaded garden areas or indoor settings.
  • Uses: Widely grown as a houseplant due to its resilience in low-light conditions.
  • Trivia: It’s known as the “cast-iron plant” because of its ability to withstand neglect and tough conditions.

Feel free to add this hardy plant to your indoor collection! 🌿🏑


Dwarfpalm (Collinea) - other names: Good Luck palm, Parlor palm

Certainly! The Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans), also known by various other names such as “Dwarf Palm,” “Good Luck Palm,” and “Neanthe Bella Palm,” is a delightful indoor plant with attractive light green fronds. Here are some key details:

  • Origin: Native to Mexico and Guatemala, it has been a popular houseplant since Victorian times.
  • Appearance: Its lush, graceful fronds grow in a compact clumping form.
  • Low Maintenance: The Parlor Palm is tolerant of low light levels and dry air. It’s also an excellent air purifier.
  • Growth: Slow-growing, it may produce tiny yellow flowers and black fruits when mature.
  • Pet-Friendly: Good news for cat and dog owners—it’s not toxic to pets!
  • Care Tips: Light: Bright, indirect light is ideal. Avoid direct sunlight.
  • Temperature: Keep it in a warm room (around 18°C-24°C) with a minimum of 10°C.
  • Watering: Water when the top few centimetres of compost have dried out (more frequent in warm weather).
  • Repotting: Repot only when root-bound, typically every three years.
  • Misting: Mist the plant a few times a week to maintain humidity.

Enjoy your Parlour Palm—it’s a charming addition to any indoor space!


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Wednesday 3 April 2024

If so many plants are toxic to cats, how is it they don't all die in the wild?

Here are some reasons in response to the question in the title:

The question refers to plants in the wild. We don't know how many of them are toxic to cats and in any case not as many as the question in the title suggests (but see below for a short list). This contradicts the implication in the title that many or most are toxic.

But more importantly, there is grass outside and cats favour eating grass and in favouring grass they will ignore eating plants. They understand that grass is okay and safe to eat.

The snow leopard living at high altitude knows through eons of experience and evolution that the Tamarix plant is beneficial to them. I have suggested that it improves their oxygen intact and therefore their performance at high altitude where the air is thin.

Indoor cats might be driven to eating plants which are toxic to cats (most popular indoor plants are toxic) because they instinctively want to eat some vegetation for medicinal reasons but grass is unavailable. Lesson: full-time indoor cats should have access to some grass. I am sure that you can buy it on Amazon! πŸ‘πŸ’•.

We are not sure exactly why domestic cats and wild cats like to eat vegetation occasionally. It has medical benefits one of which might be to ingest minute amounts of a vitamin called folic acid which plays an important role in the production of haemoglobin which transports oxygen around the body in the blood.

Some experts believe that if cats are deficient in folic acid they'll become anaemic and their growth will suffer.

In the wild domestic and wild cats are able to find grass to eat and will be able to avoid plants that are toxic through experience and probably taste and smell. Cats can detect bitterness to protect from poisons.

Believe it or not, the ASPCA lists 417 varieties of plants that are toxic to cats, as well as 569 that aren’t toxic. While some plants cause mild symptoms, others can be highly dangerous. The lily is particularly hazardous, with all parts of the plant being toxic. However, there are several other plants, both indoors and outdoors, that can harm cats. Here are some common ones:

  1. Aloe vera: A succulent with jagged edges.
  2. Pothos: A low-maintenance vine.
  3. Sago palm: An ancient tropical plant.
  4. Dieffenbachia: A tropical foliage plant.
  5. Kalanchoe: A flowering succulent.
  6. Lily of the valley: Not a true lily.
  7. Hyacinth: A bulbous spring flower.
  8. Yew: An evergreen conifer.
  9. Chrysanthemum: A late-season blooming flower.
  10. Poinsettia: A perennial shrub from Mexico.
  11. Lilies (true or daylilies).
  12. Peace Lily: Not a true lily.
  13. Cutleaf Philodendron: A tropical split-leaf plant.
  14. Jade Plants: Succulent money plants.
  15. Snake Plant: An air-purifying plant.
  16. English Ivy: A delicate trailing plant.
  17. Oleander: Also known as Jericho rose or rose laurel.
  18. Tulip: Another bulbous spring flower.
  19. Daffodil: Yet another bulbous spring flower.
  20. Bird of Paradise: Two different plants with this name.

Remember, cats are generally cautious and selective about what they eat. While they may occasionally nibble on grass or greens, they primarily rely on animal-based protein. If you suspect your cat has ingested something toxic, consult a veterinarian promptly.

Sources for the second section on this page: RSPCA, Bing,,, the spruce pets and more - plus me! πŸ˜ŽπŸ‘

RELATED: Most popular houseplants are all poisonous to cats bar one

RELATED: Plants poisonous to cats (huge list).


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Wednesday 24 January 2024

Solution of half water and half vinegar sprayed on houseplants protects them from cats?

A Bengal cat owner, trainer and founder of Outdoor Bengal believes that he has the solution to protecting indoor houseplants from being chewed by domestic cats. It's a simple one.

You take an empty spray bottle and fill it with 50% water and 50% vinegar. You spray the solution on the plant. The smell deters the cat. That's it.

I don't know whether it works or not. It probably will at least to a certain extent. Cats as we all know have a great sense of smell and vinegar smells bad to them. Like I said it's a simple formula.

Will it harm the plant? Will the homeowner accept the vinegary smell coming from their plants?! πŸ˜€ If the smell is acceptable to the cat's owner all well and good. I have doubts.

There is a double advantage: you protect your plants from domestic cats and you protect your cat from houseplants as many of them are toxic to cats.

If you want to know which ones are not toxic to cats please click on the link below:

The above plant is safe for cats.

P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Wednesday 23 February 2022

Are orchids poisonous to cats?


According to 8 sources.

It is quite nice to know that eight sources tell me that orchids are not poisonous to cats. It's pleasant to know that because there are a lot of plants which are poisonous to cats. I am almost of the opinion that a cat owner should have no plants in their home! That would be too extreme but actually it applies to me. You just have to be careful and I don't want the worry because cats like to nibble plants because they like to nibble grass which is a plant.

RELATED: Top 10 most poisonous plants to cats.

Although orchids are non-toxic to cats, if a cat chewed on one substantially it might give them a stomach upset causing them to be sick. And there may be some pesticides on orchids. I don't know if there are but the commercialisation of growing plants probably indicates that some sort of toxic pesticide is used by the producer.

However, they have been declared safe on the Internet by people who know more than me about the toxicity of plants and therefore I take that information on face value and pass it on.

Although orchids are safe, they are expensive and they are expensive because of production costs and transportation difficulties as I understand it. Market forces might also be involved which I mean demand outstrips supply which automatically forces up the price.

RELATED: House plants safe for cats.

If they are looked after well, they can last 15-20 years although they apparently become weaker producing less blossoms as they get older. I'm told that there are reports of some orchids living for over 100 years. But I guess when they are in someone's home, they might live 2-3 months.

The point that I am making is that perhaps the price is not as high as it seems if you take into account their longevity provided the conditions are satisfactory. They thrive in strong sunlight but not direct late afternoon sunlight. They also need a high humidity and air flow around the roots. And apparently, they need regular periods of drying alternating with heavy watering. They do best in temperatures above 50° but below 85°F.

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