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10 Best Indoor Plants For Pets

There are many safe houseplants for homes that have furry friends. The ASPCA helps pet and plant owners by identifying which popular houseplants are safe for cats and dogs, even if Fido or Fluffy gets occasional nibbles.

Even though these plants are pet-friendly, some can cause gastro distress if eaten. Choosing creative ways to display plants can help alleviate this problem.

African Violet

African violets are beautiful flowering houseplants with hairy green leaves and vivid blue, purple or pink flowers that can bloom year-round. A compact plant, it often works to place it in a north or east-facing window. These plants prefer indirect sunlight and only need watering about once a week, being careful not to overwater.

Although violets are considered a pet-safe plant and are non-toxic, you still don't want kitty or puppy to chew on them as it can damage the leaves and distress the plant.

Many people display their violets on a kitchen or bathroom windowsill, which keeps them out of reach of animals.

Air Plant

This unusual plant has strap-like leaves that grow from the center of the plant. Leaves can range in shades of green to pink and rusty red. They are small and compact plants that can do well in low light and with little water.

Air plants are popular for people with pets because they can be displayed in a special planter that mounts on the wall or in terrariums. There are even air plant pot magnets and tiny macrame hanging pots that let you display them high off the ground.

Boston Fern

The Boston fern (Nephrolepis) is a slow-growing pet-safe plant. The foliage grows longer and then droops down, so don't be surprised if your kitty is attracted to the fronds that may be within their reach. Boston ferns are an excellent choice for growing in a hanging basket to keep them high up and showcase their natural chandelier shape.

If you like ferns, consider a majestic wall-mounted staghorn fern or the more minimalist bird's nest fern, as both are good for beginners and pet-friendly.

Boston ferns and other ferns are pet-friendly houseplants.

Parlor Palm

Another low-maintenance plant that is easy to grow and pet-friendly, the parlor palm is a plant that thrives in indirect, bright light. It can also do well in a medium-light location, and they do not need to be watered frequently—typically once every couple of weeks.

They are pet-friendly plants known to be air purifiers, which is an attribute many people look for in houseplants. Another palm, the Areca palm, is also pet-friendly.

Polka Dot Plant

The Polka Dot Plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya)is a small, colorful houseplant with pink, red, or white polka dots on the leaves. Another non-toxic houseplant, they are a great addition to a pet-friendly home.

The most challenging thing about raising this plant is figuring out its watering schedule, as overwatering can kill it. It likes bright, filtered light and will brighten up your home. Since it is a bit touchy about watering and care, this may be a better option for someone with a green thumb.

Ponytail Palm

The Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea Recurvata) plant is a unique-looking plant. It has a large base, almost like an elephant's foot, and the top tapers into an array of long leaves, much like a ponytail. A low-maintenance plant, they can go weeks without water, but take care not to overwater these plants. These plants also tend to grow at a rate of 6-inches per year indoors.

They are a safe plant for pet parents as they are non-toxic, but be warned, the long springy leaves may be too tempting for kitty not to swat and chew. While the occasional nibble won’t hurt the plant, trim off any damaged leaves and move it out of reach, if possible.

Rubber Plant

The baby rubber plant (Peperomia obtusifolia) is considered a pet-safe houseplant. However, its relative, the rubber tree (or Ficus benjamina) is toxic to animals.

One nice thing about rubber plants it that their thick, rigid and glossy leaves may be a natural deterrent for chewing. When dogs and cats eat plants, they tend to go for ones that more closely mimic the grass they’d eat outside.

The rubber plant's thick leaves may be a deterrent to pets.

Spider Plant

Spider plants are considered non-toxic and animal friendly, and they’re an easy-to-grow popular houseplant. They like bright, indirect light, only need watering every week or so. However, the plant grows in tendrils and produces baby ‘spiderettes’ on the end of its long leaves. What kitty wouldn't be tempted to swat at these nature-made toys?

A perfect solution is to display the spider plant in a hanging basket well out of kitty's reach.


Rattlesnake plant and peacock are two gorgeous varieties of Calathea that are pet-friendly. Rattlesnake plant has long, slender leaves (similar to snake plant and mother-in-law’s tongue) with a bold lime green background and dark green variegated patterns with burgundy-toned undersides. The peacock plant has oval-shaped leaves with a dark green background and a lime green pattern that looks like palm fronds.

These indoor plants are pet-friendly, but can be rather particular about water, soil, heat, and humidity, so it’s not recommended for beginners.

If you can get a handle on a Calathea’s care requirements, you’ll be rewarded with stunning tropical foliage.


Many succulents are pet-friendly houseplants. One of the benefits of raising succulents is they are considered very easy to grow. You should only water a succulent when the soil is bone dry.

Some popular non-toxic succulents include:

  • Haworthia

  • Echeveria

  • Burro's Tail

  • Hen and Chicks

  • Thanksgiving or Christmas Cactus

  • Easter Cactus

Honorable Mentions

Looking for even more pet-friendly houseplants? Consider some of these:

  • Cast iron plant

  • Chinese money plant

  • Friendship plant (all types of Pilea)

  • Money tree

  • Orchid

  • Prayer plant

  • Watermelon peperomia

Tips To Deter Pets From Your Plants

  • Deterrent sprays are sold that have odors to keep your pets away from your plants.

  • Display your plant in a creative way. This can include using a hanging basket, growing them in a terrarium, or finding a planter that hangs on the wall.

  • Grow pet-safe greenery such as cat grass or herbs.

  • Keep plants out of your pet's reach.

  • Scat mats can be used to deter kitty from digging in pots. They have small plastic spikes that are uncomfortable on kitty’s paws, but they don’t hurt them.

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