Even the most finicky felines are known to get curious around plants and flowers, so don’t be surprised if your cat wants to nosh on that bouquet or chow down on one of your potted plants. While some plants are cat-safe, some can spell t-r-o-u-b-l-e if your cat takes a nibble, lick, or even drinks the flower water. Here is a list of cat friendly plants, as well as which ones to stay away from.

Illustrated cat digging up a houseplant

Dangerous Plants for Cats

One of the cool things with cats is you usually don’t have to worry about them gobbling down dangerous items the way dogs do. They’re more particular, refined, you might say – except for their proclivity for munching on plants and flowers. Some of which can be downright dangerous to your cat. Here are plants that you should keep away from your cat:

  • Aloe vera
  • Azalea
  • Castor bean
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Cyclamen
  • Daffodil
  • Daisy
  • English ivy
  • Hyacinth
  • Kalanchoe
  • Lilies. “True lilies” (Stargazers, Tiger, Easter, and some daylilies) are so dangerous to cats that even a quick lick can cause acute kidney failure, which is potentially fatal. Even the pollen and vase water are bad news for your cat.
  • Lily of the valley
  • Marijuana
  • Oleander
  • Poinsettia
  • Sago palm
  • Tulip

If you think your cat has eaten a dangerous plant, call your veterinarian right away. If their office isn’t open, contact your local Animal ER or one of the pet poison control hotlines: ASPCA Animal Poison Control, 888-426-4435 or Pet Poison Helpline, 855-764-7661.

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Cat Friendly Plants

Now that you know what to keep away from your cat, let’s talk about the types of plants they are free to nibble, nosh, and munch on.

  • Catnip
    About two-thirds of cats get a mild (but safe) high from catnip. And 100% of the cats that respond to it are ridiculously entertaining. Catnip is easy to grow, which means your cat can always have a fresh supply.
  • Cat Grass
    Lots of cats like to eat ordinary lawn grass but will usually throw it back up. Luckily, there’s a species called “cat grass,” which is typically a mixture of barley, wheat, and rye grasses. You can grow your own indoors and let your cat go to town.

The following plants are safe for you to have in your home around cats. However, unlike catnip and cat grass, we don’t encourage your cat to actively consume them, as they could cause stomach upset (vomiting and/or diarrhea).

  • American rubber plant
  • Areca palm
  • Bamboo
  • Basil
  • Echeveria succulents (aka “hen and chicks”)
  • Boston fern
  • Cilantro
  • Money tree
  • Phalaenopsis orchid
  • Roses
  • Spider plant
  • Sunflower

For a full list of which plants and flowers are dangerous and safe for your cat, check out the ASPCA’s complete toxic and non-toxic plants list and always double check with your veterinarian.


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