It is really important to keep your pets safe at all times. When they are at home, you have full control over anything which could hurt them.
Plants are potentially one of the most toxic things you can bring into your home if you own pets. They can really bring life to a room and purify the air, but if ingested, could really spell trouble for your extended family member.
But not all houseplants are toxic to pets. While you should still always keep them out of reach of nibblers, having safe plants in your home reduces the risk of potentially toxic poisoning if ingested.
The best houseplants for pet owners
Do bear in mind that while the plants below are classed as safe for pets, you should still restrict temptation by keeping them out of reach of animals (and children).
If your dog or cat were to eat a plant, they could suffer from a painful stomach, have digestive issues, be lethargic and sick, whether it is toxic or not.
Then there is the possibility that your cat or dog could cause more harm to the plant than it could ever cause back, so it is also best if you want it to keep looking great.
A living air humidifier. Perfect for busy smoggy areas or throughout winter when it is too cold to open a window.
The soil has to constantly be kept moist, but if you care for it well it can grow huge. Plus it won’t bother your four-legged friends.
After something a bit taller, a bit more tropical and a bit easier to care for? These plants grow large enough to place in that huge pot you have sat empty and will look great in that spare floor space that needs filling.
Because this means it will be within reach of your pet, you should ensure your furry pal isn’t curious enough to go and take a bite.
Cast Iron Plant
As the name suggests, this one is hardy. They will thrive in any room as they don’t demand too much, and even if your curious critter has a nibble, anything ingested won’t do them harm.
Able to bloom when the weather is cold and miserable outside, so makes the perfect addition to any home which also look a bit dreary when it is all dark and cold.
AKA the zebra plant or Zebra Haworthia. A form of succulents, they are generally non-toxic to both humans and animals.
They can be grown indoors with sufficient bright direct sunlight, but only need watering every 2-3 weeks so are very independent as long as you can leave them on a windowsill away from the paw of a cat.
Famed for being pretty hardy as you can neglect it for a while and it is still easy to bounce back. Of course, it is best not to neglect it at all as with constant attention, it can grow pretty big.
It reduces toxins from the air, is great for people with asthma or who live in smoggy areas and is said to invite good luck and fortune. Plus it won’t harm any curious animals.
Moth orchids are the most common household plants in this category and are fabulous if you want a bloom as well as a bit of greenery. They still flower through winter, do well in pot bound conditions and thrive in partial light.
Able to thrive in low light as well as only needing weekly watering. And they’re safer for your pets to be around. Sounds like a win-win situation all around. They’re also easy to cultivate into more and more neverending spider plants.
BUT WAIT. They’re best if you have anything except a cat because felines are drawn towards the spider plant’s hallucinogenic properties. Plus, the leaves do dangle which can also be inviting.
Some may say these aren’t technically a plant but we are going to put them on here anyway because they are one of the most popular flowers for indoor displays during the warmer months, when your flowering plants may not be as active.
Planted sunflowers are usually found outside, but you can purchase smaller varieties for any rooms which need a bit of a bright boost. They follow the sun and are said to bring positivity and strength.
Venus Fly Trap
A plant for those who love a bit of danger and entertainment. The good news is that, unlike with small flies, it is harmless to your cat or dog. So, you can admire the eyelash-like teeth without panicking about your curious cat.
Plants to avoid if you have pets
Some of the most common plants which are actually toxic to dogs and cats include:
- Aloe Vera
- Baby’s Breath
- String Of Pearls
- English Ivy
- Chrysanthemums and daisies
- Cheese plants
- Lilies (including peace lily)
- Pothos (Devil’s Ivy)
- Dieffenbachia (mother-in-law’s tongue or leopard lily)
As mentioned, any plant when ingested can cause issues with your particular pet, such as vomiting, diarrhoea and lethargy.
But toxic plants will be much more severe, as they may give off the same visual signs but could further cause damage to the stomach lining, liver and may even end in death.
Some of these plants could also be outdoors if you own them, so if your pet has full rein in the garden then you may wish to either move the plants or restrict their freedom.
Making your houseplants pet-safe
Already have plants? The Plant’s Meow has some handy tips on how you can keep them and your pet:
Essentially, you need to:
- Keep them high up out of reach, on floating shelves and hanging hooks
- Avoid placing them anywhere near a climbing spot for cats
- Try to shelter them as much as possible, and cluster them so cats can’t get close
- Create plant rooms which pets don’t have access to
- House your plants in a display case
The Christmas plants which are poisonous to pets
Poinsettias, Holly, Mistletoe – just three of the plants which people go wild for at Christmas time.
But did you know that if you have pets in your home, they could be lethal?
If poinsettias are eaten, they will cause serious vomiting, diarrhoea, excessive drooling and nausea. Even just rubbing up against the leaves and flowers can cause skin irritation.
Mistletoe and holly berries are poisonous, and small amounts will cause vomiting, diarrhoea, heart problems, seizures and dizziness. Consumed in large quantities, it will most definitely lead to death.
Even the good old real Christmas tree can pose problems. Needles will cause an issue if eaten, as they are a choking hazard. At best, it will really irritate their digestive system, causing them pain and to go off their food. So, even the best-case scenario is to be avoided.
If you do have one of these plants, such as being gifted one, put it out of reach of your pet and check for fallen leaves and petals every day. Around real Christmas trees, vacuum the floor every day to capture needles, and ensure it is watered sufficiently to stop them from falling. Buying a fake one is best.