23 Indoor Plants Safe for Cats and Dogs

Pets and plants can co-exist! Pick these non-toxic houseplants for peace of mind

Pet-Friendly Houseplants

The Spruce / Jiaqi Zhou

Pet parents that are also plant enthusiasts need to know which options are considered to be dog and cat-safe houseplants. Out of mischief or curiosity, dogs and cats can consume your potted plant so it’s important to ensure that you choose pet-friendly plants.

Of course, for the sake of your plants and your pets, you’ll want to keep your houseplants out of the general reach of your pets. But by ensuring that you skip plants that are toxic to cats and dogs, you can have more peace of mind if your pet does chew up the leaves or roots of a potted plant. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty (ASPCA) is a resource for finding plants that are considered to be non-toxic for pets. Take a look at 23 beautiful non-toxic indoor plants that are safe for cats and dogs.

  • 01 of 23

    African Violet (Saintpaulia)

    African violets

    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida 

    African violets (Saintpaulia) are one of the most popular flowering safe houseplants for pets. They are also in demand because they bloom in low light and thrive in environmental conditions that people like: moderate temperatures and average humidity. 

    Choose a soil-free potting mix and use a balanced fertilizer for the best African violet health. Keep in mind that while the leaves and flowers are non-toxic to pets, the fertilizer you choose will be absorbed by the plant and has the potential to cause harm if your pet ingests part of the plant. So if your cat or dog has a track record for eating your houseplants, find a non-toxic or natural fertilizer to use for your African violets. 

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  • 02 of 23

    Baby’s Tears (Soleirolia soleirolii)

    closeup of baby tears

    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

    The creeping mat of tiny green leaves of Soleirolia soleirolii adds character to terrariums, small hanging baskets, and as a companion plant around the base of indoor trees. Baby tears plants cover the soil and might discourage pets that like to dig in your houseplants. 

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  • 03 of 23

    Chinese Money Plant (Pilea peperomioides)

    Chinese money plant

    Benjamin Toegel / Getty Images

    This easy-keeper is part of the nettle family (Urticaceae), but is a safe choice for homes with cats or dogs. Its trademark is its round, fleshy leaves in vibrant green. Ideally, you’ll place it in a location in your home that receives bright, indirect light but it can survive in moderate-to-low light conditions too. When it comes to watering, do so infrequently but deeply. The soil should dry out in between watering sessions. The plant’s disc-like leaves will give you an indicator if you’ve neglected watering for too long, as they’ll begin to droop.

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  • 04 of 23

    Banana Tree (Musa spp.)

    banana tree

    The Spruce / Phoebe Cheong

    The large pet-friendly banana tree (Musa spp.) serves as a dramatic accent plant and grows to a height of 6 feet or more, though dwarf varieties top out between 2 and 4 feet. A central stem splits into long, wide leaves that are sometimes used in tropical cuisine to steam or serve food. Safe enough for serving human food, it’s not a huge surprise to find this plant listed as non-toxic by the ASPCA, making it a safe houseplant for cats and dogs. 

    This tropical houseplant needs conditions that replicate its natural habitat in order to thrive. Specifically, you’ll need to provide the banana tree with rich soil, bright light, and regular watering. And while dogs and cats can eat bananas as a treat, don’t count on your banana tree as a supply source, since trees kept indoors rarely produce fruit.

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  • 05 of 23

    Echeveria (Echeveria spp.)


    Warunporn Thangthongtip / Getty Images

    This type of succulent is a safe choice if you share your home with dogs or cats, as it's non-toxic. The echeveria plant grows plump rosettes, ranging in color from greenish-silver to blue-green or even lilac-hued. Like other succulents, you won’t have to hover around this indoor houseplant, but you should place it in a location that gets at least 4 to 6 hours of sun each day. Water when the soil is completely dry; typically every 1 to 2 weeks. This plant will suffer if overwatered but it also doesn’t do well with extended periods of drought. 

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  • 06 of 23

    Gloxinia (Sinningia speciosa)

    Gloxinia Houseplant

    MariaBrzostowska / Getty Images 

    Gloxinia hybrids are a compact, flowering houseplant with a height between 6 and 10 inches. The potted plant is compact enough to fit on a windowsill or as a centerpiece for your dining table. Whatever spot you choose, remember that it’s a low-light plant and should be kept out of bright, direct light. It requires frequent watering; the soil should be kept moist during the growing period. It will eventually drop its petals and leaves. 

    If you’re looking for a blooming houseplant that is dog- and cat-safe, Gloxinia makes an ideal choice. The thick, ruffled leaves and single or double blooms (commonly seen in white, red, pink, lavender, purple, or blue) are non-toxic to dogs and cats. Since most of these plants are Sinningia speciosa hybrids, there is great variety in the shape and colors of the flowers. The plants are frequently sold as gifts and have a bloom cycle followed by a dormant period.

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  • 07 of 23

    Spider Plant (Chlorophytum)

    a spider plant

    The Spruce / Krystal Slagle

    The cascading nature of the spider plant’s foliage means it’s a natural fit for elevated spaces like floating shelves, hanging baskets, or a windowsill (as long as it doesn’t receive too much light). Also known as ribbon plant or airplane plant, it’s non-toxic to cats and dogs and has a reputation as a hardy houseplant. 

    The spider plant is tolerant of a wide range of light, moisture, and soil conditions. Pot it in loose, loamy soil and water regularly. The spider plant prefers partial shade; too much sun can scorch foliage and full shade may stunt growth. As the plant grows, it sends out shoots that bear small plantlets, giving this houseplant its common name of spider plant.

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  • 08 of 23

    Venus Fly Trap (Dionaea muscipula)

    venus fly trap

    The Spruce / Kara Riley

    Carnivorous plants make a fun and funky addition to a houseplant collection, but what happens when your kitty wants to pounce on one of those traps when they snap shut? Venus flytraps (Dionaea muscipula) are non-toxic to cats and dogs, so a curious nibble won't result in a trip to see a veterinarian. Bright light and irrigation with distilled water will keep these pet-friendly plants in fly-catching condition.

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  • 09 of 23

    Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens)

    an areca palm

    The Spruce / Alonda Baird

    Also known as the butterfly palm, Dypsis lutescens makes any interior feel like a trip to the tropics. Sometimes palm fronds can trigger a cat's playful swatting and biting instincts, so it's comforting to know that the areca palm isn't toxic for cats or dogs. 

    This variety of indoor palm tree needs plenty of bright light. Ideally, it should be located in a south- or west-facing window. A well-draining pot is a must and should allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Take note that the areca palm is sensitive to fluoride in water, so you should ideally water it with distilled water or collected rainwater.

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  • 10 of 23

    Boston Fern (Nephrolepis)

    Boston fern

    The Spruce / Kara Riley 

    Boston ferns (Nephrolepis) are an enduring houseplant favorite, but their shaggy fronds might tempt cats and dogs to chew on them. Sometimes known as a sword fern, it has foliage that shoots straight up from the center of the plant, then arches as the frond grows longer. The foliage is non-toxic to cats and dogs, so it's fine to brighten up your guest room or bathroom with these lush plants. Boston ferns prefer humidity and lots of bright, indirect light.

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    Calathea (Calathea spp.)

    closeup of a calathea

    The Spruce

    Calathea spp. plants, also called zebra plants or peacock plants, bear large tropical leaves with fascinating stripes or stippling. A calathea is an excellent choice for a shady spot in the pet-friendly house, as too much light can cause the foliage color to fade. However, they’re not the most low-maintenance houseplant. 

    Calatheas prefer temperatures to remain constant between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit (and never below 60 degrees). They need to be regularly watered but you must be careful not to overwater. As a tropical plant, calatheas thrive in humid environments, so a pebble tray with water may be necessary to provide added moisture.

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    Haworthia (Haworthia spp.)

    haworthia succulent

    The Spruce 

    Haworthia is a slow-growing, non-toxic succulent with minimal care requirements. Mature plants measure 3 to 5 inches tall, have rosettes of fleshy green leaves spotted with white warts or bands, and produce offsets. Clusters of haworthia can be separated to multiply your houseplant collection; these container plants usually need repotting every 2 or 3 years.  

    Unlike the similar-looking aloe plants, all members of the large Haworthia genus are safe for cats and dogs. Ideally, you should place your haworthia in bright light and water weekly in the summer and less frequently in the winter. It can tolerate moderate-to-low light conditions, too, but if the leaves start to lose their green coloring, that’s an indicator that the plant is receiving insufficient light.

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    Polka Dot Plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya)

    hypoestes phyllostachya on a windowsill

    The Spruce / Leticia Almeida

    The green, pink, red, and white splashed foliage of Hypoestes phyllostachya is so ornamental that you won't need to worry about providing the perfect conditions to trigger blooming that many houseplants need. Although non-toxic to cats and dogs, sensitive pets might experience mild digestive upset if they consume large quantities of the polka dot plant or other non-toxic plants.

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  • 14 of 23

    Air Plant (Tillandsia stricta)

    Air plants hanging

    Westend61 / Getty Images

    Air plants are not your typical houseplant; as epiphytes, they don’t require a pot of soil. Instead, you’ll want to attach them to a board or other solid surface mount. For the sake of your plant and to prevent the stiff leaves of this bromeliad from attracting your cat’s attention, secure it using glue, wire, or twine to its mount. Just keep in mind that to water the air plant, you’ll have to submerge it in water for 10 to 30 minutes every week or two. If it’s too challenging to soak the plant with your choice of surface mount, you can heavily mist the plant several times each week.

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    Prayer Plant (Maranta leuconeura)

    Prayer plant

    Ольга Симонова / Getty Images

    The prayer plant has a unique habit: it folds its leaves each evening, giving the impression of hands folded in prayer. It’s non-toxic for pets and makes a popular houseplant choice, given its tropical foliage. It adapts well to a range of light conditions, though it prefers bright, indirect light. It will grow in moderate-to-low light conditions, too. 

    This is not a plant that tolerates watering neglect. The top of the soil should feel dry to the touch but completely dried out soil spells trouble for this plant. Water as soon as the top layer is dry to prevent problems. 

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  • 16 of 23

    Friendship Plant (Pilea involucrata)

    Friendship Plant

    emsiegel / Getty Images

    Pilea involucrata is a trailing plant with fragile stems that thrives in high humidity. It does well as a terrarium specimen, making it even more unlikely that your cat or dog will take an unauthorized nibble. It's one of the best pet-friendly plants to put on full display in any room in your home, including the bedroom, where it will be safe.

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    Peperomia (Peperomia spp.)

    closeup of a peperomia

    The Spruce / Leticia Almeida

    The diversity of colors and textures across the Peperomia species keeps them on the shortlist of popular houseplants. They are non-toxic to cats and dogs, look great in hanging baskets, and they don't mind if you forget to water them occasionally.

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  • 18 of 23

    Orchid (Orchidaceae)

    orchid by a window

    The Spruce / Viktoriya Stoeva

    If you have a passion for orchids (Orchidaceae), you can safely add them to your go-to list of pet-safe plants. Many orchids bloom for weeks in the winter when days are short, thriving in partial light and root-bound conditions.

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    Mosaic Plant (Fittonia albivenis)

    a fittonia plant

    The Spruce / Alonda Baird

    Besides mosaic plant, one of the common names of Fittonia albivenis is nerve plant, which has the ominous sound of something that affects the nervous system. However, this rainforest native with lovely white- or pink-veined leaves is non-toxic to cats and dogs. The small and safe houseplant thrives in low light with moderate watering. However, it requires a very humid environment. With this in mind, it’s a good pick for a potted plant in the bathroom. 

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    Bromeliad (Bromeliaceae)

    closeup of a bromeliad

    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

    The tough, strappy leaves of the bromeliad and the curious cone-shaped blooms make bromeliad plants (Bromeliaceae family) favorites as houseplants. These pet-safe plants are easy to maintain, needing only a bright window and a humid environment. 

    The appearance and specific care needs vary depending on the bromeliad you choose; many varieties grow as soil-free epiphytes attached to a log. You can secure them to the log by tying them in place or using glue. The advantage of a soil-free houseplant like a bromeliad is that it eliminates the potential for a dirt disaster if your dog or cat tends to dig in your potted plants or knock them over. 

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    Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata)

    ponytail palm

    The Spruce / Lisa Ruschioni

    The ponytail palm, which is sometimes called elephant’s foot because of its round, smooth trunk, is a popular indoor tree that is easy to grow. You may think that the thin, swinging fronds of this palm would be attractive to household pets, especially cats, and you wouldn’t be wrong for this assumption. Fortunately these plants are non-toxic. The only damage done will be to the fronds of the ponytail palm. If you encounter this issue, try moving your ponytail palm out of your pet’s reach, or providing an edible alternative—like cat grass. If you do move the ponytail palm to a new indoor location, keep in mind that these non-toxic plants thrive in bright light and like to be watered when they're on the dry side.

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    Purple Waffle Plant (Hemigraphis alternata)

    Purple Waffle Plant

    pimonpim / Getty Images

    The textured leaves of the purple waffle plant (Hemigraphis 'Exotica') offer all-season interest for those who don't grow flowering houseplants. Bright indirect light will help to maintain the purple coloration without bleaching the leaves. Purple waffle plants are known as great air purifiers, keeping the environment healthy for you and your pet.

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    Purple Passion Vine (Gynura aurantiaca)

    Royal Velvet Plant

    prill / Getty Images

    Gynura aurantiaca plants are a unique addition to your dog- or cat-safe houseplant collection. They feature velvety hairs on the leaves. The brighter the light conditions, the deeper the color of the purple leaves. These plants grow very fast, but be forewarned that they only have a lifespan of a few years. One way to maximize the plant’s lifespan is to water only when the soil is dry, which prevents root rot.

  • Can you keep toxic plants with cats and dogs?

    If you have a plant that's toxic to your pet, move the plant out of its reach. That might mean putting it on a high shelf that's inaccessible to your pet or growing it outside as a potted outdoor plant where your pet doesn't go.

  • Are succulents safe for cats and dogs?

    Many succulents, such as haworthia, are safe for cats and dogs. But it's important to know your specific succulent species, as they aren't all pet-friendly.

  • Is lavender safe for cats and dogs?

    Lavender is not considered a safe outdoor plant for cats and dogs. It does have chemical compounds that are toxic to cats, dogs, and horses and can cause digestive issues.

Article Sources
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants. American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

  2. Which Holiday Plants Are Safe for my Cats and Dogs? University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension.

  3. Moya Tatiana et al. A review of green systems within the indoor environmentIndoor and Built Environment, vol. 28, no. 3, pp. 298-309, 2019. doi:10.1177/1420326X18783042

  4. Lavender. ASPCA.