15 Succulents Safe for Cats

varieties of succulents

The Spruce / Cori Sears 

It's no wonder succulents are such popular houseplants. These striking specimens often thrive on neglect and are compact enough to work in even the tiniest apartments. But, if you're looking for species that fit in with your feline friends, you'll want to pass over prickly cacti and toxic succulents, like jade plants. Here are 15 popular succulents that are safe for cats.

  • 01 of 15

    Mexican Peacock Echeveria

    Close up of a Mexican peacock echeveria amongst other succulents

    The Spruce / Adrienne Legault

    Low-maintenance, flower-shaped echeveria species are some of the most popular types of succulents, and it's a bonus that these plants are feline-friendly. Mexican peacock echeveria is ideal for brown-thumbed houseplant lovers, as all they need is a sunny spot and occasional watering to thrive.

  • 02 of 15

    Haworthia (Haworthia spp.)

    Haworthia succulent in a retro white and pink pot with a white watering can next to it

    The Spruce

    The spiky striped or dotted foliage of the compact haworthia species is sure to make a statement in your small space while being nontoxic for tabbies.They prefer bright, indirect light, but unlike many succulents, these plants can survive in lower-light conditions, provided you don't go overboard when watering.

  • 03 of 15

    Chinese Money Plant

    Chinese money plant on a shelf in a white pot alongside other plants

    The Spruce / Krystal Slagle

    The cat-friendly, coin-shaped foliage of the Chinese money plant (Pilea peperomioides) is easy to keep in shape with some bright, indirect light and irregular watering. And who knows, if the legends are anything to go by, this easy-to-propagate plant might even bring you financial good fortune.

  • 04 of 15

    Donkey's Tail

    Donkey's tail plant in a white pot on a pile of papers

    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

    You don't have to worry about your cat tussling with the trailing tendrils of your Donkey's Tail (Sedum morganianum). Be aware that the stems are fragile and playful paws could knock them off. Select a sunny spot and water when the well-draining potting mix is dry to maximize the length of this hanging succulent.

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  • 05 of 15

    Hens and Chicks

    One large and many small Hens and Chicks plats in gravel

    The Spruce / Kara Riley

    Cats and hens might not always get on in real life, but if you have a hens and chicks succulent (Sempervivum tectorum) they will rub along just fine together. And these succulents are particularly hardy, so they are suitable for forming a mat across your outdoor rock garden—just avoid overly shady spots and pick well-draining soil.

  • 06 of 15

    Dragon Fruit Cactus

    Close up of a dragon fruit cactus leaves and bloom
    The Spruce / Gyscha Rendy

    If you're looking for a striking cat-safe cactus without the prickles, why not try a dragon fruit cactus (Hylocereus undatus)? And, with the right amount of bright sun and careful watering, your plant might even bear some edible exotic fruit.

  • 07 of 15

    Ghost Plant

    Close up photo taken from above of a cluster of ghost plants

    The compact ghost plant (Graptopetalum paraguayense) gets its name from the pale gray to whitish frosting on its rosette-forming foliage. But you don't have to worry about this farina layer being a problem for your cat, as this is another nontoxic succulent for pets.Offer this relatively cold hardy plant bright light and a loose potting mix, and watch out for overwatering if you want to see it thrive.

  • 08 of 15

    Christmas Cactus

    A flowering Christmas cactus on a white seat

    The Spruce / Kara Riley

    Spiky cacti might be a no-no for curious kitties, but the pet-friendly Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii, syn. Schlumbergera x buckleyi) is prickle-free and the pretty pink, orange, or white tubular flowers add a splash of color in winter. Unlike many cacti species, these plants like diffused light and a more regular watering schedule to keep them in bloom.

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  • 09 of 15

    Living Stones

    Photo of living stone succulents in a pot taken from above

    The Spruce / Anastasiia Tretiak

    Slow-growing and strange-looking living stone succulents (Lithops spp) certainly add a novelty factor to your plant room. While these stemless, low-growing species evolved to look like stones to prevent animals from eating them in their native habitat, you don't have to worry if your cat nibbles on these plants. And, providing you can offer them the bright light they love, they are pretty forgiving of neglect.

  • 10 of 15

    Hindu Rope Plant

    Hindu rope plant in a white pot beside a brass watering can

    The Spruce / Cori Sears

    While it might be frustrating if your cat starts pawing at the trailing vines of your Hindu rope plant (Hoya carnosa 'Compacta'), you won't have to worry about this nontoxic species causing them any harm. And it doesn't take a lot to keep the eye-catching curly leaves looking their best. Select a well-drained potting mix, a warm spot with bright, indirect light, and water deeply when fully dry in the growing season.

  • 11 of 15

    Ponytail Palm

    Ponytail palm in a white pot on a side table beside a rattan chair

    The Spruce / Lisa Ruschioni

    This plant is easily mistaken for an indoor palm species because of its strappy green leaves and bulbous stem, but the ponytail palm (Beaucarnea recurvata) is actually a pet-safe succulent that makes a great desktop specimen. Offer as much bright light as possible and water once every one or two weeks in the growing season to keep this hassle-free houseplant happy.

  • 12 of 15

    Ghost Echeveria

    Four pots containing ghost echeveria on top of a table mat

    The Spruce / Cielito Vivas

    If you're looking for a stand-out succulent that is cat safe, look no further than the ghost echeveria (Echeveria lilacina). With its silvery-gray fleshy foliage that grows in short-stemmed rosettes, this drought-tolerant species appreciates a little neglect. All it needs is a sunny spot in your home.

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  • 13 of 15

    Mexican Snowballs

    Mexican snowball succulent close up of foliage

    The Spruce / Cori Sears

    There's a reason the Mexican snowball (Echeveria elegans) is one of the most popular pet-friendly succulents around. These pretty little plants thrive on neglect, provided you can offer them enough sun and sandy soil.

  • 14 of 15

    Mexican Firecracker

    Selection of Mexican firecracker succulents in a long terracotta pot

    The Spruce / Cielito Vivas

    There are so many cat-safe echeveria species to choose from, and the Mexican firecracker (Echeveria setosa) is another one that's easy to get a hold of. These low-maintenance houseplants just need plenty of sun, a loose potting mix, and occasional deep watering to flourish.

  • 15 of 15

    Thanksgiving Cactus

    Flowering Thanksgiving cactus in a terracotta pot

    The Spruce / Adrienne Legault

    Like its relative, the Christmas cactus, you don't have to worry about your cat getting pricked on the thorn-free, pet-friendly Thanksgiving cactus (Schlumbergera truncata). It's another one that, provided you offer medium, indirect light and consistent moisture, will reward you with bright blooms as the weather turns colder.

  • What if my cat eats my succulent?

    Even if a succulent is safe for cats, if they eat enough foliage or flowers, it can still cause stomach upsets. Contact your vet for advice if your feline friend suffers from severe or persistent diarrhea or vomiting. And if you aren't sure if the succulent is safe for cats, don't delay calling your vet or the Pet Poison Helpline, particularly if they are showing signs of being unwell.

  • How do I keep my cat away from my succulent?

    Even pet-safe species can cause sore tummies, and you don't want your cat to damage your prized plants. Cat-proof your plants by keeping them on a high shelf or in a hanging basket, and ensure your cat has enough alternative enrichment, including toys or even edible cat grass.

Article Sources
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  1. Jade Plant. ASPCA.

  2. Haworthia. ASPCA.

  3. Pitaya. ASPCA.

  4. Ghost Plant. ASPCA.

  5. Christmas Cactus. ASPCA.

  6. Living Stones. ASPCA.

  7. Hindu Rope Plant. ASPCA.

  8. Pony Tail. ASPCA.