Which flowers and plants are safe for cats?

We’ve got everything you need to know about plants that are safe for cats and plants to avoid in a cat-friendly household, along with helpful tips on how to make your garden into a feline paradise.


cat on a sofa

While a bouquet of tulips is a lovely gift, it’s not a good choice for a cat owner. There are quite a few plants poisonous to cats, as well as to other pets. If you're picking out a present for a cat-loving friend, or you want to protect your own beloved cat, make sure you know about cat friendly houseplants and which flowers are safe for cats. Here are some helpful starter lists on non-toxic plants for cats.

Lilies are particularly harmful to cats, so if you’ve got a feline resident in your home avoid planting them in your garden!

Cat-friendly plants

Don’t worry – lots of plants are safe for cats. If you’re buying plants for cat-lover, here are a few safe options:

  • Bamboo plant
  • Bird’s nest fern
  • Boston fern
  • Cast iron plant
  • Parlor palm
  • Staghorn fern
  • Money tree
  • Swedish ivy
  • Spider plant
  • Prayer plant

Flowers and plants that are toxic to cats

Now you know which plants and flowers are safe for cats, what about the plants toxic to cats? Always research any plant or flower before buying, but a few to always avoid include:

  • Any kind of lily
  • Amaryllis
  • Autumn crocus
  • Daffodil
  • Hyacinth
  • Iris
  • Poinsettia
  • Tulip
  • Birds of paradise
  • Cyclamen
  • Gladiola
  • Hydrangea
  • Kalanchoe
  • Narcissus
  • Elephant ear
  • Aloe vera
  • Morning glory
  • Pencil cactus
  • Snake plant
  • Firestick
  • Crown of thorns
  • Arrowhead vine
  • Aglaonema
  • Asparagus fern
  • Emerald feather
  • Lace fern

Creating a cat-friendly garden

Making sure you have cat-friendly plants and flowers is a great place to start when it comes to pets and gardening, but why stop there? It’s also worth thinking about how you could make your outdoor space more feline-friendly. This is a genuinely useful activity (as well as being good fun) as it’s thought that having a good quality garden can prevent cats from wandering, make them feel safe and secure as well as encourage learning and play. Having a cat-friendly garden will also improve their health and their mood. Here are a few ways to make your garden into a little cat haven:

  • Ensure there is a source of fresh drinking water
  • Create nooks and crannies for them to hide in
  • Add some cat toys or a scratching post
  • Create some shelter from the wind, rain and cold
  • Equally, ensure there are lots of sunny spots where they can relax
  • Create high-up spaces – cats like sitting above humans, playing look out

Now you know about cat-friendly flowers, plants and gardens, you and your feline friends can rest easy and avoid that trip to the vet.

Key steps

  1. Avoid getting anything on our lists of plants poisonous to cats.
  2. Remember that these lists are not exhaustive: always check first with your local nursery or vet if your new plants are safe for cats.
  3. Opt for cat-friendly houseplants, like spider plants or prayer plants, if you want some indoor vegetation.

Originally published