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    Tractor Supply Company

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    Popular Indoor Plants That Are Safe for Cats

    Authored by Tractor Supply Company

    A new houseplant can add to the overall aesthetic of your home and do wonders for your wellbeing. Unfortunately, not all indoor plants are safe for cats, and some can be dangerous if ingested by your furry friend. A cat’s instincts often let them know which plants are harmful to them, but boredom or curiosity can take over and tempt them to taste. For their health and safety, the best option is to avoid any houseplants that are poisonous for cats.

    Don't worry — there are plenty of cat-friendly plants out there, too. The next time you’re looking to spruce up your home with some fresh greenery, use this list to find the perfect plants that are also safe for your felines.

    What happens if a cat eats a toxic plant?

    Different plants have different levels of toxicity for cats. Some lead to less serious problems, like confusion, vomiting or diarrhea. Others can be life-threatening to cats, leading to issues like seizures, difficulty breathing or organ failure. Plus, eating part of a plant isn’t the only risk. For example, if pollen from a toxic plant comes in contact with a cat's fur, they could unknowingly ingest it later while grooming.

    Keeping plants on a high shelf can discourage cats from reaching them, but it isn't foolproof. Cats are inquisitive and talented at getting to high-up places. Avoid any accidents by swapping out your risky plants with some new cat-safe houseplants.

    Which common plants are poisonous to cats?

    The following houseplants pose the most serious risk to cats:

    •  Lilies – Lilies are perhaps the most dangerous plant for pets. Ingesting even a tiny part of the plant, including its pollen, can lead to serious health problems, like kidney failure.
    • Castor bean – The seeds of the castor bean plant contain a toxic protein called ricin. Small amounts of it leads to dehydration, gastrointestinal issues, and weakness. Ingesting too much can cause seizures, coma, or death. 
    • Rhododendrons – A small nibble on a rhododendron causes gastrointestinal problems, and too much can lead to coma or heart failure.
    • Sago palm – Most palm plants are ok for cats, but sago palms are not a safe option. Their name is misleading — sago palms are cycads, not palms, and their poisonous seeds can cause liver failure.
    • Oleander – A cat can suffer from gastrointestinal issues or heart complications after ingesting oleander.
    • English ivy – Eating English ivy brings on gastrointestinal problems and stomach pain.
    • Tulips – Skip the tulips if you’re looking for a spring bloom to add a pop of color to your house. If a cat eats tulip petals, it's likely to suffer from gastrointestinal problems and may run the risk of seizures or heart complications.
    • Chrysanthemum – Ingesting parts of a chrysanthemum will cause gastrointestinal trouble, like vomiting and diarrhea.

    Other plants that are poisonous to cats include:

    • Marigolds
    • Poppies
    • Sweet peas
    • Iris
    • Daffodils
    • Varieties of asparagus fern
    • Umbrella plant
    • Cheese plant
    • Dragon plant
    • Eucalyptus
    • Peonies
    • Wisteria
    • The strelitzia reginae variety of bird of paradise
    • Ficus
    • Hydrangeas
    • Aloe
    • Morning glories
    • Some festive plants like poinsettia, holly, and mistletoe

    This list includes many, but not all, of the houseplants that are poisonous for cats. Always do a quick online search before purchasing a new plant to make sure it won't cause any harm to your furry family member.

    What plants are safe for cats?

    Don't get discouraged by the list of dangerous plants — there's an excellent selection of plants and flowers that are safe for cats. Mix and match some of the options from this cat-friendly plants list to put together an eye-catching collection:

    • Hibiscus
    • Pansies
    • Petunias
    • Roses
    • Sunflowers
    • Baby's breath
    • Most ferns (excluding those in the asparagus fern family), including Boston ferns, mother ferns, green flame ferns, button ferns, and bird's nest ferns
    • Most palms (not including the sago palm), such as majesty palms, ponytail palms, bamboo palms, Chinese palms, and parlor palms
    • Orchids
    • Calathea family of plants, including the rattlesnake plant, pin-stripe plant, zebra plant, and peacock plant
    • Impatiens
    • Spider plants
    • Bromeliad family of plants, including urn plants, pineapple plants, and air plants
    • Many herbs, such as basil, thyme, cilantro, rosemary, and sage

    With the wide selection of nonpoisonous plants for cats, it's easy to design a beautiful assortment of houseplants without posing any risk to felines. Head to your nearest Tractor Supply Co. store to shop cat-friendly plants and pick up any other gardening supplies you may need.