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Indoor plants that are safe for pets

Updated July 19, 2017

If you have a cat, dog or both, then you know your pet loves to eat greens and plants. Many greens are great for an animal's digestive tract, but some plants are extremely toxic to your pet and can cause severe---even lethal---illnesses. However, you do not have to abstain from owning houseplants, as there are many pet-safe alternatives.

Jade and Other Succulents

Jade plants are pet-safe succulents, which tend to be an attractive snack for house cats. This plant is a popular choice for indoors gardeners, because it is fast growing, requires little watering and can thrive in low or bright lighting conditions. Jade is an attractive plant with deep green leaves, woody stems and the potential to flower in springtime.

Other common indoor and pet-safe succulents include: Christmas cactus and aloe. The biggest issue with succulents and cats is that you may not be able to stop your cat from chewing up the plants. In this case, you should consider placing the plant where your cat cannot get to it or spraying the plant with an organic, safe pet repellent.

Orchids

Orchids are a pet-safe, flowering plant. Many people choose to decorate their homes with orchids, because most varieties are hardy (though they look quite delicate), and they are beautiful and fragrant.

Though pet-safe, cats may treat an orchid more like a toy than a flower, so be sure to find a location, such as a tall bookshelf, that is out of your cat's reach.

Other types of pet-friendly orchid plants include vanilla plants and early purple orchids.

Geraniums and Other Flowering Plants

Like orchids, geraniums are pet-friendly, flowering plants. People choose to grow geraniums in their homes, because of the pleasing flowers and foliage the plants produce. Geraniums also are easy to grow in low light or shady areas of a garden.

Because geranium plants are hardy, they can be quite resilient to a playful or hungry cat or dog. Other pet-safe, flowering plants include violets, lilies and fuchsias, among others.

Palm

The palm is perhaps the most common pet-safe houseplant, and pets love its grasslike fronds. For the most part; however, palms are hardy, so your pet will not be able to do too much damage, if any to your plant.

Labiatae

Labiatae plants, or mint plants, include many herbs like basil, Rosemary, thyme and oregano. They also include catnip, which your cat will, most likely, love to eat. These common houseplants are pet-safe, and they can be eaten by pets and humans, alike.

Labiatae plants also are easy to grow. In fact, it is possible that some type of mint plant is growing in your backyard, right now.

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About the Author

Marlee Gallagher is a freelance writer and editor with four years of professional writing experience. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English Writing (Poetry) and Public and Professional Writing from the University of Pittsburgh. Gallagher has four chapbooks, a collection of short stories and has written countless articles for Orient Watch, Tarte Cosmetics, EcoSMART and Branding Brand.