Bringing nature indoors: house plants that are safe for cats!

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Cats (and other pets) and house plants don’t often go well together, but after my sister mentioned that she was on the hunt for a house tree I started to look myself. We like a lot of the same things, and also I like to copy her home + clothing style too.

Then I saw this post from Emily and I was even more inspired to give some houses plants and house trees a shot.

I found a lot of websites that offer lengthy lists on which plants to avoid if you have cats, but it was easier for me to navigate sites that simply shared the plants that are safe for cats. This one was particularly helpful and straight forward.

The only tree I bought was this braided money tree and Grits took interest immediately. And then he lost interest shortly thereafter. I loved that the base of it is braided, how apropos.

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I need to get a nicer pot for it, but I just thought it was pretty and simple. Apparently, these trees are supposed to bring money and fortune if you follow any Feng Shui, which I don’t, but if I’m suddenly super rich or win the lottery or find a bag of money on my doorstep I’ll let you know and we can all buy dozens and dozens of money trees for our homes.

Another tree/plant I considered was the ponytail palm because of obvious reasons, but the leaves were pretty long and it looked like it may be too enticing for the cats at first. As time passes, I’ll gauge their interest and decide whether or not to add a ponytail palm to the family.

Next up is a little fern plant, of which I don’t know the proper name. It just said “fern” on the pot! I liked the shorter and longer stems, and it now lives on my coffee bar.

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The prayer plant is one of my favorites. In the evening this plant will close it’s leaves as if it’s praying. I think that’s so cool! This plant is living near my fireplace that I’m dying to renovate, but I think it fits in quite nicely.

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Lastly, I added two ferns to my kitchen. It gets a fair amount of indirect light, but I’m going to keep a close eye on these guys to make sure they are doing okay in there. They are leafy with thin stems and add a nice amount of color to my countertops!

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I asked the garden center if they had any catnip, and they did but it was pretty sad looking. And that’s not a knock on the garden center, they just only had 2 catnip plants left. Apparently you can snip off some leaves of catnip and let your cats roll around with them for awhile. Gravy would be in HEAVEN with a catnip plant here. Anytime I get a new catnip toy for him, he commandeers it for hours. So catnip is on my list of what to get next. Also, cat grass which I’ve had before but it’s been many years!

I posted a photo on Instagram yesterday and received a lot of helpful tips already. One of them was to put rocks in the base of my pots to allow the soil to drain versus drilling holes in my pots. So yesterday afternoon David, Luke, and I went into the backyard, dug up some rocks, and David sorted the baby rocks from the big rocks and filled my pots with just enough.

I’m hopeful that I can keep these guys alive and I’ll share anything I learn along the way on snapchat (K8_smallthings). And I’d love any houseplant tips you have, so please share in the comments below!

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Comments (27)

  1. Andrea says
    Posted September 14, 2016

    I had cat grass inside and my cats always made such a mess with it. They would rip it out and knock the containers over. Same with catnip and they’d chew on it until the leaves were all gone. I have a catnip plant outside but have to keep it away from the outside cats even because they chew it up so much. I sometimes pull some regular grass in the yard for the inside cat. Oh and cat grass is just wheatgrass. It’s cheaper to buy some wheatgrass seed in bulk and a pretty container to plant it in. It gets root bound pretty quickly so you have to pitch the dirt in the yard and put new soil in every now and then.

  2. Ella says
    Posted September 14, 2016

    I really want to have more plants in the house to brighten it up but my brother has just got two kittens. So a massive thank you for this post it’s going to be so useful!

    Ella xx
    http://www.inellaselement.co.uk

  3. Emily says
    Posted September 14, 2016

    I had a maiden hair fern like the one you have in your kitchen and my cat devoured it. He loves to eat ferns so keep an eye on them! I have lots of hanging plants because then the cats can’t eat them.

  4. Anne says
    Posted September 14, 2016

    Catnip is super easy to grow yourself! My husband planted some in our garden last year and it came back with a vengeance this year (much to my disbelief). We will cut it and hang It upside down to dry for our kitties. Now, granted, we’ve got enough for our cats to have a real good party 😉 Anyway, I bet your boys would have fun helping you grow some from seed!

  5. Alyssa says
    Posted September 14, 2016

    Love love love this post. We need house plants at our house!
    We too had a veggie garden this year and I’d give it a D+ rating. We didn’t have so much of a problem with animals eating our veggies, but some of the stuff just didn’t grow right, ie tomatoes splitting or green peppers growing in a strange shape.

    Love hearing your plant updates!

  6. Sue says
    Posted September 14, 2016

    Love this…my husband owns a small plant business and sells all these plants! But do I have a single plant in my house? NO! I need to change this…

  7. Sarah says
    Posted September 14, 2016

    I would love to put plants in our house, but our cats would freak out. One of them, Oscar, just loves soil and water a little too much. He’s known for dumping pots and vases so he can roll in both and eat the roots of plants. Any tips for avoiding that? We’ve been trying to figure it out for years and have just resorted to fake plants. They’re not the same though!

  8. Lynn says
    Posted September 14, 2016

    My advice is, DO NOT OVERWATER! Especially in the winter, the plants are dormant so I really let mine dry out before a good watering. Don’t feed them, either. Start feeding them in the spring, and if you can, move them outdoors! I have a screened porch and my plants are out there from May-October, they thrive! Good luck! Btw, I live in SW Ohio.

    • Kate says
      Posted September 14, 2016

      great to know!!

  9. Selma says
    Posted September 14, 2016

    For anyone interested, have a look at the blog “Urban Jungle Bloggers”, particularly there instagram account. Both the blog and the instagram account offer beautiful ideas for inspiration on using plants in your home. I adore there instagram account. You won’t be disappointed.

  10. Nadia says
    Posted September 14, 2016

    I have had a ponytail palm for about three years. It hasn’t grown too large, maybe because it doesn’t get a ton of sunlight, but it still looks really good and seems to be healthy. My cat sometimes chews on the very tips of the leaves, but I keep the plant on a tall, narrow plant stand, so for the most part, it is out of reach. I really love the ponytail palm for an easy-care, attractive house plant. I water lightly once a week and sometimes “trim” the long leaves.

  11. AmyG says
    Posted September 14, 2016

    I have two pots of catnip for our kitty. We grew ours from seed and found it grows like any other mint, it spreads, so pots are good. The only problem I have isn’t with out cat, who carefully snips the top leaves and eats them :), but with neighborhood cats. if I leave the back door open, they can smell it and sneak in, and lay in the pot. They love it, but it takes several days for the plants to recover from being crushed!

  12. Jenn says
    Posted September 14, 2016

    My cats left my plants alone when the plants were small. Once the plants grew and needed bigger pots my cats started using them as a litter box. Ugh.

  13. Melissa says
    Posted September 14, 2016

    I absolutely adored my ponytail palm but my kitty Mo did too, unfortunately. It seemed no matter where I put it he was obsessed with hunting it! I think the long fronds were just too enticing 🙂

  14. Dana says
    Posted September 14, 2016

    Your pots are so cute! Where did you get the silver metal ones?

    • Kate says
      Posted September 14, 2016

      Ikea!

  15. sahara says
    Posted September 14, 2016

    I love plants and pots and even do some gardening but I think I don’t have the talent :(:(:(

    xo,

    http://www.saharacouture.com

  16. Michelle S. says
    Posted September 15, 2016

    I agree with Lynn about the comment to not overwater! I am the one that left the remark about the rocks on Instagram 🙂 I should have mentioned that at the same time; I only water once a week, sometimes less. The top of the soil should be dried out before you water again. I have 15 plants in my house (15! I know! I’m a houseplant addict!) none of which have a saucer or drainage holes in the base and most of which have pebbles to act as drainage.
    Personally I have found it can be a trial and error game. There are just certain houseplants that don’t thrive in dry houses, heated homes, etc. and these ones do better in a more humid, tropical climate. Don’t take it personally when they don’t make it 🙂 Some really sturdy plants that I have found to work great for me are Aglaonemas (also know as Chinese Evergreens, I have two of them in pretty pink and green colouring!) and Ficus Benjaminas are also easy. And Crispy Wave Ferns which do not share the same delicate, tender leaves as many other ferns are quite thick in their leaf texture and hold up great even in low lighting conditions.
    I hope this helps some more 🙂

  17. Jessica Baez says
    Posted September 15, 2016

    Love these plants in tin planters. Very cute. Industrial but versatile too.

  18. Katy says
    Posted September 15, 2016

    No tips here… I am just impressed that your boys don’t bother them! 🙂 I also have two boys (6 and 2) and I’m pretty sure they would see a plant in the house as an opportunity to test out their mini construction vehicles. I have a fake ficus tree in a corner of my living room that is missing most of its moss from the base and some leaves toward the bottom have also mysteriously gone missing…

  19. C dalton says
    Posted September 15, 2016

    You definitely need a bigger pot for the money tree plant if you want it to thrive. It will also look better and balance out the tall top. Good luck!

  20. Alysia says
    Posted September 16, 2016

    I love the plants you got! I need to get more for the house.

    Just one word of caution on the ponytail palms, they can be SHARP! We have a couple in our backyard (We’re in AZ) and I have sliced my fingers while trimming them a few times. I definitely wear gloves when I work with them now. It’s probably because we have such a dry climate, but I thought I would warn you since you have little ones. I will have to keep an eye on my son once he’s able to play in the backyard.

  21. Stefani says
    Posted September 21, 2016

    I have a pony tail palm before marrying my husband who has a cat. Now we are married and live together, the cat is always wanting to eat the palm tips. I got the plant from IKEA because I thought it was cool looking. Reminded me of a Dr. Seuss tree 😉

  22. Posted September 28, 2016

    Your pots are so cute! Industrial but versatile too.

  23. Lauren says
    Posted September 29, 2016

    A tip so your boys don’t play with the soil. Take pantyhose and cut a hole so it fits over the pot like plastic wrap over a bowl with the tree poking through the middle. It’s easier to go from the bottom up to get it on. Then, you can still water, but no soil touching!

  24. Laura says
    Posted February 7, 2017

    Where did you find the money tree?

    • Kate says
      Posted February 8, 2017

      A garden store near me!