Ever since the arrival of our clawed furballs necessitated the banishment of our house plants to the office room my GF misses having some green in the living room.

I'd like to rectify this situation but am faced with the problem, that when I go through online lists of cat safe plants they are either boring greens or refer to inaccurate common names that could be any of dozen plants.

  • 1
    What do you mean by safe? Safe for the cat if it chews on the plant, or safe for the plant as to deter the cat and maybe survive if the furry fury decides starting a war?
    – Alina
    Dec 21, 2017 at 14:37
  • 1
    No plant is safe when confronted with the Feline kind. They can destroy anything. Abandon all hope.
    – JohnEye
    Dec 21, 2017 at 21:50
  • I don't agree at all - I've had several cats down the years, and only one of those nibbled on plants - the one that did was a housecat because we lived in a place with no garden and on the third floor, but all eight of the successive cats I had (with free access to outside) never once nibbled on any of my large number of houseplants. Some of them did knock over the Christmas tree, but only because of attempts to climb it...
    – Bamboo
    Dec 22, 2017 at 17:32
  • Thank you. All answers so far were very useful. I've recently stumbled over a bromeliad while shopping and bought it. So far our furballs have only lightly chewed on it once. So that's a big win for me...
    – Kempeth
    Jan 2, 2018 at 9:06

3 Answers 3


Well, yes, plain green can be boring, but variegated green is a bit more interesting, so a Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum) will be fine. Better still, get one of those and a plain green plant with large leaves (Cast Iron plant maybe) and arrange them next to each other - the contrast will be interesting.

Bromeliads (Guzmania lingulata for instance) are worth a look, not because they're not green,but because they produce colourful flowers - the only drawback being that getting them to flower again is tricky, so usually they're temporary visitors. Saintpaulia, or African violet is often in flower most of the year,so although they're essentially green, they do at least produce decent flowers. This link here https://savvygardening.com/pet-friendly-house-plants/, whilst not showing many of the Latin or botanical names, does at least provide images of most of the plants mentioned. The 'Swedish Ivy' mentioned near the bottom you likely won't be interested in - its green and small, and is Plectranthus verticillatus, in case you want to check what it looks like. Equally, 'Cast Iron plant' is mentioned - that is Aspidistra elatior, yet another plain green plant.

One thing to remember though; suit the conditions you have indoors to the conditions the plant requires before buying. Finally, if your cats do not have free access to the outdoors, then providing them with some cat grass https://m.petmd.com/cat/care/evr_ct_how-to-grow-cat-grass should deter their plant chewing habits - they really do need to eat grass periodically, and if they can't, they will chew on houseplants instead.


If you have enough light, ginger (in several varieties) has nice flowers, and when there were kittens around it was a favored kitten jungle in a 16 gallon pot. If you lack sufficient light, you won't get flowers. Three examples are:

I can also second Bamboo's mention of Saintpaulias, which do have varieties with leaves that are reddish on the underside, and which will flower more or less continuously with far more moderate light (and space) requirements than the gingers.


I've had excellent luck with Rosemary. Although only green (I've never been able to get it to flower), cats hate the smell and dislike touching it. For awhile, we had two rosemaries bookending a row of other, smaller plants. But cats being cats, they realized that they only had to knock over a rosemary to get to the salad greens next to them. You could also try lavendar, which has a similar habit and is easier to get to flower.

I had ginger (Zingiber sp) in an open-to-cats area, and our cats ate it in one day.

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