Flowers for Kitty

Hi Home-eccers-
I would hate to have a whole month go by without asking a new question! Hopefully you can help me with this one.
I have two small kittens (check out the picture, they’re way cute) and I live in a wee little Chicago apartment. Now that it’s spring, I’d like to have some houseplants. Here’s the question: what plants are safe for cats, but also can survive or thrive in low light? The ASPCA has a website that lists dozens of poisonous and non poisonous plants, but short of looking each one up, I’m not sure how to figure out what some good choices may be. I’d really like some flowers. Can you ladies help me out here?
Algernon’s Mommy
Ivy says:
I am the Ted Bundy of houseplants. It’s not solely my fault, the cats have helped greatly with this plant murdering. This is one of the reasons it is so important to find houseplants that are not toxic to your cats. If they eat enough of anything, it will make them throw up or have diarrhea, so just be careful.
I think your best bet is the African Violet. It doesn’t grow in low light conditions, however, so put it in an east or north window. A good gauge to whether or not your violet is getting enough light is this- if it doesn’t flower, it’s not getting enough light. If the leaves turn brown along the edges, it’s getting too much light.
African violets are also picky about how much water and humidity they have. They’re native to African tropical rainforests, so they thrive in conditions with a lot of water and humidity. But, of course, not too much. Keep your plant in a pot wit a deep saucer. Put some pebbles in the bottom of the saucer and keep water in the saucer. That’ll work for watering your plant as well. I remember as a kid helping my grandma water her plants and she freaked out when I watered the violets from above. Apparently that’s bad for your violet, so only water from the saucer.
The other route you can go for choosing houseplants is to go look at houseplants you’re interested in and look them up for toxicity. This is what I do- it wastes a bit of gas and time since you have to go twice to the store, but it’s worth it.
The only thing I find I can successfully grow in my house with my cats is catnip. And even then, I grow it and my cat destroys it. Then I grow some more and he destroys some more. It’s still nice to have some green in the house, though.


  1. Anthony (I love Gardening) Finney on August 25, 2008 at 11:07 pm

    Hopefully your problem has been fixed now and you are on your way to beautiful plants!

  2. Pet Cares on June 13, 2008 at 4:50 am

    i thing there are no problems within cat and bamboo anyway 🙂

  3. Amanda on May 24, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    Hi, I am all too familiar w/your dilemma!With much trial & error, I have ultimately found great success with Wheatgrass. It is cheap & super simple to grow. It sprouts in 3-4 days and reaches the ideal height for the kitty’s in another 3-4 days. I usually try to keep at least three planters of the Wheatgrass around the house in the summer because I’m always growing something new & I love fresh flowers! She immediately took to her grassy treat, but Cats are curious and she still takes interest in any new plants. At first when I would see her eyeing a new plant or even find her mid-attack, I would pick her up and take her to one of her planters of Wheatgrass and she’d start nibbling and seemed to forget about her previous plans. Now, I just pick up her planter and she will usually come running.
    Originally I found success in treating her naughtiness with a simple shake of a small spray bottle filled with water. I have only actually let the water spray out two or three times. Regardless of what she is doing, If I pick up the spray bottle, she immediately disappears!
    Wheatgrass Details: My last purchase of Wheatgrass seed I purchased from eBay. For 15 lbs. of Organic Wheatgrass seed I paid $12 + S&H which I think ran around $10. This will last me a lifetime, but it was a great deal less for bulk!
    I am so grateful to have finally found ways to end her turmoil! I know all cats are different and what works for one may not be so good for another, but I wish you Ultimate Success in your Venture! Oh, and soon!

  4. Aerinea on May 22, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    I kill plants easily, but we have had bamboo for 2+ years and it has survived me and the cats.

    We have also had some luck with putting river rocks or pebbles on top of soil to keep the two cats from digging or peeing in it.

    We have a couple spider plants (I don’t know what they are called, technically) that have lived several years, won’t die, and thrive in low light.

    Also, we just tried cat grass (wheatgrass) which they loved to nibble on but didn’t destroy.

  5. themomhalf on May 22, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    if it grows out doors of its own accord I can grow it but if it needs to be indoors well i can kill it :).

    Christmas tree, the cat would eat the fake christmas tree, and well it would come out of kitty the same way it would go in kitty, so yuck.

    I know there are some plants sold just for kittys to chew on. Grasses and the such.

    good luck

  6. Darla on May 21, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    The Ted Bundy of house plants – ROFL!

  7. Soire on May 21, 2008 at 9:40 pm

    Bamboo! It’s pretty, has survived me for 4+ years, and the kitties can (and do…) eat it!

  8. Angela on May 21, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    I have not had a problem with my cat eatting the plant, but playing in the dirt is a different story. I have a few plants, I do not know there names, they were gifts and were here long before little kitty entered the house. Covering the soil with tin foil works well though to keep kitty out of the dirt. Also leaving a space for the cat between the window and the plant so they can be in the window and not in the plant.