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July 26, 2023 |8 min read |Veterinarian Reviewed

The 5 Best Plants That Are Safe for Cats to Eat

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As a cat owner and homeowner, it's good to know about the common house plants that can be toxic to your furry friend:

Lilies, marijuana, sago palm, tulip and narcissus bulbs, azalea and rhododendron, oleander, castor bean, cyclamen, kalanchoe, yew, amaryllis, autumn crocus, chrysanthemum, English ivy, peace lily, pothos, and schefflera are all common indoor plants that could cause problems like minor irritations in your cat’s mouth and throat, vomiting, diarrhea, kidney issues, heart issues, seizures, and even death. 

But what plants are cat safe?
Cats are known to nibble on things – plastic bags, leaves, your toes. So if Fluffy is going to be gnawing on anything she can get her cute little mitts on, shouldn't we at least try to put healthy munchies around the house?
Thankfully, there are several plants that top the list of the best cat safe plants. Here are our favorites.

#1 Catnip, Silver Vine or Cat Thyme

Catnip Plant - PrettyLitter

Let's just put these front and center. Not only are 
catnip, silver vine, and cat thyme pet safe plants, but they're also healthy for your kitty. Each of these cat friendly plants acts as a stimulant for your cat, which can dramatically lower stress levels and boost mood.
Catnip is the most well-known of these stimulating herbs, but not all cats respond to it. Only about two-thirds of cats have a reaction to catnip. Silver vine, on the other hand, affects about 80 percent of cats.
Still, if your cat doesn't react to catnip and you can't find silver vine, give cat thyme a try. Like catnip and silver vine, cat thyme can relax away the stress of your cat's day. However, some humans don't like its scent.
These indoor plants are easy to grow and since they grow quite slowly, they're also easy to maintain. So grab a seed pouch to grow your own or pick up a starter houseplant at your local pet store or nursery. Your cat will thank you – after she's done spazzing out.

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#2 Good Grass

Cat Grass - PrettyLitter

Maybe it's the long, thin blades that appeal to cats or the satisfying crunch they get when they snap one off and munch on it like a celery stick, but all cats seem to love grass. Both lemongrass* and cat grass are some of the best plants for cats.
If you go to your local pet shop, you'll likely see little trays of cat grass near the register. Cat grass is actually any form of grass that's safe for felines to rub noses with, including barley, oat, and wheat grasses.
However, many homeowners like to grow lemongrass in their homes for the subtle, refreshing smell, as well as the many cooking uses it offers. While the blades of lemongrass aren't quite as long and lean as cat grass, we thought it deserved to be included in the types of good grass your cat will appreciate.

*Note: While lemongrass is OK for kitties to nibble in small amounts, lemongrass essential oil can be harmful. Be sure to keep your furry friends away from any lemongrass essential oils, including diffusers.

#3 Herbs

Cat Safe Herbs - PrettyLitter
Here's another thing you and your cat have in common: a love for herbs. If you enjoy cooking with fresh herbs like the parsley or rosemary plant, you can start doing a happy dance – they're safe for your fur baby, too!
In fact, parsley is full of potassium, beta-carotene, and vitamins A, B, and C, which are all good things in the cat world.

The rosemary plant is one of the world's most favored herbs for its versatility in cooking as well as its relaxing scent. So do cats like rosemary? Yes! Your cat loves it because rosemary acts as a natural flea repellant, too!

However, it's important to also note that the strong scent of rosemary can be too powerful for some cats. That's why it is often used as a cat repellent as well. If you do not want your cat to go to a specific place or you want to deter them from scratching, try making a cat repellent spray with rosemary oil and water. 

#4 Valerian

Many of the cat friendly plants that are healthy for your cat are also healthy for you! In the world of us two-legged creatures, valerian is known for its sleep promoting properties. However, it'll do just the opposite for your cat.
Valerian acts as a stimulant for your cat and gives her all the good feels. In fact, if your cat is carrying around a bit of excess weight, it may be just what your cat needs to get some good, healthy exercise.
If you get a valerian house plant for your home, you may see your kitty nibbling on its leaves – and that's perfectly fine. It's safe to eat and your cat will love her new source of natural energy.

#5 Spider Plants

Cat and Spider Plant - PrettyLitter

If you're looking for something that looks more like a house plant and less like something that should be stocked in the produce aisle at your grocery store, a spider plant may just be the solution you're looking for. It's safe for cats and is known for its ability to remove toxins from the environment. A spider plant can thrive in a low light or indirect light environment, making it perfect as an indoor plant.

Spider plants are vibrant green house plants that have long, thin foliage that grows from the center of the plant and falls outward in arches to form a gorgeous, symmetrical display.
Cats love the stimulant qualities, which are quite similar to catnip. Plus, those leaves are just irresistible to cats who love to bat at stringy, bouncy things.

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The Best Herbs for Cats

The plant world is chock full of green things that can make your kitty feel better. However, not all of them should be kept in plant form around your house.
For instance, many herbs are best for your cat when they are brewed and concentrated down into a tincture (a concentrated extract of a specific herb or herbal blend). A tincture can then be applied topically, depending on the type and use.

Here are some of the best cat friendly plants when they're in tincture essential oil form:

  • Calendula – used for skin issues and excessive itching.
  • Cat's Claw – contains a natural cortisone, which is used for feline allergies and excessive itching.
  • Chamomile – used for skin issues and excessive itching.
  • Dandelion – used for feline allergies and excessive itching.
  • Echinacea – used for skin issues and excessive itching.
Always consult your veterinarian before using any essential oil tincture on your feline friend. If your vet gives you the thumbs up, these may be great alternatives to pharmaceutical medications.
We all want to brighten up the house a bit, and a plant may be just the extra touch you need. There are other plants such as a Boston Fern, African Violet, Castiron Plant, Prayer Plant, Swedish Ivy, and Peperomia Obtusifolia that are cat friendly. The list of non-poisonous plants that our pets will love goes on. A little research on the perfect house plant won’t hurt–we should always ask ourselves before bringing in the perfect plant home, “Is this a cat safe plant or poisonous plant?” Afterall, the last thing we want is a toxic plant harming our kitty.
  1. Preventative Vet. Top 10 Indoor Plants Safe for Cats.
  2. Animal Emergency Service. Non-Toxic Plants for Pets.
  3. PetKeen. 7 Herbs That are Safe for Cats (& Ones to Avoid).


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Christina Scamporrino is a lifelong animal lover and began working in the petcare space in 2019. Christina’s passion for the community of feline owners and enthusiasts have led her to designing premium packaging for PrettyLitter cat litter, PrettyPlease dry food, wet food, and treats, and a litter box designed to solve common litter box issues.

Outside of her professional work in the petcare space, Christina is a longtime kitten foster and has worked with several cat rescues throughout Southern California. When given the option, she favors orange cats, but loves all cats equally.


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Geoff DeWire

PrettyLitter's Veterinarian in Chief Dr. Geoff DeWire graduated UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 2007 where he earned the Pfizer Clinical Achievement Award for Excellence in Veterinary Medicine.

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