House plants and flowers are great to have around the home to soften edges and bring a bit of colour to our surroundings. Unfortunately, many plants and flowers can be dangerous for inquisitive cats. Some flowers, such as lilies, are incredibly toxic. Just exposing our cats to pollen from lilies can result in a fatality! Others are toxic in differing amounts but harder to ingest – daffodils, tulips, clematis, crocus and peonies to name but a few.
So if you have a cat and want to add colour and vibrancy to your surroundings with flowers, what should you pick to keep your cat safe? Here are five vibrant, non toxic flowers you can keep in the house without worry :
Everything that falls under Genus Rosa is safe – apart from the thorns! Other flowers with rose in the name but not actually of the rose family, such as Christmas Rose (Helleborus Niger), Desert Rose (Adenium Obesum) etc are to be avoided.
So what are Genus Rosa? Think red roses sent at Valentines, or English Roses from a garden. Genus Rosa are your traditional rose available in a wide variety of colours and sizes. All these are safe bar the thorns.
You can opt for indoor miniature rose bushes you can cultivate year round or a selection of garden roses in a bouquet – either way you get indoor colour knowing your cat is safe.
If a true, vibrant, splash of colour is your thing and you are thinking pot plants rather than bouquets, then you simply must consider the African Violet. This little beauty is safe for your cat and comes in a variety of colours despite the name – white, red, pink, blue and violet are the common variations.
African violets are distinctive flowers that come in a variety of size options from miniature (6 to 8 inches or less in diameter) through to large (over 16 inches diameter). They are considered to be generally fairly easy to keep requiring a southern facing window in winter and any bright indirect light in summer. Overwatering or under watering is to be avoided – keep damp but stop watering once the water drains from the pot.
Christmas Cactus or Easter Cactus are tropical cacti that bloom with red or white flowers. They are nontoxic to cats although ingestion of leaves in large quantity may cause diarrhea. These plants are a very popular flowering house plant and are generally pretty easy to keep. Being tropical rather than desert cacti, they need indirect light, humidity and infrequent watering – although during flowering season they need regular watering and feeding.
Named Christmas or easter cactus because of the typical flowering season which is kicked off by lower light and temperature conditions around Christmas and easter time.
Phalaenopsis Orchid/Moth Orchid
The moth orchid comes in a vast array of colours and sizes. These are the orchids that you regularly see sold in local stores. Colourful, exotic, beautiful and safe for your cat!
The moth orchid covers seventy different varieties that all vary in size, shape and colour. Generally, they have several large waxy leaves, long naked stems with a number of flowers at the top of the stem. Roots will often look similar to stems but will ramble out and downwards from pots looking for new areas to exploit.
Generally easy to care for and maintain they are originally plants that grow in tree crevices in tropical regions so require indirect dappled light most of the year and infrequent watering. Usually, if well maintained will give a flower display of four to ten flower on a stem for up to four months at a time.
Every school kid knows what a sunflower is, and we can confirm this gentle, sunny giant is, in fact, safe to have around cats. Although not the first flower that will come to mind as a houseplant, when in season these flowers are sometimes used in floral bouquets and can make a sunny bright indoor display.
Usually growing from 50cms to 3 metres tall, these flowers are characterised by either a single or double flower on a tall stem. If you want to propagate from seed indoors this shouldn’t represent any danger to your pet cat should they opt to have a quick nibble on seedlings.
Care is simple – lots of sun and plenty of water in a bright location…
Whilst we have concentrated on five flowering plants that bring a bit of additional colour to your home whilst being safe for your cat, there are more plants that you can safely place around the home without worrying that your cat might be in danger if they have a nibble. Check out 29 house plants safe for your cat for more ideas.