Cat Food & Feeding

10 Cat Safe Plants for Your Home or Garden

Cats are carnivorous animals, meaning they survive on strictly a meat diet.

However, there are many plants, fruits and vegetables that your feline friends can eat and enjoy as a nutritious addition to their meaty diets.

What plants are safe for cats to eat

Valerian Root

In moderation, Valerian root can be as beneficial to cats as it is for humans. It is an herbal supplement used to help anxiety and sleep disorders, but it doesn’t stop there with the benefits.

It also provides relief from epilepsy and PMS, in humans. Cats can also benefit greatly from moderate use.

Though the research is limited, in small experiments it has been shown to decrease blood pressure and heart rate, and ease gastrointestinal distress in felines.

Of course, please don’t try to self-medicate your cat (or yourself!) without veterinary approval.

Spider Plant

This is a common plant in many households, it’s dangly spider-leg like leaves drawing the attention of any and all felines within the area.

Perhaps this is why house cats are so enamored by the spider plant, or is there something else to it?

Yes, in fact the spider plant gives off a slight odor the felines may be attracted to. And, aside from that, the plant offers a slight hallucinogenic effect in cats, similar to that of catnip.

According to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), the spider plant is non-toxic to cats.

The chemical compound of spider plants is related to those found in opium, and while it is in fact non-toxic and safe to consume, too much of it can cause upset stomach and potential vomiting.

However, just like people, cats may respond differently to spider plants, and while one may receive incredibly potent effects by consuming it, another may be entirely unaffected.

Just keep an eye on your furry friends, and be sure they don’t eat too much of it and make themselves sick.


Lilyturf, also called creeping lillyturf, is a cute, lovely plant to keep in your yard. Cats seem nicely attracted to it, as well. And, unlike other “lily” plants, lilyturf is entirely safe for your cats to ingest.

It is a perfect plant to line a garden or walkway, and has the added benefits of air purification. It helps to remove nasty things like toluene and formaldehyde, both cancer causing agents, from the air.

It is excellent for those people who are frequently exposed to the fumes of cleaning products or paints, smog and carbon monoxide.

The ability of this plant to detoxify the air is perfect for people, and cats. It aids in cleaning the air for people with lung conditions, such as asthma and can provide a lovely fresh air indoors.

Barberton Daisy

Just like lilyturf, Barberton daisies offer a clean, detoxifying air environment. It sucks benzene and trichloroethylene right out of the air, and is ideal for increasing the over-all oxygen level in your home while purifying it.

It is best for the people who live in smog heavy cities, or are exposed to car or fuel fumes, or smoke. Just like lilyturf, it is extremely beneficial to those people suffering from asthma or emphysema.

And just like lilyturf, it is a lovely little plant perfect for indoor or outdoor gardens, and is entirely non-toxic to our furry little feline companions.


Cats seem to love any and all plants in the mint family, and luck for them they are all entirely non toxic.

Peppermint helps steer pesky mice away from your home, so if you have a problem of “gifts” left on your doorstep, this will be a good option for your garden.

Catmint is a gorgeous purple bloom that attracts not only cats, but butterflies and wonderful pollenating bees!

And the granddaddy of all mints, catnip. The quintessential king of herbs for kitty cats. The catnip herb is beloved by many cats all around the world, and is used as a calming agent for anxious fur babies.

It works as a stress reliever, and besides that there’s many potential benefits of exposing your cat to catnip. If your kitty seems a bit itchier than normal, you can soak their fur and skin in a soothing tea bath to help relieve their itchiness, while also providing a calming effect.

Catnip is a cat wonder “drug” and it is not hard to see why.

What plants are safe for cats to eat


There are many herbs you can grow inside and outside of your home to improve your cat’s health. As mentioned previously, catnip is the best for relaxation, and so is Valerian root. However, there’s many others available to you.

Cat thyme is a suitable substitute if your kitty is one that seems unaffected by catnip. It provides a similar relaxation, sedative affect and provides feelings of contentment.

The only downside to cat thyme is that it is very slow growing, so if you go this route you’ll need patience.

If your kitty has skin issues, such as excessive itching, chamomile and Echinacea may be just what you and your feline friend need.

These herbs, combined with calendula, can be used to create a tincture with many purported medicinal properties that will help your kitty feel its best. Of course, as always, get in contact with your veterinarian before attempting to medicate your pet.


“Lemongrass” is a general term for over 50 perennial plants native to Asia and India. It is used in cooking, pesticides and preservatives, and also can be concentrated into an essential oil which has many health benefits to humans.

It deters insects, but has the benefit of attracting bees. It is an easy plant to grow, and thrives in both inside and outside gardens.

It poses no danger to cats when ingested as a plant, though it can cause vomiting when the kitty eats too much like with many types of grasses. However, an intense craving for lemongrass can indicate some nutritional deficiency, or disease such as hyperthyroidism.

Despite its safety to felines as a plant, as a concentrated essential oil it can be toxic. They lack a liver enzyme to break down essential oils, and they can build up in their livers and cause liver damage or reach toxic levels and really make your cat sick.

One option, instead of a lemongrass extract, get a dydrosol form instead. It reduces its potential toxicity.

Areca Palm

Another plant with air detoxifying properties, areca is known as a cane type palm because of the bamboo looking stems of a matured plant, and can reach upwards of 5 feet in height.

It is an attractive plant that improves décor in an office or home, and offers aforementioned air purification.

It pulls toluene and xylene from the air, and increases over all oxygen levels in a room, or an entire home. The purification benefits show especially for people with asthma, much like many plants on this list.

The areca palm is an easy to grow plant that is entirely safe for your fur babies to chew on, if you don’t deter them with lemon juice.

The ASPCA designated it non-toxic for both cats and dogs, so you can rest easy with them growing where kitty can munch.

What plants are safe for cats to eat

Licorice root

No, not the licorice candy, which is very different from licorice root. Which, mind you, doesn’t even contain real licorice.

Licorice root is often used as an anti-inflammatory and steroid replacement in humans. It stimulates digestion and helps to relieve bowel irritations in conditions like irritable bowel syndrome.

Along with these benefits, it can help relieve coughs, control cortisol levels, and even relieve stress and anxiety.

While it has many benefits, it shouldn’t be used in anyone or thing that has high blood pressure, diabetes or liver disease.

It lowers potassium, which can lead to increased blood sodium levels which in turn increases blood pressure. So definitely avoid if your kitty has heart problems or issues with blood pressure.

Licorice root can be given to your cat internally as a tincture, boiled into a tea, or as a dry powder in their food. It can be given topically as well for skin problems, inflammation and other conditions. A tea compress, oil infusion or salve to rub on the problem area.

African Violets

The final plant on this list is the beautiful African violet. They are appealing to gardeners of all types due to the many colors they form, and their large variety of petal formations. They are a perfect plant for novice gardeners because they are easy growing.

Many cats love to chew on the leaves and petals, and are thankfully non-toxic and safe to ingest for your furry friend.

However, even though the plant itself is entirely safe and edible, you should be careful to use a cat-safe fertilizer as well. Not to mention, be careful with insecticides. Certain types can lead to a buildup of toxins in the kitty’s body.

While all these plants are safe and non-toxic in moderation, it is still better to be safe than sorry and keep your kitty from eating or chewing on any plants you grow.

About the author

Michelle West

Michelle West

Michelle West is a pet loving writer with many years of hobbyist writing under their belt. They are passionate about many topics, from pets and their care to space exploration, and many things in between.


  • I always wondered about specific plants. I’ve seen my aunt’s cat eating grass a few times, and he loves smelling flowers. It worried me that he may smell a flower that could be dangerous to him. This article was definitely helpful.

  • Thank you for this informative article,I keep a home garden and I have been worried about my cats nibbling on the plants in my garden, however, after reading this article I am rest assured that the spider plants in my garden cause no digestive harm to my cats.

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