I've been meaning to bring some green life into my home for a long time. Pinterest and Instagram were filling my head with dreams of giant leaves lolling over a morrocan rug and a bright window, and I wanted that look bad.
But my mom (moms are the best) warned me that many houseplants are toxic to kitties and can even be fatal! As a cat owner (and lover), I knew I would need to do some research before even thinking about bringing greens in.
Fortunately, the ASPCA has some great resources, including a list of toxic and non-toxic plants for dogs, cats, and even horses.
It's a little overwhelming, though.
It's a fairly long list of plants I didn't recognize. But I worked through it and came up with a short list of hopefuls to find at my local home improvement store.
Except, I couldn't find any of them. Not one.
Apparently I also needed to find a not-toxic-to-cats plant which was actually easily found in my area. So I gave up. As you do.
A few months later, though, the bug bit again. So I decided to go for the reverse tactic to my first attempt and just bring the list of non-toxic plants to the store with me and see what I could find.
And it worked!
I took note of a few different plants which I found easily, were in abundance, and are non-toxic for kitties, so that, hopefully, you can use this as a possible starting point if you're on the same hunt I was.
Technically, it's "Lucky Bamboo." These guys are seriously hardy.
They can be planted in rocks/water or soil and come in lots of sizes.
They are non-toxic for dogs and cats, and they will get as big as you want them to (apparently).
The price range varies drastically depending on size.
We got a tiny one for $3 and named him Fred.
I've actually had this little one for over a year. These can be found all over the place in my area, and I got one because I wanted to try my hand at keeping something alive and this was supposedly hard to kill. Turns out the internet was right! (fist pump) They are non-toxic to dogs and cats and are great for hanging.
Her name is Hairiet. (Get it??)
This is one that Justin and I both liked a lot, so we'll probably be back for one this summer.
We found plenty of these in different sizes, and they have the added coolness of a braided trunk!
I can't wait to see what this will look like in our home... if I can find a place to put it...
They are non-toxic to pets, and are easy to care for as well (a very important feature for this gal).
It looks especially cool in this image, which Casey and Bridget from The DIY Playbook let me use so you could see it in action.
There were several of these in different sizes at our local Lowes.
They are nice and bright, plus they have a weird trunk, so that's cool.
The small ones look a little other-worldly to me, so I think they would look really nice on a desk... if you can keep your kitties away from their tempting "fringe."
Last on the list, this is what I ended up getting to satisfy my craving for large, leafy, and green.
Ringing in at around $15, this guy seemed to give me the most greenness per dollar spent, and has changed the entire feel of our bedroom.
I purchased him knowing he was non-toxic for dogs and cats.
We don't really know what we're doing, so we just put him in a pail and called it a day.
His name is Bartholomew.
TIP: Cats won't get sick from these plants, but they might play with and munch on them, which could still make their tummy upset. I have a big problem with my cats wanting to eat anything green (I tried to garden once and was thwarted by my cats eating all of my sprouts), so I'll be getting some bitter spray made especially for keeping cats away from plants.
UPDATE: Ugh. They won't leave Bartholomew alone! Our first bitter spray (Whisker City "No Chew") was safe on plants but didn't work, as I found one of the kitties just sitting there licking it off the leaves (before eating the leaf itself), so apparently it did not taste bad... Hmm... Will keep you apprised of my progress here. For the meantime, Bartholomew lives on our balcony, where he is perfectly content as he is hardy and difficult to kill and loves direct sun. Whew.
This plant-finding experience was much better than my first attempt, plus I got the added bonus of seeing Justin's plant-naming skills in action.
Hopefully, you'll get a little kickstart from this post at least. Having cats is the best ever, but it can place restrictions on what we can do in our homes from time to time. Mostly, I wanted to encourage my fellow cat parents out there that it's totally possible to have a trendy, green home with kitties.
Enjoy the hunt!