Dog tested, Cat approved!
Why do cats and dogs eat houseplants? Some people believe it's to calm an upset stomach or help process hairballs, while others think pets are attempting to remedy a nutritional deficiency.
It can be challenging to keep a houseplant away from a pet with a determination to chew, so it's up to us to ensure that any plants we cultivate in the home are safe and non-toxic to our furry friends.
Except for edibles like cat grass, it's always better to keep houseplants out of a pet's reach if you can. Below are the NPARKS recognises plants that are non-toxic to cats and dogs.
Prayer Plant (Maranta Leuconeura)
This indoor air purifying plant comes from South America. It has unique, distinctive rows of brown to dark-green lines crossing its leaf midribs. But what makes this plant special among all the other Asian indoor plants is the leaves fold upwards giving the plant an appearance of praying every time dusk approaches.
Aside from being a beautiful addition to the house, it also makes an interesting conversation piece when you have guests over.
Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra Elatior)
This plant has such a weird name due to its ability to withstand neglect no matter the condition, so even if you have a non-existent green thumb, these Asian indoor plants might still survive. A native plant to Japan and Taiwan, the cast iron plant is known to increase the humidity by 5 to 10 per cent. Not to worry if any of your cats and dogs choose to nibble on the large leaves, it's non-toxic, so no harm is done.
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum Comosum)
Safe and sprouting with dozens of shoots, the spider plant looks like a little mini waterfall overflowing in a pot. Because this plant tends to dangle, it will be best to hang them up high in a hanging basket to avoid any cat-induced catastrophes – those stems can be enticing!
Areca Palm (Dypsis Lutescens)
There are several varieties of palm that are easy to keep indoors, and won't leave your furry friends sick or feeling icky. Areca palm, also known as the butterfly palm makes an interior feel like a piece of the tropics. Sometimes palm fronds can trigger a cat's playful swatting and biting instincts, so it's comforting to know that the areca palm isn't toxic for cats or dogs. Aside from adding to the aesthetics of the room, these Asian indoor plants are on the list as the top air-purifying plant, and it's known to add humidity to the air. Grow in a bright room, and allow the soil to dry out between waterings.
Boston Fern (Nephrolepis Exaltata)
One of the advantages of adding Boston fern to your home is it helps to remove toluene and xylene (types of toxins) from the air and is said to work as a living air humidifier and can help to restore moisture in the air. Not only are these Asian indoor plants aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but they are also perfect for those who suffer from dry skin and or are in air-conditioning all day. An enduring houseplant favourite, but their "hairy" fronds may tempt cats and dogs to chew. The foliage is non-toxic to cats and dogs, so brighten up your guest room or bathroom with these lush plants.
The bamboo plant is often associated with pet-friendly and feng shui friendly houseplants. Do note the number of bamboo stalks planted as each numeric represents different aspects: 2 for love and marriage (double happiness), 3 for happiness, wealth and longevity, 5 for 5 elements for a balanced life, 6 for increasing opportunities for wealth, 7 for bestowing health, 8 for the blessing of wealth and abundance, 9 for good fortune and 10 for completeness and perfection in life.
Growing of bamboo plant is effortless, doesn't require a lot of sunlight, and you can either plant in soil or cultivate in water which can be a perfect choice for bathroom and kitchen.
Another plus point of having bamboo is its efficiency to detoxifying the air in your apartment or home. It releases up to 35 per cent more oxygen than regular trees making sure you have clean and fresh air always.
Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica)
The money plant, also known as the money tree, is a popular indoor plant because they are known to be the bringer of good luck and prosperity. It is advisable to place the plant near the main door of your home.
Aside from what it is commonly known for, it works as air-purifier to reduce toxins such as formaldehyde from the air which is an excellent choice for anyone with asthma, lung issues or calls a smoggy city home. It's also comforting to know that the money plant isn't toxic to cats or dogs.
Haworthia Succulents (Zebra Plant)
Jump on the succulent bandwagon with the personality-filled haworthia houseplant. Haworthia, also known as the zebra plant, are very hardy and don't require you to have a green thumb. The striped, spiky foliage is the subject of many faux succulent arrangements, but the real plant is safe for cats and dogs and easy to grow in a sunny windowsill. Plant haworthia in a sandy cactus mix, and water once every seven to ten days. Adding succulents and cacti to your home can help keep your air fresh while also removing toxins from the environment.
African Violet (Saintpaulia Ionatha)
For anyone looking to add a pop of colour to their home, consider the African violets, whose leaves typically bear a purple or deep pinkish hue. African violets are at the top of every edible flowers list and should be relatively safe unless anyone has an allergic reaction towards them. If you can find a sunny spot for this plant to settle, you and your furry friend can enjoy its beautiful blooms year-round.
Moth Orchids (Phalaenopsis Blume)
Caring for orchids might require a little more skill to keep, but moth orchids not only bring beautiful blossoms indoors, but they also purify indoor air. They are most well known to combat paint fumes; as a result, you end up with fresher air free of xylene, a common pollutant in the paint, air fresheners, ink, and adhesives. So if you happen to know of any pet parents who recently made a move, these Asian indoor plants make great housewarming gifts.
Some common and easy-to-purchase plants in your home can be harmful to your pet. When consumed by your dog or cat, it may cause gastrointestinal upset, vomiting and other dire consequences.
Common plants to avoid are the azalea, daffodil, dieffenbachia, kalanchoe, aloe, arrow-head vine, lily, ivy, caladium, jade plant, chives, cycads, philodendron, dracaena, caladium, ficus, garlic, snake plant, lantana, leek, lemongrass, lime, mint, morning glory, portulaca, onion, parsley, caesalpinia, periwinkle, alocasia and brunfelsia.
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