Outdoor Plants Safe For Cats

Outdoor Plants Safe For Cats

If you are a cat person and a gardening enthusiast at the same time, you might want to consider outdoor-based plants that are safe for cats. The last thing you want to do is introduce species that are bad, or even poisonous to your furry friend.

We’re going to lead you through the best non-toxic plants for cats that still let you have some diversity and gorgeous flowers in the garden. This way, you won’t have to sacrifice the layout of your yard while enabling your pet to still enjoy the great outdoors carefree!

The Risks Of Cats Ingesting Toxic Plants

While you can control the conditions indoors and remove toxic plants out of your cat’s sight, it might be more difficult for the outdoors. They rely on their instincts, and will likely avoid ingesting anything they consider to be dangerous.

However, it’s the small kittens that are at the highest risk of accidentally ingesting poisonous plants. In case of this unwanted scenario, here are some of the health risks for your cat that poisoning can cause:

  • Vomiting
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Damage to liver or kidneys
  • Blindness
  • Seizures
  • Heart rate difficulties

As you can see, it’s not something that can be taken lightly, since your cat might experience serious health issues. 

Avoiding The Risks

One of the ways you can ensure that the new species you plan on introducing into your garden are safe is to rely on veterinary advice. As much as they are not experts in planting and gardening, they should be aware of the most toxic kinds for your furry friend.

Also, you can use the ASPCA list of toxic plantsOpens in a new tab. while looking for new flowers to bring into your garden. Even with all that precaution, it’s natural that some of the commonly found plants in everyone’s garden could pose danger to your pet.

That’s why we’ll now go through the list of the best outdoor plant species that are safe for cats, to get you in the right direction.

Cat Friendly Plants For Your Yard & Garden

There are many flowers and even palms that are completely safe for your cat, and it’s time we introduce some of the best variances. Most of these plants are safe both for cats and dogs as well, so you can use our list for both four-legged friends.

Cat and Rose
Cat and Rose


Still, let’s focus on the ones that are non-toxic for your furry friend first:

  • Petunia
  • Majesty palm
  • Money tree
  • Ponytail palm
  • Rattlesnake plants
  • Bamboo palm
  • Sunflower
  • Roses
  • Spider plant
  • Camelia
  • Boston fern
  • Neon prayer plant
  • American rubber plant
  • Polka dot plant
  • Bird’s nest fern

We’ll try to give you as many details as possible on all of these plants so you can create a non-toxic garden for your cat. Have in mind that some plant species that are safe for your cat still carry certain risks, such as rose thorns, but they don’t pose any health danger.


These annuals thrive in full sun and are some of the best colorful flowers your kitten can freely play with. Your cat might take a quick chew every now and then, and you don’t have to worry about any consequences with these.

Plus, they make an amazing addition to your summer garden. Your kitten might also be attracted due to the pleasantly bright colors and appeal of this flower. 

Majesty Palm

One of the plants that especially draws the attention of your cat is Majesty palm. It’s due to the exotic leaves and the good thing is – your kitten can chew on them without any problems. That is unless your pet chews too much which could cause slight digestive issues.

This can mostly happen to young kittens and it should still be fine as this plant doesn’t have any toxic substances in the leaves. It’s one of the indoor and outdoor plant varieties you can set up without having to worry that you’ll endanger the health of your pet.

Money Tree

Cats love chewing on plant leaves especially when they are bored, and planting money trees can help you create a non-toxic environment. You can plant them both indoors and outdoors in baskets and your cat can play and chew without having digestive issues.

It might be worse for the plant itself than for your pet since the money tree can be damaged by frequent bitting. The leaves don’t have any toxic substances in them, making this plant one of the top choices not only for outdoors but for in-house playtime for your pet.

Ponytail Palm

Palms are essentially safe for cats, and the Ponytail palm confirms it. According to the ASPCA, this plant is non-toxic for kittens and dogs. They thrive in direct sunlight and make a perfect playtime partner for your kitten on the hot summer days.

It’s a great thing that this plant can even take humid conditions but only to a certain level. They grow best in dry zones and cats tend to get instantly attracted to their green leaves. Among the cat-friendly plants you can place both indoors and in the garden, this palm species is the top choice.

Rattlesnake Plant

One plant that your kitten might be particularly interested in is the rattlesnake plant. It’s perhaps due to the phenomenon where they raise and lower the green leaves with a reddish color on the underside.

So, this color combination and the phenomenon itself might be just too attractive for your cat not to pursue them for play. It’s non-toxic for your kittens as the rest of the Calatheas family are. These also include the Orbifolia peacock plant and Calatheas Ornata. You can plant your rattlesnake in an outdoor potOpens in a new tab. to beautify your garden for your pets.

Bamboo Palm

One of the all-time favorite plant species for your cat is surely the Bamboo palm. It primarily grows in Central and South America in direct sunlight and it even enjoys high humidity conditions.

Your cat might be tempted to chew on the leaves, and these are also air-purifying plants, so they can’t be bad for your pet in any way. You should only be careful with your baby kittens in case they chew on too many bamboo palm leaves, which could cause them to concentrate in the throat and prevent normal breathing.


These sun-loving plant species like their soil moist, and are great for outdoor planting. While they are easy to care for, they also pose no danger to your cat. However, if your pet chews on the stems and leaves too often, it might cause some slight digestive issues.

Also, it’s possible that they will cause some vomiting in severe cases, so you might want to consider placing diversion plants to attract your pet’s attention instead. Still, the important thing is that sunflowers are not toxic in any way, and can’t cause serious health issues.


While roses are 100% safe and non-toxic for your cat, these flowers can still be somewhat dangerous. The thorny stems might cause pain in case your cat tries to play with them, or even worse, chew them.

Luckily, they mostly go for the flowers alone, and their taste often rejects them from further pursuing roses. One thing that might attract them is a pleasant scent, but you shouldn’t worry about having roses in your garden.

Spider Plant

As yet another pet-friendly option, the Spider plant can grow into a nice garden addition. It’s also safe for kittens since it’s listed by the ASPCA as a non-toxic plant for your furball friend. They might be attracted to this plant due to its hanging leaves and interesting appearance.

Luckily, no digestive issues will be caused even if your pet consumes a few leaves occasionally. You can therefore grow this species in hanging planters or pots either inside or outside. 


As flowers with a long-lasting life cycle, you can plant camellias and be carefree that your kitten will not have any toxic consequences. In fact, they can munch on these flowers without any digestive issues.

Choking is the only potential problem. even though the camellia flowers are tiny. You should pay utmost attention to baby kittens with these. On the other hand, growing camellia as a pet-friendly solution is easy and they prefer bright indirect sunlight and pH-neutral soil. 

They can be planted in early summer or later as a hardy plant species and bloom from October as colorful garden additions. Camellia can attract hummingbirds which can be particularly interesting to your furry friend.

Boston Fern

Growing Boston ferns might not be easy as they require humid conditions and bright indirect sunlight. They still might make one of the best options for the safety of your kittens due to their toxic-free composition.

As they have a unique appearance, your kitten might be attracted to the Boston fern plant and can freely chew on the leaves. There are no known digestive issues caused by consuming this plant.

Neon Prayer Plant

This unusual plant makes a stunning choice for your garden as it can be placed in a pot and doesn’t mind low light, making them perfect for different zones. Due to their small appearance, your cat can play and take a bite occasionally without choking or experiencing digestive issues.

They are non-toxic plants that can’t harm cats and require low maintenance as well. Your pet might be intrigued by the leaves that raise at night, which can also be good to stop them from chewing too often.

American Rubber Plant

Perhaps the only ones in the Rubber plant family that pose no danger to your cat are American rubber plant species. Not only are they non-toxic for your kittens, but they also clean up the air by removing toxins.

So, you could say that this plant is one of the top choices when choosing plants that are good for your pets. They are both indoor and outdoor plants and can grow up to 10 feet. 

Polka Dot Plant

Yet another unusual plant that you can place in your garden for kittens to play around with is the Polka dot plant. The only potential issue that might occur is occasional diarrhea in case your kitten chews on too many leaves.

They also require low maintenance with indirect light and monthly fertilizing. Their need for rich soil and high drainage might be something to look out for, but they are fairly easy to grow and add to your kitten’s playground.

Bird’s Nest Fern

Among safe plants for your cat, Bird’s nest fern is one of the best to pursue as it can be placed in hanging baskets if you want to restrict your pet from chewing on it. Otherwise, it makes an instant attraction due to strange-looking leaves.

They need indirect light and are common plants found in both backyard gardens and homes of pet owners.

Honorable Mentions

Of course, there are more plants that pose no danger for your furry pets, so we decided to give you a short overview of those species as well. Perhaps the simplest ones to plant in terms of caring instructions are Kimberly queen fern and African violets.

The fern species require frequent watering during summer drought periods. However, they can even thrive in direct sunlight and will add a sense of exotic plants to your garden.

Unlike what you might assume from its name, African violet isn’t drought tolerant and will require constant watering as well. Their colorful patterns will pose a real delight for your kittens along with camellia. They can be either planted in a garden or a flower bed.

Since we were talking about palm species before, it’s impossible to miss out on mentioning Chinese fan palm and Areca palm. They even filter the air from toxins, so you’ll have a diverse choice of small palm trees to grow near furry pets. 

Rhapis palm is also good for kittens to play around with without experiencing any difficulties after chewing the leaves.

Air plants and cast iron plant species aren’t toxic for pets as stated by the ASPCA.

Poisonous Plant Species

Grey Cat And Azalea
Grey Cat And Azalea

Now that you are aware of the plant species that are non-toxic for kittens, it’s time to swiftly go over some of the most poisonous ones. These are the main plants you should avoid placing in a garden to reduce the health risk for your furry pet:

  • Azalea
  • Lily
  • Sago palms
  • Aloe Vera
  • Jade plants
  • Cutleaf Philodendron
  • Pothos
  • Some snake plants
  • English Ivy

Some plants might seem dangerous by appearance like the Venus flytrap but are in fact safe. We recommend you take a look at the ASPCA listOpens in a new tab. to ensure that the plants you wish to grow are non-toxic for your pets.

Plants from the mint family should also be avoided as toxic ingestion of mint species might cause severe digestive issues, while only catnip and catmint are completely safe for your kittens.

Final Thoughts

As a pet owner, you develop special feelings for your kittens and grown feline friends, so you will want to make extra certain that nothing in your yard or garden will hurt your fur babies. 

We hope that now you know exactly which species are safe, and which ones to avoid placing in your garden.

Hopefully, it will help you avoid being in a situation where your furry friend winds up getting sick from a plant or flower.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Which plants are the safest for cats?

Some of the safest plant species that are pet-friendly for your kittens include bamboo palm, catnip, cast iron plant, Boston fern, and camellias. Also, most of the fern family species and annuals are safe.

Which species should you avoid placing in the yard with kittens?

If you have small kittens running around, you should avoid mint species, lillies, azaleas, and jade plants as the main threats.

Which snake plant species are toxic for cats?

The main snake plant species that might pose danger for felines include Mothers in law and the Moonshine snake plant which could cause tongue numbness and vomiting.

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