Here’s Why the Cat Palm Is One of the Few Plants Cats Can Safely Nibble


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“The Stromanthe Triostar is great for those interested in unique foliage, as its variegated white and green leaves flash hot-pink undersides,” says Pangborn. The colorful plant will happily grow in bright, indirect light. Bloomscape recommends boosting the humidity in your space to help it thrive (consider purchasing this humidifier to help!).

These tropical plants prefer humid environments and bright, indirect light. They have beautiful pencil-thin foliage that trails and spiky, branched stems that grow small greenish-white flowers in late winter or spring.

This may surprise you, but these Mexican natives aren’t trees or palms — they’re succulents! Since they store water in their bases and roots, they don’t require watering often. Keep them in sunny areas.

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Featuring deep green fronds and fuzzy roots, the Kangaroo Fern loves moist and humid environments. Water them consistently to prevent drooping leaves and keep them away from drafty windows, especially if you notice their leaves starting to curl.

Pangborn recommends the Cat Palm if you’re going for a tropical-inspired interior. Typically found in the forests of Mexico, the Cat Palm thrives in bright, indirect light, and according to Bloomscape, should be watered when the soil is halfway dry. “With a lush, fluffy appearance and dense foliage, this plant serves as a great statement piece,” Pangborn says.

These adaptable plants, also known as ribbon plants, can be kept in low or bright, indirect light. Bloomscape describes them as fast-growing evergreens that produce “spiderettes” that you can propagate to create new plants.

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Leaves with striking stripes make the Red Prayer Plant a standout in any room, especially if it has a fairly neutral color palette. Just make sure it’s in a sunny spot, keep the soil damp and mist its leaves once a week.

Calathea Freddie’s contrasting stripes really make an impact. Similar to the red-veined variety, the leaves will close up like hands in prayer during the evening and reopen once daylight hits. This houseplant requires more consistency, so make sure to keep the soil damp and move it to a bright spot in your home.

Even if you stick this plant in a hanging basket to keep it out of reach, you know your cat will find a way to get a hold of its fronds. But if you want to limit the chances of hanging plant mishaps, place it in a pot in a room with low to partial sunlight, and water it once you notice pale green leaves.

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Also called a “baby rubber plant,” this office-friendly houseplant has thick green leaves, producing tiny white flowers with little TLC. In fact, you only have to water it weekly (or biweekly, if you must) and give it indirect sunlight.

Birds Nest Fern

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This squiggly green plant really thrives in bathrooms since it loves humidity and doesn’t need a ton of natural light. These gorgeous fern plants can grow up to four inches in height, making them small enough for windowsills, countertops and desks.

RELATED: The Best Bathroom Plants You Can Buy

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Orchids may be more high-maintenance than the other houseplants on this list, but at least you won’t have to worry about your cat’s health if they take a bite. It will arrive at your door with fresh flowers, but don’t be alarmed when they fall off about three months later. Orchids also need to harvest their energy until next year’s bloom.

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Set this mini tree in any room to give it a tropical feel, thanks to its braided stem and palm-like leaves. Along with being incredibly low-maintenance, it is said to bring positive energy and good luck to the owner, according to ancient Feng Shui philosophy.

RELATED: The Best Feng Shui Plants for Positive Energy, According to Experts

Just as the bright red center starts to wilt, you’ll see baby bromeliads (a.k.a. “pups”) start popping around the plant’s base. That means, you won’t have to go too long without a flower. For ideal growing conditions, stick it in an open room with indirect sunlight and water it when the soil is dry to the touch.


Ionantha Guatemala Air Plants

Ionantha Guatemala Air Plants


Ionantha Guatemala Air Plants

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If you’re short on space, let air plants hang in planters or put them on display in small terrariums. Be thorough with the watering process: Every two weeks, soak the air plants in room temperature water and then mist them periodically.

Headshot of Amanda Garrity

Amanda Garrity is a lifestyle writer and editor with over seven years of experience, including five years on staff at Good Housekeeping, where she covered all things home and holiday, including the latest interior design trends, inspiring DIY ideas and gift guides for any (and every) occasion. She also has a soft spot for feel-good TV, so you can catch her writing about popular shows like Virgin River, Sweet Magnolias, Hallmark Channel’s When Calls the Heart and more. 

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Assistant Editor

Mariah Thomas (she/her) is an assistant editor for Good Housekeeping, where she covers home and lifestyle content. Mariah has more than four years of editorial experience, having written for TLC, Apartment Therapy, Women’s Health and Avocado Magazine. She received her master’s degree in journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism and published her first book, Heart and Soul: Poems of Thoughts and Emotions, in 2019. She’s also the founder of RTF Community a platform for creatives of color to connect, learn and showcase their work. 


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