Bringing greenery indoors enhances any living space, but many popular houseplants pose toxicity risks for curious cats who may nibble or ingest the plants. Low light conditions further limit plant options. With careful selection, beginner indoor gardeners can successfully cultivate cat-safe plants that thrive in low light environments. Consider these factors and optimal picks when choosing low maintenance, pet-friendly houseplants.
Key Factors in Selecting Cat-Safe Low Light Indoor Plants
When assessing plant options, keep these important criteria in mind:
Foremost, avoid common houseplants toxic to cats if nibbled or ingested such as lilies, azaleas, sago palms, and aloe vera. Only consider varieties well established as cat safe.
Low Light Tolerance
Look for plants content with lower light environments away from windows and with solely artificial light sources. Measure potential spots with a light meter.
Select plants with preferences for less frequent watering and drier soil rather than those needing consistently moist soil. Cats dislike damp dirt.
Seeking out compact, slow growing varieties suited for containers controls size while also being appropriate for low light.
Avoid plants with trailing vines, loose leaves, or fuzzy textures that specifically attract cats to play with or chew on.
Best Low Light Houseplants Safe for Cats
Here are great, easy to grow indoor plants that check all the boxes in terms of cat safety and low light tolerance:
Snake Plant (Sansevieria)
A hardy succulent, snake plant tolerates low light and occasional watering. It is completely non-toxic if ingested by cats. The upright, spiky leaves are also less appealing for cats to nibble on.
Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra)
With tough, leathery leaves, the cast iron plant survives very low light neglected corners and is entirely cat safe if chewed or eaten. Its uninteresting foliage deters curious cats.
Available in a variety of bright or bold patterns, peperomia stay compact in low light while requiring minimal watering. They are non-toxic and safe for cats if nibbled.
Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea)
Despite its name, this easy care semi-succulent is a safe bet with cats. The thick base trunk deters chewing, and it is forgiving of low light. Dropped leaves also pose no risks if ingested by cats.
Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera)
With long lasting winter blooms, this epiphytic cactus tolerates low indoor light beautifully. It is completely non-toxic, though its spineless pads may attract nibbling.
African Violet (Saintpaulia)
Classic flowering African violets flourish under fluorescent or north facing windows. Their fuzzy leaves hold no toxicity risks for cats who snack on them.
Phalaenopsis Orchid (Phalaenopsis)
Easy to grow moth orchids provide months of blooms even under artificial light or shaded eastern windows. They are entirely cat safe if stems are munched.
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum)
Spider plants clean indoor air while entertaining curious cats with their long, dangling leaves. They grow well in low light with little water and are non-toxic.
Prayer Plant (Maranta leuconeura)
The eye-catching foliage of prayer plants folds up at night into a cat-safe, low maintenance houseplant requiring only occasional watering and low light.
Keeping Cats Safe With Indoor Plants
Beyond plant selection, use these added tips for safely cultivating indoor plants with cats:
- Place plants on high shelves or surfaces out of reach to avoid tempting pawing or chewing behaviors.
- Provide alternative greens for cats like cat grass and catnip to satisfy nibbling urges.
- Discourage any nibbling early before it becomes habit. Provide other outlets like toys.
- Closely monitor for vomiting, drooling or other symptoms if plants are ingested and contact your vet.
By carefully assessing toxicity risks, light and water preferences, and growth habits, beginners can successfully keep low maintenance, low light indoor plants even in cat occupied spaces. Focus on compact, hardy varieties that tolerate artificial lighting with minimal watering and pose no risk to curious felines who nibble. With informed plant selection and proper placement, beginners can cultivate a lively indoor garden safe for both plants and pets.