Houseplants are one of those essentials that can turn an apartment into a home in a snap. Here’s the thing though… if you have a tiny zoo like me, you need to be sure you’re selecting plants that are pet-friendly. Georgette has a tendency to chew on plant leaves, while Noodle seems to enjoy licking branches (they are so weird sometimes). There are so many reasons to bring plants into your home along with your furry friends, so there’s no need to eschew them all together — it’s just a matter of picking the right ones. Recently, I teamed up with Beyond Natural Pet Food from Purina to share how I shop for my pet-friendly plants, as well as a fun DIY to keep your new plants’ soil safe from cats.
To pick out some new leafy additions for my home, I started with a bit of research. The ASPCA has an incredible and exhaustive list of toxic and non-toxic plants, so I used this as my guide. Noodle and I went on a mini adventure to my favorite local gardening shop, Flora Grubb Gardens, to shop for the perfect pet-friendly plants to add to my home. Not only is this shop absolutely gorgeous, but they have everything you could possibly want to grow a jungle in your apartment.
I like to add succulents to my indoor jungle because they are easily grouped in low, wide planters. Echeveria is a great option when it comes to succulents. Another awesome succulent to look for is called a String of Pearls plant. If you’re looking for a funny plant to hang in your window, this is the perfect choice.
Want something bright and colorful? Orchids make for a great pet-friendly houseplant. Plus, there are just about a millllion different versions and colors.
Both bamboo and majesty palms are dramatic ways to bring pet-safe greenery into your home.
If your cat is anything like Georgette, she is determined to eat, chew on, and generally destroy any plant I bring home. One technique I’ve employed is the old bait-n-swap. I distract her with plants that are great for her to chew on, like ornamental grasses and catnip. Believe me when I say this, she goes b-a-n-a-n-a-s for catnip.
Once you get your plants home, there might be a little confusion about whether the pot can be used as a litter box. After some research, I found out that cats don’t like the feel of river rocks on their paws, so I decided to line my garden pots with those. I found mine at the beach, but you can also buy them at a local hardware store. To make them a bit more my own, I used white paint to add some floral doodles.
Painted River Rocks
- large garden rocks
- thin paintbrush
Before getting started, make sure the surface of each rock is clean and smooth.
These round flower shapes are something that I always doodle when I’m on the phone, so I decided to put all that practice to good use. You can also do geometric artwork, even stripes.
Once the paint is dry, add the rocks to the top of the potting soil. I’ve always had great luck with this trick when it comes to keeping Georgette out of the soil.
Over the course of partnering with Beyond Natural Pet Food, I transitioned both members of my tiny zoo to eating their food. Noodle will eat anything that’s not nailed down, but Georgette is quite the picky eater. We eventually struck a balance and now she’s happy with a mix of grain-free salmon wet food and grain-free ocean whitefish & egg dry food. The biggest difference is her coat: it’s sleeker and shinier than ever before!
Photography by Greg Zulkie
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Beyond Natural Pet Food. All opinions are my own and I would never endorse something I didn’t completely love. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Jojotastic going.