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    • 16 Apr, 2021

    Happy home, happy pets: the benefits of houseplants

    Over the last year, we’ve all had to spend much more time than usual in our flats and houses. As a result, many of us have looked for ways to create a more relaxing and enriching indoor space within our homes.

    If you’re missing the outdoor world, one way to deal with this can be to simply bring a little bit of it inside.

    It’s no secret that plants can boost our wellbeing, from the grounding and calming effect they have on our mental state to their ability to purify the air and reduce the amount of harmful substances that we breathe in. These same benefits can also be felt by our pets: houseplants can provide our four-legged friends with extra stimulation and enrichment, while also reducing stress and anxiety levels, all of which becomes even more important now that their familiar environment includes crowded kitchen tables and noisy video calls!

    A woman plays with her dog

    While it’s vital to be careful about the types of plant you bring into your home, as some can be toxic to domestic pets, thankfully there’s a wide variety of pet-approved greenery that is safe to have around your animals at home.

    Pooch-safe plants

    Areca palmChinese money plant, banana plant and several varieties of Fern are a few examples of plants that dog owners can safely keep.

    For flowering plants, try lavender: it can be grown indoors and its scent has a soothing, calming effect on both humans and canines. Your dog may enjoy sniffing the plant; however, try and make sure they don’t eat the lavender, as the plant matter can still be harmful in high quantities.

    Cat-friendly flora

    Catnip, a member of the mint family, is a plant famous for attracting cats and making them hilariously flop over and zone out if sniffed or eaten, but did you know its sedative effects can help reduce a kitty’s anxiety? Pop a pot of catnip on your windowsill and watch your cat go crazy for it! The plant’s effects can vary so monitor your cat to make sure it isn’t making them feel a little sick.

    A cat sniffing some catnip

    Spider plants are another very popular houseplant that cats seem to love snacking on, and they are non-toxic to both cats and dogs. They can have a similar effect to catnip, so you should keep an eye on your feline friends and consider keeping the plant out of reach if they seem to like it a little too much.

    “Bringing plants indoors can be great for both you and your pet, but do your research to make sure all your plants are safe – lilies, for example, are toxic to cats, whereas cat grass or the catnip plant can bring lots of safe entertainment.”

    Kayleigh Kilcommons

    Head of Cattery

    Cat grass is something you can easily grow and care for indoors that any cat will be attracted to and love to chow down on. At Mayhew, we place pots of cat grass in the enclosures of our adult cats and vaccinated kittens for them to munch. This plant seems to help increase a cat’s intake of vitamins and minerals and can even help their digestion (it can occasionally make them vomit, but this is natural). Having cat grass in your home might also protect your other houseplants from being nibbled!

    The ones to avoid

    Some common houseplants such as lily, aloe vera, asparagus fern, devil’s ivy, philodendron, daffodil, chive and the rubber tree plant are extremely toxic to cats and dogs if ingested.

    This is not an exhaustive list, so we recommend you take extra care to check that any plants you bring into your home are safe for your pets. If you are worried your pet has eaten something that is making them sick, contact your vet immediately.


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