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14 Low Light Cats & Pet Friendly Houseplants (+5 To Stay Away From)

Whether your furry best friend is your dog or your furry best friend is a cat, you want to do everything you can to make their home a safe place to be! So if you decided to adopt a house plant or two, you need to make sure they’re safe for you and your pets.

If your new to plants or just don’t have a lot much light in your home, a low light non toxic house plant (approved by ASPCA) is the perfect place to start! Low light plants are typically incredibly hardy and easy to grow making them a fun (and easy!) addition to your home.

In addition, you can safely own these plants since they’re all pet and cat safe plants. No need to worry if your cat decides to take a nibble out of any of these plant’s leaves!

After college I lived in a small apartment with very little light and I adopted an older cat. We had to get creative on what plants would live in a spot with minimal light but were also safe for my cat! I only had a few plants at the time but the spider plant was one that I had multiple of since they’re so easy and safe for pets!

Let’s learn a bit about some easy, low light plants that are safe for you and your cats, dogs and other furry friends!

*I have another post full of 15 pet friendly houseplants for low to high light environments. Be sure to check that one out too!

14 Low Light Indoor Plants Safe for Cats, Dogs and All Pets

low light pet friendly plants

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1. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

spider plant in gold pot

The Spider Plants are a great choice for beginners. They’re easy to grow and don’t mind being left alone in dark corners!

In fact, they’re the second plant I ever owned way back in college! If they’re easy enough for a college student in a tiny apartment with minimal natural light, they’re easy enough for anyone.

Aim to water these plants about once a week or whenever they seem dry to the touch. Spider plants will produce babies when their roots get nice and bound so don’t transfer these to a bigger pot too soon or you won’t see spider babies that you can propagate!

Find more tips on my Spider plant care post.

Common Names: Airplane plant, spider ivy, ribbon plant

Botanical Name: Chlorophytum comosum

Light: adaptable in low light, does best in bright indirect light

Water: water about once a week or when the top inch of soil is dry

Where to Buy:

2. Bird’s Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus)

birds nest fern

The Birds Nest Fern is an easy to grow and maintain plant. It likes low to bright indirect light and should be kept away from too much bright sun (north or east facing windows are best).

Be sure to water this one weekly though! It doesn’t like to dry out. If the leaves look a little droopy, it likely just needs some water! Check the soil – if it’s dry, give it some water and it’ll perk up in no time.

This houseplant doesn’t grow super fast so you don’t have to worry about it getting overcrowded quickly.

Common Names: Bird’s nest fern, nest fern

Botanical Name: Asplenium nidus

Light: Likes low to bright indirect light

Water: water about once a week or when the top inch of soil is dry – don’t let it dry out! If it starts to droop, water it to perk it up.

Where to Buy:

3. Lemon Lime Prayer Plant (Maranta leuconeura var. erythroneura ‘Lemon Lime’)

lemon lime prayer plant

The Maranta gets its name because of how it folds its leaves in during the evening. This plant comes in a variety of shapes and colors and is one of the most highly-decorated foliage found in nature!

Maranta plants like filtered or dechlorinated water the best. The easiest way to do this is to fill your watering can overnight and water it the next day. This is one of my favorite plants!

Find more care tips on my Lemon Lime Prayer Plant post!

Common Names: Prayer plant, Herringbone plant

Botanical Name: Maranta leuconeura var. erythroneura ‘Lemon Lime’

Light: Likes low to bright indirect light. More light means more praying!

Water: Don’t let it get too dry before watering it again.

Where to Buy:

4. Ponytail Tree (Beaucarnea recurvata)

ponytail palm

The Ponytail Palm tree is a very low maintenance plant that can survive in both low and bright light! It’s ideal light is bright light but don’t worry if it doesn’t get that! This non-toxic plant can easily survive in low light.

It’s a slow grower but it’s beautiful ornamental green leaves will make a statement in any room you have it!

Common Names: Ponytail palm, pony tail, bottle ponytail

Botanical Name: Beaucarnea recurvata

Light: Can adapt to medium/low light but prefers bright indirect to full sun

Water: Drought tolerant – water every couple of weeks

Where to Buy:

5. Baby Rubber Plant (Peperomia obtusifolia)

baby rubber plant

Image via Plantasy Growers on Etsy

First, be careful that you get the baby rubber plant (Peperomia obtusifolia) and not the original rubber plant! The original rubber plant is toxic but the baby rubber plant is not.

This plant is a super easy plant that’s not demanding when it comes to regular waterings since it stores water in it’s fleshy stems.

Common Name: Pepper face

Botanical Name: Peperomia obtusifolia

Light: Most prefer medium to bright indirect light but can tolerate low light.

Water: Allow the soil to fully dry out between watering.

Check out my full baby rubber plant care guide here!

Where to Buy:

6. African Violet Plant (genus Saintpaulia)

african violet

African violet plants are beautiful indoor houseplants that will brighten up any space! It’s a bit temperamental especially about water and don’t like to dry out or stay too wet. They’re best watered from the bottom so you don’t damage their stunning leaves.

African violets like water that is lukewarm (let it sit out for 48 hours) and be sure to not get any water on the foliage!

They like medium to bright light that’s filtered but can do just fine in low light environments. Be sure to turn the pot frequently to prevent it from reaching (like most plants!).

Common Name: African violet

Botanical Name: genus Saintpaulia

Light: Most prefer medium to bright light but can tolerate low light.

Water: Water from the bottom weekly when the water is lukewarm.

Where to Buy:

Check out the best African Violet pots here and the best soil for African violets here!

7. Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra elatior)

cast iron plant

Image via Tropical Essense on Etsy where you can buy this plant!

One of the most hardy plants on this list, hence the name, these are great plants for new plant owners! They can tolerate low light and even temperature changes! They are drought resistant but do best when watered on a regular basis.

If your cats, dogs or other furry friend keeps you busy as it is, this simple yet beautiful house houseplant is a great option for you.

Common Name: Cast-iron plant, bar room plant

Botanical Name: Aspidistra elatior

Light: Low light away from direct light is best

Water: Keep soil lightly moist but not too wet.

Where to Buy:

8. Friendship Plant (Pilea involucrata)

friendship plant

Image via Plants in the Soil on Etsy where you can buy this beauty

If you love to share houseplants with others, try out a friendship plant! This low-light beauty is easy to divide and share with friends and since it’s safe for pet owners, it would be a welcome addition to any of your friends’ homes whether they have cats, dogs or any sort of pet!

Characterized by it’s furry and crinkly leaves, this pet-friendly houseplant will add some fun to your home.

Common Name: Friendship plant, Moon Valley Pilea

Botanical Name: Pilea involucrata

Light: Can handle low to bright indirect light.

Water: Water when top inch of soil is dry.

Where to Buy:

9. Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans)

parlor palm plant

Image via the Sill where you can purchase this beauty!

Wand to something a bit more tall and grandiose? One of the most popular houseplants on this list is a parlor palm! This plant can grow up to 8 feet tall and is incredibly easy to care for.

It’s adaptable to most light situations whether it gets low light or bright indirect sunlight and needs to be watered once the top inch of soil is dry.

Common Name: Parlor palm, Neanthe bella palm

Botanical Name: Chamaedorea elegans

Light: Adapts to low light well

Water: Overwatering is detrimental to this plant. Only water when the top inch of soil is dry.

Find my Parlor Palm care guide here!

Where to Buy:

10. Calathea Rattlesnake Plant (Calathea lancifolia)

Calathea Rattlesnake

Another member of the prayer family, rattlesnake plants are beautiful cat and dog friendly plants that’s easy to care for. It has long crinkly spotted leaves that can grow very large. Keep it away from bright light!

Common Name: Prayer plant

Botanical Name: Calathea lancifolia

Light: Adapts to low light but will thrive in medium light.

Water: Weekly or when the top inch of soil is dry.

Find my Calathea care guide here!

Where to Buy:

11. Watermelon Plant (Peperomia argyreia)

watermelon plant

A fun looking houseplant that looks an actual watermelon, this little plant is adaptable to most light conditions including low light. It’s a small plant that only grows about 12 inches tall (mini plants only reach 6 inches!) and are often potted together with other plants. Very easy for beginners!

Common Name: Watermelon Peperomia, Watermelon plant

Botanical Name: Peperomia argyreia

Light: Adapts to low light but will thrive in a bright shaded spot.

Water: When the top inch of soil is dry.

Where to Buy:

Check out Watermelon plant care tips here!

12. Hoya Heart Plant (Hoya kerrii)

hoya heart plant

The Hoya Heart Plants gets their name by….it’s heart shaped leaves! Shocking, I know! 😉 It’s perfect as gifts for your significant other or best friend to remind them of your love for them.

It does best in bright light – ideally direct but can tolerate low indirect light. It’s great for people who often forget to water their plants because this one only needs to be watered every 3-4 weeks. Make sure it dries out fully before you water it again!

This fun dog and cat friendly houseplant is all over Instagram so join in on the fun, without having to worry about your furry friend.

Common Name: Heart plant, Sweetheart plant, Valentine Hoya, Hoya Heart

Botanical Name: Hoya kerrii

Light: Adapts to low light but will thrive in a bright shaded spot.

Water: Water when the top inch of soil is dry.

Where to Buy:

13. Money Tree (Pachira aquatica)

money tree plant

Money trees are fun houseplants that gives your home a tropical feel! They prefer medium to bright indirect light but can do well in low light environments.

If you have a money tree give it a quarter turn with every watering to ensure it all gets proper light.

It likes to be watered a lot at once, letting the water run through the bottom of the pot but make sure it doesn’t stand in water! Water every time the top few inches dry out.

Money trees like to stay in the same spot and is safe for cats, dogs and all pets!

Common Name: Money tree, Good luck tree, Mexican money tree

Botanical Name: Pachira aquatica

Light: Suitable for low-bright indirect light

Water: When the top inch of soil is dry.

Where to Buy:

14. Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii)

Chamaedorea seifrizii - bamboo palm

These tropical cate safe plants are good choice for a new plant parent (or experienced one!) given the fact that it’s low maintenance. You’ll often see these in office buildings since they’re adaptable to low light conditions, purify the air and low-maintenance houseplants! They can grow up to 8 feet tall!

Common Name: Bamboo Palm, Reed Palm, Cane Palm

Botanical Name: Chamaedorea seifrizii

Light: Suitable for low to bright indirect light

Water: Water when the top inch of soil is dry.

Where to Buy:

And there you have it! Some of the best indoor houseplants that are both great for low light rooms and are suitable for cats, dogs and all your pets!

If you happen to have some brighter light spots, here’s some great pet friendly plants to try in those spots:

Some of the WORST plants to get if you have a pet are:

I hope you learned a thing or two and found a plant (or 3!) to bring home to start (or add!) to your indoor garden. With proper care a bit of luck, these house plants will be a great addition that you and your cat or dog can enjoy together.

Next check out some fun propagation stations for your plant clippings!


  • Jen

    Jen got her first plant in college from her mom and the rest, as they say, is history! She's owned hundreds of plants over the years and loves learning how to grow each one. She believes everyone needs to own at least one plant in their home and loves sharing her knowledge with others.

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3 thoughts on “14 Low Light Cats & Pet Friendly Houseplants (+5 To Stay Away From)”

  1. Hi! GREAT sits; I am picking out plants to get the next time I’m upstate, as plants in NYC are kinda pricey!

    I’m posting this to let you know there’s a typo up at the top of this page: “Low light plants are typically incredibly hard and easy to grow…” I’m pretty sure you mean “incredibly hardy”! Also, I am nervously assuming you will not reveal my email address here…seems obvious, but ya never know…

    Best wishes…..


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