boston fern plant

Ferns are, inexplicably, a favorite houseplant. Well, it’s probably because they’re full, lush plants that bring an air of exotic interest to your home. Anyone who’s ever attempted to keep a fern will tell you, though, they can be quite picky plants that are rarely easy to keep due to their high humidity and indirect lighting needs.

If you do have a Boston fern, then you may have wondered how safe this plant is for your cat. After all, the fronds of the Boston fern are difficult for even the grumpiest of kitties to resist. They just look so fun to swat at and chew on! So, are Boston ferns safe for kitties?

Are Boston Ferns Toxic to Cats?

Boston ferns are true ferns, and like most true ferns, they are non-toxic to cats. In fact, your Boston fern is far more likely to have damage done by the hands (paws?) of your cat than to harm your cat in any way.

These plants are a great addition to your home because they help to purify and oxygenate the air. They also are perennial plants that can last for years if cared for properly, so a well-loved Boston fern may live just as long as your cat does!

close up of boston fern leaves
Image courtesy of Pexels

What Should I Do If My Cat Eats Part of My Boston Fern?

The best thing you can do for your cat is to keep the plant up and out of their reach. Some cats may vomit from consuming too much of any house plant since cats are obligate carnivores and require very little plant matter in their diet. Your Boston fern isn’t going to bring anything to your cat’s diet that isn’t already being addressed with high-quality cat food.

If you allow your cat to continue to chew on your Boston fern, it’s very likely they will permanently damage or kill the plant. Ferns can be a little finicky, and a cat chewing on the tender fronds every day is definitely not a fern’s idea of a good time. Boston ferns do well in hanging baskets, which is an easy way to keep the plant out of reach of your cat. You can also consider putting the plant in a room that your cat can’t access, and some people find success by spraying the plant with bitter spray that discourages chewing.

In Conclusion

Boston ferns are non-toxic to cats, making them a good option for a houseplant in a cat-friendly home. They do have somewhat complex and finicky needs, though, which can make them not a particularly friendly plant for the average person who keeps houseplants. Ferns provide no nutritional benefit to your cat that they aren’t already receiving through a well-balanced, high-quality diet, so there’s no reason to allow your cat to chew on your Boston fern, even though it is a non-toxic plant. There are a variety of things you can try to keep your cat from snacking on your plant, though.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay