The Instagram Plant+Pet Fan Club

A life surrounded by my cats and my plants warrants that obsession to be taken elsewhere. For me – that’s Instagram. I love IG, aside from the endless drooling and longing at the number of gorgeous plants out there. Initially I never expected their to be such a vast interior plant fan club in all parts of the world. I’ve realized there’s not only a plant club, but a pets and plants fun club. Yes I just invented that club, and now I need to go make it a thing.

I invited some of the lovely P&P fan club members on Instagram to share their lovely pets and lovely plants with me us. Some also included their wisdom about cohabiting with furry friends – that’s a freebie. Follow them and you be will rewarded daily with pretty pictures and plant tips.

Anna // @Urbangreenplant

Anna, like myself, has various plants of different troxity levels, all of which her four cats can care less about. While Anna’s feed is primarily about indoor gardening, she also shares tips on outdoor plants and, of course, her fabulous cats. Her favorite plant picks:
Boston Fern and Parlor Palm Plant: Non-toxic and my cats don’t bother with these besides a sniff.
Spider Plant, Ponytail Plant, Money Tree: All are non-toxic but my cats can’t help but chew on these. I keep these plants high, hanging or out of reach areas.
Bird of Paradise, Peace Lily, Hawaiian Schefflera, Snake Plant: Though these have a low toxicity, they don’t bother these guys at all. Also, I think what helps is that these are usually big floor plants, to them it’s like trees.

Anna // @littleandlush 

I am one of 22K fans of Anna’s stark minimal plant photos on IG.
This is her cat Agnes, with a pet safe (hybrid) fern “Asplenium Austral Gem.”
A few months ago Anna introduced a plant I fell in love with, a PINK variegated Tradescantia, which made her insta-famous. One of my favorite plants, Wandering Jews come in several gorgeous variegated varieties, plus they’re 100% cat safe. Add in Agnes, and I can’t even deal.

Alina // @alina.fassakhova

Usha, Alina’s curious tuxedo cat is often seen in her gorgeous photos eyeing her houseplants. A painter, Alina photographs her NYC loft and artwork amongst her ever-growing urban jungle. Does Usha eat every plant in sight? Alina said she’s really a good cat, only eating spider plants and seems to have a natural sense of what is poisonous and what isn’t. But we all know cats aren’t perfect – Alina mentioned Usha shakes stems, branches and tears off leaves, when attention is needed now. How could anyone ignore her- look at that face!

Erin // @leighkiyoko

We did need a dog in this feed, and what better a pup than Luna, Erin’s salt and pepper fuzzball. Erin’s IG feed is full of her botanical adventures and drool-worthy outfits, but Luna is too cute for words. Erin shared some of her wisdom for the upcoming season and pet safe remedies: “When I brought some of my houseplants indoors for the cooler months, I immediately noticed pesky gnats flying around. To battle the flies, I always crumble up Mosquito Dunks, a natural pesticide (BTI) that won’t harm Luna if she decides to dig her nose in the soil, sniff around and potentially lick it up.”

Brittany // @ihavethisthingwithurbanjungles


Brittany’s feed shares the best of Instagram’s lux indoor jungles, lounging pets and superb sunlight. For instant-Instagram-inspriration, look no further than her hundreds of perfect photos from plant collectors like us.

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Thank you to everyone who submitted photos and advice. I’ll be doing another installment soon!

XOXO Anastasia  //  Leaf+Paw

Six Toxic Plants to Pets

Back in January, when I started this blog, I posted this article about six poisonous plants to pets. Since then, I’ve only shared my favorite pet-safe plants, so I think it’s time for another installment. Plus, I just Googled “pet safe plants” and it amazed me how much mis-information came up. A plant’s toxicity is not always black and white, but it kiiinnddaa is. I mean, it will harm your pet or it won’t. Honestly, I just want to know what and what not to buy, don’t you? After seeing the search results I decided to sit down and write this list of another six toxic plants. So let’s begin.

1. Pothos

Variegated Pothos

I love Pothos, and for good reason. They are lovely trailers, grow like weeds, and increase the jungle factor of any home. The downside? Pretty unsafe for Mittens or Fido. If ingested, Pothos can cause some serious internal damage and vomiting.  will say this – I actually have several Pothos that live harmoniously in my home. The trick is to hang them in planters from the ceiling, completely out of reach. I have never had a problem with pet consumption for this reason. However, if your cat is a climber or dog is a destroyer, I would skip this plant altogether.

2. Sansevieria

Snake Plant // Leaf and Paw

The quintessential low light plant, Sansevieria are pretty common in all nurseries and garden centers. Snake plants are on every “hard to kill” and “low light” houseplant list, many of which do not mention they’re toxic. I find they are cat magnets – I’m not sure if it’s the grasslike verticality or large size. Like Pothos I have several of these on pedestals and never had an issue. The same rules apply – have crazy pets? Find another plant, like cat grass, that is better suited for nosey animals.

Snake Plant // Leaf and Paw

3. Jade

Jade Plant // Leaf and Paw

I have this one Jade plant which is somehow still alive. It has been knocked over a dozen times, left to die on the floor from my careless cat, prodded at by paws, and recently recovered from a mealybug infestation. Cats especially like Jades and destroying them – that fact alone should deter you from purchasing one. If you need another reason: if eaten, they cause vomiting and depression. Save them for office desks or browse for them on Instagram if the desire appears.

Jade Plant // Leaf and Paw

4. Caladium

Caladium // Leaf and Paw

Also called “Elephant Ears,” Caladium are part of the Araceae family, which includes Philodendrons, Peace Lilies, Diffenbacchia – pretty much all plants that are toxic to pets.  Caladium are no exception, and nibbling will undoubtedly lead to a vet visit. I know it may seem like all the cool colorful plants are poisonous, but don’t get discouraged. If you’re looking for some cool variegated leaf plants that are safe, look to Rubber Trees, Maranta, and Peperomia instead.

5. Monstera Deliciosa

monstera deliciosa

I have a Monstera named Monty, and I’m going to be a huge hypocrite here – I LOVE him. And I am all about #monsteramonday on IG, propagating, and everything to do with Monsteras. And you see the conflict here….this is a blog about pet safe plants, and all I do is talk about this guy who is just bad news. Since Monsteras are also part of the Araceae family, they are unsafe to pets. Because they have huge leaves and grow to be such a large size, my cats have no interest in consuming them. Like mentioned before, depending on your pet,  you may be fine with large scale plants like these. Do be warned: Monsteras do produce smaller leaves along the base that may be snackable for pets. Already have a Monstera? Don’t worry. Perch it on a pedestal out of reach, or use a cat deterrent spray (my DIY will be available soon) on the leaves. That should do the trick. Monstera // toxic to pets

6. Croton

As fall approaches, I see a lot of Crotons making appearances. They’re leaves are cool, yes, and autumn looking, yes, and easy to care for, yes. Sadly, they do make the toxic list. If eaten or nibbled, crotons make cause mouth sores and tummy troubles, leading more serious issues like listlessness. I think we can all agree we prefer our pets listful.

Remember: As a plant collector, it’s difficult to avoid unsafe plants – usually the toxic ones are the most sought after. I always advise to keep these plants in high places, such as a hanging planter, or on pedestal or plant stand away from table tops. Destructive pets should not have access to plants at all, since usually the plant ends up in a crime scene on the floor with a broken pot. Still curious about a plant I haven’t discussed? Leave a comment below. Happy planting!

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A Tropicool Cat Oasis 🌴🌞

While this will be a short post, it’s one I feel obligated to share because: cats. Everybody loves cats. My two favorite things happened: I took adorable photos of my mittens yesterday AND it’s #monsteramonday. Not to mention, Urban Jungle Bloggers’ feed is all about Tropicool Summer. What’s more tropical/cool then cats relaxing in the sun?

Urban Jungle Bloggers

Harvey and Harlequinn were all sssuuunndaazzee on Sunday, enjoying the warm sunshine. As some of you may know, I love the Urban Jungle Bloggers features that they put out every month. For Tropicool, I visualized a whole scene of  a styled shoot, with beach umbrellas and margaritas. Really, these photos are way more truthful to my Sunday mood in reality.

Urban Jungle Bloggers

See?

If you own a cat (or dog, I’m sure this doesn’t just apply to cats…), have you noticed they enjoy your houseplants as much as you do? Yes, they are jungle-y, and they can be fun to eat. But since acquiring more houseplants, my cats seek them out, nap beneath them, and enjoy their company. That’s also why, despite this being a pet-friendly blog, I suggest incorporating large leaf plants in your home. I know they can be dangerous if ingested, but I never have had a problem with either kitty eating my Monstera or Rubber Tree.

Monstera Pet Safe

The best cat-friendly plant placement.

I keep my medium-sized lush plants on petals a lot of the time, especially my palm, which cats love to eat. My Monstera and Rubber trees are in floor planters near windows.

Palm tree : Leaf and Paw

I typically move everyone to the porch in summer where the humidity is high and put comfy cat-friendly cushions on my wicker chairs. The plants love the moisture in the air and the kitties love the sun, heat, and general sauna atmosphere, despite being covered in fur.

Sometimes the rug is just fine, and Harvey lays there like a garden slug. Not the most flattering angle but cute nonetheless. She really needs to go on a diet…

Cats and Plants

I always look for ways to make my indoors even more outdoors (sans bugs). If you have been collecting pet-friendly plants, it’s a nice idea to create small garden-like areas for them to explore. During one of my first Leaf and Paw photoshoots in my house, I left my plants like this for a few days and the cats loved it:

Especially for indoor cats, the greenery, increased oxygen, and air cleaning effects plants have are all beneficial to keeping them healthy. A bunch of fresh catnip in a pretty pot helps, too. Speaking of which, I actually like this article from The Spruce.

Not a plant mom yet? Check out this blog for pet friendly plants to get you started, you’ll be happy you did! Soon, you can have you own tropicool oasis.

 

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Wicker chair: Vintage (found in FOUND), Cushion: Pier One Imports.