Climbing Plants Safe for Pets

A sad day is realizing that your wall-climbing houseplants are not safe for pets. Don’t viney plants look crazy lush hanging from a planter or climbing a moss pole or wall? They sure do. Devils Ivy, Pothos and Monstera adonsonii are the best for wall climbing, but are technically toxic to pets. If you have a curious or obnoxious furball, you may want to err on the safe side and get some safe for cats and dogs.

Climbing Plants
Sofie and Usha not eating plants. Left to right: Climbing begonia and Pothos marble queen, both toxic but ok out of reach. Photo by Alina.

Some people like myself and Alina, who’s photo above inspired many to reverse engineer their trailing plants to climb, have cats who rarely, if ever, plant munch. Some sent down from heaven don’t eat any at all. But some cats treat plants like lunchables and munch away without a care. Actually, most cats don’t care about anything or your happiness.

Pilea aquamarine  - safe for pets
Pilea Aquamarine

Sure, you could keep toxic plants suspended from the ceiling or on a shelf, which is always a great idea, but I get it, you want climbing plants. Or at least the ability to have hanging plants in places that may be in paw-reach. So, after many questions from readers, here is a list of climbing and trailing pet safe plants that can go anywhere in your home.

Pet Safe Indoor Trailing Plants

These plants do best in a planter that allows their arms to cascade over the top in an ever-so-lux fashion. Because they are not climbers, these babies will work best draping over a shelf or in a sunny window. All of these trailers like bright indirect sun, and kept very lightly moist. If these fast-growing ladies grow too quickly, they can be pruned and added to the top of the plant to root and look fuller.

Purple Velvet Plant, gynura aurantica

String of Turtles, peperomia prostata (second from left)

Pilea Aquamarine, pilea glauca ‘Aquamarine‘ (above)

Burros tail, sedum morganianum (on right)

List of trailing pet safe plants
Left to right: String of Pearls (toxic to pets), String of Turtles (pet safe), String of Hearts (toxic to pets) and Burro’s Tail (pet safe)
Photo courtesy of Mandy and Bryn // @farmer_chui on IG

Pet Safe Indoor Climbing Plants

While none of these plants really “climb” without a bit of help, they really enjoy a nice moss pole, trellis, or command hooks to cling to. These indoor climbing plants are safe for cats and dogs and can be trained easily to climb a wall or structure. The hoyas like bright light and to be kept very lightly moist, while the begonia and peperomias prefer medium to bright light conditions and to not dry out.

Hoya carnosa

Climbing begonia, cissus dicolor

Hoya obovata

Hoya kerrii


Beetle peperomia, peperomia angulata

Peperomia hope

Climbing hoya
Hoya kerrii. Photo by @hiyakerrii on IG

…And Some Toxic Climbing Plants

Pets or pet-consumption not an issue? Here are some of my favorite climbing plants that are NOT safe for pets but are lovely trailers:

Devils Ivy


Rhaphidophora tetrasperma

Monstera adonsonii

Monstera dubia

Tradescantia (all types)

Climbing Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma
Rhaphidophora tetrasperma. Photo by Alina.

Whether you have pets or not, adding climbing plants into your collection is a nice way to shake things up. They look different and can completely transform a wall without painting or buying another floral wall hanging from Society6. Once I get my hands on a couple of these I’ll be doing a tutorial on how to make these climb everything in your house – walls, fireplaces, even roommates.

*Shoutout to Alina for sending me her awesome photos she didn’t delete from her phone. You can check her out here because her house is gorgeous and you can literally spend hours on her IG watching her paint. Also thanks to Mandy and Bryn from @farmer_chui on IG!

Note: this post contains affiliate links to help you find the plants I talk about 🙂

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30 replies
  1. Hi! I’m looking for a pet friendly plant that trails (from a hanging pot) but is also good in humidity as it will be in the bathroom. I’m not sure if this even exists but if it does please let me know 🙂

  2. Hello, I’m looking for a trailing plant for a hanging pot. It’s for my living room but in a corner with moderate light and shade, I also want it cat safe. Is there anything you can suggest?

  3. You’re amazing – thank you for this guide! Picking up my new 8 week old Kitty tomorrow and didn’t know a thing about pet friendly plants.

    1. I would go with a hoya (carnosa, specifically). They are pet safe and really like bright light but work well with bright light for some hours and some shade. Hope that helps!

  4. I am looking for an outdoor climbing plant that we can grow against one of the sides of our dog pen, so the dogs get shelter from the wind

    I really it would have flowers for bees/butterflies or have fruit on it for birds.

    1. Hmm, it depends where you live of course, but climbing begionia or nasturtium are great and non toxic to dogs. I actually love Clematis, which is a crazy climber with fragrant flowers, climbing Black Eyed Susan, or passionflower but these are not 100% nontoxic to pets. I would avoid trumpet vine or wisteria which grow crazy, are toxic, and end up being very invasive.

  5. I just had a catio built, what kind of climbing vine is safe for cats as I know they will chew on it. They are my kitten terrorists. I want them to have it partially shady though

    1. Hi Shawn, honestly I wouldn’t put anything on the catio since no houseplant *should* be consumed. I would instead plant something away from the catio on a trellis so it will provide shade and not be in direct consumption view. You can also hang some hanging baskets of spider plants. Plus, there really isn’t a tropical indoor climbing plant safe for pets that grow outside in most climates. I hope that helps!

  6. Hey, thank you for the guide 🙂
    Can you please recommend a cat friendly trailing plant which can live in a moderate to low light? I wish to find one which can be put on a shelf.
    Thank you!

  7. Looking for rambling/climbing plant for a corner of the garden we sit in so something fragrant would be great. Is there anything non toxic to cats apart from roses please?

    1. Hi Travena, not really, roses (luckily there are so many!) are probably your best bet – most all other outdoor climbers are toxic. Depending on where you live, a Hoya may be a great option, too since they produce very fragrant flowers and like bright areas.

    1. Hi Linda, I can’t find anything on Russian vine, so I would err on the side of caution and not have it readily available to your dog. You can always ask your vet too!

  8. Hi! I am looking for a plant to grow off of a shelf in my bedroom. The shelf is not close to the window so it only gets indirect light. I live in Ontario so it’s dry/cold in the winter and humid/hot in the summer which has been a problem for some other plants. It doesn’t have to be 100% non toxic as pets rarely come into that room and it will be out of their reach.

  9. Hi. I’m looking for a plant/vine to grow on my balcony for cover, color and aesthetics – climbing or trailing a plus – that is not toxic to cats. Don’t expect them to be outside so much; just trying to be safe. TY

    1. You can do Creeping Charlie , any type of vining Hoya (which is most of them), or Dischidia would be great! You can also just have pet safe plants on the bottom of the balcony, and something slightly toxic out of reach on top. Also Nasturtium is the best option and it will come back year after year.

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