Kampbell Meets Ferns
(I.e., The Obligatory Kampbell Photo Essay)
In our experience, cats view the sniffing of all new objects in their territory as a mandatory exercise. However, there is a vast difference between the polite sniff a newly arrived package may receive versus the prolonged investigation of a new plant, which generally involves sticking their noses deep into the plant’s leaves and soil.
We have always wanted the cat lounge at A Sanctuary Cafe to include plant enrichment but have also had our concerns: how do we make sure we’re avoiding the many popular plants that are toxic to cats? (The ASPCA’s list of toxic and non-toxic plants is the most comprehensive we’ve found.) Also, cat’s digestive systems are not designed for any plants (unlike dogs, they are pure carnivores), so which plants are they less likely to nibble, hurting the plants and their stomachs? Since most true ferns are non-toxic to cats and can also live happily indoors, we’ve started our experiments with them. The early results: some fluttery fern fronds are just too tempting, but mostly there has been enjoyment without sampling. See the photos below for our (kind of scientific?) testing process.
Step One: First Meeting
Kampbell thoroughly sniffs the fern fronds and their soil, with occasional breaks to watch the birds outside.