Friday 11 June 2021

Cats living in greenhouses. Is it a good idea?

There's a story online today about cats living in greenhouses and it is described as something which is very good and in general terms I agree with that assessment. I love to see domestic cats in the working environment making the place more pleasant and giving it some soul. 

Oakridge Nursery & Landscaping resident cat
Oakridge Nursery & Landscaping resident cat. There are others. Photo: the nursery.

But is it a good idea because garden nurseries are full of plants (obviously)? The reason why I stress the word "plants" is because there are hundreds of plants that are poisonous to domestic cats. And, to compound the matter, some cats like to nibble plants in the same way that they like to nibble grass which, after all, is also a plant.

I'm not saying that it is automatically dangerous for a domestic cat to wander around a garden nursery, inside one of their large greenhouses as you see in the photograph. However, if I was a garden nursery owner and had a couple of working cats at the workplace, I would be anxious about their welfare. It would be a shame because I would love to have them there but I wouldn't allow it as much as for my well-being as for the cats'. I would not like to be in a state of constant low-level anxiety about the welfare of my cats. I've therefore got to come to the conclusion that it is not a great idea to have cats in greenhouses.

The story, incidentally, concerns Oakridge Nursery and Landscaping in Brandon, South Dakota. They have had cats at their workplace for many years, without problems? We are told that they weave in and out of annuals, perennials and gardening supplies. The cats are related and they are all named after plants such as Annabelle hydrangea! Great name by the way.

I am sure, too, that they amuse the customers and contribute to the profitability of the business. Working cats in stores always do. Visitors love to see them as they make the place emotionally warmer and more pleasant visit. Garden nurseries are already nice places to visit because of the smells and because they are about nature. Nature is very healing even if people don't realise it. But it is the reason why garden nurseries are pleasant places. Some people visit them just to have a coffee in the canteen!

No criticism is intended of this garden center. It looks great. I am highlighting a potential problem and in the worst-case scenario it is a serious problem.

Source: Daily Paws via Yahoo.

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