Non-toxic plants

Are Bold Sword Ferns Toxic For Cats?

by Clair Chesterman
Is Bold Sword Fern Toxic For Cats

Bold sword fern is not toxic for cats. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), bold sword fern is not only non-toxic for cats but also for dogs and horses as well.

But, the most frequently asked question of cat owners is “can cats eat bold sword fern?”. In this article, we will further discuss if there are consequences for cats who consumed a bold sword fern.

Can Cats Eat Bold Sword Fern?

Cat looks at Bold Sword Fern

Yes, cats can eat bold sword fern without suffering from major health consequences.

Don’t be alarmed if your cat eats or spits out bold sword fronds since, as previously said, they are typically harmless plants. Although, if your cat ate a significant piece of the plant, it may cause gastrointestinal distress and your plant will typically be damaged.

The gastrointestinal distress is caused by the cats’ lack of enzymes to properly digest plant materials. Cats are generally carnivorous animals so eating plants is not recommended for them.

Chemicals used in plants, such as pesticides and fertilizers, might have an effect on your cat. If your cat happens to ingest a plant that has toxic residues, it may cause him or her to suffer from poisoning symptoms.

What is Bold Sword Fern?

Bold Sword Fern and cats

Bold sword fern is botanically known as Nephrolepis biserrata. Other names for bold sword fern include Crisped Feather Fern, Dallas Fern, Giant Sword Fern, Macho Fern, Roosevelt Fern, Sword Fern, Tall Feather Fern, Verona Fern, Verona Lace Fern, and Whitman Fern.

It’s a tropical fern that can only be found in Florida, the West Indies, Central America, South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia.

It has grayish-brown stipes that are 10 to 50 centimeters long and 4 millimeters broad, as well as brownish-green, papery lamina that are 14 to 30 centimeters long and up to two meters wide. Macho Fern is a common nursery name because of its aggressive growth compared to other ferns.

It may be seen growing in marshes and damp hammocks. It works well as a huge accent groundcover in natural landscapes and habitat restorations. Because this is a tall fern, it should be placed at the back of the garden.

Keeping Cats Away From Bold Sword Fern

Bold Sword Fern with a cat trying to sniff it

Bold sword ferns are a great addition to your gardens. It also adds aesthetic value if used indoors as a houseplant. However, if your felines love to nibble on plants, you should consider putting your bold sword ferns somewhere that they cannot reach. 

You may also use natural deterrents such as vinegar. Cats do not like the sour smell of vinegar. Putting materials that cats dislike such as aluminum foils and adhesive tape will also prevent them from touching your plants.

Wrap the foil around your potted plants or place it over your garden soil near your plants to prevent your feline companions from getting near them. Wrapping double-sided sticky tape to your plant pots will also discourage them from scratching the plants.

Plants to Avoid For Your Cats

If you are a cat owner and unsure if the plants growing in your yard are harmful to your cats, check out this list of toxic plants for cats. You can also check our list of non-toxic plants for cats.

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