Cats of Longwood Gardens – Kennett Square, Pennsylvania - Atlas Obscura

Kennett Square, Pennsylvania

Cats of Longwood Gardens

These lush botanical gardens employ the most purrfect pest control force. 

In the conservatory at Longwood Gardens, you’ll find a lush wonderland of tropical plants, succulents, ferns, orchids, and carnivorous plants. While there, you’ll also likely meet some of the gardens’ most beloved employees: its cats.

The cats at Longwood serve a dual purpose. They’re both friendly feline ambassadors and a dutiful pest control force. About a dozen cats roam the grounds. They’re all well-loved rescues who are more than happy to soak up attention from the staff and visitors.

This most purrfect feline pest control force roams the entire grounds. You’ll likely spot some wandering through the conservatory, some napping on the sun-soaked pavement of the parking lot, and others purring loudly as they greet guests near the visitor center. 

The cats used to not wear collars, but they do now after an incident where a woman took a Longwood cat after mistakenly believing it was a stray. Thankfully, the cat was soon returned to its verdant home, where it rejoined its furry friends and fellow employees.

The cat, Belin, was one of the most beloved of all the Longwood cats. He was given the name of the founder’s wife’s maiden name. Many visitors knew him well, for he always could be stroked and petted. Some people actually thought he was the reincarnation of Longwood’s founder, Pierre du Pont. Sadly, Belin passed away in 2015.