Mind the signs: Brooklyn Bridge Park asks visitors to stop feeding feral cats

Feeding Time: Brooklyn Bridge Park-goers have been spotting cats in the green space, such as this one being fed by an animal rescue organization.
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Stop feeding the feral cats of Brooklyn Bridge Park! Just stop!

An animal welfare group is begging Brooklynites to stop providing nourishment to a colony of feral cats in Brooklyn Bridge Park because these random acts of kindness and nutrition are making it more difficult for volunteers to corral the foraging felines and get them spayed and neutered.

“When we find that someone’s thrown an entire chicken in the park, the cats are obviously not going to pay attention to our food,” said Anne Levin of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Animal Welfare Coalition, which is trying to lure the wild beasts with their own offerings.

Park officials put up signs last year to discourage feeding, but the messages have gone unheeded, added coalition member Julia Rassmann.

“I don’t think most people notice the signs,” said Rassmann, whose group also runs the Cat Café on Atlantic Ave. “I think only we’ve noticed them.”

The effort is a part of an ongoing partnership between Brooklyn Bride Park coalition to manage the cat population. Volunteers from the welfare coalition use food to lure the cats to designated feeding stations where they can be monitored and trapped for relocation and adoption.

But months after posting the signs, one volunteer said there are still cats evading the traps because of interference from park-goers who feed the animals. The cats have less incentive to take the food in the feeding stations when they’re being fed elsewhere, according to Rassmann.

And the coalition says the cats that have been left unchecked are now threatening neighboring wildlife, particularly the birds around Pier One. Rassmann said the park is discussing ways it can redo the signs to better inform visitors about the rescue efforts, which will hopefully make it easier to better care for the cats.

“Long-term, we want to make certain these cats have a decent quality of life,” she said.

Not everyone is so fond of the felines.

“I don’t like that there are cats around because my dogs always react to them,” said Ursula McGee, who frequently herds pooches — cats mortal enemies — through the park.

Updated 5:43 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Ferral Catlover from Brooklyn says:
I don’t like that there are dogs around because my cats always react to them,” said Ferral Catlover, who frequently herds cats — dogs mortal enemies — through the park.
May 30, 2018, 8:55 am
Chris Raso from Brooklyn Heights says:
We need to keep this and all parks a fun, friendly and tidy place and atmosphere for all of our visitors and more. Let us please cherish and enjoyment a fresh and friendly environment for everybody.
May 30, 2018, 10:21 am
Maureen from Williamsburg says:
I don’t like that there are cats around because my mice and rats always react to them,” said Ferral rodent lover, who frequently watches mice—rats...cats mortal enemies — in the park.
May 30, 2018, 10:24 am
Ferral Catlover from Brooklyn says:
I don’t like that there are people around because my cats always react to them,” said Ferral cat lover, who frequently herds ferral cats...people mortal enemies — in the park.
May 30, 2018, 10:30 am
Law and Disorder from Formally of Brooklyn Now N C says:
Get A life Worry about the Crime and Drugs
And thank the Supreme court for stoping searches of stolen property on private property.So now your stolen car can stay on private property and you can Cry.
May 30, 2018, 11:44 am
Dana from Bushwick says:
“I don’t like that there are cats around because my dogs always react to them,” said Ursula McGee, who frequently herds pooches — cats mortal enemies — through the park.
Dear Ursula: The cats live there. Your dogs don't. Walk your dogs through someone else's home.
May 30, 2018, 11:57 am
Freddy from Slope says:
I must visit this 'Bride' park you speak of.
May 30, 2018, 12:40 pm
Jim from Cobble Hill says:
Feral house-cats are an invasive species introduced by human development and are a very real danger to native wildlife.
May 30, 2018, 1:46 pm
Andrew Porter from Brooklyn Heights says:
Jim is correct. Did anyone see the article in the New York Times about how feral cats are being fed by people who work at Google, all the while the cats kill endangered species of burrowing owls nearby?

I believe Wisconsin has a state-wide plan in which all feral cats, which kill thousands of songbirds every year, are being killed.

Spaying and neutering, then releasing cats back into the wild, does nothing to prevent their killing birds.
May 30, 2018, 1:55 pm
Ferral Catlover from Brooklyn says:
If cats are so bad, why did the Egyptians hold them in such high regard ? As for killing birds and other wildlife, like rats, mice etc. is nature at work. Leave them alone and walk your stupid dogs to —— and piss all over the sidewalks that your kids play on hands and knees.
May 30, 2018, 2:22 pm
Jim from Cobble Hill says:
Ancient Egyptians also thought mashed up pig-eyes would cure blindness, buried slaves alive with their masters, and thought incest was just peachy keen... They were also incredibly sexist and took lots of drugs, so maybe they're not the best judges of things. "Nature at work" is not really when humans release foreign biological agents to other environments and cause the extinction of many bird species. If I told you that 3.7 Billion birds and 21 Billion small mammals were killed but Uncapped Gas Fracking, you would believe it without question, but if I were to tell you I just made that up and these are the number on animals killed per year by cats, you'd go nuts trying to prove me wrong. You want to see "nature at work" go watch male lions kill the cubs of the competing males or dolphins raping other dolphins and beating porpoises to death for fun. Maybe watch the spread of mange or something.
May 30, 2018, 4:21 pm
Joey from Crown Heights says:
Oh christ shut up with the old talking point about how Egyptians worshipped cats. Who cares? Cats are cute cuddly pets when kept inside and controlled, but when left to roam free they become vermin themselves. Nobody likes finding cat turds in their garden but crazy cat ladies, and many people like having birds and baby rabbits and other small animals around.. The same animals that cats kill without even bothering or eat. Cats are disgusting when not controlled. I'm surprised the park was gullible enough to let the cat crazies dupe them into letting the cats stick around. Cats catch rats, sure, but they never seem to eradicate them.
May 31, 2018, 1:49 am
SCR from Realityvillle says:
The problems of feral cats will never be resolved by spaying and neutering. And then trying to find them a loving home,as pets. What used be called stray or alley cats,become ever more remove,from any human contacts. I even know of several felines,who had an owner,about a decade ago;yet now won't allow any humans-near then. Ultimately,we will have humanely euthanize,many of these ferals. 40 or 50-years ago,stray cats,were relatively rare,and taking home by little children;and after a bit of persuasion-accepted as pets,by their parents. Although,NOT all parents. Only,during the past 20-year or so,have cats;without human homes-become so very numerous. Oddly,around the same time raccoons becane,ubiquitous.
May 31, 2018, 8:13 pm
Emily from Brooklyn Heights says:
To everyone stating that spaying and neutering will do nothing to help the situation and that we should just kill them to save the birds, can none of you read? The article clearly states that these "crazy cat ladies" are attempting to trap, neuter/spay and RELOCATE them. Key word, RELOCATE! Please look in a dictionary if you still don't understand what is being said. Before leaving ignorant comments, for the love of god make sure you are reading correctly! It's really not that hard, especially to the guy who thinks he sounds so smart referring to that New York Times article, I'm disappointed in your clear lack of reading comprehension skills. Also Jim, "feral house cats" is a complete oxymoron, you moron. Have a great day everyone, remember to properly read before commenting!
June 6, 2018, 9:21 pm

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