Nanny of the week: Federal authorities think feral cats can read signs

Part 8 of 8 in the series Nanny State of the Week

By Eric Boehm |

MINNEAPOLIS — Federal officials have a message for feral cats in Brooklyn: get out and don’t come back.

The only problem: cats can’t read signs.

KITTIES! This story is basically just an excuse to post cat pics. Isn’t he cute?

And — let’s be honest — even if they could read signs, cats pretty much do whatever they want.

The signs are part of an effort to remove a colony of feral cats from the Gateway National Recreational Area in Brooklyn. The posted signs warn the cats they aren’t permitted on that land, according to the New York Daily News.

“Feral cat colonies are prohibited on federal property,” the signs read.

The cats have been there for decades, according to the paper, and local residents have set up small shelters for the animals to use.

The Park Service sees the cats as a threat to native shorebirds, small mammals and other things that kitties like to munch on (or just hunt and kill for fun). They also have concerns about health issues because feral cats can carry rabies and other diseases.

The federal officials plan to move the cats to shelters in the city and say none of the animals will be euthanized.

Removing feral cats for health reasons? Okay, that’s probably within the realm of legitimate government activity, and by itself would not be eligible for our weekly prize without the sign.

But is the federal war on feral felines going to be more successful than the more well-known wars on drugs, poverty and terrorism? Some locals aren’t so sure.

“New ones are going to show up to take their place,” Nancy Rogers, a resident who helped spay and neuter the cats, told the Daily News. “That’s just the way it works.”

Because cats. They don’t care about signs, nor about federal park policy.

For their efforts to contain the kitties in Brooklyn, the National Park Service is our nanny of the week. Their prize is the world’s largest hairball.

Boehm can be reached at and follow @EricBoehm87 on Twitter for more.