NYC Petition Calls for Legalization of ‘Bodega Cats’

A Yelper is shut down when she gives a deli a poor rating because of a bodega cat

Bodega cats are New Yorkers too.

A longtime tradition of four-legged “security guards” (affectionately called bodega cats) in New York City delis was scrutinized by a Yelp reviewer when she gave an East Village deli a one-star review because of its in-house cat.

Although the review is no longer on the site, a screenshot of the review was salvaged for all of social media to re-tweet and post in a fury. The review reads:

“I’ve ordered from SK before and the sandwiches are pretty good. Today, however, I decided to stop in and grab a sandwich. To my dismay - there was a cat, perched upon some cases of Budweiser in the middle of the store!! Besides being allergic to cats, I wonder what the health code says about this?”

The petition, written to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, was started by Nicholas McMurry. The petition calls out the double standard that allows dogs to occupy restaurant patios but prohibits cats in bodegas.


In fewer than 24 hours, the petition garnered almost 500 signatures, Grub Street reported. As of the time of publication, the petition has more than 4,000 signatures.