Tag Archives: hdb

Cats and nonsense

More on cats and HDB from Molly’s blog:

Cats and Nonsense


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Same old excuse

From Dawn’s blog:


Same old excuse

Okay seriously now – how often is HDB going to trot out the tired excuse about cats being ‘nomadic by nature’ and ‘difficult to be confined’ to justify not changing the HDB rule?

Since this has been raised yet again, let me refute this one more time, especially for people who may have come to this blog for the first time :-

1. Cats are excellent apartment animals. Why? They don’t need to be walked and they are small. They entertain themselves. They are pretty quiet most of the time and are generally much quieter than dogs. More than 30 local vets signed letters attesting to the fact that they are wonderful for people in apartments.

2. What on earth is being nomadic by nature? If you let a dog, rabbit or child run around with supervision, I would not be at all surprised if they wandered out of an HDB flat too. Don’t believe me? Just leave that door open 🙂

3. This also applies to cats being difficult to confine. Really? My cats are all confined indoors and they don’t go out. Ever. It wasn’t difficult at all to keep them in. All it took was some time and effort on our part to cat proof the place. Think of it as akin to baby proofing a home.

I know many people who have cats who never, ever go out. Most responsible people with cats do not want their cats to wander in the first place – there are all manner of dangers out there. Also as responsible neighbours, many realise not everyone likes their cats as much as they do and that it is better to keep their cats indoors.

So instead of a ban how about just focusing on responsible pet ownership? The problem isn’t in the inherent nature of cats – it’s in the irresponsible behaviour of some cat owners. Plus right now what incentive is there for being responsible and keeping the cat in? It just means that if the HDB comes along any cat owner can be fined (or possibly evicted) if any cat, no matter how well kept, is found in their flat. If the cat is outdoors though, that isn’t a problem with the HDB at all – but it may be a huge problem for your neighbours.

What’s the solution? Allow people to keep cats – but ensure that these people are responsible. Make sure that the owners are responsible for sterilising their cats and keeping them indoors at all times. Also a limit could be imposed on how many cats are kept in a flat. This also allows the HDB to better use their resources to monitor genuine cases when there is a problem. Currently, they have to have to inspect flats every time there is a complaint, whether that complaint is valid or not. The mere presence of a cat is enough to get a cat owner into trouble – and also means that the rule can, and has been subverted, by neighbours to get even with each other. Instead of promoting harmony, this rule is doing the exact opposite.

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Small, furry, outlawed

Small, furry, outlawed: Singapore torn over cat rights


Reuters – Thursday, January 29

By Gillian Murdoch

SINGAPORE, Jan 29 – Cat lovers in Singapore are campaigning for felines to have the same rights as dogs — a roof over their heads and a safe home.

For decades cats have been banned from Singapore’s high-density Housing and Development Board flats, which house more than 80 percent of the 4.6 million population.

Anyone caught breaking the rule faces a fine of Singapore $4,000 .

Khin, a healthcare worker, was forced to move homes after a housing official spotted her cat and snapped four or five photos of the feline sleeping “illegally” on her couch.

“I never dreamt I would have to move house to keep cats,” said Khin, who has no surname.

“Singapore is modern and they have rules to keep people harmonious but this is ridiculous.”

While some pet owners can afford to move to cat-friendly private housing, others cannot.

“Irresponsible owners would just dump them,” said Boon Yeong, one of a multitude of informal cat feeders who take it upon themselves to look after the estimated 60,000 strays living in Singapore’s storm drains, carparks, and alleyways.

Being thrown or born onto the streets can amount to a virtual death sentence, Yeong said.


Every year more than 10,000 strays are culled by the island’s authorities, the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals .

Strays not rounded up and killed have a life expectancy of two to three years while indoor cats average about 20.

But with felines banned from the vast majority of homes, getting them off Singapore’s streets isn’t easy.

Some desperate cat lovers spend thousands of dollars to board “illegal” moggies, year-after-year, in non-profit cat shelters.

“It’s really a no-choice situation,” said Tay Sia Ping, the manager of the island’s biggest such cat shelter.

About a third of her 1,400 furry boarders were evicted from HDB apartments, she said. Few are ever adopted.

While Singapore’s cat lovers want the “cat ban” lifted, as it was for small dogs three decades ago, authorities say it is necessary to avoid cat-related spats between neighbours.

“Our principal consideration is to preserve a pleasant living environment and good neighbourly relations,” Singapore’s HDB
told Reuters in an emailed statement.

“We need to strike a balance between pet lovers and those who are more sensitive to the disturbances caused by animals.”

HDB’s website says banning cats, not dogs, is justified, as “they are nomadic in nature and are difficult to be confined”.

Some 10,000 years after felines were first domesticated, easing human-cat tensions remains a “million dollar question”, said Kate Blaszak, Asia Veterinary Programmes Manager for the World Society for the Protection of Animals .

The world’s first top-level meeting of cat population management experts, organised last year, did not identify any magic bullets, Blaszak said.

“One size does not fit all. What is effective and appropriate in one situation may in another,” she said.

In the meantime, supporters of Singapore’s strays say they are waiting for the cats’ death sentences to be lifted.

“Most people who have problems don’t want the cats to be killed, nor does killing the cats usually solve the problem,” said Singaporean cat welfare advocate Dawn Kua, one of many who blog about their plight

“No one is happy with the ‘solution’ — it’s just a knee jerk reaction without solving the underlying problem.”

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Outlawed Inside, Stray Outside

Read what Nushi thinks about the HDB ban on cats…..

in Pets Magazine Nov/Dec 2008 issue

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HDB will not build “Cat Cafes”

A big ThankYou to Mr Siew Kum Hong (NMP) for speaking up for the cats in Parliament!


Mumcat25 Salina:

Received an email from a catlover, Ms Y, an article from Berita Harian Malay Paper on Mr Mah Bow Tan (Minister, MND) reply to Mr Siew Kum Hong (NMP) during Parliament on Cat Cafes. Did a simple translation which I hope you all can understand. (sorry if not good enough).

English Version

Date: 26 August 2008
Article from Berita Harian during Parliament


Housing & Development Board (HDB) will not build “cat cafes? or feeding areas for community cats where caregivers / feeders can feed them.

Explaining why in his written reply, Minister Mr Mah Bow Tan, Ministry of National Development (MND), mentioned that this is to make sure cleanliness and health matters is taken care of at the all HDB estates
In answering question from Mr Siew Kum Hong (Nominated Member Parliament), Mr Mah said that even though there are cat lovers around, there are also people who are more sensitive prone to problems arises from stray cats.
According to Mr Mah, every year HDB received approximately 530 complains on cats from the residents

P/S: By the way, Mr Siew Kum Hong (Nominated Member Parliament) is Director, Keystone Law Corporation. You can see his profile in the website.

I have also included the malay version of the Original BT News

Malay Version

Tarikh: Selasa, 26 Ogos 2008
Sumber: akhbar Berita Harian

Ruangan: Ringkas Parlimen

HDB tidak akan bina “kafe kucing?
LEMBAGA Perumahan dan Pembangunan (HDB) tidak akan membina ‘kafe-kafe kucing’ atau tempat khusus di mana kucing dapat diberi makan oleh orang ramai.
Menerangkan demikian dalam satu jawapan bertulis, Menteri Pembangunan Negara, Encik Mah Bow Tan, berkata ini adalah untuk memastikan kebersihan dan kesihatan terjaga di estet-estet HDB.
Dalam menjawab soalan yang diajukan Encik Siew Kum Hong (Anggota Parlimen Dilantik), Encik Mah berkata walaupun adanya pecinta kucing, terdapat juga mereka yang lebih sensitif kepada masalah yang ditimbulkan kucing-kucing liar.
Menurut beliau, setiap tahun HDB menerima sekitar 530 aduan mengenai kucing daripada para penduduk.

Link di Cyberita Online – http://cyberita.asia1.com.sg/singapura/story/0,3617,125513,00.html

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Cat Cafe

Letter to HDB May 15

Dear Sir, Madam,

I am writing in on behalf of a group of volunteers and residents. We had earlier spoken to the Town Council Manager regarding the building of a cat café at the unused land behind the bin center near blk ***. She told us that we would need to get approval from HDB.

A cat cafe is a small structure for feeding community cats (see attachment). The purpose is to keep the cats further away from the HDB blocks, car park and bin center and also to provide some shelter from rain and sun and to discourage irresponsible feeding and littering. The slope behind the bin center would be an ideal location for the first cat cafe in this estate.
Presently there is a stable population of about 10 cats at around this bin center. All the cats are sterilised and under the care of volunteer caregivers.

Please let us know what steps need to be taken to obtain approval for this project.

Thanks and regards,

Reply from HDB
July 5
Approval for building a Cat Cafe

I refer to your email below and apologise for taking some time to reply to you.

2 To preserve the neighbourliness in our housing estates, HDB maintains the current policy of not allowing cats to be kept in HDB flats. This is because, cats being nomadic in nature, it is difficult to restrict their movements or confine them within the flat. Cats also have defecation or urinary habits which may annoy other residents. HDB is aware that there are cat lovers who feel strongly that cats should be allowed in HDB flats. However, there are many HDB residents who do not like cats and are strongly against allowing cats in HDB flats.

3 We have considered your request carefully and regret to inform you that approval cannot be granted to build a cat cafe, as cats are not allowed in HDB flats. We seek your understanding in this, as HDB has to consider the sentiments of the HDB residents in setting its policies, for both who like and dislike cats.

Yours sincerely,

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The cat-cafe has been set up at the slope behind the bin center. As the structure is quite heavy and bulky, we had it delivered straight to the intended location and set it up…while approval is still pending. Penny will inform the TC officer and hopefully there will be no objection.

The first two cats of the blk *95 family have been sterilised today. The cat with urinary problem vomited after taking the herbal medicine… but he was able to pass urine yesterday and according to the owner the urine was clear of blood. Hope they will continue to syringe glucose -water to clear the infection and stop giving him the poor quality dry food.

A resident at the Novena Condo complained about defecation at the swimming pool area and cats sitting on the chairs, so the management wants to remove the cats. Hope the feeder can discourage the cats from going to that area… using vinegar, water-spray, etc.. and get some residents to speak up against the removal.

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