Singapore may finally allow cats in public housing

Singapore may finally allow cats in public housing
via Pexels
Bryan Ke
January 9, 2024
Singaporeans living in public housing may soon be legally allowed to keep a maximum of two pet cats under a new policy.
About the policy: On Dec. 2, Senior Minister of State for National Development Tan Kiat How announced that a mooted cat management framework will effectively reverse a 34-year ban on cat ownership in Singapore’s Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats. The policy is slated to take effect later this year.
Singapore imposed a cat ownership ban in 1989, claiming that felines are “generally difficult to contain” and make caterwauling sounds that can “inconvenience” neighbors. Violations are punishable by a fine of 4,000 Singaporean dollars (approximately $3,000).
What to expect: The new framework will come with several rules under its mandate, such as mandatory microchipping, license registration and security installations. First time cat owners will be required to take a free online pet ownership course before they can apply for a license.
What changed: It is unclear what convinced the Singaporean government to change its stance on pet cats. As per Reuters, a September 2022 survey may have influenced their decision as 9 out of 10 respondents agreed that cats were suitable as pets in their HDB apartments.
What people are saying: Some Singaporeans suggested adding more rules to the proposed framework. For one, Thenuga Vijakumar from the Cat Welfare Society seeks mandatory sterilization for cats.
Chan Chow Wah, a 50-year-old cat rescuer, wants more stringent penalties for irresponsible owners. Chan told Reuters he had to take care of one that was abandoned after being diagnosed with a heart disease and another that fell from a third-story apartment and whose owners refused to pay medical bills.
 
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