Singapore may finally allow cats in public housing
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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