How many cats is too many in one flat?

Last Sunday (May 30), a woman posted on the Sayang Our Singapore’s Community Cats Facebook group pleading for help from its 18,600 members. 

In the post, the woman, who wishes to be known as Lisa, said a family living in Bedok has been breeding cats in their household which now has 50 pet cats.

“The owner knows from before that they are breeding cats,” the 48-year-old told AsiaOne. 

Photographs accompanying the post – now with over 400 likes, 150 comments and 450 shares – show these cats living in several cages, each one just large enough to fit three to four of them.

The family consists of a middle-aged couple, a teenage son, a teenage daughter, and an old uncle, she said.

According to Lisa, who works as a consultant, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) had recently ordered the family to remove all 50 cats from their flat by June 30. She told AsiaOne that once the family had 91 cats in early May, with different rescuers saving the 41 cats.  

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In the post, the woman said all 50 cats are sterilised – they are either ear-tipped or have the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) tattoo.

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Also, from speaking with the owners, the woman learned that these cats have not visited a vet and are fed inexpensive pet food. She added that the owners are even unsure of the gender and ages of these cats.

The woman claimed it was the second time HDB sent the family a letter to remove their cats – the first letter was sent when the family was still living in their old rental flat at Cassia Crescent. According to her, the family abandoned over 30 cats at the void deck.

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In the comments section, she went on to suggest that “the owner couple does not have mental issues” and they are “fully aware of their actions”.

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Keen to avoid another case of cats being abandoned, she is appealing to the Facebook Group members to consider adopting or fostering the cats, as well as sharing her Facebook post.

Additionally, she created a questionnaire for potential adopters and welcomed personal messages on the matter from anyone interested for more information. 

At the moment, Lisa said she has had about 20 inquiries with two adopters rescuing a few cats yesterday and two more adopters expected in the coming days.

Haus of Furries, a local animal rescue service mainly for cats, told AsiaOne that they were alerted to this case on May 2.

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Initially, they said, the couple was cooperative. But the situation turned “unexpectedly messier” when they were informed that breeding of cats should not be happening in the first place.

In 2018, a woman was fined a total of $6,500 for two charges – breeding kittens for sale online and keeping a farm without a licence.

According to HDB, cats are not allowed in flats as they can be difficult to keep under control. From roaming all over to shedding fur and leaving excretion in public locations, these cats can inconvenience neighbours living within flats.

amierul@asiaone.com



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