The Cat Welfare Society (CWS) is a Singapore-based society registered under the Societies Act (Cap. 311 of Singapore).
It is also a charity and an institute of public character (“IPC”) pursuant to the Charities Act (Cap. 37 of Singapore).
UEN Number: S99SS0144E
Date of Society Registration: 23 October 1999
Date of Charity Registration: 28 June 2004
Current Period of IPC: 9-Dec-2022 to 8-Dec-2024
Engaging the community to achieve sustainable and humane management of cats in Singapore through advocacy, sterilisation, mediation and educational outreach programmes.
A humane society where every cat in Singapore has a place to call home.
CWS was formed in July 1999 by a group of friends who got together to help community cats and kittens after being outraged by a newspaper report about 5 kittens being burned alive in a box. In 1999, more than 13,000 cats were culled that year in a bid to control the stray population. That equated to an average of 35 cats killed every single day.
CWS set about to reduce this number with the aim of eliminating it entirely. Our tireless campaigning over the years against the inhumane culling of cats has resulted in a record low of less than 1000 cats put down since 2015.
Over the years, CWS has grown from strength to strength and evolved in its vision and mission. Our work has expanded to include community mediation and frontline intervention, community cat population management, education on responsible practices, outreach, and advocacy.
Our work is focused on four areas.
Sterilisation & Mediation
To achieve our vision of this humane society, we have focused intensely on two programmes in the past decade:
- Sterilisation – CWS has pushed through an islandwide community cat sterilisation programme. The programme will reduce the overall number of cats gradually. This means that each cat will have more resources dedicated to it. In turn, this reduces the burden on community caregivers.
- Community mediation and engagement – CWS has also worked alongside government partners to address cat-related feedback and show that one can choose the humane approach to community issues over an easy way out.
These programmes have been successful. Singapore has opted for the approach in the management of animals. The falling culling rates in the past decade and engagement of CWS by NParks as its mediation partner are testament to that.
Advocacy & Education
CWS also advocates and educates on responsible cat ownership and responsible cat caregiving in the community. CWS’ work has legitimised responsible cat caregiving islandwide through registration and donation programmes for the cat caregivers. Our guidelines for cat adoptions have also been adopted as the standard by independent rehomers and groups alike.
The Impact of Our Work
Our work saves lives.
Through sterilisation, we have humanely reduced the overall population of cats over time so that all the remaining cats have more resources in terms of food and medical care available.
Through mediation and community engagement, we have impressed upon the nation that the humane management of cats is both feasible and desirable. Cat-related feedback and disputes can be resolved through responsible ownership and accountability for actions.
Through education and advocacy, we have created a society that is more informed about responsible cat ownership and caregiving bringing us even closer to achieving a harmonious existence between our human and feline community members.
All of these efforts have resulted in a massive reduction in the culling rate in the past two decades.
We must keep fighting
Although we have made much progress in the past two decades, we must keep fighting.
The graph below shows the sheer volume of cats that CWS has helped sterilise in the past. It is obvious that we must continue to operate to provide resources for caregivers to sterilise cats in all parts of Singapore. This is the pivotal first step in managing a population humanely.
We will continue administering our programmes and have set our sights on a national campaign to promote legalised responsible pet ownership and an understanding of the consequences of our actions on others. We want to foster a culture of understanding and create an empathetic society in Singapore that cares for every part of our community including the animals.
As we mature as a nation, we need to ensure that future generations can live harmoniously – that every man, woman, child and animal can live in peace together. A future where humanity reigns and kindness rules. This is the legacy we want to leave behind for generations to come.