The Cat Welfare Society regularly receives complaints about cats defecating along the corridors of HDB flats. Understandably, this is extremely frustrating to residents, especially if it happens right at their doorstep. We highlight a recent case to show how CWS typically helps to mediate in such issues.
Mr X made a complaint to his town council about a cat that was repeatedly soiling the walkway outside his flat, causing a stench in the area. The smell had gotten so unbearable that fellow neighbours were leaving notes outside his home, berating him for being inconsiderate. Mr X was extremely upset and wanted the problem resolved immediately. The Town council officer arranged for cleaners to wash the affected area and contacted CWS to help resolve the problem.
CWS mediator, Laura, who was dispatched to follow up on the case, visited the affected unit and spoke with Mr X’s neighbours on his behalf, to explain the situation and give them assurance that she was working on the case. A sonic repellent* was placed at the affected area outside Mr X’s flat as a temporary solution to deter the unwelcomed feline while Laura investigated the matter to find out the source of the problem and work out a plan.
Investigations revealed that the cat in question is a community cat that has lived at the block for many years. The reason it was loitering along the 3rd storey corridors was because an errant resident had been feeding it for close to 2 years on upper floors instead of at the void deck, conditioning the cat to view the area as its home and territory. Laura got in contact with the resident who had been feeding the cat to work out a migration plan to “re-train” the cat and re-introduce it back to the void deck. This case is still a work-in-progress as it will take time to recondition the cat’s learnt behaviour but the problem has been solved in the interim with the feeder placing a litter tray outside her flat for the cat to use. Thankfully the cat has taken to using the litter tray and no longer soils the corridor outside Mr X’s house. It will slowly be transitioned back to the void deck.
Many people are unaware that feeding cats on upper floors is an irresponsible and inconsiderate act which leads to repercussions that ends up inconveniencing their neighbours. Ultimately, the act, which has kind intentions behind it, ends up backfiring when the cat being fed on upper floors causes a disturbance and faces permanent removal, putting its life in jeopardy when it is forcibly removed.
Feeding cats is not illegal. Littering however is, so only feed cats at designated areas at the void deck, away from human and vehicular traffic and make sure all food is cleared within 2 hours to ensure the cleanliness of the area. We all live in close proximity with one another. Our actions affect others. Look out for your neighbours and be considerate.
For more tips on how to feed responsibly, please click here >> https://www.catwelfare.org/education-resources/
To contribute to our mediation efforts which require much time and substantial resources, please make a generous donation. https://catwelfaresociety.give.asia/charity/catwelfaresociety
*Sonic repellents: ultrasonic devices which emit a high frequency sound (which cats dislike) when motion is detected.