Responsible cat ownership ensure that pet cats are kept safe and well provided for in their homes and that they do not cause any nuisance to their neighbours. Although cats are not legally allowed as pets in HDB apartments, there is acknowledgement that it is irresponsible cat owners who are the root of the problem. Some of the more common feedback received, such as roaming pet cats or smelly homes, are clearly the result of irresponsible cat owners and not the cats themselves.
To address this, CWS assisted with setting up a code of animal welfare (hyperlink: https://www.nparks.gov.sg/avs/animals/animal-welfare/animal-and-pets-welfare/code-of-animal-welfare-(for-pet-owners)) and has set out basic guidelines for responsible ownership. These guidelines apply regardless of the type of residence that a cat owner lives in.
- Pet cats must be sterilised once they are old enough (approx. 5 to 6 months old)
- Pet cats must be kept safely indoors. To that end, all windows, gates, service yards, balconies and such should be secured with grilles no wider than 2” (smaller if the pet is a kitten) to ensure a cat cannot fall out accidentally.
- Pet cats should be provided with good quality food and fresh water daily.
- Pet cats should be provided with medical care as and when they require it. Denial of medical care is an act of cruelty.
- Pet cats should be provided with litter boxes that are cleaned at least once daily.
- Pet cats should be provided with sufficient stimulation in the form of toys, scratchers, cat condos and most importantly, your time playing with them.
Pet cat owners who do not adhere to the guidelines will be given the benefit of the doubt in the first instance and advised on the guidelines. Pet cat owners who continue to fail to adhere to these guidelines will be referred to the Town Council, AVS and/or National Environment Agency as the case requires for penalties to be meted.