Cats abandoned by owners worried about proposed cat-ownership framework, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Cats abandoned by owners worried about proposed cat-ownership framework

The misunderstanding of the cat-ownership framework has led some cat owners to give up their "excess" cats, contributing to the number of cat abandonment cases.

Under the proposed framework put forward on Dec 2, HDB households will be allowed to have up to two cats per flat. The cats have to be microchipped and licensed, and the flat cat-proofed.

Owners who currently own more than two cats can apply for licence for the animals and keep them under the proposed cat-ownership framework.

After the two-year transition period, the keeping of additional pets will be subject to approval by the Animal & Veterinary Service (AVS) and HDB (for HDB residents).

Cat owners who choose to license their cats during the transition period can do so for free. AVS will provide free sterilisation and microchipping for pet cats from low-income households

Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao reported SPCA executive director Aarthi Sankar as saying that there are cat owners who misunderstand the terms of the transition period and that "other animal welfare organisations have witnessed more cases of cat abandonment in recent months".

Cat Welfare Society (CWS) president Thenuga Vijakumar said there was a sharp increase in cat abandonment cases following the announcement of the new framework.

Cat owners need to understand the framework, what they need to do and the help available during the transition period instead of abandoning their cats in a haste.

CWS is also hoping for the authorities to issue licences to cat fosterers.

Real estate agent Chen Shijia, 33, supports this request to help rescue and fostering efforts – but without a limit on the number of cats per flat.

"I know of fosterers who can take good care of 10 cats," said the HDB dweller who has three cats and fostered about 10 cats over the past four years.

"Cats are sociable. Some people keep more than one cat at a time to ensure that their pets have playmates. The authorities should take this into consideration."