Staff, jockeys fret over fate of Turf Club’s more than 100 resident cats
The Singapore Turf Club (STC) in Kranji is not only home to over 700 horses - more than 100 cats also reside in its stables.
And as employees and jockeys grapple with uncertainty following the announcement that the STC will be shut by March 2027 and returned to the Government for redevelopment, there is also a cloud over what will happen to these felines.
Apprentice jockey Jerlyn Seow, 29, who has been feeding the cats since 2015, said she and many staff members are devastated over having to say goodbye to them.
“Most of us working at the stable feed and pet the cats every day. We’re already feeling down (about the closure) and on top of that we are worried about the horses and stable cats,” she added.
Ms Seow said the cats, consisting of kittens to older cats, roam freely. Cats reside in each of the 20 stables, with up to about 20 in some of them.
Many of the cats are sterilised, she added, but some feral ones are hard to trap, and they have multiplied over the years.
Cat Welfare Society (CWS) president Thenuga Vijakumar said it has been helping with the sterilisation of the cats in STC and the vicinity for several years, but its efforts were hampered during the Covid-19 period due to accessibility issues.
“CWS will be happy to work with the management of the (STC), National Parks Board and other stakeholders to plan and execute a comprehensive Trap-Neuter-Return-Manage plan within the premises,” she said.
Ms Seow said she is unsure when the cats have to be moved, and how, “because as long as there are still horses here, there will still be people around to help out with the cats”.
Since the closure announcement on June 5, about six of the cats have been adopted by the stable staff, she added. Although she wanted to take in some of the cats herself, she is unable to as she already has six cats at home.
“Having to put the cats up for adoption is very sad because everyone here treats the stable cats like they’re our own. They are very well loved here,” she said.