Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Don't ban cats in flats, HDB

This is a very good letter as yet another wake up call for HDB to progress and move away from its archaic practices, but I wonder why are such letters only published in the online forum, where it gets less exposure and/or may not get a reply from the intended party.

Don't ban cats in flats, HDB

From ST Online Forum, 17 Jan 2007

MY FRIEND who lives in a terrace house has just adopted a cat. It makes me envy him that his cat is 'legal' while my poor cat is an 'illegal occupant' as I live in an HDB flat.

My cat has been with me for years, and has yet to cause any nuisance that is enough to drive any neighbours to pound on our doors. I did an online search and to my surprise found these two statuary boards' stand on cats as pets.

A brochure from Agri-food & Veterinary Authority states that 'Cats make good indoor pets' (April 2001).

However, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) states: 'Cats are not allowed to be kept in HDB flats as they are nomadic in nature and are difficult to be confined within the flats. Due to the nomadic nature of cats, the nuisances caused by cats such as shedding of fur, defecating/urinating in public areas, noise disturbance etc would affect the environment and neighbourliness in our housing estates. In view of this, HDB has the policy of not allowing cats to be kept in HDB flats.' (Aug 24, 2006)

My cat has no problem in living in my HDB flat for all these years and has never made attempts to run away from home. Thus, I do not understand how 'cats are nomadic in nature and difficult to be confined within the flats'.

I also do wonder, does a cat shed less fur when on a landed property than when it is within an HDB flat?

If not, then why is this raised as a justification for banning cats in HDB flats?

Since there is no difference in the amount of fur shed, and responsible owners do take time to brush cats as much as they do for dogs to remove loose fur, this should be a non-issue.

In any case, the shedding of fur is within the owners' flat anyway.

The frequent barking of dogs is also definitely louder than any meowing of sterilised cats, so why are cats banned and dogs allowed?

As for cats urinating in public areas, I think dogs of irresponsible owners will defecate just as much in public too.

I feel that the HDB's banning of cats is too harsh on responsible cat owners like myself.

Elaine Neo Yan Ling (Miss)

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