If dogs are allowed, why not cats? Kitty lovers unhappy about no-cat rule in HDB flats

If dogs are allowed, why not cats? Kitty lovers unhappy about no-cat rule in HDB flats
PHOTO: The Straits Times, Facebook screengrab

A Facebook user posted a photo of a letter from the Housing and Development Board (HDB), advising the recipient to "remove" his cat from his home by Jan 11 after receiving feedback that he was keeping a cat in his flat.

A contributor alerted citizen journalism website Stomp to the post by Alfredo Seow after it started gaining traction on Facebook.

The letter explained that under HDB's policy, keeping of cats in HDB flats is strictly prohibited as they are "difficult to be confined within flats".

The Estate Manager who wrote the letter added that "cat-related nuisance such as shedding of fur, defecation in public areas and noise disturbance can spoil the estate's living environment and disrupt good neighbourliness".

The post has garnered over 1,700 shares, 895 reactions and more than 500 comments since it was posted on Saturday (Jan 7).

on Facebook

OK, a little over the top don't you think? Disclaimer: This is NOT a letter that I received. Just shared from a friend

Posted by Alfredo Seow on Saturday, 7 January 2017

Many of those who commented are cat lovers, who questioned why dogs are allowed in HDB flats when cats are not.

According to the HDB, 62 breeds of dogs are allowed in flats while cats are not allowed at all.

Replying to a comment, Alfredo said: "Oh well, time to find a dog that behaves like a cat then. [Because] apparently, they don't shed fur or make a mess."

Facebook user Haz commented on the 'irony' of the situation by sharing his aunt's own experience: "My aunt also kena until SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) came to collect her cats. All [because] the neighbour complained that the cats made her dog bark all the time. The IRONY. (sic)"

Read also: Woman with 20 cats told they must go

However, another commenter, Michelle, tried to see both sides of the issue.

"I have friends whose cats have leapt [out] of their windows trying to catch birds, or just to escape home. any cats have such tendencies, and HDB flats aren't built with ledges and corrugated surfaces that are conducive for cats that like to chill outside. I think HDB is just being cautious by discouraging flat owners to keep cats in flats. That being said, I also know a lot of flat owners [who], with careful measure, have kept their cats till they grow old, and given them good lives."

Said Elton Liaw: "Cats are considered small breed animals and why it is not allowed to be kept in HDB? At least they are toilet trained and will keep themselves clean.

Fellow cat owner Susan Tan agreed and wrote: "HDB needs to explain: I keep my cats perfectly well indoors. I don't live in HDB. So what is the difference between HDB and non-HDB walls that the cats can't be contained in one but non issue in the other? FLAWED and OUTDATED law HDB!!!!"

"Punish irresponsible cat owners who let cats roam freely without supervision who live in any form of housing! Don't punish all cat owners by banning cats for those who live in HDB flats," she added.

A number of netizens also responded to Stomp's article on the hot-button issue.

One commenter, Anastasia, said: "In my area (Yishun), there is a dog fight every day."

Meanwhile, Lena wrote: "Cats are so quiet, you don't even know they exist...unlike dogs."

Another commenter, Rasyid, added: "Yes! Of course not happy...then when a dog keeps barking throughout the night, why do they not consider this kind of nonsense?"

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