[UPDATE April 28] SPCA told AsiaOne that they made an unannounced visit to the site and found that the cat is only tied to the area during its outdoor time to ensure that it does not roam free.
"The leash is long enough for the cat to move freely within the area," said SPCA. "We have also advised the cat guardian to ensure that outdoor time with her cat is always monitored, consider using a harness instead, and exercise responsible cat ownership."
SPCA advises cat owners who wish to walk their cat to always do so with a leash and harness under direct supervision.
"It is also encouraged for cat owners to invest in proper harnesses made for cats while ensuring that your pet cat shows no sign of stress or discomfort during its walk," said SPCA.
Triggered by what he saw was his neighbour's cat lying along a HDB corridor with a string which he presumed was tied around its neck, Reddit user Jellybeantoast was quick to whip out his phone to take a photo.
He quickly posted it on Reddit, along with the caption: "My neighbour tied up a kitten outside their HDB apartment. Is this ethical?"
Instead of getting support for his post, this user found himself lambasted by netizens, some of whom claim to know and quickly defended the cat owner.
One user said he lives on the same floor as the cat owner.
"Walk over and ask if you're all that curious...you're actual scum for wanting to report (read: snitch) your own neighbours without wanting to get the context because of 'undisclosed reasons.' That's a sorry excuse for wanting to hide behind authorities."
Others cautioned the Reddit user against speculating about the situation.
One netizen advised the user to speak nicely with the neighbour and tell them their concerns that the animal may choke on the string.
Another netizen, claiming to be one of the cat owner's neighbour posted: "Probably they love their cat too and maybe just never thought about the possible issues. To be very honest, it would be great if people refrained from assuming that a mere string is being used to leash the cat."
"The picture is taken from an angle and we can't see whether the string is around the cat's neck. ... Making assumptions / jumping to conclusions is not helpful."
Another netizen even offered to gift the owners a proper leash for the cat.
However, there were netizens who sympathised with the cat, asking the user Jellybeantoast to report the owner.
"Pet owners who won't even allow their pets to be inside their house should not even buy or own a pet in the first place," wrote one netizen. "Could you imagine how depressed this poor looking kitty might be when being forced to just stay in one place? They want freedom too!"
On Tuesday (April 26), the user Jellybeantoast shared a response by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) on the incident in a new Reddit thread.
In the response, SPCA said that that cat had a collar and the leash was attached to her collar allowing her to exercise along the corridor.
SPCA said they have spoken to the resident and advised her to always supervise her cats "when they are allowed to exercise along the corridor as not everyone is comfortable with animals".
"The cat whom you saw yesterday is much younger and has asthma attacks," SPCA wrote.
The society also said that they spoke to the owner's immediate neighbour who told them that the owner keeps watch over them when they exercise and stretch their legs along the corridor.
"The cat had gotten lost before and the leash was a preventative measure set by the owner so it would "not wander too far away or too fast for them to restrain her," SPCA wrote.
AsiaOne has reached out to SPCA for more information.