Cats in flats: HDB pet ownership policies have to 'strike a balance', says Lawrence Wong

(PHOTOS: Getty Images / CNA screengrab)

SINGAPORE — When it comes to the issue of keeping cats in HDB flats, the government has to “strike a balance between residents who are pet lovers and those who are not”, said Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong.

“Irresponsible pet ownership can lead to disamenities in the community and cause unhappiness,” he said in a written reply on Monday (6 January) to a parliamentary question from Nee Soon GRC Member of Parliament Louis Ng on why HDB flat residents are barred from keeping cats.

Wong noted that in the case of cats, such disamenities include the shedding of fur, defecation and urination in public places, and caterwauling by roaming cats.

“Notwithstanding these concerns, HDB recognises that there are many residents who are cat lovers and who would like to keep cats in their flats,” he said.

HDB will continue to review and update its pet ownership policies, together with the National Park Boards and Animal & Veterinary Service, added Wong.

“While we would like very much to accommodate the wishes of all pet owners, we also have to take into consideration the views of other home-owners, and take a holistic and balanced approach in addressing this issue,” he said.

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