Singapore Will Soon Let Residents Have Cats

Currently, more than 80% of the population technically can't have them
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 10, 2024 3:00 AM CDT
Singapore Will Soon Let Residents Have Cats
People talk along the bay during the evening in Singapore, Thursday, May 30, 2024.   (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

More than 80% of the population in Singapore is currently not allowed to have a cat as a house pet, but that is set to change come September. As the Guardian explains, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) was created in 1960 to address a housing crisis in the island republic, and currently, the aforementioned vast majority of the population lives in high-rise HBD apartments—in which cats have been banned for 34 years, Reuters reports. A recent survey of the populace found that 90% of respondents believe that law should change, and now Singapore's government has decided to do just that, overturning it in the fall.

The ban, which carries a potential fine of nearly $3,000, is rarely enforced, but creates issues with things like pet insurance (which owners can't get for cats they're keeping under the radar) and can also cause cats to become leverage in neighborly disputes (i.e. a neighbor who's angry with you might threaten to tell the authorities about your secret cat). Cat owners who spoke to the two outlets say they don't understand why dogs aren't subjected to a similar ban; the official word on that, from when the law was created in 1989, is that cats "tend to shed fur and defecate or urinate in public areas, and also make caterwauling sounds, which can inconvenience your neighbors." (More Singapore stories.)

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