House with 30 cats raises a stink
A COUPLE with 30 cats in a three-room flat in Bedok North has raised residents' hackles, with the Housing Board and Cat Welfare Society stepping in.
The pair have kept more than 40 cats in their flat at Block 703, Bedok Reservoir Road in seven years, Chinese newspaper Shin Min Daily News reported yesterday.
Even though they have given away more than 10 in two years, neighours are still unhappy over the remaining 30 felines and the hygiene issues they could cause.
The owner of the cats, who gave her name as Rosna, told Shin Min that it started when she fed a stray cat seven years ago. It kept reproducing, and the house was filled with cats.
"The stray cat had four kittens, and the family just kept growing, till at one point there were 44 cats under the same roof," said the housewife in her 60s.
Responding to neighbours' complaints, Ms Rosna said that there is protective wire mesh in the house to keep the cats from wandering out. She said that it could be strays outside passing urine or defecating that made the residents unhappy.
She added that she and her husband were cat lovers, but that there were more and more felines in the house, so they hoped to find people to adopt them.
"We spend more than $300 a month to look after the cats. The house was originally supposed to be rented out, but whenever potential tenants see there are so many cats, they are unwilling to sign the contract," she said.
An HDB spokesman told My Paper yesterday that HDB's principal consideration n setting the rules on pet ownership is "to preserve a pleasant living environment and maintain good neighbourly relations".
"We need to strike a balance between residents who are pet lovers and those who are more sensitive to the disamenities caused by animals," she said.
"When we receive feedback about unpermitted pet ownership in HDB flats, we will advise the flat owners to make alternative arrangements to rehome their pets."
HDB received feedback about this particular case in February this year and "advised the owners to find an alternative home for the cats".
"With their agreement, we have contacted the Cat Welfare Society (CWS) to help rehome the cats. The CWS is in the midst of assisting the family with the rehoming."
A CWS spokesman told Shin Min that they have been aware of Ms Rosna's case for two weeks now, and have interviewed her as well as neutered the cats.
"Some members of the public have also donated cat food, beds and such items to the owner, but there are too many cats, we were unable to take in all of them and can only wait for kind-hearted people to adopt them."
The spokesman also reminded cat lovers to neuter their pets.