Thursday, November 16, 2006

Cat on bench

Cat on bench
Originally uploaded by dawnkua.

I was out mediating in the afternoon. Someone complained of defecation in the stairwell - and big surprise - there were three cats sitting outside the flat of someone two floors below the complainant. The cats were all trying to get into the flat. The resident was not home.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been following the issue of cats being allowed to wander and getting everyone else into trouble. Pardon me for being blunt, but is it that HARD for these people to understand that their cats need to be kept indoors and they wont die if they do? I have two cats of my own and frankly I feel very much more at ease that they are indoor than letting them wander. Once in a while I will let them out under my supervision as in walk with them. And then carry them back when I feel they had enough exploring. I dont see them having any problems....

16/11/06 11:44 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Anonymous I wonder the same thing, but this is happening SO much and is so prevalent.

17/11/06 12:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It makes me think if (I hate to come to this conclusion) but maybe HDB was right in banning cats..... perhaps they had anticipated how owners will let their cats wander and they are afraid if they lifted the ban, estates would be filled with wandering cats thanks to owners that dont want to keep them indoors.

17/11/06 12:48 AM  
Anonymous belle said...

... perhaps they had anticipated how owners will let their cats wander and they are afraid if they lifted the ban, estates would be filled with wandering cats thanks to owners that dont want to keep them indoors.


yes ! that is why although im a cat-lover, i don't join the rest to petition for cats 2b allowed in HDB flats ...

as some of u probably know already from my postings, i have a very low opinion of the average singaporean person (im s'porean too)... many don't seem to have common sense !

these types won't be able to keep their cats indoors - they are not creative enuff to find ways to encourage their cats to remain indoors, they don't bother to acquire skills on how to keep indoor cats, and they r simply careless abt leaving doors/windows open even though they have cats ...

i disagree with many, many of our govt's policies ... but for this one on HDB & cats, i think i can understand why HDB remains firm on their stance ...

17/11/06 3:22 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

The cats are wiser than the human beings. The felines didn't ask to be left outside, they do want to return home(proof: they wait outside their house) but it's their silly guardians that are locking them out. And i wonder what's the logic for such action?

17/11/06 9:18 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Anonymous and Belle - I think the problem is actualy the HDB rule. A lot of these people don't want to run afoul of it, so they decide to keep the cats outside. This way they don't get fined.

In addition, by saying cats AREN'T allowed, but knowing that many people are keeping them, it is effectively saying they refuse to deal with the issue. Then who deals with these cats? TC? The caregivers?

Instead of banning cats, why not allow people to keep cats but under strict guidelines? If the cat is allowed out, then fine them or charge them. Make sure the cat is sterilised and microchipped. Right now, there is nothing these people are doing wrong by letting the cats run about.

In fact, if they routinely allow cats to roam and the cats are caught time and time again, nothing can be done to the person with the cats! They can keep picking up new cats and causing the same problems, and more cats die.

17/11/06 9:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, the rule seems to be the issue. It's just like dogs. They allow dogs, so people keep their dogs inside. The argument can also be made that the dogs would probably enjoy wandering around outside the home just as much as a cat. But because there are strict rules about keeping your dogs inside and microchipped, etc, people do not let their dogs wander around freely.

If the HDB allow cats and implement rules like with dog ownership, we'll probably see less of such a problem. At least then you can prosecute the irresponsible owners.


17/11/06 10:36 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Exactly Marilyn. Open the door and dog, cat, rabbit, even a child, will run out. It's the pet owner or the adult who must be responsible. In this case, it pays to be irresponsible - you don't get fined. If you're responsible and keep a cat in and get caught you could get evicted.

17/11/06 10:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I beg to differ Dawn, from what I see. Cats can be successfully kept indoors and frankly many people dont even know cats are banned in HDB until they try adopting from SPCA and find out. Sterlized cats dont wail and they dont bark like dogs. I would say cats are alot easier to hide than dogs. And most neighbours cannot be bothered unless the cat gets out.

I really dont think the reason is that they are afraid of getting fined. I think the reason is more that they have a mistaken thinking the cat must be left outside and as some said they never thought of how to entertain the cat when it is alone at home. Simply dump outside the house when they are not home.

I know of a neighbour who has 16 cats in her HDB flat and till date she has not recieved a single complaint. Main reasoning? She keeps her cats in.

Hence I dont think lifting that ban will work at all.

17/11/06 11:50 AM  
Blogger vegancat said...

Last nite i was walking by a nearby block when i heard cat shrieking. I saw a "new" ginger male cat that was challenged by an established black-n-white tipped male. On closer look, the ginger with tipped ear looked like one of 4 cats belonging to a family of "Mr Ekat" that we recently managed to get Sharifah to persuade to let us bring to the vet for sterilization. We had thought the free roaming had stopped after the sterilization and long lecture by Sharifah. However the family refused to have the mesh put up for them free and so their cats are free roaming again. *sigh* At least i know which family to direct any complaints but our concern is that the cats, even if they are theirs, may suffer. It is exasperating to meet such people who say they love cats but do not have the foresight to see potential problems and prevent them with simple measure like meshing to keep their cats IN!

17/11/06 11:54 AM  
Blogger vegancat said...

It looks like if TC and HDB will acknowledge that free-roaming upstairs pets is a major contribution to complaints and then seek solutions based on this, such as intensive education of pet owners,perhaps with the help of RC's, legalizing cats in HDB and then set the rules, a lot of headaches, $$ and lives of cats can be saved.

A met a lady who lives in another nearby block and she told me her "fierce looking neighbour" would let his "beautiful long-haired cats" roam free when he goes to work in the morning and take them in when he is home. Meanwhile he seems oblivious to cat defecation while he is at work. This lady is good eough to recognise the problem is not the cats and promptly scoop any poo outside her flat and place them outside his.

17/11/06 12:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No point in arguing if people know if cats are banned in HDB. If you ask me, I'll say that they know. There have been too much publicity on that to say that they are not aware that you can't keep cats in HDB flats.

And basically whether neighbors complain about your cats is whether you get along with them or if someone complains for the sake of complaining. I have a friend who had to give up her cats even though they are kept indoors. Reason being, someone complained. And that someone wasn't even a resident. The TC came and said she had to get rid of her cats.

Keeping the cats in will mean there's less chances of getting complaints, but it doesn't mean that people will not complain.


17/11/06 12:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keeping cats indoor comes under HDB. TC has no right to ask owners to get rid of cats. I have known of owners who "fight" such unreasonable complaints and won. A friend invited a MP to visit her flat and see for himself if her three cats' fur could fly to her complaining neighbour below. Case closed and she got to keep her cats. I even heard someone got to her keep an "illegal" mongrel dog after she got her neighbours to petition.
Sometimes we need to stand up against unreasonable complaint

17/11/06 12:55 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Hi Anonymous, I have to say that I disagree. For one thing, as someone pointed out, most people DO know about the ban. Secondly we can see that ban or no ban, irresponsible people ALREADY keep cats. Meanwhile, people like your friend have to hope that no one complains even if they are responsible (and yes I have seen it happen).

So what's happening is that you're penalising the responsible people and the people who don't keep the cats in get off without any problems.

It seems to me that if you made it easier for people to keep cats legally and insisting that they must follow certain guidelines, that it would help cut DOWN the number of complaints. If for example, people knew cats MUST be kept in and sterilised they would do so. Now it's not even possible to do a big HDB campaign about this because no one is supposed to keep cats at all.

I do think that there will always be some irresponsible people, but if you make it easy for people to follow the law and keep the cats, most people WILL do it. Right now, it's actually better to be irresponsible because you won't be able to be caught.

17/11/06 3:16 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Anonymous TC cannot tell people to get rid of cats. They normally tell the HDB who then enforce it.

17/11/06 3:32 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Well said Vegancat.

17/11/06 3:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The HDB ruling, made in early 1970's against cat ownership must be revised. We simply prefer cats, they are fun and elegant. We need cats and less SELFISH people. That will be one happy place. O yes, may there be more scratchproof cars.

If people throw their cats out before leaving for work, they are
exposing their cats and other cats to dangers. Because a free-roaming cat is considered a nuisance by complainant, a profit by pest control company and a job done by TC. Humans are playing catgame.

aiyoo cat

17/11/06 4:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SOMETIMES people need a good smack in the face before they will listen. And usually this comes in the form of something happening to their cats and by then it might be too late

We need to bring across the message strongly that free roaming cats are at high risk of getting into danger either from cars/ava/abusers etc. Perhaps CWS could make this the focus of their next campaign

17/11/06 4:28 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I just did up a poster about "A safe cat is an Indoor Cat" and we have our new flyers on Kindness killing.

17/11/06 4:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great..hope the posters will be available soon

To the first anonymous: I personally know how difficult it is to keep cats in. Sometimes they whine and cry until someone opens the door then they charge out before you can stop them. One of mine actually pushed open the window in the middle of the night =.=

17/11/06 5:01 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Anonymous, if you haven't already, you might want to try screening the inside of your window if you have shutters.

17/11/06 5:13 PM  
Anonymous d said...

I agree it can be difficult to keep cats in; one time I took in a community cat for a week as she was recuperating from an infected wound, despite having provided litter box etc. and meshed up all the openings, she managed to bite through the mesh, crawl through a convoluted route and squeeze out of a tiny gap (could not be closed as it is a structural flaw in that particular window).

That said I have 4 other house cats now, 2 have lived indoors since kittenhood and thus not comfortable going out, meanwhile the other 2 enjoy going out to explore now and then but they have no problem being kept indoors. If they go out for a quick run I always supervise.

Another problem with letting cats out - are owners not afraid of them picking up lice, fleas, etc.?? It is definitely an issue for me as I once had to deal with lice infestation when I rescued the 2 strays that now live with me. Treatment is long-term and expensive, and I worry it will affect my other cats at home if any one brings back suck pests.

18/11/06 1:40 PM  
Anonymous d said...

sorry, I meant such* pests.

Another issue - my parents want me to get rid of 2 of my 4 cats, I would like to move out so I can keep them but this will not be feasible for the next 1.5 years at least. I definitely don't want to see them go but it is non-negotiable with my parents now. Not sure how to deal with this... :(

18/11/06 1:41 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

What is your parents' main objection to the cats? Maybe you can email me about this?

18/11/06 4:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello there, jus wondering since someone mentioned somewhere that TCs wont trap cats that r sterilized, does it apply to ALL the TCs or only just a few? :)

19/11/06 12:17 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

It depends on whether you have an agreement with the TC and if the TC knows whom the caregivers in the area are. For example, if there's no agreement, then the TC will continue what they've been doing (ie trap and kill). If it's an area where there IS an agreement but the caregiver there is not known to the TC, they cannot then refer the problem for mediation to the caregiver.

19/11/06 1:36 PM  

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