Friday, November 24, 2006


Someone wrote in a few days ago and said that she was unhappy with a particular cat. She says she has a cat of her own but this cat is aggressive and has hissed at her. She says that other people are starting to complain too.

I spoke to the caregiver on record, and she said she would speak with her friend as she had moved out. She suggested moving the cat to another block.

I just called her because the complainant wrote in again today to see what had been done. The woman said that she did not want to move the cat now because they didn't do well in new areas when relocated. I told her I agreed, but if this cat WAS aggressive, it might have to be removed or relocated as this was what she had suggested herself. She insisted the complainant must have been feeding the cat. She agreed this cat had seemed traumatised of late and behaving unlike itself (which is what the complainant said as well) but that the complainant should not be difficult.

I told her we could discuss all the negatives and why this or that should not happen, but the cat might get caught as a result. I told her that however the cat did NOT have to be removed if someone could just go down and take a look and see what the situation was. If there was a good reason for what was happening, or the cat was clearly not aggressive, then that was a good response to the complainant. She said again she'd call her friend. I impressed upon her the urgency of the matter and asked if I could speak with her friend direct. She said she was having stomach flu and it was inconvenient for her to call. Finally I told her it was three in the morning for me and I was calling her from overseas because I really needed to get hold of the caregiver. She gave me the number and I spoke with the caregiver.


Blogger calsifer said...

Don't understand how stomach flu impede her ability to pick up the phone, dial and talk to her friend, esp since she answered your call.

Hope the call with the caregiver yielded results.

24/11/06 9:43 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

The caregiver said she'd go down tonight. She said she had gone down and not been able to see the cat in the last day or so.

24/11/06 11:55 PM  
Anonymous d said...

The justifications provided by HDB website as to why cats are not allowed in HDB flats are misinformed and illogical.

If you visit this site ( it is possible to submit feedback that the information provided is "below average" (and I wonder why they have 2 options for the "above average" range, but only one for the opposite). Upon clicking "submit," a popup window appears, asking how the information could be "further improved."

Here is what I submitted:

First, if cats were nomadic, keeping them in flats would eliminate this nomadic nature, and would thus be a benefit to neighbours. At any rate, the validity of this information is a moot point, since cats are not in fact nomadic. Rather, they are territorial in nature - as is evidenced by the permanence of stray colonies.

Second, I fail to see how "nuisances" such as "shedding of fur, defecating/urinating in public areas, noise disturbance etc." are unique to cats. Dogs as well as cats shed fur. It is difficult to toilet-train dogs, whereas cats are clean by nature - house cats almost always instinctively use the litter box(es) provided, and even strays cover their waste. Whilst dogs need to be taken on walks, cats do not share this requirement; moreover, dogs often defecate/urinate on these walks, and male dogs have a tendency to spray against standing objects to mark territory, which results in urine and bad smells in public areas. This problem is almost nonexistent in cats of either sex. Moreover, "noise disturbance" is higher in dogs, with their tendency to bark, and small dogs in particular (which are approved as HDB pets) tend to be yappy and noisy. Cats on the other hand do not meow often, and hissing/fighting is unlikely in house cats as it usually only occurs between cats who are do not share the same territory. House cats tend to become used to one another's presence as they are confined within the same space. Further, cats spend 70-75% of their time sleeping, and therefore have fewer waking hours than dogs within which to cause "noise disturbance."

Whilst I agree that irresponsibility of cat owners could result in any of the above "nuisances," I believe that irresponsibility of owners of ANY type of pet would cause annoyance to the neighbourhood. Irresponsible dog owners may not clear their dogs' waste in public areas; they may not realise if their dogs are causing "noise disturbance." Irresponsibility of owners of any other type of animal would result in many other types of problems, such as noise pollution if the pet is noisy, air pollution of the waste is not cleared, pest infestation and/or health if the environment is not kept clean, just to name a few.
Finally I am not aware of any surveys that may have been done amongst HDB residents to determine which animals are (a)desired as pets, and (b)considered to "generally [...] cause nuisance to the neighbouring residents."
As such, I feel that the information provided on this website is irrelevant, factually incorrect, illogical, and unsupported by empirical data. Please consider a thorough revision of such policies and/or the nature of the information and justifications provided.

Thank you.

27/11/06 1:38 AM  
Anonymous d said...

Sorry I think the URL got cut off; anyway here is what the website says (sorry for the long comments):

HDB has to consider the overall sentiments of the HDB residents when setting policies and rules. Not all residents like pets, or are comfortable with neighbours keeping pets.

HDB has allowed one dog of an approved breed to be kept in an HDB flat. The approved breeds of dogs are the smaller dogs which are generally more manageable. Please click here for the list of approved breeds of dogs.

Cats are not allowed to be kept in HDB flats as they are nomadic in nature and are difficult to be confined within the flats. Due to the nomadic nature of cats, the nuisances caused by cats such as shedding of fur, defecating/urinating in public areas, noise disturbance etc would affect the environment and neighbourliness in our housing estates. In view of this, HDB has the policy of not allowing cats to be kept in HDB flats.

HDB allows flat owners to keep other pet animals such as fish, hamsters, rabbits, birds, etc which generally do not cause nuisance to the neighbouring residents.

27/11/06 1:39 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Thanks d

27/11/06 3:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

blargh. i bet they have a standard template reply for every issue which they send off to keep the masses quiet. that way the people at the feedback department dont have to activate a single braincell. i mean, how many times have we received that same stupid auto reply its infuriating

27/11/06 12:38 PM  
Blogger calsifer said...

Anonymous, I can personally attest to that. However, kudos to d for trying anyway - we must let them know it's not just a small bunch of peopel making noises repeatedly - so Anonymous, pelase encourage your friends and family to feedback too!

27/11/06 6:54 PM  
Blogger vegancat said...

Keeping Of Pets

27/11/06 10:45 PM  
Blogger vegancat said...

Read Joanna Hughes' Cats are purr-fect pets, yes, even in HDB flats

As for shedding fur, surely a vacuum cleaner or a dust mop will take care of that at home. Although admittedly, they also shed fur in public places.

On that subject, the biggest shedders I have ever met after dogs are women, as anyone who has seen the sinks in a ladies' loo can testify.

Do cats pee in lifts like humans? I had a colleague who had to pick her way daily past a pile of human faeces left on the stairs leading to her flat.

Cats at least bury their poo. I have yet to see a cat deposit a child's used and dirty diaper on the pavement or throw a lit cigarette into a dustbin or park illegally, thus blocking the SCDF from putting out the fire caused by the lit cigarette.

Cats lick themselves frequently and do not smell, unlike many fellow travellers on the MRT.

27/11/06 11:10 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Yes it's always good when people write in!

28/11/06 12:16 AM  
Anonymous d said...

Haha it's just a popup feedback form and no need to submit any personal details whatsoever, so all they will have is your IP address. Unlikely they will hunt you down that way just to give you a template response. But then, I have no idea if they even bother with the feedback from that site, since they don't even have to "pretend" to have read it.

28/11/06 9:46 PM  

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