HDB cat ban no longer relevant

In Singapore's early years, we were plagued with a multitude of issues, including public hygiene concerns and the possibility of tensions among neighbours due to free-roaming cats ("Spotlight on cat ban after HDB notice"; Jan 13).

Hence, it was understandable for the Housing Board to impose a policy ruling out cat ownership in flats.

However, times have changed.

Singaporeans are now more affluent, and there are new tools and resources to ensure responsible cat ownership, such as toilet training and mesh.

Rather than having a blanket ban on cats, the HDB should adopt an unambiguous and non-discriminating policy requiring responsible pet ownership among HDB flat owners.

After all, a cat is not more likely than a dog or any other pet to compromise public hygiene standards in an HDB estate.

Policies must be updated and kept relevant to meet the needs of Singaporeans, who want a sense of belonging and autonomy in defining their homes.

There are new tools and resources to ensure responsible cat ownership, such as toilet training and mesh... A cat is not more likely than a dog or any other pet to compromise public hygiene standards in an HDB estate.

The HDB should legalise cat ownership in flats and state the consequences of irresponsible pet ownership clearly.

Amelia Au Wei En (Miss)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 19, 2017, with the headline 'HDB cat ban no longer relevant'. Print Edition | Subscribe