Published 5 Dec 2023
The proposed framework on pet cat management in Singapore was announced by Senior Minister of State for National Development Mr Tan Kiat How on Dec 2.
Since 1989, keeping cats in HDB has been illegal and owners may be fined up to $4,000 under the Housing and Development (Animals) Rules.
The proposed changes will be available for further input for the next two months before they are implemented, presumably in the early part of 2024.
What is proposed?
Only two cats are allowed per HDB household.
Only three cats per private household.
Each cat needs to be microchipped.
Each cat needs to be registered / licenced by AVS.
Sterilised cats pay a fee for the pet cat licence.
Unsterilised cats pay a repeated and higher fee for the pet cat licence.
Owners will need to ensure that the cats are kept in a safe environment (e.g. Window grilles).
Owners will need to keep the cat under control in public places (e.g. protected in a hard carrier).
First-time cat owners to complete an online course on responsible pet ownership before they can be issued a licence.
There is a transition period of two years:
Allow cat owners time to meet the requirements (i.e. microchip and sterilise the cats, mesh your windows).
Cat owners with more than 2 cats can apply for licenses and keep all of their existing cats (subject to approval by AVS).
Licencing is free during this transition period.
Low-income households, such as those living in public rental housing, can also get free cat sterilisation and microchipping from 2024.
To improve the management and welfare of pet cats.
Traceable during a possible out break
Cat owners can be held to greater account and investigated if their cats are alleged to be abandoned, neglected, or abused.
When the changes take effect after later part of 2024-2025, it will be illegal not to license pet cats, and owners will be subject to penalties like those under regulations for dog owners.
Currently, dog owners can be fined up to $5,000 for not complying with licensing conditions.
At the point of this publication, we have not recieved further recommendations/ advice from AVS.