S'porean woman creates some 50 elaborate cardboard houses for community cats

It's become a hobby for her.

Ashley Tan | April 18, 2023, 05:13 PM

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Have you ever noticed a tiny intricate cardboard structure in the corner of a HDB void deck?

The ones with iconic colours of fast food chains like McDonald's and KFC and housing a small feline?

It is likely the work of one Janet Chin.

Chin has been creating these small houses for community cats around Singapore to ensure they have a cozy place to rest and hide from the elements.

Thus far, she has made around 50 cardboard homes in her free time.

Afraid that cardboard boxes would be thrown away

Speaking to Mothership, Chin shared that one experience of rescuing and rehoming cats prompted her to start making these cardboard homes in July 2022.

She was attempting to find homes for over 10 cats rescued from a Lim Chu Kang farm, but was unable to do so.

Chin then contacted several residents who cared for the community cats in their area, and "pleaded" with them to let her release the rescued cats there.

She initially believed it would be a good idea if the rescued cats were accompanied by a cardboard box for them to hide in "so that they wouldn't feel so fearful in a new environment".

On second thought, she realised the boxes might be mistaken for trash and get thrown away.

Chin then came up with the idea of dressing up the boxes and converting them into full-blown mini houses for cats.

Photo courtesy of Janet Chin

Photo courtesy of Janet Chin

Become a hobby

Chin, who is in her 50s, shared that the process of making the houses gradually became "addictive", and it has since then transformed into a hobby of sorts for her.

She draws her inspiration for the homes from cartoons, cottages or colonial houses, or "when [she] happens to see something [she] likes".

The design of each home is also "unique" as Chin does not duplicate her designs.

Photo courtesy of Janet Chin

She has observed people stop to admire the houses, and the structures have become a point of conversation between residents.

"I felt that the interesting designs I have made not only provide the cats a shelter but they also beautify the communities."

Photo courtesy of Janet Chin

Not only has she given the community cats in her area, Yishun, some fancy abodes, she gives away her creations to other cat feeders as well.

Cats in locations such as Boon Lay, Chinatown, Tiong Bahru, Spooner Road and Fernvale now have upgraded accommodation courtesy of Chin.

Photo courtesy of Janet Chin

Photo courtesy of Janet Chin

Photo courtesy of Janet Chin

Photo courtesy of Janet Chin

Chin even goes the extra mile to personally deliver the cardboard homes to elderly cat feeders who are unable to meet her to collect them.

When asked if she has spent a sizeable sum on making the houses, Chin shared that she does not mind forking out money for this.

Photo courtesy of Janet Chin

Photo courtesy of Janet Chin

There have been previous incidents where cardboard boxes put out for community cats have been thrown away or removed.

These cases have drawn ire from cat lovers.

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Top photo courtesy of Janet Chin