Singapore's Animal and Veterinary Service (AVS) conducted a public survey on the proposed approach to pet and community cat management, which has garnered 30,000 responses.
Cats as pets
AVS's survey ran between September and November 2022, and AVS said that respondents were strongly supportive of its proposed approach to cat management.
This approach included:
- Expanding the licensing and microchipping scheme to include pet cats
- Extending the Trap-Neuter-Rehome/Release-Manage (TNRM) programme for free roaming dogs to community cats
- New engagement and outreach programmes to promote responsible cat ownership, the adoption of cats, and responsible community cat caregiving
The survey also revealed that "close to 90 per cent" of the 30,000 respondents believed that cats were suitable to be kept as pets.
The survey also showed that most respondents supported cats being allowed to be kept as pets in HDB flats, AVS said on May 6.
More than 80 per cent of respondents also agreed that pet cats should be microchipped and licensed.
AVS has proposed that the licensing and microchipping scheme for dogs should be expanded to include cats.
Such a scheme would allow a robust traceability system, which AVS said was critical.
Improving the traceability of pet cats would better safeguard their health and welfare, as it would allow AVS to more quickly react in event of a disease outbreak.
Licensing would allow help mitigate pet abandonment and help lost pets to be returned to owners more quickly.
AVS said that it will continue to partner community and animal welfare groups to promote responsible pet ownership, cat adoption, and responsible community cat caregiving.
Nearly 80 per cent of those surveyed agreed that first time cat and dog owners should attend mandatory short courses on basic pet care skills.
AVS also said that irresponsible pet ownership could lead to unhappiness in the community, and could fray Singapore's social compact.
As for managing community cats, AVS will build on the current Stray Cat Sterilisation Programme.
It is proposing the Trap-Neuter-Rehome/Release-Manage (TNRM) programme for cats, and will work with animal welfare groups to sterilise and microchip community cats.
These cats will be rehomed where possible; otherwise they will be released back into the community to be responsibly cared for by community cat caregivers.
AVS said that it intends to continue engaging stakeholders and the public through focus group discussions (FGDs).
These FGDs will further discuss AVS's proposed approach to cat management, and its potential impact on cat owners, their cats, as well as community cats and their caregivers.
It will also allow time for cat owners and caregivers to adapt to potential changes.
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Top image HDB/Facebook & Mothership