A 54-year-old woman living in an HDB flat in Yishun has been keeping over 50 cats in the flat for over a decade.
An Atrocious Accumulation of Cats
Everything started when a stray cat followed the woman home more than a decade ago. Shortly after that, she adopted a second cat, and the two started breeding. She was then given even more cats by a family member.
It is a combination of similar occurrences that resulted in the woman becoming the owner of more than 50 cats. The large number of cats in the woman’s flat then proved to be a major problem that the woman was not able to resolve.
Complaints Lodged by Neighbours
Residents in the HDB block have filed multiple complaints of an overwhelming odour emanating from the flat caused by a buildup of cat faeces and urine.
Zaobao reported that one neighbour has been struggling with the unpleasant conditions since 2007. However, her daughter was not able to tolerate the stench anymore and subsequently moved out of the unit.
When reporters from Zaobao visited the HDB block, they noticed the strong smell the second they left the lift. The sound of cats meowing could be heard immediately upon reaching the door of the unit.
Another neighbour said that some of the cats would allegedly end up wandering into other units, having broken into her house twice.
Other residents claimed they had approached the Nee Soon Town Council for help, but the situation still has not improved.
Authorities Assessed and Re-Homing the Cats
Finally, local animal welfare groups are now working to resolve the situation.
Responding to queries from AsiaOne, HDB confirmed that they received the complaints regarding the Yishun resident’s living conditions in May this year. They then paid her a house visit and noted that she had more than 50 cats living in poor conditions.
“Together with the Animal & Veterinary Service (AVS), a cluster of National Parks Board, and the Cat Welfare Society (CWS), we engaged and advised the resident to find an alternative home for the cats,” the Housing Board said.
“Agencies and the CWS also inspected the cats to assess their health. Agencies are partnering animal welfare groups to assist the resident with sterilising and rehoming the cats, and will continue to provide support on these efforts.”
AsiaOne also reported that about 30 or so cats were removed as of Wednesday, 13 Jul 2022.
A passerby who was outside the unit on 13 Jul shared that the woman’s door was closed and there were no cats in sight.
They also shared that the “corridor was clean and has no cat smell”.