Photo: The New Paper File

In a Facebook post on Sunday (Dec 22), Ng, who is also the founder and chief executive of animal welfare group ACRES, wrote: "I do think it is time to review the rule of not allowing people living in HDB flats to keep cats."

"I've spoken up about this for many years and will raise this in Parliament. Let's debate this."



Following his post, a number of Facebook users gave their opinions on the issue.

A few of them were surprised that cats are actually not allowed in HDB flats.

According to HDB, they're difficult to contain within the unit. HDB maintains that when cats are allowed to roam, they tend to shed fur and defecate or urinate in common areas. Their caterwauling sounds also inconvenience residents.

While the ban, which was introduced in 1989, is not actively enforced, the authorities have to step in once a complaint is made against a HDB cat owner. Often, the animal has to be rehomed.

These issues can be addressed if measures for responsible pet ownership are put in place, cat lovers say.

Related: House Tours: 3 cat-friendly homes every cat lover will want

Photo: Facebook screengrab

They include placing microchips in pet cats, meshing up doors and windows to prevent the animals from roaming or falling to their deaths, as well as providing them veterinary care such as sterilisation.

Some in favour of lifting the ban shared how interacting with pet cats helped their neighbours who overcome their fear of the animals.

Meanwhile, several people cast the spotlight on stray felines and encouraged others to adopt them instead of buying cats.

A Facebook user wrote that humans share the world with other living beings and encouraged others to be kind to animals.

Photo: Facebook screengrab

For others, however, the answer's a vehement "no" for a revision of the rule.

They highlighted cases of irresponsible cat owners inconveniencing their neighbours by letting their pets roam the blocks freely, and abandoning their cats in HDB estates after they move to another place.

Other issues mentioned were the illegal breeding of cats for sale, as well as cases of animal hoarding in HDB flats.

Will cats finally find their furever homes in public housing like (some breeds of) dogs? Only time will tell.

Related: Tips: 3 things to note when renovating as a pet owner

This story was first published in AsiaOne.