Nineteen cats live in cages outside Queenstown flat
Queenstown resident says all his 19 cats are well taken care of
At the foot of Block 151, Mei Ling Street, in Queenstown, 19 cats live in cages outside a resident's home.
The cages - some housing two or three cats - are relatively clean and well maintained and are covered with canvas sheets to protect the felines from the sun and rain.
But concerned people alerted the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) to the animals' condition.
They were worried the cats - mostly mixed breeds - did not have enough shelter and should not be kept in cages.
SPCA's executive director, Dr Jaipal Singh Gill, agreed that cages are not suitable housing for cats.
He pointed out that long-term confinement that restricted an animal's movement is also detrimental to its welfare.
He added: "Housing cats in this manner is a breach of the Code of Animal Welfare (for Pet Owners). We are working with the parties involved with the care of these cats to improve the welfare of the animals."
The Code of Animal Welfare (for Pet Owners) was issued by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) last June to provide pet owners with guidelines on how to care for their pets.
It also outlined minimum standards for accountability, animal housing and environment.
According to AVA's press release on the code, although there is currently no penalty, failure to fulfil the requirements of the code can be used to support prosecution or other enforcement actions for animal welfare cases.
Speaking to The New Paper on Wednesday, the cats' owner, Mr Abu Bakar, 82, said he has been keeping them outside his one-room first-storey flat at Block 151 for the past 10 years.
He said: "No one has ever complained about the cats before. They are all microchipped. Their cages are cleaned every day, and the cats are well fed."
He added some of the cats were given to him by other people.
One of Mr Bakar's neighbours, who did not want to be named, said he had no problems with the animals.
He said: "Abu takes care of the cats well. The cats cause no problem for us and (the area) is not dirty at all."
The AVA said it is investigating the matter.