ANN/THE STRAITS TIMES – More than 30 cats have been rescued from a rental flat in Singapore after the unit caught fire last week, and a group of volunteers are appealing for funds for their medical treatment.
One of the independent volunteers, Jo Lin, 35, told The Straits Times that the occupants of the flat, who moved out after the fire, handed the cats over to her and three other volunteers on Friday.
“The condition of the cats is bad, hence all of them were sent to the vet clinic immediately,” she said, adding that some of the cats had skin issues and were malnourished.
“Some of them have been sneezing too. They reek of urine. When we visited, there were no water and food bowls in sight. We noticed there was one litter tray for more than 30 cats.”
The Cat Welfare Society had visited the unit after the fire, said its president Thenuga Vijakumar, and the occupants had agreed to sterilise and rehome their cats.
Lin said several cats are receiving medical care, with one in critical condition, while others are in a boarding facility.
“One of the adult cats weighed 1.3 kilogrammes (kg), so emaciated,” she added. The ideal weight for most domestic cats is around four kg.
The fire at the second-storey Housing Board flat in Block 94 Pipit Road on March 10 was caused by a personal mobility device that was being charged in the common corridor.
One person was taken to KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
Two volunteers had encountered hungry cats coming out from the unit on the evening of March 11, while they were distributing food in the area, reported Lianhe Zaobao.
The occupant of the unit, who wanted to be known only as Yusof, 54, told Zaobao that his family feeds the cats regularly and the cats are often kept at home so that they do not affect others.
It is currently illegal to keep cats as pets in HDB flats but the government has been exploring the lifting of this restriction since September 2022.
In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Lin said the cats had been kept in the unit without food and water since the fire occurred on March 10.