[2020 UPDATE]: HDB pets: What animal breeds and types are allowed in an HDB flat

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In Singapore, one of the downsides of living in an HDB flat is that it comes with many restrictions, including rules that concern the keeping of pets.

And, being Singapore, the penalty for keeping an unauthorised pet in an HDB flat can be hefty, with fines up to $4,000 for flouting HDB pet rules. Here's a guide on what pets you can and cannot keep in your HDB flat.

Are dogs allowed in an HDB flat?

If you’re fond of canines, please keep in mind that you are only permitted to have only one dog in your HDB flat. Moreover, it should be one of the Housing Board’s 62 permitted breeds, or a crossbreed from the ones listed.

Previously, if it is a mixed breed, it should have a maximum weight of 15kg and shoulder height up to 50cm. However, a recent change in 2020 now allow dogs up to 55cm tall and regardless of its weight to be rehomed in HDB flats.

That said, you could get an exemption to the physical attribute rule under Save Our Street Dogs (SoSD) organisation’s Project ADORE (ADOption and REhoming of dogs), where you can adopt a local mongrel or “Singapore Special”.

Your designated dog should also be registered. By the time the dog reaches three months old, you would need to have licensed him/her with the authorities, which will cost HDB owners $15.

Here's thefull list of the 62 dog breeds allowed in HDB flats. Note that some popular breeds are not permitted, including the pitbull, chow chow, Siberian husky, golden retrievers and German shepherd.

List of dogs allowed in HDB flats

  1. Affenpinscher
  2. Australian silky terrier
  3. Australian terrier
  4. Bichon frise
  5. Bohemian Terrier
  6. Bolognese
  7. Brussels Griffon
  8. Bichon Havanese
  9. Border Terrier
  10. Boston Terrier (lightweight/middleweight)
  11. Cairn Terrier
  12. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  13. Chihuahua
  14. Chinese Crested dog
  15. Chinese Imperial chin
  16. Chinese Temple Dog (classic/miniature)
  17. Coton de Tulear
  18. Czech Terrier
  19. Daschund (light/miniature)
  20. Dandie Dinmont Terrier
  21. English Toy Spaniel
  22. Griffon Belge
  23. German Hunting Terrier
  24. Griffon Brabancon
  25. Hairless Dog
  26. Italian Greyhound
  27. Jack Russell Terrier
  28. Japanese Spaniel (Chin)
  29. Japanese Spitz
  30. Lhasa Apso
  31. Little Lion Dog
  32. Lakeland Terrier
  33. Maltese
  34. Manchester Terrier
  35. Miniature Pinscher
  36. Miniature Schnauzer
  37. Norfolk Terrier
  38. Norwich Terrier
  39. Papillon
  40. Pekinese
  41. Pomeranian
  42. Poodle
  43. Pug
  44. Poodle (Miniature)
  45. Schipperkee
  46. Scottish Terrier
  47. Sealyham Terrier
  48. Shetland Sheepdog
  49. Shih Tzu
  50. Silky Terrier
  51. Small Continental Spaniel
  52. Small English Terrier
  53. Small Spitz
  54. Smooth Fox Terrier
  55. Toy Fox Terrier
  56. Toy Terrier
  57. Tibetan Spaniel
  58. Volpino Italiano
  59. West Highland Terrier
  60. Wire-haired Fox Terrier
  61. Welsh Terrier
  62. Yorkshire Terrier

Want to keep a dog that's not listed on the HDB list? Browse cheap condos on sale for under 800k in Singapore, or read this article for freehold condos with units under 600k.

Are cats permitted in HDB flats?

Unfortunately, the official rule is that keeping cats in HDB flats is strictly prohibited. The reason given by HDB is that it’s typically difficult to prevent felines from roaming outside your home. When they are permitted to roam, HDB states that the felines could pose as health and hygiene risks as they shed fur, urinate or defecate in public places.

They also added that keeping cats in HDB flats can cause inconveniences to your neighbours as they make caterwauling sounds or shrill wailing noise when they're feeling stressed (i.e. when owner is not home).

Cat in HDB flats

HDB rules do not stop people from keeping cats in their flats.

But if you really want to own a feline, then consider moving to certain HDB blocks in Chong Pang at Yishun. Since October 2012, about 120 households there have been permitted to raise one feline each under a pilot scheme known as Love Cats, as long as the families agree to microchip, sterilise and keep their pets indoors. The pilot scheme is run by the Cat Welfare Society with support from government agencies such as the Housing and Development Board (HDB) and Ministry of National Development (MND).

The scheme’s supporters include Law Minister K. Shanmugam and Louis Ng, who is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Nee Soon Group Representation Constituency (GRC) and the founder of ACRES group, which stands for Animal Concerns Research and Education Society.

While cat ownership has been banned for other HDB or public housing estates across Singapore since the Housing Board’s establishment in 1960, there’s a possibility that the "no cats in HDB flats" policy could change as Ng hailed the two-year pilot in Chong Pang as a success.

Experiment aside, the ban on cats has not deterred many Singaporeans from keeping felines in HDB flats. The authorities appear to take a hands-off approach, as long as the cats are kept indoors and the neighbours don’t complain.

What other kinds of pets can I keep in HDB flats?

Keeping small pets are generally permitted within HDB flats, as long they don’t cause inconvenience to neighbours or mess up common areas. But more importantly, they must not be part of the illegal wildlife trade (i.e. smuggled or illegally imported animals). They also cannot be classified as wild animals. In fact, the Singapore Police Force conducts occasional raids and inspections, particularly acting on tip-offs.

Below is a list of other pets allowed in HDB flats. For birds and fishes, please note that those listed in the CITES Appendices must be imported with CITES permits or Certificates of Origin. If you require more info on what other pets can be raised in Singapore, please check the website of the Animal and Veterinary Service.

  1. Birds
  2. Chinchillas
  3. Fish
  4. Gerbils
  5. Green tree frogs (Litoria caerulea)
  6. Guinea pigs
  7. Hamsters
  8. Land hermit crabs (Coenobita rugosus)
  9. Malayan box turtles
  10. Mice
  11. Rabbits
  12. Red-eared sliders (red-eared terrapins)

What other pets are banned from being kept in HDB flats?

In addition to cats, there are other animals that are not allowed to be kept as HDB pets, such as:

  1. Hedgehogs
  2. Bearded dragons
  3. Star tortoises
  4. Sugar Gliders
  5. Snakes
  6. Crocodilian Reptiles

Of course, even though the authorities permit you to raise a pet within your HDB flat, it doesn’t mean you should immediately go out and buy one at the nearest pet store, or adopt from the nearest dog shelter.

Pet ownership entails a big responsibility. When you bring one into your home, you are shouldering a huge responsibility of taking care of it. You should also be aware of the do’s and don’ts of raising particular pets. For instance, do you know that grapes and chocolates are poisonous to dogs? If you're keeping a cat in your HDB flat, please mesh your windows!

Aside from this article, you may also want to browse our resale HDB flats or private condos for sale or rent.

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