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No Room to Swing a Cat? Animal Treatment and Urban Space in Singapore

By Ying-kit Chan

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Since Singapore's independence in 1965, the People's Action Party government has launched an extensive urban planning program to transform the island into a modern metropolis. This paper discusses human-animal relations and the management of stray cats in postcolonial Singapore. In exploring the perceptions and handling of stray cats in Singapore, I argue that stray cats became an urban "problem" as a result of the government's public-health regime, urban renewal projects, and attempts to fashion itself and Singapore for international tastes, and that cat activists are the main agents of rebuilding connections between animals and everyday urban life. In particular, I analyze how cat-welfare associations and individual citizens assume functions that the government has been loath to perform unless absolutely necessary.


Katie Carroll

Date 2016
Publication Title Southeast Asian Studies
Volume 5
Issue 2
Pages 25
Publisher Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University
Language English
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal housing
  2. Animal roles
  3. Animal welfare
  4. Cats
  5. Housing
  6. Human-animal relationships
  7. Mammals
  8. Pets and companion animals
  9. Singapore
  10. space
  11. urban areas
  12. urbanization