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Keeping a pet in a HDB flat: what you need to know

June 24, 2018

Many of us can’t imagine life without our furry friends. But if you’re living in an HDB flat, and not private property, you might just be illegally housing your pet without realising it. How many dogs can you keep in HDB flats? Are cats allowed? Can you keep pets in rental units? In this article, we tell you all you need to know about keeping pets in HDB flats!

Keeping dogs in a HDB flat

Dog lovers, take note: you’re strictly limited to keep only one dog in your HDB flat; on top of that, your dog has to be of an acceptable breed or cross-breed between the breeds listed by HDB.

If it’s a cross-breed, your dog should be 50 cm or less at the shoulders, and weigh 15 kg or less. In addition to this, once your dog is 3 months or older, you’ll have to bring it to the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) to get it licensed. Breaching any of the these regulations can get you fined up to $4,000 — yikes!

List of HDB-approved dog breeds

hdb flats dog shih tzus

Shih Tzus are one of the dog breeds approved by HDB. Credits: @poodleandpariah


Affenpinscher Australian Silky Terrier Australian Terrier
Bichon Frise Bohemian Terrier Bolognese
Brussels Griffon (Griffon Bruxaellois) Bichon Havanese Border Terrier
Boston Terrier

(a) Lightweight

(b) Middleweight

Cairn Terrier Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Chihuahua Chinese Crested Dog Chinese Imperial Chin
Chinese Temple Dog (Classic and Miniature) Coton de tulear Czech Terrier
Dachshund (Light and Miniature) Dandie Dinmont Terrier English Toy Spaniel
Griffon Belge German Hunting Terrier Griffon Brabancon
Hairless Dog Italian Greyhound Jack Russell Terrier
Japanese Spaniel (Chin) Japanese Spitz Lhasa Apso
Little Lion Dog Lakeland Terrier Maltese
Manchester Terrier Miniature Pinscher Miniature Schnauzer
Norfolk Terrier Norwich Terrier Papillon
Pekinese Pomeranian Poodle
Pug Poodle (Miniature) Schipperkee
Scottish Terrier Sealyham Terrier Shetland Sheep dog
Shih Tzu Silky Terrier Small Continental Spaniel
Small English Terrier Small Spitz Smooth Fox Terrier
Toy Fox Terrier Toy Terrier Tibetan Spaniel
Volpino Italiano West Highland Terrier Wire-Haired Fox Terrier
Welsh Terrier Yorkshire Terrier

If you’d like to keep a dog in your HDB flat, consider adopting one with the help of Project ADORE!


Keeping cats in HDB flats

Sadly, HDB’s official stance is that cats are not allowed in HDB flats. According to HDB, the rationale behind this is because cats are “generally difficult to contain within the flat”; HDB also notes that when allowed to roam indiscriminately, cats tend to inconvenience neighbours by “shedding fur, defecating or urinating in public areas, and making caterwauling sounds”.

hdb flats cats pets


That having been said, there is an exception to the rule: residents of certain HDB blocks in the Chong Pang neighbourhood of Yishun, have been allowed to keep cats in their flats since October 2012. This ruling falls under a pilot scheme called Love Cats, which is managed by Cat Welfare Society with the support of government agencies like HDB and the Ministry of National Development.

hdb flats cats home


Amongst those who are backing the scheme are Law Minister K. Shanmugam, as well as MP for Nee Soon GRC Louis Ng. MP Ng, who’s also the founder of the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES), has stated that he intends to bring the issue of nationalising the Love Cats scheme up to the Parliament soon.

A final word on cats in HDB flats: it’s worthy to note that whilst legislation bans cats from HDB flats, HDB generally tends to let sleeping ‘cats’ lie, unless they receive a serious complaint.

Keeping other pets in HDB flats

Want to keep other pets in your HDB flat? Your options include small animals such as fish, hamsters, rabbits and birds, which do not inconvenience neighbours or the environment.

Voice your thoughts in the comments section or on our Facebook community page.


If you found this article useful, 99.co recommends 5 ways (and a HDB subsidy) to make a home elder-friendly and Vertical Gardening for HDBs: overcoming the challenge of space.

Find the home of your dreams today at Singapore’s largest property portal 99.co!

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  • Reply Juana Chan October 13, 2017 at 11:32 pm

    Correct size for mix breed / Street dog should be maximum weight of 15kg and shoulder height up to 50cm and not 40 cm or less at the shoulder, and weigh 10 kg or less.

    • Reply Krristy Lam October 14, 2017 at 12:56 pm

      Hi Juana,

      Thanks for writing in to us. We have updated the article accordingly.


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