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Reasonable Rules for Pets in Sectional Title Schemes

 

Rescue Rehab SA can assist Sectional Title Scheme Managers and Trustees develop reasonable rules to their specific requirements. Please note that the following rules may be used freely as they encompass pet owner accountability plus the welfare of animals and can be effectively applied.

 

Suggested reading:-

 

ANIMALS

Pets may be kept, subject to the following:

  1. A maximum of 4 (four) small animals provided however that the maximum number of dogs is 2 (two).
  2. In the event that the number of animals in the Unit exceeds the limit at the time these Conduct Rules are instituted being [insert applicable date] the excess animals may stay but may not be replaced. This grandfather clause is subject also to Local Authority by-laws if they prescribe a limit on the number of animals which may be held on premises.
  3. Dogs may not be larger than the size of a Cocker Spaniel.
  4. The Unit shall be kept free from faeces and urine on a daily basis.
  5. All animals must be sterilised (females spayed and males neutered) – this rule also applies to purebred and registered animals.
  6. Veterinary certificate of sterilisation shall be lodged with the Board of Trustees or the Managing Trustee.
  7. Under no circumstances may a female in season be kept on the property.
  8. Bird, small animal and reptile cages/tanks shall be kept clean and free from faeces and flies.
  9. A maximum of 2 cages/tanks may be kept which shall not be overcrowded.
  10. Dogs and cats must be identified with a collar and ID tag as well as a microchipped
    • Contact details on the ID tag as well as the microchip database must be kept up to date.
  11. Animals may not be chained.
  12. Shelter of animals must meet the requirements of the Animals Protection Act 71 of 1962 (as amended from time to time) and/or the requirements of the SPCA.
  13. It shall be the animal owner’s responsibility to ensure that their pets do not cause a disturbance.
    • This rule shall apply also in their absence as they will be responsible for the carer who they appoint to act on their behalf in the event of leaving their pets on the property.
  14. Carers and/or owners shall feed, water and check pets at least once in every 24 hours.
  15. The fine for each contravention is R500.

 

The Importance of Physical and Mental Stimulation for Cats

Cat and kitten

While domestic cats sleep as much as 16 hours per day they do need play and exercise to stimulate them mentally and physically.

In the wild, cats are the predators providing a natural balance which is key to the survival of other species. When not hunting prey for survival, they use play to teach cubs how to stalk and hunt successfully who also spend many hours playing.

Although domestic cats also do this they can be taught not to hunt birds, lizards etc. by their owners.

EXERCISE

Exercise is vital for keeping cats fit and consequently healthy.

Unlike the wild where lions, tigers, leopards, cougars and the many other cats traverse many kilometres in search of food, cats, like their human counterparts, do not have the same challenges in finding food.

The result can be, and often is, boredom and obesity with many cats. And boredom can lead to mischievous cats as they are not naturally ‘naughty’ or ‘misbehaved’ but need stimulation (when they are awake).

It can provide you with much entertainment when cats and kittens have their ‘mad moments’. This does however need to be balanced with structured resources for them to use also known as behavioural enrichment.

BEHAVOURAL ENRICHMENT

This is usually associated with wild animals in captivity but applies to all domestic animals in order to improve quality of life.

“Behavioral enrichment (closely related to environmental enrichment) is an animal husbandry principle that seeks to enhance the quality of captive animal care by identifying and providing the environmental stimuli necessary for optimal psychological and physiological well-being.” ~ Wikipedia

Cabanas

Cabanas

RESOURCES FOR CATS

Scratching posts particularly those with resting and nesting components are essential even for cats which are not confined indoors as it provides them with –

  1. Cats have to sharpen their claws and it is better that they sharpen their claws on a scratching post designed for this than use your furniture.
  2. Cats love to run up and down scratching posts and climb through holes, and where there is more than one tag play tag and wrestle on scratching posts.
  3. The height is also levels the playing field with the family dogs!
  4. Play stimulates cats physically and mentally and helps to keep them fit.
  5. When you have more than one cat their play also hones their defence skills.

There is no need for very expensive toys as all cat owners will tell you that a cat consistently has more fun with the wrapping and box than the toy.

  1. A couple of cardboard boxes and a tunnel (which you can buy in a petshop) will provide many many hours of fun.
  2. Many cats also like to retrieve and buying them toys to play with and for you to throw is also very good stimulation.

TRAINING

Cats are very clever and often love interacting with their owners.

While training is usually associated with dogs, training cats to do various tricks and have fun is on the increase, albeit slowly.

However due to perception this is not common in South Africa and if you are interested in looking into this further we would suggest that you find an animal behaviourist who specialises in cats as well as make enquiries via social media.

PS: Never declaw cats as this leaves them vulnerable to dogs and other cats as their front claws are essential for climbing and self-defence.

Are Cats Intelligent?

Clever cat open door

Most cat owners know that their cats are as intelligent as dogs. And many believe them to be more intelligent.

One only has to look on Youtube to see how many clever cats there are, and while they might not slavishly worship their owners like dogs, the reality is that you are truly blessed when a cat picks you as his/her guardian.

THE FOLLOWING TWO LINKS

take you to media reports on the intelligence of cats although it does appear in this case that the scientists may be a little uncertain of their own findings:-

A QUOTE FROM THE HUFFINGTON POST

In fact, cats have more nerve cells in the visual areas of their brain , a part of cerebral cortex, than humans and most other mammals. … Maybe because they are too smart to be enslaved by humans. As Huffington Post puts it, “dogs come when they’re called; cats take a message and get back to you.” ~ Feb 24, 2013

On a point of order, any cat owner could have told them that!!

Russian Blue

Russian Blue

PSYCHOLOGY TODAY

“Cats have a greater capacity for complex problem solving than dogs.” ~ Posted Feb 23, 2013

TRAINING

Cats can be trained and many love interacting with their owners, playing fetch, going for walks and drives, playing in the park and on the beach. Don’t risk taking a cat for a drive or walk etc. until you have assessed them carefully and taken precautions against your cat getting a fright and running away.

They need to be introduced to driving in a car and walking on a harness slowly and patiently.

It is perhaps our own perceptions about cats that we have not encouraged them to participate the way we do with dogs.

If you google cat trainers in your area there may well be experts who can bring out the best in your cat and give you both many hours of fun and bonding.

Keeping Pets in Sectional Title Schemes

Cat in building

Please be aware that moving into a Sectional Title Scheme with animals does not grant you the automatic right to have them there, no matter how strongly you feel.

Once you have received permission to keep your pets in a Sectional Title Scheme you have a responsibility to the other tenants to ensure that your pet is not a problem.

Ensure that your pets do not damage the Unit if you are renting or that they create a disturbance.

 HAVE CONSIDERATION FOR OTHER TENANTS

  • Not everyone likes cats or dogs and some are nervous due to bad experiences in their past.
  • People don’t like cats digging in their gardens.
  • If another tenant has a bird on a stand or in a cage your cat may pose a problem for them if it is stalking the bird.
  • Or they may be superstitious and this might run very deeply.
  • Ensure that your pets are not a problem for other tenants in the complex.
  • If you receive complaints from other tenants or the managing or trustees that you are try to resolve this amicably and speedily.
Ragamuffin

Ragamuffin

How do you try to resolve some of these issues?

  • Ensure that all your pets are sterilised. Kittens and puppies can be sterilised from as young as 8 weeks.
  • Sterilising cats will ensure that they are less like to go wandering, stop makes getting into fights over queens in heat, and disturb the neighbours.
  • There are a number of risks your cat is exposed to when he engages in fights. Not just injury from bite wounds and scratches, but he also becomes exposed to cat diseases such as Feline Leukaemia and Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV/cat AIDS).
  • Keep your cats indoors at night.
  • Have a cat litter box inside and use good quality litter, change it regularly.
  • And have a fun item of furniture such as a scratching post.

IF YOU WANT YO HAVE YOUR PETS WITH YOU NEVER SIGN A PURCHASE OR RENTAL AGREEMENT UNTIL YOU HAVE HAD SIGHT OF THE CURRENT BODY CORPORATE RULES PERTAINING TO ANIMALS!!

PERMISSION FROM THE OWNER AND RENTAL AGENT TO KEEP YOUR PETS

This is only the first step as their permission applies only to the Unit as the actual permission to keep pets in a sectional title scheme is governed by the body corporate rules.

Most body corporates have rules pertaining to the keeping of animals, so you need to check and read the rules yourself.

How do you get a copy of the Body Corporate Rules?

Find out who the Managing Agent is and ask them for a copy of the current body corporate rules pertaining to animals. If they are reluctant to give you a copy although it is your right, take the sectional scheme number and go to the Surveyor General who holds the sectional scheme records for your area and apply for them there.

This is important in order to avoid heartache.

PERMISSION FROM THE TRUSTEES TO KEEP PETS

Please read http://www.paddocks.co.za/paddocks-press-newsletter/permission-to-keep-pets/. Paddocks are recognised in the industry as leading attorneys in Sectional Title Scheme matters.

In brief, owners or occupiers can only keep pets in a section or on any part of the common property with the written consent of the trustees. The trustees cannot unreasonably withhold that permission. An absolute prohibition to keep a pet could be considered unreasonable.

However in schemes where the rule is amended to prohibit pets, a “grandfathering clause” may be inserted to cater for existing pets (already living in the scheme), providing that existing pets may be kept but that when they die, they may not be replaced.

 

ALSO READ

  • Introducing your New Cat to the Resident Cats at http://scratzme.com/blog/introducing-cat-resident-dogs
  • Introducing your new cat to the Resident Dogs at http://scratzme.com/blog/introducing-cat-resident-dogs
  • Introducing your Cat to His/Her New Home at http://scratzme.com/blog/introducing-cat-hisher-home
  • Reasonable Rules for Pets in Sectional Title Schems at https://scratzme.com/blog/reasonable-rules-for-pets-in-sectional-title-schemes

Introducing your New Cat to the Resident Dog/s

Kitten and dog

IMAGINE

Imagine what it is like for you as a person, when you go into a new environment and are stressing as to what it is going to be like despite knowing your circumstances.

We cannot stress enough that it is important for you to try to see your home through the eyes of the new kitten or adult cat.

NEW CAT

Now try to imagine how stressful it must be for a kitten taken from its mother and siblings, or an adult cat who doesn’t know what’s happening and why they no longer see the human parents with whom they spent years going into a new environment and being the outsider.

Dogs (and other cats) don’t always take kindly to having another come into their home and you will be going through a feline to feline introduction process in conjunction with introducing the new kitty to its forever home.

Important Information to have on hand

  • Is the new kitten or adult cat used to dogs?
  • Are your dogs used to kittens and/or adult cats?
  • Is your dog known to chase and/or attack cats? (If this is the case you should not be bringing a kitten or adult cat into the home.)
Egyptian Mau

Egyptian Mau

Preparation

Cats feel more secure at a height where they can survey their surroundings and stay out of reach of animals which can’t climb, such as Dogs.

Place bedding, food and water bowls, and toys at a height. Cat furniture is a good option for this.

Allow the dog to sniff the new cat through the door and also exchange items with the cat and dog scents on them so each can get used to the other.

Arranging the Big Meet

Initially introduce the dogs one at a time if you have more than one dog starting with the most senior and/or least boisterous dog.

There is likely to be yowling, hissing and growling initially from the cat but this will ease off. Don’t let this worry you, just be patient and gentle.

Ensure that all the doors and windows in the house are closed securely.

Under no circumstances should the cat feel fear, threatened or vulnerable.

 

THE BIG MEET

Sit on the bed with the cat in its carrier next to you so that it feels comfortable with you as it will tense and may become fearful when the dog is brought into the room.

Have someone, preferably a family member known to the dog, place your companion on a leash and bring him/her into the room slowly. At no time yell at the dog or talk sharply as this will create an air of tension and scare the cat.

And talk. Talk gently and reassuringly all the time so that both animals know that they are ok. Ignore any hissing as this is the cat warning the dog not to get too close.

After a while move closer and closer.

Repeat a few times a day and for a few days until the kitten or adult cat and dogs are used to each other.

 

WARNINGWHEN YOU HAVE TO GO OUT

Do not leave the cat/s and dog/s on their own without supervision until you are totally confident that they are comfortable with each other. And when you are ready to do so, ensure that all the doors and windows in the house are closed securely and that any employees are aware of these new arrangements until the new cat/s has been acclimatised to their new environment.

We wish you many years of joy with your companions.

 

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