Pet lovers play cat and mouse
(& puppy) in Bangkok’s condos
By Asaree Thaitrakulpanich
04 November 2016
It was soon after Katrina Ganikaa Lavery accidentally shared some pics
with her landlord that she realized she had made a terrible mistake.
Some of the photos showed her mom playing with Juju, her 2-year-old cat.
That was in March. For months afterward she dodged questions about
whether she had a pet until the landlord arranged to come check the
“I arranged with my good friend to keep my cat at her apartment for the
day my landlord was supposed to come, and the whole week I was cleaning
the apartment like crazy,” Katrina said.
She even hid her tall cat tree inside a closet, behind a bunch of
towels and boxes. The landlord’s inspection was cursory, but soon after
Lavery received a call from her cat-sitting savior.
“Apparently, someone in her building reported that they had heard a cat
in her room, so her landlord was on the way to go check if there was an
animal there,” said Katrina, 22. “I had to rush all the way across town
to pick up my cat so that my friend wouldn’t get in trouble as well!”
That’s the reality for pet owners in Bangkok, a city with a burgeoning
pet culture that runs up against “no pets allowed” at most condominiums
not-allowing-pets-in-Bangkok is so annoying
“Honestly, the whole condos-not-allowing-pets-in-Bangkok is so annoying
and I really find it limits the amount of animals that can be fostered
and adopted in Bangkok,” said Emma Scannell, a 28-year old Briton who’s
lived in Thailand four months.
Juju, 2, at her condo in the Parkland Grand Asoke.
There is no law forbidding pets in apartment complexes or condos, yet most complexes prohibit them nonetheless.
Why? Neighbors, said one developer.
“We’re concerned that pets will make loud noises, and their poop and
pee may bother people living in the condo,” said Pratheep Tungmitithum,
chairman of Supalai Corp., which builds homes, townhouses and condos.
Those policies are left up to each building’s management, he said, noting that 90 percent of Supalai’s condos don’t allow pets.
The Address (AP Thai) and Ideo (Ananda Development), for example,
forbid all pets except fish in a tank. Developer Sansiri doesn’t allow
any furry companions in their Bangkok condos, but dogs shorter than 15
inches and lighter than 10 kilograms can vacation at their Hua Hin
The outcome of the battle over pets are elaborate games of cat and mouse such as that played by Lavery and Juju.
But management at some places are okay with keeping an open secret.
“Have whatever pets you want, but if management sees, we will need to
issue a warning,” whispered someone answering the phone at The Lofts
Ekkamai, who declined to give his name.
Hiding bark-monsters and meow-machines is a matter of discretion.
“There are definitely people hiding their pets around, and there’s
usually no problem unless the owner’s neighbors complain,” laughed a
woman answering the phone at The Met Sathorn, who also didn’t want to
be named for fear of repercussions from her employer.
bribe the staff
Even in strict no-pet zones, some get by with tipping staff with cash or food to keep their secret safe.
That’s the advice Sheridan, a 29-year-old Australian woman, got from
her real estate agent who showed her a condo on Soi Sukhumvit 65: Bribe
security and cleaning staff money every week to keep her kitten and
bunny secret. Sheridan asked that her last name be withheld for the
sake of their continued cohabitation.
if you have rescued it they
usually don’t care so much, as you have saved a life
“Thai people always keep it a secret, and if you have rescued it they
usually don’t care so much, as you have saved a life,” Sheridan
recounted the agent telling her.
Then there’s Lindsay, who like Sheridan spoke on condition of anonymity, who has lived in Thailand for a decade.
When the 40-year-old American’s cat escapes outside, the security guards bring it back to her.
“Most of what we do is try and make sure that the neighbors are happy,
and we give extra-nice gifts to the security guards at the end of the
year,” she said.
Ekamai Gardens charges 5,000 baht per pet every six months, and M Condo
allows all pets under 15 kilograms. Others such as Insaf Towers and
portions of Happy Condo Ladprao 101 allow owners to have any pets
without any charge or limit.
“We stipulated we needed pet-friendly accommodation when we were
searching, and although it limited our options somewhat, we still had
several options to choose from,” Kirsten Ramsay, a kiwi here already
for a year with her two cats, wrote online in Bangkok Pet Lovers. At
the pet-friendly Insaf Towers, neighbors even cat-sit for each other.
Petra Rylichova, 47, came from the Czech Republic to Thailand five
years ago. She lives in Ekamai Gardens with her dog, two cats, hamster
and fish. Although technically pets are forbidden in common areas, she
said the management doesn’t care when she takes her dog for a walk.
“Pets are not allowed in common areas such as the pool or playground or
your own balcony. I found that very strange and actually nobody cares.
When I go out with my dog I walk through the garage and it is no
problem at all.”
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