At the National Day Rally in August, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had urged Singaporeans to come forward to play a larger and positive role on issues affecting the country.
Leading the way in this effort are civil society groups such as the Cat Welfare Society.
The society has seen public support increase steadily over the years.
But what made 2011 a milestone for the group was its engagement with the government.
It has successfully lobbied authorities to start sterilising stray cats this year -- a shift from the old policy of culling them.
Its vice-president Veron Lau said the Stray Cat Sterilisation Programme, which was terminated in 2005, is now back and piloting in a number of housing estates like Ang Mo Kio and Tampines.
Under the programme, the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) works with town councils to microchip and sterilise stray cats, and pays for half the cost.
"I see the change from the government officers in the way they want to work together with us," Ms Lau said.