Let's talk Singapura cats

Singapuras may be the world’s smallest cat breed but they have big ears, big eyes and above all, extra large personalities. These tiny sepia-hued bundles of loveliness, originally from Singapore, have only been defined as a breed since the 1980s and remain fairly rare. But they are a big hit with those in the know – Singapura aficionados love them for their irresistible mix of playfulness, curiosity and affection – and all in an exquisite little package.

Official name: Singapura

Other names: None

Origins: Singapore

Singapura cat with one paw up in black and white

 Shedding level:

Warm weather? Medium
 Energy level (high, low, medium)*: High Family Pet?* 
 Compatibility with other pets:

 * We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches. Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behaviour. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

Every pet is different, even within a breed; this snapshot of this breed specifics should be taken as an indication.
 
For a happy healthy and well-behaved pet, we recommend educating and socializing your pet as well as covering their basic welfare needs (and their social and behavioral needs).
 
Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child.
 
Contact your breeder or veterinarian for further advice.
 
All domestic pets are sociable and prefer company.  However, they can be taught to cope with solitude from an early age.  Seek the advice of your veterinarian or trainer to help you do this.

 
Spider chart of Singapura characteristics
Illustration of Singapura
Male
15 - 20 cm Height
2.75 - 3.75 kg Weight
Female
15 - 20 cm Height
2.25 - 2.75 kg Weight

 

 Baby cat  Birth to 4 months
 Growing kitten  4 to 12 months
 Adult  1 to 7 years
 Mature  7 to 12 years
 Senior  From 12 years

Singapura lying on its side on blue and beige rug looking at camera

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Get to know the Singapura

All you need to know about the breed

The sepia-toned Singapura’s wide-eyed, big-eared appearance gives this little cat an air of curiosity. And once you get to know the breed you’ll find that first impression borne out by their personalities.

Playful and inquisitive, small but strong Singapuras are always on the go, whether it’s climbing, chasing, batting, exploring… if there’s fun to be had, they are there. The breed is just beautiful, with their elegant looks dramatically at odds with their humble origins – some Singapore strays or “drain cats” that were brought to America in the 1970s and formed the basis for the breed. They have short glossy coats in warm, creamy tones with darker brown “ticking” (two-toned hair) on their back, face and tail as well as huge, appealing almond-shaped eyes and oversized ears.

Singapuras are gregarious cats who prefer to be around their human families so they are best suited to homes where they won’t be left alone for extended periods. They get on well with other household pets and with children too.

Singapuras are certainly no shrinking violets – you might need to listen hard to hear their little miaow but they will certainly communicate with you.

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2 facts about Singapura cats

1. National treasure

Singaporeans are so proud of the Singapura cat that the government has declared the breed a living national monument, while the tourist board chose the Singapura breed as its official mascot, with the name Kucinta, an amalgamation of ‘kucing’ (cat) and ‘cinta’ (love) in Malay. If you visit Singapore you’ll find a sculpture of a mother cat and her two kittens by the river.

2. Feline friends in high places

Singapura cats like a lofty perch – maybe they’re unconsciously paying homage to the skyline of their native land. Or maybe a high spot helps them better satisfy their natural curiosity, allowing them a cat’s-eye view of all the action. In any case, investing in a nice high cat tree or making sure they have a comfortable elevated spot from which to survey their homes will help keep these quirky little cats content.

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History of the breed

The breed is said to owe its origins to a couple of American cat enthusiasts, Hal and Tommy Meadow, who brought some stray cats home with them from Singapore. The Singapura breed is even sometimes nicknamed “drain cat” after those lowly origins. Those first felines were the basis of a breeding programme started by the couple in the U.S., with other cats later imported by other cat breeders to add to the gene pool.

Cats with similar colouring are common in Southast Asia and the Singapura may be related to the Abyssinian, Burmese and Siamese breeds.

The Cat Fanciers’ Association recognised the breed in 1982, accepting it for championship competition in 1988.

Inline Image 3

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From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Singapura cats

1. Body

Small and delicate build with fine legs and small feet.

2. Head

Huge ears, large almond-shaped eyes.

3. Coat

Pale beige base coat with darker ticking.

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Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Singapura

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Caring for your Singapura

Grooming, training and exercise tips

With their neat smooth coats, Singapura cats don’t need much grooming – just a once-a-week brush through will be plenty. Like other cat breeds their teeth need to be cleaned – daily if possible, otherwise weekly – and their nails trimmed every couple of weeks. Those lovely big ears also need some attention – check them for dirt once a week and wipe them out if necessary with a soft damp cloth. Sprightly Singapuras may only have little legs but they can cover a lot of ground as they zip energetically about the place, performing turbo-charged leaps and scrambling up anything that gets in their way. A good-sized cat tree will provide the perfect vantage point for them to observe their humans and they also need a scratching post to allow them to fulfil their natural urge to, well, scratch. As these pint-sized felines are intelligent and in need of plenty of mental stimulation, teaching them tricks or playing games such as fetch (not just for dogs!) with them is a good idea.

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All about Singapura cats

Yes – the Singapura is considered to be a rare breed. As it is a natural breed, kittens need to have two Singapura parents to be designated as one of the clan, and litters are normally only made up of 2-3 kittens.

A resounding yes – with their gorgeous looks and twinkly, affectionate personalities, Singapura cats are a joy to have around the home. They get on well with everyone and their enthusiasm and energy will be infectious!

Other breeds that might interest you.

Sources

1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Cat Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book