The Singapura Cat Breed

Photo Credit: Lil Shepherd via Flickr

What’s brown and ivory and loved all over? The Singapura cat breed! These cats are a national treasure on the island nation of Singapore. In fact, the name Singapura is the Malaysian word for “Singapore.” These little cats have made quite and impact on the cat fancier community.

The Beautiful Singapura

Can I go now?

Photo Credit: Lil Shepherd via Flickr

The Singapura cat breed is proof that good things come in small packages. These adorable kitties hold the Guinness World Record as being the smallest breed of domestic cat. Some adults weigh in at only 4 pounds (1.8 kg)! Don’t let them fool you, though, they have very muscular bodies and plenty of energy.

Aside from their small size, the Singapura is known for its distinct coat color and pattern. The coat’s color starts with an ivory base and blends into a  warm brown. The individual hairs of the coat have a striped pattern (with bands of ivory alternating with bands of brown) known as agouti. Rather than having very distinct stripes or spots, the agouti pattern gives the coat a ticked appearance.

Singapura cats have beautiful angelic faces. Their eyes are large and round giving a splash of hazel, green, or yellow to the cat’s sepia tones. It is difficult to determine exactly which color a Singapura’s eyes will be until they reach maturity ( 15 – 24 months of age). They also have large ears which help to give the cat an alert look.

One Controversal Kitty

Trio on the Telly

Photo Credit: Lil Shepherd via Flickr

The exact origin of the Singapura cat breed is controversial among cat fanciers. The first breeder to begin a breeding program for the Singapura was Tommy Meadow, who was at the time a former Cat Fancier Association (CFA) judge. She received her first Singapura cats, Tess, Tickle, and Pusse, in the early 1970’s from her husband Hal, who was in Singapore working as a geophysicist for the US government. The cats were common street cats in Singapore. Meadow not only started the breeding program but also wrote the breed standard for the Singapura and started an organization to protect, preserve and promote the breed.

During an interview with a reporter, Tommy Meadow claimed that Tess, Tickle, and Pusse were born in Texas. Other cat fanciers felt that this statement conflicted with things that Meadow had said about the cats previously. They started to feel that the Singapura breed was a scam. After all, due to Hal Meadow’s confidential work in Singapore, there was no paperwork on Tess, Tickle, and Pusse. It was believed that Meadow simply bred Abyssinian cats with Burmese cats to get the Singapura. Some accounts claim that a man named Gerry Mayes went to Singapore to look for any Singapura cats and was unable to find any living on the streets. However, there are variations on the story where Mayes eventually does find a few Singapura cats.

In the end, the CFA made the decision that the Singapura would be allowed to continue being shown. They felt that since Abyssinian cats and Burmese cats can both be found in Singapore, it didn’t make a difference where they were mated. Still, other breeders didn’t trust Meadows and began breeding programs for Singapuras with new sets of  imported cats and new Singapura organizations.

People Pleasing Personality

SIN cats from RozenTal cattery

Photo Credit: Nickolas Titkov via Flickr

Singapura cats love their humans. They want to be a part of everything that their humans do. These kitties love to be held, perched on a shoulder, in a lap, or at least on a counter where they can see what is going on. Singapura cats seem to be very in tune with the emotions of their owners. They are great with children. Even guests coming into the home will receive a friendly greeting.

Be ready for a lot of play and mischief if you bring a Singapura cat into your home. They are full of energy, highly intelligent, and very curious. These cats remain active and playful throughout their whole lives.

If you are considering adding a Singapura to your family, please check out the adoptable Singapura cats on PetFinder!

These kitties remind me of my Manna! I am wondering if she may be partly Singapura. Have you ever met a Singapura?

Sources & Digging Deeper

Singapura – CFA

Singapura – TICA

Singapura Cat – PetFinder

Singapura – Animal Planet

Singapura – PetMD