Looking for a cat that’s nonstop entertaining to watch as they race down the halls to chase a laser pen or throw toy? Or maybe a cat that loves to curl up on your lap while you binge Netflix after work? How about a cat that absolutely loves both? The Singapura cat is the perfect balance of playful and affectionate.
This is a social breed that gets along with just about anybody. That includes both strangers and dogs! They don’t let their small size hold them back from being endlessly curious, whether it’s checking out a new friend or seeing what you have hiding in your cabinets and drawers.
If you’re looking for an intelligent cat who loves to cuddle when it’s not being mischievous, the Singapura may be the right breed for you!
Singapura Cat Breed Origin & History
The Singapura’s name is the Malaysian word for Singapore (Lion City), the country where this feline is said to have originated. The breed developed on its own in the streets of Singapore, a combination of the ticked coat pattern and dark brown coat color that are both indigenous to South East Asia.
While Singapura-like cats were roaming the area for decades, it wasn’t until the 1970s when Hal and Tommy Meadow decided to bring some of them back to America where they developed the breed. They took some cats from a shelter in Singapore and started breeding them to have a particular appearance and personality. The shelter cats may have resulted from the mating of cats with Abyssinian-like coats and the Burmese, a breed they share are almost identical to genetically.
Over a short period of time, the Singapura developed quickly. It’s currently recognized by cat registrations all over the world. The Cat Fanciers’ Association accepted the Singapura for registration in 1982 and then for championship competition just six years later. The Singapura is also recognized by The International Cat Association, American Association of Cat Enthusiasts, the American Cat Fanciers’ Association, and the Canadian Cat Association.
Singapura Cat Breed Personality
Mischievous and curious, the Singapura always wants to be involved in everything you’re doing. They may “help” you work by sitting on your keyboard, or “help” you cook by jumping onto the countertop. The Singapura cat loves people — even strangers, who they will greet at the door. They will snuggle up on your lap or even under the covers at night, always happy to get some cuddling and petting in.
When the Singapura isn’t keeping you company or supervising your activities, they are busy being quite active. Maybe even a little hyper. They’ll chase toys down the hall, climb your curtains, or dig around in the cabinets. In fact, Singapuras love to be up high whenever possible, even if it means sitting on your shoulder as you go about your chores.
The intelligent and loyal Singapura doesn’t like to be left alone too long. This may lead to some destructive tendencies if they start to get too lonely.
Singapura Cat Breed Characteristics (Physical)
The Singapura is a smaller than average shorthaired cat with expressively large features. Their overall look is described as “alert” by the Cat Fanciers’ Association, as well as “delicate”. They are considered stocky and muscular, with a thin tail and silky coat.
Singapura Cat Size
The CFA notes that many veterinarians seeing this breed for the first time may think there’s something wrong with the kitten because of their tiny size. Of course, that’s just how the Singapura is! Adult Singapuras range from five to eight pounds, and they won’t even reach that size until about 15 to 24 months of age.
The Singapura cat has a rounded head with circular features. They have a broad muzzle and blunt nose. Singapura cats are also known to have rounded, almond eyes. In fact, the CFA states that small eyes are a “serious fault” for this breed. Their ears are large and slightly pointed. Again, the CFA notes that small ears are not a desired trait.
Singapura cats have brilliant green, hazel, or yellow eyes. No other color is permitted.
Legs & Paws
The Singapura cat has heavy and muscular legs that taper down to small, oval feet.
The Singapura cat has a short, silky coat that should lie very close to their body. The only color a Singapura should be is “sepia agouti,” or a dark brown ticking on a “warm, ivory color.” Next to their skin, the fur should be lighter in color. As it goes towards the hair’s tip, the fur becomes darker. Each of the Singapura’s hairs should have “at least two bands of dark ticking.” The Singapura’s tail has a dark tip, with the color extending back towards the body, sometimes along the spine.
Their face has some unique, required markings as well. Singapura cats should have dark lines extending to the brows and corners of their eyes. There should also be dark lines from the corner of the eyes down along the nose bridge, similar to a cheetah’s facial lines. Their lips and around their eyes should be dark brown.
Singapura Cat Breed Care
Even though the Singapura has short fur, they will still shed like most cat breeds. To avoid excess shedding and future hairballs, brush them once a week. This will remove dead hairs and distribute skin oils, keeping their coat looking shiny and healthy.
This cat breed doesn’t require a lot of baths (cats will usually clean themselves), but when you do give them a bath, don’t bother drying them off. You don’t want to fluff up your Singapura’s coat, which should lie flat on the body.
You can trim your cat’s nails weekly. The Singapura is a bit sensitive about having its feet touched, so you’ll want to start doing this from kittenhood so they get used to the routine. You can also bring them to a vet or groomer if needed.
Ear & Teeth
Each week you can also check their ears for dirt buildup. If you see wax and dirt, use a veterinarian-approved ear cleanser to gently wipe it out. Brush your Singapura’s teeth daily if possible. If not, weekly is also advised to keep them from getting diseases or bad breath.
Keeping Them Indoors
Since the Singapura is so small, it’s best to keep them indoors. This is a cat that will easily lose a fight with larger stray cats, dogs, and other predators. A scuffle with a feral cat can give your feline infectious diseases that are often fatal, like FIV. The Singapura is also a pretty unique looking cat breed, meaning a catnapper might feel tempted to grab them and take them home — or sell them.
While the Singapura is completely content while being inside, you should provide them with high up perches to make them feel extra happy. They love to be up high, so a ceiling-high cat tree or cat shelves climbing up the wall might end up being their favorite spot in the house.
Singapura Cat Breed Health Problems
The Singapura cat has a life expectancy ranging from 11 to 15 years, although 18 isn’t too unheard of when your Singapura is healthy and seen by a veterinarian regularly.
This breed is relatively healthy overall, but there are a few health issues associated with the Singapura cat you should be aware of. One such condition is called pyruvate kinase deficiency, which results in blood-related problems like anemia. Symptoms are lethargy, lack of appetite, poor coat quality, and diarrhea. The only known treatment for this concerning disease is a bone marrow transplant.
Another condition to watch out for in this cat breed is uterine inertia. Due to this condition and weak muscles, Singapuras are often unable to give birth. Their kittens often end up being delivered by cesarean section. To avoid this complication, it’s very important to have your cat spayed or neutered.
Singapura cat breeders are also concerned about the breed’s lack of genetic diversity. A study by Genomics found that the Singapura and Burmese cat breeds have the least genetic diversity among the 22 studied breeds. It’s very important to adopt Singapuras from reputable breeders who offer health guarantees for their cats and kittens.
Bring your new kitten to the vet to make sure they are healthy and continue to set up regular vet appointments for your cat throughout its adulthood.
Singapura Cat Breed – Nutrition
Like most cat breeds, the Singapura needs quality commercial cat food with a named protein source (like chicken or salmon) as the first ingredient. The wet food or dry food you provide for your Singapura cat should also have taurine, an essential amino acid that keeps your cat healthy and active.
Most brands of cat food will also outline the amount of food they should eat per day based on weight, age, and lifestyle. Since Singapuras are usually much smaller than the average cat, you’ll probably be feeding them less the average cat.
Many vets will suggest 25 to 35 calories per pound, meaning your Singapura’s diet should not exceed 280 calories a day (assuming they are eight pounds). To keep them full and satisfied, make sure the food you give them doesn’t rely heavily on carbohydrate “fillers” like wheat and corn. When it comes to treats, stick to healthy and natural options — and make sure the amount you give them each day doesn’t exceed 10% of their caloric intake.
Children & Other Pets
The Singapura cat gets along with pretty much anyone — whether they have two or four legs. They are not afraid of strangers and will warm up to most visitors pretty quickly. This includes children, although you should always supervise your Singapura’s interaction with younger kids since the breed is pretty small.
The same is true for dogs. Singapuras are extroverts and love playing with well-behaved dogs of any size. But always make sure you’re there to make sure bigger dogs aren’t playing too roughly with your tiny feline friend!
Singapuras are also a little sensitive to loud noises, so make sure kids aren’t screaming around them or that dogs aren’t barking too aggressively. This might make this breed a little uncomfortable.
More About This Breed
By now, you probably know that the Singapura is small. But did you know it’s actually the smallest domestic cat breed? This cat can weigh as little as four pounds, whereas the average cat size is eight to nine pounds.
The origin of this tiny kitty has been the source of controversy. While Singapura cats’ ancestors are stray cats in the streets of Singapore, many argue that the breed itself originates in the United States instead.
That’s because a cat breeder by the name of Jerry Mayes discovered that some of the street cats in Singapore were actually originally from America and were taken to Singapore in 1974. Mayes also noted that the cats were brought back to the United States to continue creating the breed as we know it today.
Despite the controversy, Singaporeans have made this cat their country’s mascot. It was selected by the Singapore Tourist and Promotion Board due to how proud the country is of their unique creation.
Singapura pets cost around $500 to $1,000. A show cat with an award-winning bloodline will cost a bit more, but most people pick this special cat breed not only for their unique looks but their lovable and fun personalities. If you’re looking for a cat that loves to race around the house but also doesn’t mind a good snuggle session, this curious, playful, and hyper breed is perfect for any size family.