Singapura at a Glance
With a name derived from the Malaysian word for Singapore, the Singapura originates from the Southeast Asian city of Singapore, an area generally recognized as the source for the ticked tabby gene pool. The ticked coat pattern and dark brown color are a common local combination. The Singapura is the smallest breed of cat, but it’s an energy-packed dynamo that wants to help you with everything. They get along with everyone, including children and other pets. Their short coat is easy to groom with weekly brushing. Find out more about this breed and if the Singapura is right for you and your family.
Temperament: Outgoing, Inquisitive, Very Active
Singapuras are small-to-medium cats but muscular and stocky.
Females range in size from 4-6 lbs.
Males range in size from 6-8 lbs.
Colors: Singapura’s can be found only in a sable ticked tabby coloration with a variable range of tones. Lighter colorations with high contrast tabby markings restricted to the inner front legs and knees are preferred.
Life Expectancy: 11-18 years
About the Singapura
A small breed with a big personality, the Singapura loves to be in the middle of the action and thrives on attention. Nicknamed the Pura, the inquisitive Singapura is known for their energy. Their big, expressive eyes, big ears and extraordinary intelligence are distinct characteristics of this unique breed. While extremely active, they are also renowned for being highly affectionate. They get into everything and are not considered a four-paws-on-the-floor cat.
Don’t mistake this small breed for being meek. The Singapura is considered a powerhouse. Singapuras are busy cats and fast learners. They are always looking for places to explore and things to do. They are not couch potatoes and thrive from high interaction. Some are very vocal and like to use their voice to communicate. They like closets, drawers and to access high places like the top of the refrigerator or shelves.
The Singapura is an extrovert and can usually get along with everyone, including other cats, dogs, and children. While very active, they also enjoy spending time on people’s laps or shoulders and stay as close as possible to their humans when they are resting. Singapuras do best in the company of another cat.
TICA Regions, Clubs & Rescues
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Find a Kitten: TICA Breeders
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Singapuras have short hair coats that need little or no maintenance. If the cat is healthy, bathing is not necessary. Frequent brushing is something they love. Nails need to be trimmed every 3-4 weeks. Ears rarely need to be cleaned.
As with all cats, brush their teeth regularly with a vet-approved pet toothpaste and provide a nice tall scratching pole to help their natural scratching instinct.
Singapuras do very well on a high protein/ high fat diet. With dry formulas, it is recommend 30% or higher protein and 18% or higher fat and ideally no grain. A healthy cat regulates intake, so having dry food available at all times is also recommended. Singapuras do very well with raw diets and love snacks such as freeze-dried chicken fish or shrimp.
As with all cats, it is important to give your cat fresh, clean water daily. Fresh, clean water is best, so cats don’t hesitate to drink. If you worry about your cat drinking enough water each day, here's a tip from cat behaviorists - place the water bowl at least three feet away from any food. Cats’ noses are sensitive and an overwhelming smell of food may cause them to drink less. If the quality of the local tap water is a concern, use bottled water or filter the water. Filtered drinking fountains can also be used in place of a water bowl.
Despite the relatively small size of the breed population, lines differ in their health, life span and breeding performance. Genetic testing using panels is highly recommended to establish whether the cats carry any know genetic mutation associated with disease such as pKDef, PRA, etc. Check-ups for heart heath are recommended as some lines have high incidence of cardiomyopathies.
As with all cats, it is also recommended that their vaccinations and parasite treatments are kept to date and that regular veterinary appointments are scheduled.
The Singapura, whose name is Malaysian for Singapore, originates from Singapore in South East Asia where the ticked coat pattern and dark brown color are a common local combination recognized as the original gene pool for ticked tabbies.
Hal and Tommy Meadow (USAF) brought the ticked cats home with them when they returned to the U.S. in the early 1970s. In 1971, Hal, a geophysicist working in South East Asia, sent some cats home to Tommy in the US that she proceeded to breed. In 1974, Hal was transferred to Singapore and they moved there with their cats-a blue Burmese, a spayed sable Burmese and three ticked cats that were the grandchildren of the original cats Hal had sent to Tommy in 1971.
In 1975 they returned to the US with 5 brown ticked cats: Pusse, Ticle, Tes, and kittens from Pusse and Ticle named George and Gladys. In 1980, Barbara Gilbertson imported another brown ticked cat, named Chiko, from the SPCA in Singapore. On their return to the US, the Meadows began a breeding program to establish the Singapura breed consulting noted British geneticist on their concerns about inbreeding.
Occasionally solid brown kittens appeared in the litters and by 1985 it was clear some Singapuras carried a recessive gene for solid color. Breeders established a test-mating program to identify the cats carrying solid and eliminated them from the breeding stock-by 1988 only 7 cats had been identified and placed as pets.
In 1987, an early Singapura breeder named Gerry Mayes went to Singapore to find more foundation cats and brought some back to the US that he registered with TICA. Today, the breed is still rare but has a dedicated following among breeders and pet-owners.
TICA accepted the Singapura for championship competition in 1979.
Singapuras are unique yet very similar in intelligence and activity level to Bengals.
Persian, British Shorthair.
Did You Know?
- In 1991 the government of Singapore recognized the breed as a living national treasure and was once the Singapore Tourism Board’s national mascot.
- The Singapura is the smallest breed of cat.
- Since 2017, a small group of TICA breeders have been working together towards the introduction of new blood to the breed. The unrelated females were introduced as new foundation into the collaborative breeding program out of Singapore with all the official government authorizations, microchip registration from the country of Singapore, certification of the origin, and health and genetic tests. Contact the TICA breed committee for more information on these recent initiatives.
The Breed Standard
Overall impression of the ideal Singapura is a medium to small, compact cat with a striking face dominated by large eyes and ears. The intensely ticked coat has a muted iridescent quality giving the impression of refined and delicate coloring. The ideal Singapura cat does not bear a strong resemblance to any other recognized breed This is not a long-bodied cat, nor should the torso be tubular. Males are proportionally larger than females. All Singapuras should have a lively interest in the surroundings and are, above all, outgoing, gentle cats, amenable to handling, well-balanced physically and of sound health.
Click here to read the full TICA Singapura Breed Standard.
Accepted For Championship in TICA in 1979
- Singapura At A Glance
- Breed Introduction
- Printable Breed Introduction
- Singapura Breeders
- Breed Standards
- Breed Committee
- Breed Seminar
Photos used courtesy of © Helmi Flick Cat Photography.