Singapura Cat breed information Breed Profile
Singapura Cat breed information Breed Profile
Singapura cat breed
One of the smallest breeds in the cat fancy, Singapuras have a big personality for such a tiny cat - one minute you'll see them scurrying up curtains and investigating the contents of every cupboard, then the next minute they will curl up on your lap for cuddles. One thing that many breeders say is that Singapuras will become a big part of your life and your family - whether you like it or not!
Jean Bates, chairman of the Singapura Cat Club, says: "I always call them interactive cats who want to be involved with everything you do. Every time you open a door they are through it - in the wardrobe, airing cupboard and kitchen cupboards! They need lots of love and attention and they remain kitten-like even when they get older."
Singapuras are mischievous and inquisitive, so you may need eyes in the back of your head to make sure they don't accidentally get themselves locked inside cupboards! Jane Brooks of the Progressive Singapura Cat Club says: "You are not so much an owner of a Singapura but more a member of their family. They will be a caring and affectionate friend wanting to be involved in all that you do with lots of love to give. Once owned by a Singapura, you will never want to be without one. They have a charm and personality all of their own.
"They like to be off the ground and can often be found on the top of furniture, on shelves or sitting on their owner's shoulders - anywhere to get a better view of the world! They also enjoy warmth and if not with their owners, they can be found in the warmest spots."
Singapura cat breed look
Singapuras are a small breed but have medium-size bodies with beautifully large eyes that are either hazel, green or yellow. Their big eyes are complimented by their large, wide ears. They have a short, fine and silky coat which is a golden ivory colour ticked with sepia brown - each hair has two bands of ticking which gives them a lovely shimmery tone. The nose and eyes have a dark outline and their faces have cheetah lines which extend from the inner corner of the eye to the nose
Singapura cat breed health
Grooming these shorthaired cats is easy as just a quick brush every few days is more than enough to keep them looking their best. Some owners will give them a wipe with a silk cloth if they are going to a show. Jane adds: "Indoor cats may require their claws to be clipped as they quickly grow to sharp points, so a strong scratch post is a must."
Recently it was found that the breed was carrying Pyruvate kinase deficiency (PKDef), a genetic disorder that can cause anaemia. There are two stages to the disease - a carrier who will not show any symptoms, or an affected cat which can become anaemic if he or she has any other underlying illness. Jean adds: "We do not encourage breeding from any affected cats as they should be neutered and removed from the gene pool. "Cats used for breeding should be tested to ensure that they are clear."
The Singapura is an easy to care for cat. The short coat requires little grooming, although they enjoy the sensation of being lightly brushed.
There is little difference in size between the males and females; males weigh around 2.7 — 3.6kg
(6 — 8lbs), and females 2.3 —2.7kg (5 — 6lbs). The average life expectancy is 11 — 15 years.
One area of concern for Singapura breeders is the lack of genetic diversity due to the small number of foundation cats. A DNA study undertaken in 2007 found that the Singapura had the least genetic diversity of the 22 breeds studied. In April 2013, the Singapura Breed Advisory Committee approved an outcrossing programme to address this issue. Any cats that are used have to meet health and appearance requirements.
Females may be prone to uterine inertia meaning their muscles don’t contract properly when giving birth, leading to the necessity for a caesarean section to enable kittens to be born. However, they are noted as wonderful mothers.
Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency (PK Def) was found to be present in Singapuras; this will cause a form of anaemia and result in lethargy, weakness, and weight loss. Fortunately, there is a DNA test available for this condition and use of the test can eliminate it from a breeding programme. If purchasing a kitten, always check that this DNA test has been carried out for the parents and discuss it with the breeder. They are not prolific cats, having quite small litters of two or three kittens, and are one of the rarest pedigree breeds.
Expect to pay a minimum of £450 for a kitten and he should be registered, fully vaccinated and come with a five-generation pedigree. Jean says: "A responsible breeder will also provide you with a diet sheet and food, and I always send a comfort blanket and some toys. A decent breeder will ask lots of questions - this is not because they are being nosey but because they are looking for the best possible home for their kittens, be it as pets, show or breeding animals."
Singapura cat breed history
Singapuras originate from the Southeast Asian island of Singapore, and take their name from the local Malay name for the island - meaning 'Lion City'. The first Singapura cat was imported into America by Hal and Tommy Meadow in the mid-1970s, then in 1980 another cat, Chiko, was imported from the SPCA (Singapore equivalent to RSPCA) into America.
Singapuras were first imported into the UK from the USA in 1988 by Carole Thompson, who brought in a pregnant female called Imagos Faye Raye of Usaf. She subsequently gave birth to three kittens, Muffy, Mimi, and Kuan. Kuan later went to Canada and became a Quadruple Grand Champion with the American Cat Fanciers Association. The look of the breed has not changed since these early days.
The origins of the Singapura have been the subject of controversy. It has been suggested that the breed is a hybrid of Burmese and Abyssinian cats. However, officially the breed was first introduced by an American couple, Hal and Tommy Meadow, who brought them to the United States from Singapore, an island off the tip of the Malay Peninsula in Southeast Asia, an area acknowledged as the original gene pool for ticked cats. The breed name is the Malaysian term for Singapore, and it is known in its country of origin as ‘Kucinta — the Love Cat’, and the Singapore government officially recognises the breed as a ‘living national monument.’
After working for some years in Singapore, the Meadows returned to the United States in 1975 with five brown ticked cats and a neutered brown Burmese. In 1980, a further female cat, Chiko, was imported into the US from Singapore, having been found by Singapore’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals by Singapura breeder, Barbara Gilbertson. As well as contributing to the breeding programme, Chiko confirmed that cats meeting the description of the Singapura did exist on the streets of Singapore.
The International Cat Association (TICA) granted the breed championship status in 1981. The Cat Fanciers’ Association accepted the breed for registration in 1982 and granted championship status in 1988. The first Singapura to come to the UK was Faye Raye in July 1988.
The Singapura is a medium-sized cat of foreign type with large eyes and ears. The head is rounded, wide at the outer eye, and narrowing to a definite whisker break, with a medium short, broad muzzle with a blunt nose.
The ears are large, wide open at the base and deep cupped. The eyes of the Singapura are one of its great beauties and one of the first things you notice about them as they dominate the face; they are large, brilliant, held wide open, but showing a slant when closed or partially closed. A dark outline to the eyes is desirable. The colour of the eyes is hazel, green, or yellow only.
The body is medium length and size with moderate build, lithe and muscular. The legs should be muscled at the body, tapering to small oval feet. The tail length is just short of the shoulder when laid along the body and is slender with a blunt dark tip.
A Singapura’s coat is short, fine, silky, and close-lying. The body colour is an old or golden ivory with a soft warm effect, ticked with sepia brown. Each hair has at least two bands of sepia ticking separated by light bands — light next to the skin and dark at the tip.
The muzzle, chest, stomach, and inner legs are an unticked light ivory colour. There is often some barring on the inner front legs and back knees. The nose bridge and backs of the ears of a mature cat may show salmon or deeper warm tones, along with the back of the legs. The nose leather is mid to dark salmon coloured, and there must be evidence of dark pigment outline on the nose.
‘Cheetah’ lines from the inner corner of the eye towards just behind the whisker pad should be present. The paw pads are brown and there are brown spurs on the lower back of the hind legs.
For those looking for a super affectionate cat as a pet, the Singapura fits the bill admirably.
They are quiet cats with a soft gentle voice. They enjoy human company and are true lap cats, although they also like to climb and explore, and will happily perch on your shoulder as they like to observe what is going on around them.
Singapuras are lively and active, remaining playful throughout their lives, so it is important to enrich their environment with climbing frames and toys to keep them entertained and exercised. They are quite mischievous (in a nice way), but also nosey and like to investigate their surroundings and be involved in whatever you are doing. So be prepared for a little feline ‘help’ with your daily tasks.
The breed does not thrive if being left alone for long periods of time. They are accepting of other cats, friendly dogs, and respectful children, making them suitable companions for most families. They love warmth and will like to snuggle up with you under the duvet. They are so adorable — it is easy to spoil your Singapura!
Remember! All breed profiles are general and every cat is an individual.