One of the most striking things about the Singapura cat is its size. The Singapura is the smallest known domestic cat breed. But don’t let the diminutive Singapura cat size lull you into a false sense of its sturdiness. These cats are stocky and muscular and are full of energy and playfulness. Singapura cats love to play and thrive on the attention of their human families. Whatever you are doing, they will want to be a part of it.
The breed standard for the Singapura cat is set out by TICA (The International Cat Association). To be considered a member of the Singapura breed a cat must show the following characteristics:
- A rounded skull with no doming.
- High cheekbones.
- A medium to short, broad muzzle that is well defined. Jowls may be present in males.
- Large ears with a deep cup and wide base opening.
- Large eyes that should be hazel green or brown in color, although gold is acceptable. The appearance of their eyes should be neither oriental nor rounded. The eyes should have an almond-shaped setting.
- The body, legs, and floor should form a square. A slightly arched back with well-muscled legs and small size oval feet.
- A slender tail that is shorter than the torso and ends in a blunt tip.
- Fine coat with brown ticked tabby markings that have at least four alternating bands. Inner leg barring must be present on the front legs. Dark brown and lighter markings on the fur are both acceptable.
In this quick guide, we will take you through the key characteristics, personality, and facts about the Singapura cat so that you can make an informed decision as to whether it is the right cat for you. Knowing more about the cat breed and its needs can help reduce the number of cats that are surrendered to animal shelters.
History of the Singapura Cat
There are several takes on the origin of the unique and beautiful Singapura cat breed. One version of their history states that three cats were taken home from Singapore to America in the 1970s after they were discovered by Tommy and Hal Meadow. When the Singapore Tourist and Promotion Board decided to use the cats as the Island’s national mascot they delved deeper into their history. They concluded that the three cats were actually the result of cross-breeding between an Abyssinian cat and a Burmese cat. They also concluded that the three cats had been taken to Singapore by the couple, rather than being found naturally on the Island.
Despite this controversy, the Singapura cat was recognized as a natural breed and registered by The Cat Fanciers’ Association in 1982. It was recognized for championship competition in 1988. It continues to hold its status as a natural breed to this day. The Singapura cat became an official mascot of Singapore in 1991, where it is called a Kucinta. The name is a combination of the Malay words for cat (Kucing) and love (Cinta).
Quick Facts About the Singapura Cat
- They are the smallest domestic cat breed
A female Singapura cat weighs between four and six pounds as an adult. The male is larger but only weights up to eight pounds. What the cats lack in size, they make up for in energy and personality.
- They are extremely smart cats
Singapura cats love to play and learn new tricks. It is one of the breeds of cats that will actually play fetch with its humans. They have a pleasant personality, are loving, and get along and play nicely with children and cat-friendly dogs.
- They dislike loud noises
Loud and unexpected noises are likely to upset your Singapura cat and have them running for cover. If you have dogs that bark excessively or young children that shriek and scream a lot, then it might not be the pet breed for you.
- They have lots of energy
While Singapura cats can thrive in smaller apartments, they need space to run and play. If they are left alone for long periods of time it can be detrimental to their wellbeing and lead to destructive behaviors. They need plenty of toys and people to engage with regularly.
Things You Should Know
The Singapura cat breed is generally a healthy breed with few known specific health problems. However, there are some reports of them being susceptible to genetic illnesses. One of the most prevalent is PKD or pyruvate kinase deficiency. The disease is caused by an enzyme deficiency. The enzyme in question is vital for the energy metabolism of the red blood cells. This deficiency leads to a condition called hemolytic anemia. A simple test can be carried out to determine whether your cat is carrying or affected by the disease. Treatment options are available that ensure your cat can continue to live a normal healthy life.
Like all cats, the Singapura cat is an obligate carnivore. Their food needs to be of high-quality and predominantly meat-based to provide the protein that they need. The Singapura cat can be a picky eater and if they do not like the food that you have chosen, they simply won’t eat it. Remember when trying new foods, introduce them to your cat slowly to reduce the risk of them being rejected or causing stomach upsets. In terms of how much your cat should eat, this will depend on their activity level, weight, and life stage. Follow the recommended amounts included in the manufacturer’s guidance and if you are in any doubt discuss your cat’s feeding needs with your veterinarian. Singapura’s eat best when provided with small meals throughout the day that they can graze on when they are hungry. Just remember to keep an eye on the overall amount of food that you provide for your cat over the course of the day.
Singapura kittens and cats need regular dental hygiene. Ideally, their teeth should be brushed daily to prevent periodontal disease. Nails should be trimmed every few weeks to keep them in top condition and provide relief for your furniture. Singapura cats can suffer from eye discharge. When this occurs wipe the corners of the eyes with a damp, soft cloth. Remember to use a clean cloth for each eye to reduce the risk of spreading any possible infection. Their ears should be checked weekly. Dirty ears should be cleaned with a solution that is equal parts of warm water and cider vinegar. Apply the mixture to a damp, soft cloth and wipe the ears. Do not press anything, including cotton swabs into the interior of your Singapura’s ear.
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The smooth, short hair of the Singapura cat is easy to care for. It can be combed through once a week to keep it in good condition. Bathing is rarely needed unless your Singapura gets into something that smells unpleasant. Their coats can be polished with a chamois to give them an extra shine.
The Singapura is a smart and playful cat breed, with a loving and affectionate personality. These cats have extremely high energy levels and will keep going long after you are worn out. This makes them great pets for houses with other friendly animals and children who know who to respect cats and their needs. Singapura cats have an amiable disposition but should be introduced slowly to young children and new environments, particularly if they are noisy. Singapuras’ curiosity can get the better of them and they will investigate anything of interest. They can also be mischievous and will find a variety of ways of getting your attention if they want it. Their playful nature does not change as they move into adulthood. Singapura cats need company to thrive and do not like being left alone for long periods of time.
The Bottom Line
The Singapura cat is still regarded as a natural cat breed by the TICA and the Cat Fanciers Association, as well as by many others. The Singapura can make a wonderful addition to any family. It is easy to care for and requires very little in the way of grooming. However, it does have high energy and a playful personality. If you are not able to give them the time and attention they need, then you may find they become destructive or withdrawn. If you have the time, then they can be a loving, friendly, and loyal companion.
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- Meredith Hooker Williams, 5 Reasons a Singapura Might Be the Right Cat Breed for You, Vetstreet
- Singapura, PetMD