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June 18, 2013 at 3:46 PMComments: 2 Faves: 0

The Singapura

By Erin Froehlich More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the Feline 101 Blog Series

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Cat of the Week: The Singapura



Fun Facts About Singapura Cats


  • With females weighing as little as 4 lbs at maturity, the Singapura is the the Guinness Book of World Records’ smallest cat breed!
  • Officially developed in 1975, there is some controversy regarding the origins of the Singapura.
  • The cat fanciers that developed the breed, Tommy and Hal Meadow, had already been breeding and showing Burmese and Abyssinian cats for 20 years when the Singapura breeding program began. According to an interview Tommy Meadow gave in 1990 -two years after the Singapuras had already been granted grand champion status, and eight years after they had been accepted for registration by the CFA – rather than being born in the streets of Singapore as the cat fancier community had come to believe, the first real Singapuras were born here in the US.  As she confessed, the breed was actually refined from three local Singaporean cats which Hal found in a local shelter and sent to Tommy from his work there overseas. After their first mating, Tommy was convinced these cats could develop their own breed, but she never recorded their matings – a cat show regulatory no-no. This admission of the first Singapura’s actual birthplace combined with the lack of records suddenly drew scrutiny from cat fanciers. Many have since come to believe the breed is a purely US invention produced from a combination of the Burmese and Abyssinian cats the couple had already been breeding, not a newly discovered natural breed (which tend to be among the healthiest cat and are thus, very desirable) from Singapore. Skeptics point out the similarity in looks between the breeds and the small litter size of the Singapura (unusual for a natural breed and a possible sign of small breeding pool). To further complicate matters, the Singapore tourism bureau had already adopted the cat as a mascot.
  • After the publication of the interview and subsequent outpouring of concern from the cat fancier community as well as the Singaporean tourism bureau, the CFA asked Tommy and Hal to come officially to answer questions and be submitted to a study challenging their claims. They accepted and retold their story, explaining that the reason records were not kept was because Hal had asked Tommy that they not be, due to the confidential nature of his work (as a geophysicalist?). The similarity in appearance to the Burmese and Abyssinians, though incriminating, was explainable as both breeds originated within swimming distance (if you’re an amazing swimmer) from Singapore, and in the end, the CFA stated that they could find no motive for deception from the couple. They allowed the Singapura to retain its status as a natural breed and stated that although the founding cats had given birth in the US, they and the Singapura breed that resulted, remained Singaporean.  
  • Today, the CFA makes no mention at all of this controversy on their website and the Singapore council decided to continue tourism marketing with this breed. Though many - including Animal Planet, it seems- remain unconvinced, Animal Planet’s Cats 101 program put it well when they said “Regardless of where they came from, we’re happy they’re here!”


How to Spot a Singapura


Diminutive Size. Though there’s a lot more to the Singapura than their small stature, their size is probably what they are best known for. Males average around 6lbs at adulthood and females, just 4lbs, but they won’t even reach that size until they are at least 2 years old!

Sepia Agouti Coat, Striping on the Front Legs. Sinagpuras are a breed that comes almost exclusively in one color and pattern. Though they share the glittering agouti, color ticked fur of their neighbor breed, the Abyssinian, the sepia coloring is distinctively Singapura. At the base of each hair shaft, considered “the ground color,” is ivory which gradually darkens ending in a soft brown at the tip of the hair. Also setting this breed apart from the Abyssinian, are front leg stripes which would disqualify an Abyssinian from showing, but are required in the Singapura.

Large Eyes and Ears. For a tiny little cat, the Singapuras sure have some great big facial features! Eyes can be hazel, green, or yellow, but all should be large, almond-shaped and (adorably!) wide set. Their ears are large as well, with a wide base and deep cup. Singapura noses are pink and should be fully out-lined with black.


What to Expect From a Singapura


An Active Cat. As experts of the breed stress, though the Singapura may look small and delicate, they are a strong, athletic cat that is always on the move. I’ve read this statement from several different sources – these are not “floor cats.” They are expert jumpers and love to run and play. If you chose to keep them inside, you’ll need to be especially sure to engage them in plenty active play or they may soon become bored (and destructive). Their favorite are chase games, so invest in a string toy and laser pointer. 

A Vocal Cat. The Singapura rivals the Siamese as one of the most talkative cat breeds around. They have no problem telling you when they need more food, they want their litter box cleaned, they’re ready to play, or that they want in or out. In fact, they’ll talk even when they want nothing at all. Luckily for the sake of their owner’s sleep, the Singapura at least tends to have a pretty soft voice, but they aren’t the cat for you, if you need quiet.

A People Cat. There are some breeds, like the Persian for example, which want little more than to lounge around being admired. However, the Singapura is not among them. Though these cats are probably best-suited for experienced cat owners, their unofficial title of “pesky little people cats” seems undeserved to me! Really, the Singapura is just a curious, energetic kitty that wants to be with you and part of whatever you’re doing. If you want a low-key cat that mainly prefers to do its own thing, they’re not really your type, but if you like the idea of an incredibly loyal and affectionate cat that maintains its kitten-like playful streak for its entire life, the Singapura could be your dream feline!


Feline 101 Diagnosis: Hyper Cat


Chillout Chews

Recommended Product:Chillout Chews

With an abundance of energy and a tendency to get in the way at times (hence the nickname "Pesky Little People Cat") Singapura owners would be wise to keep a bottle of Vetionx's Chillout Chews handy!

It won't make them drowsy, and it's not addictive. All it contains are natural ingredients and supplements:

  • Vitamin B1 is known to support brain health.
  • Colostrum Calming Complex mimics mother's milk.
  • L-Theanine is a popular and effective supplement used to support relaxation and reduce anxiety.
  • Natural Chicken Liver Flavor chews are known to make kitties very happy!

Have a hyper or somewhat nervous cat at home? Do your cats (and you!)  need a break? Chillout Chews provide calming support in a yummy kitty chew treat!

Click HERE to learn more about Chillout Chews!


More Singapuras!!!



VetStreet: Singapura

Animal Planet: Cat Breed Directory: The Singapura

The Cat Fancier’s Association: Singapura Breed Profile


 YouTube: Singapura Cat on Exercise Wheel


Takashi Hosohima@flickr

Seymore Sinn@flickr

Sakura ishihara@flickr

Lil Shepherd@flickr


More from Erin Froehlich Others Are Reading


  • I really like the eyes on these cats, but what I really want is one of those cat exercise wheels.

  • I know, right?! I've gotta get one of those things for my house! :D

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