Singapura Cat History and Characteristics

Updated January 30, 2019
Singapura kitten

Singapura cats have big ears, big eyes, and high intelligence. The saying about cats and curiosity may have been invented to describe the Singapura's mischievous nature and inquisitive ways.

Breed History of the Singapura Cat

The Singapura cat breed is believed to have originated on the streets of Singapore. Some call these felines "the drain cats of Singapore."

Singapura Cats in the United States

In 1975, three adult Singapura cats and a couple of kittens were imported into the US by cat breeders Hal and Tommy Meadow. These cats were used to begin a breeding program for Singapura. In 1982, the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) began accepting Singapura cats for registration and in 1988 gave the breed championship status.

Singapura Cat Breed Controversy

Some initial controversy surrounded whether the Singapura was actually a natural breed. In the '80s, import papers were discovered that caused some interested parties to question whether the cats were actually from Singapore or if they had been bred and imported to Singapore and then back out. There were several theories floating around:

  • Some people thought the Singapuras might be a cross between Abyssinian and Burmese cats.
  • Since the Singapura is a small cat and most natural breeds are larger cats, that added to the doubt.

CFA's Verdict on the Singapura

The Meadows denied the claims about the Singapura and explained the origin of the cats. An investigation was conducted by the CFA in the 1990s at the request of a Singapura breed organization. The conclusion by the CFA was that the Singapura should be kept as a natural breed because the origin of their mating (Singapore or the United States) was of little consequence to the viability of the breed.

Singapura Cat Characteristics

The Singapura is a beautiful and petite cat breed with its own distinct look. Their loving personality is as unique as their delicate appearance.


Among all the cat breeds of the world, the Singapura is considered the smallest. According to the CFA breed standard, a male Singapura might weigh between six to eight pounds. A female is more likely to weight between five and six pounds. Other characteristics include:

  • Big, almond-shaped eyes
  • Eyes are amber or green
  • Muscular yet slender body
  • Tail is shorter than the length of body
  • Tail is dark brown with a blunt tip
  • Large, pointy ears
  • A short, sleek coat
  • Rounded chin
  • Paw pads are dark brown

The only coat color allowed by the CFA is a brown or beige ticked coat. With a ticked coat, the color will start light and end in a darker tip on each strand of hair. The ideal appearance will have strong contrasts between the ivories and browns in the coat pattern.

Singapura kitten


Singapuras are affectionate cats. They love to curl up in bed with their owners and sit on laps. They also get along well with children and other pets and overall do best with another cat or pet in the home. These cats love to play and tend to maintain a playful demeanor throughout their lives. They are highly intelligent as well as curious, and they have been known to figure out how to open drawers, twist doorknobs, and even open cabinets to see what is inside.

Talkative Singapuras

The Singapura enjoys talking to his human companions. However, his meow is soft and gentle. If you're looking for a quiet cat, the Singapura is not the cat for you as he will always have lots to say!

Grooming a Singapura Cat

Because of their short silky fur, Singapuras are a low maintenance cat. You will only need to comb their fur once a week and brushing a few times a month. Aside from regular ear cleaning and nail trimming, this is a cat that is very easy to care for. The Singapura is also a low shedding breed.

Health of the Singapura Cat

Although some enthusiasts are concerned about possible genetic defects due to a small gene pool for this breed, the Singapura has few health problems. The average life span is 11 to 15 years, with some cats living well past 18 years of age. Despite their small size and delicate appearance, this cat is a hardy breed.

Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency

Like related breeds the Burmese and Abyssinian, the Singapura is at risk for PKD. This disease affects an enzyme that can lead to a cat becoming anemic.

Uterine Inertia

Singapuras are prone to uterine inertia. This is a condition that your cat will only face if you choose to breed her since it may render her unable to deliver a kitten. If a Singapura has this condition, she can still be bred, but her kittens must be delivered by Caesarean section. If your pet has this condition, you may want to consider having her spayed to protect her health and avoid perpetuating this trait in the breed.

How Much is a Singapura Cat?

The average price for a Singapura kitten in the U.S. is between $800 and $1,500. Prices may be higher for show quality kittens.

Singapura Cats Are Difficult to Find but Worth the Effort

Finding a Singapura might be a challenge since it's a bit rarer than some other breeds. However, the affectionate companionship this breed offers is worth the effort to find a reputable breeder. A Singapura will quickly become like another family member and will offer many years of love and entertaining antics.

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Singapura Cat History and Characteristics