The Singapura is the tiniest cat breed in the world. What could be more adorable than that? Learn all about the Singapura’s history, health needs, trainability and more! If you’re looking for a Singapura Cat Sitter in Perth, Darwin, or anywhere else, you can look to Mad Paws.
Weight – 1.8 – 2.7kg
Lifespan – 12 – 15 years
Country of Origin: Singapore or United States of America
Best breed for:
- Quiet households
- First-time Cat Owners
- Owners looking for a very social cat
Singapura Cat Breed History ♜
The Singapura Cat is a strikingly beautiful feline with a puzzling beginning. This tiniest of cat breeds has stirred up quite the controversy among the cat breed pros. It’s all very dramatic for a cat that looks very confused about what all the fuss is about.
So what’s the real story?
The first theory goes that the Singapura Cat came from, unsurprisingly, Singapore. According to the American family who first bred the Singapura, Tommy and Hal Meadows, these feral felines were found living in the drainage system underneath the city of Singapore. Hal and his boat crew came across these unusual kitties during a work trip, and he had a few of them sent back to his wife Tommy. The couple later moved to Singapore with the cats and started the work of formalising the Singapura breed. Eventually, they ended up back in the US where they would achieve Cat Fancier Association recognition in 1988.
It’s a lovely, clean story, but twenty years later, the Singapore Tourism Promotion Board raised some questions. They had done a little digging after deciding that the Singapura would make a wonderful national mascot, and they ended up with more questions than answers.
In their investigation, they found that it was likely that the Singapura may not be a natural breed. Because of the Singapura’s small size (unusual in feral cats) and its small litter sizes (more common in intentional breeding than natural breeding), it’s likely that this cat didn’t come from the drains of Singapore. In fact, the Singapura looks quite different from the feral bob-tailed tabbies that you find in Singapore. In essence, it’s possible that the Singapura didn’t originate in Singapore at all. Rather, cat breeding experts suggest that the Singapura is a mix of the Abyssinian and Burmese cats that the Meadows family brought with them to Singapore. Indeed, when you breed Abyssinian and Burmese cats, you get what looks astonishingly like a Singapura.
It’s unclear what to make of the whole controversy. Was this cat’s background embellished as a way to make it more appealing to US cat lovers? Is it simply an issue of jumbled record-keeping? Will we ever uncover the truth?
To this day, the Cat Fancier Association supports the Singapura as a natural breed. Even the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board opted to adopt the Singapura as the official travel mascot in the end. And the locals of Singapore? They call this special cat Kucinta, or the love cat
No matter how the Singapura came into being, what’s clear is that this is a well-loved, beautiful cat. Spend some time with a Singapura and you’ll forget all about their mysterious origin story.
Singapura Cat Personality Traits ★
The Singapura Cat is a little cat who doesn’t know what little means. They’ve got a big personality, a loud meow, and a neediness that can take some getting used to. No matter what their beloved humans are up to, the Singapura is right in the middle of things, demanding to be included.
Singapuras take longer to settle into adulthood than other breeds, and when they do reach maturity, they still have high energy levels. With their playfulness and curiosity, this is a cat that will fool you into thinking they’re a kitten long after they’ve reached full size at around 2 years old.
This is an intelligent feline, but you don’t have to worry too much about destructiveness. Beyond the usual kitty mayhem, the Singapura is a gentle cat who is curious and attention-seeking. While that means that they are likely to get in the way while you’re doing your daily tasks, they probably won’t get bored and tear into everything in sight without proper attention.
Obviously, Singapuras are happiest when they have plenty of human contact. If you’re going out of town or will be out of the house for a number of hours, a dedicated Pet Sitter is a great option for a Singapura.
Singapuras tend to get along well with other animals and big families as long as they’ve had the chance to warm up. Because they’re so small, newcomers can be a bit scary, so don’t rush it. With some treats and encouragement, Singapuras will quickly shed their shyness.
Singapuras are friendly and affectionate, but don’t expect them to stay in one place for too long. If you’re looking for a cuddle buddy who will stay by your side for hours on end, the Singapura may not be the right feline furbaby for you.
Singapura Cat Trainability and Exercise Needs
When it comes to trainability, the Singapura Cat is up for the challenge! Because they love being around their favourite humans and are attentive and focused, Singapuras are a pleasure to train.
Teaching a Singapura challenging tricks is a great way to mentally stimulate them. They’re engaged enough that they should be able to learn a surprising amount of commands.
When it comes to exercise needs, that small frame may once again fool you. The Singapura is a little ball of energy, and they need daily playtime to stay fit and healthy. If there are multiple family members in the house, make sure that everyone has a role in the Singapura’s daily exercise routine. This will give them plenty of opportunities for the short and intense play sessions they need. And it will give everyone some quality bonding time with their Singapura.
Singapuras are pretty good candidates for leash training because of their curious nature and high energy needs. Because they’re so tiny, it’s important that they’re walked in a safe area and that you don’t let them free roam.
Living Conditions ⌂
With the Singapura Cat’s small size, there are a few living accommodations that will keep them happier and safer.
On the one hand, these little kitties feel most comfortable when you give them high ledges and shelves around the room where they can survey their territory. Make sure to give them plenty of safe climbing avenues so that they don’t fall and injure themselves.
It’s also important to give a Singapura a quiet, comfortable place to relax. Loud noises and general ruckus can be distressing to them, so if they’ll be in a large family or a family with small children, make sure that they have a safe place to retreat. Ideally, it will be covered to block some of the noise.
While we’re on the topic of family and small children, make sure that everyone in the family knows how best to play with and handle this furry friend. With such a small frame, it’s important to teach other family members to play gently with this little kitty. And, if this cat is going to be in a multi-animal home, take a moment to learn about how to introduce your cat to another pet. Introducing a Singapura to another animal will likely take longer than it would for another breed, again because of their small size and shyness around newcomers.
Finally, although this cat is afraid of loud noises, it’s important to keep in mind that they’re not the quietest cat around, either. If you live in a quiet apartment building, this cat may disturb the neighbours. It’s a dainty little meow, but it is persistent.
Singapura Cat Health +
In general, the Singapura Cat is a healthy cat. Just like any breed, you should be on the lookout for things like renal failure, obesity, diabetes and hyperthyroidism. And, as we mentioned, the risk for injury is quite high with these little cats.
Because Singapuras are so small, some Pet Owners struggle to know how much to feed them. You might look at the bowl and think, “Well that just doesn’t look like enough food for a living animal!” This kind of thinking is well-meaning, but overfeeding can lead to obesity and a range of other issues. Make sure to calculate exactly how much food your Singapura should eat based on their size and stick to the plan. Your little cat will thank you.
Another feeding issue that Singapuras tend to be around their humans during every waking moment, including mealtimes. A Singapura will boldly eat right off your plate or climb into the food pantry if you don’t keep an eye on them. Make sure to read up on the human foods that cats can eat, but don’t make feeding them from your plate a regular habit.
The other concern that every Singapura Owner should know is that these cats are at high risk for uterine inertia. This is a medical condition in pregnant female cats in which the muscles along the uterus are not strong enough to carry the litter. Singapuras should always be spayed because of this very common breeding issue.
Unfortunately, the high risk of pregnancy issues and rarity of the breed makes breeding difficult. Some genetic experts worry about the small size of the breeding pool, and it is likely for this reason that the breed is still exceedingly rare in family homes.
Coat and Grooming Needs ✄
The Singapura has a short, soft coat that requires very little grooming. You don’t even have to worry about too much shedding! As long as you brush them with a soft bristled brush about once a week, their coat will stay nice and beautiful.
If you find that your Singapura has a habit of rolling around in the dirt or other messy situations, have some pet wipes handy to keep them clean.
Singapuras, like all felines, can also benefit from some dental hygiene care. Make sure to get them to the vet regularly for teeth checks, and do your part to keep their teeth and gums clean at home with regular brushing.
Fun Fact ♥
The breed standards for the Singapura are very strict, especially when it comes to coat colour. In order to be a true Singapura, this cat must have what’s called a sable ticked tabby coat in the colour sepia. That gives them their distinctive light colouring with bright highlights around the eyes. When you look closely at a Singapura, you’ll also see that their coat is flecked with two different colours, much like the coat of a puma. This coat variation is not very common in the feline world, making the Singapura stand out in a crowd.
But, there’s also a recessive gene in the gene pool that has breeders anxious with every new litter. This recessive gene leads to a kitten that is only one colour. It is still a stunning cat, but it might not be winning awards in the big cat shows. Instead, you’ll probably find them living their best life in the comfort of a loving family.
Final Thoughts on the Singapura Cat
It’s really a shame that the Singapura’s origin controversy is the first thing that comes to mind when you look into this wonderful cat. Because once you spend some time with this gorgeous feline, you realise that they absolutely don’t deserve the negativity.
Singapuras are happy, curious, loveable furry friends who will do whatever they can to bond with their favourite humans. If you’ve been looking for a cat who will defy the stereotypical feline aloofness, this is your cat. While they may be a bit untrusting to strangers at first, Singapura Owners will tell you that they’re anything but a shy and timid cat.
Since they’re so people-oriented, they’ll be happiest in a home with many family members to give them love and attention. If your family spends a lot of time outside the home, it’s best to call in a professional Pet Sitter. That way, you’ll have someone to provide them with much-needed playtime during the day.
Singapura cats are famous for being the smallest cat breed in the world. Beyond that, they have one of the most unique coats in the feline community. When you get to know them, though, you see that it’s their wonderful personality that really makes an impression.