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Singapura Breed Description

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Breed Organization

TICA Executive Office

The Cat Fanciers' Association

Native Country
Singapore Island

Other Names
Drain Cat, Kucinta, River Cat

Coat Length

Life Expectancy
No Information Available

General Description

The Singapura is one of the smallest breeds of cats, noted for its large eyes and ears, brown ticked coat and blunt tail. Reportedly established from three "Singapuras" imported from Singapore in the 1970s, it was later revealed that the cats were originally sent to Singapore from the US before they were exported back to the US. Investigations by the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) concluded no wrongdoing and the Singapura kept its status as a natural breed.

The breed's coat pattern is that of a ticked tabby. That is, individual hair strands have alternating sections of dark and light color, typically two dark bands separated by two light bands, with a dark color at the tip. The underside, including the chest, muzzle and chin, takes the color of the light bands. The Singapura is recognized by cat registries in only one color, the sepia agouti, described as "dark brown ticking on a warm old ivory ground color".

Breed Standard

Head: Small, round. Jowls allowed in adult males. Short, broad muzzle. Delicately domed nose with a slight stop below the line of the eyes. Well-developed, rounded chin. Well-defined whisker pads.
Eyes: Large, almond-shaped, accentuated by dark outlines. Separated by one eye-width. Color: green, gold, or copper. Blue is not allowed.
Neck: Short and thick.
Body: Small to medium-sized, moderately stocky, compact. Well-built, muscular. Rounded rib cage, slightly arched back, round croup.
Paw: Muscular, fine-boned legs. Small, oval paws.
Tail: Moderately long, fairly thin but not excessively tapered. Rounded tip.
Coat: Fine, very short hair, not fluffy, lying flat against the body. Ticking of four or more alternating bands of dark brown to ivory except on the belly, throat, and inside of the legs, which are antique ivory. “M” on the forehead, dark outline around nose, eyes, and paw pads. Broken bracelets on the legs. Sepia agouti coloring with dark brown ticking on a warm antique ivory background (brown ticked tabby). Dark salmon pink nose, pinkish-brown paw pads. The inside of the ears is salmon-colored with ivory hair. Hair along the spine and on the tail tip may be dark.
Fault: Small ears and eyes. Muzzle too short. Fluffy coat. Cold, grayish cast. Absence of bars on the inside of the legs. Absence of necklaces and outline around the nose. Disqualify: blue eyes. Continuous necklaces, circular bracelets on legs, bars on tail. White lockets or any other markings.


The lightest of the domestic cats “Singapura” is the Malaysian name for Singapore Island and also designates a true common cat who walks the streets of the capital. American tourists Tommy and Hal Meadows noticed the cats in 1974. The following year, they became the first to import the breed to California. They acquired three cats (Tess, Tickle, and Puss) who were being shown by 1976. T. and S. Svenson were among the ardent supporters of the breed. In 1980, more Singapuras were brought to the United States. T.I.C.A. and then the C.F.A. recognized them in 1984 and 1988, respectively. The first specimens of the breed were reported in France and Great Britain around 1988-1989. The F.I.Fe. has not yet recognized it. Although the Singapura was developed in the United States, it is not common there.


The Singapura is well-balanced. Into everything, sociable, very affectionate, and loving, these cats are sensitive and demand petting. They are discreet and have a very soft voice. They follow their owner everywhere. Female Singapuras are known for being very loving mothers. In terms of grooming, they require weekly brushing.


Of concern to breeders is the condition known as uterine inertia, an inability to expel the foetus due to weak muscles. This condition was present in one of the foundation cats and appears in some Singapura females today. Individuals with uterine inertia may require deliveries to be made by Caesarean section. Another issue that affects the breed is Pyruvate kinase deficiency, which leads to hemolytic anemia. Typical symptoms includes lethargy, diarrhea, lack of appetite, poor coat quality, weight loss and jaundice. A test is available that can determine whether a cat is affected, a carrier, or clear of the disease. Singapuras with PKD can usually live a normal life.

Some breeders have shown concern regarding the lack of genetic diversity in the breed due to inbreeding caused by a small gene pool. Researchers who completed the 2007 DNA study found that the Singapura (along with the Burmese) have the least genetic diversity among the 22 breeds studied. The possibility of outcrossing with another breed to increase the genetic diversity had been raised among CFA breeders, but not many were receptive to the idea, preferring to use Singapuras from around the world that are not so closely related to the CFA line. In April 2013, UK's Governing Council of the Cat Fancy started allowing outcrossing for the breed. Individuals chosen have to meet certain health and appearance requirements.

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