The Singapura is a dainty and pretty cat, but don't let that make you think they are delicate creatures; they are energetic, fun-loving pets that bond closely with their families and like to join in with whatever is going on.
The history of the Singapura has been surrounded by some controversy over the years, with differing accounts of their origins. Breed founders Tommy and Hal Meadow introduced the Singapura to the USA in the mid 70s, initially claiming that she had found three cats, a brother and sister called Tes and Ticle, and a third similar cat called Pussé, while she was living in Singapore in 1975 and taken them back to America. When documents came to light to show that Tommy Meadow had imported cats, described on their papers as Abyssinians, called Tes, Ticle and Pussé and two Burmese from the USA to Singapore in 1974 she was invited to a meeting of the board of the Cat Fanciers Association to explain the situation. She claimed that she had been unable to tell the truth because her husband was working on a secret mission and that Tes, Ticle and Pussé were actually the grandchildren of the original Singapura foundation cats. However, no photos, pedigree details or veterinary information about the first two generations were ever provided. Singapura breeders claimed that Meadow had privately admitted to some use of Burmese and Abyssinians. Then in the mid 2000s geneticists studying cat breeds found a very close genetic affinity between the Burmese and the Singapura and that a disease gene originating in Abyssinians was widespread in Singapuras. (Note: this gene (PKDef) was subsequently eradicated in Singapuras through a DNA screening programme.)
Ticle, Pussé and Tes were the known foundation cats for the breed and their offspring George and Gladys were also used in the early days of the breeding programme. Then in 1980 they were joined by a further cat, Chiko of Rya, this time with documented Singaporean origin. This cat resembled Singapuras in every element apart from its bobbed tail and was imported from Singapore to the USA by Sheila Bowers. A further cat called Little Singh Bull followed in 1987, imported by Jerry Mayes.
In more recent years geneticists have advised that with only five official foundation cats the Singapura gene pool is too small and needs expanding to avoid problems. Consequently several breeders have now undertaken new outcross programmes to bring in new blood and safeguard the breed's future.
The breed owes its distinctive appearance to a combination of the agouti gene and the Burmese colour restriction (or sepia) gene, which is a combination of genes indigenous to South East Asia.
The name Kucinta, is an amalgamation of the Malay words kucing (cat) and cinta (love): Love Cat, but it also means "The one I love" in Malay. This name was selected for the Singapura cat, after a naming competition by the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board in 1990. The cat has been named as the National Treasure by the Singapura Government and sculptures of the Singapura can be found by the Singapore River.
Carole Thopmson from Gloucestershire brought a female called Imago’s Faye Raye of USAF in 1998. She was already pregnant and produced three kittens in quarantine called Muffy, Mimi and Kuan. Not long after that, stud Scricobery’s Indhah joined the family and provided suitable matings to Faye and her two daughters, whilst Kuan, was sent to Canada where he became a Quadruple Grand Champion with the ACFA. Soon the diminuitive cats had been enthusiastically taken up by further breeders and more suitable studs were imported to the UK to join them.
Debbie van den Berg and her partner Mal led on the process to gain recognition for the breed in the GCCF, forming a club in 1993. The breed progressed through the stages of the recognition process and finally gained full championship recognition in 2005. By July 2006 the first Imperial Grand Champion had been crowned, followed in November 2007 by the first two UK Imperial Grand Champions.
Tes of Usaf
Pussé of Usaf
Chiko of Rya
A small built. but muscular cat, with distinctively big almond shaped eyes and large slightly pointed, deep cupped ears. Eye colour is usually different shades of hazel, green and yellow, but never blue. Ears are large, wide and slightly angular away from the face.
The skull has a rounded width at the outer eye narrowing to a definite whisker break and a medium short, broad muzzle with a blunt nose. In profile Singapuras has a rounded skull with a slight stop just below eye level. There is a straight line from the nose to chin and the chin is well developed. The nose is pink with a black outline and the eyes have a dark outline often referred to as eyeliner. Their is a distinctive tabby M marking on the forehead and bars on insides of the front legs and the knee part of the back legs.
Their legs are muscular but taper off to small oval feet. Their tail gets darker towards a blunt tip and is slender but not whippy.
Their body colour is an old or golden ivory with a soft warm effect, ticked with sepia brown more commonly referred to as Sepia Agouti. Each hair is to have at least two bands of sepia ticking separated by light bands.. The fur is generally fine, silky and dense but short. Each strand is characterised by different colours with light against the skin and darker to the tip.
The underside of the body, the chest, chin and muzzle are lighter and occasionally a darker ring can be seen around the neck referred to as a necklace, but the necklace never meets in the middle.
Full grown females weighs anything from 1.7kg to 2.3kg on average with full grown males being around 3kg although occasionally the odd large male or female have made it over 3kg. They often don't reach full maturity or full deep permanent colouring until they are two years old.
The Singapura has a very unique, incredibly loving, playful, inquisitive, energetic, and super intelligent personality and prefers to be with humans all the time or be involved in everything you do. If you want a lap cat or one to share your bed, most likely under the duvet between your legs, then a Singa is right up your street. They play fetch, like a dog, go for walks on leads, and makes wonderful therapy cats, because of their cuddle-bug nature. They love interacting with their humans and will talk to you and tell you when the litter tray is full. Or you can just teach them to you use the human toilet. Always keen to check out new things, new visitors to the house and not usually scared of anything, these little critters steals hearts wherever they go and have been known to 'cure' cat phobias.
They seem to get on with any other cat breed and just want to make friends with other animals. They are good around dogs and have been seen to live alongside happily with other house hold pets like rabbits and chickens.
Singapuras are great with children. Very patient and not the type of cat that will scratch or bite when they don't want to picked up. They will just wriggle a little till you let go unlike some breeds who will get very anxious when be picked up and held all the time.
It's not unusual to see a Singapura on it's owner's shoulders, often jokingly referred to as parrots, as they love being high up. The best toy you can give a Singapura is a tall climbing frame, a lazer light and a feather at the end of a string.
Many Singapuras also loves their soft toys and balls and it's not unusual to find their favourite toys in their food or water bowls. They are mischievous little critters with them most angelic looking facial expressions at times.
An all round easygoing, loving, entertaining breed that is often referred to as the worlds "Best Kept Secret".
The Singapura Breed standard varies very little between different registries. The example below is from the GCCF:
The Singapura is an alert, healthy, medium-sized cat of foreign type, with noticeably large eyes and ears. Cat to have the illusion of refined delicate colouring.
Head - Skull rounded with rounded width at outer eye narrowing to a definite whisker break and a medium short, broad muzzle with a blunt nose. (In profile, a rounded skull with a slight stop just below eye level.) Straight line nose to chin, chin well developed.
Ears - Large, wide open at base, deep cupped. Outer line of the ears extends upwards to an angle slightly wide of parallel.
Eyes - Large, set not less than an eye width apart, held wide open, but showing slant when closed or partially closed. A dark outline to the eyes is desirable. Eye colour hazel, green or yellow only. Brilliance preferred.
Body - Of medium overall length and size. Moderate build, lithe and muscular. Mid section not tucked but firm. Allowance should be made for more slender body shape in adolescent cats.
Legs and Paws - Legs muscled at the body, tapering to small oval feet.
Tail - Length short of the shoulder when laid along the body. Slender but not whippy. Blunt tip. Free from any abnormality of the bone structure.
Coat - Short, fine, silky and close-lying. Allowance for longer coat in kittens.
Colour and Markings - Body colour to be an old or golden ivory with a soft warm effect, ticked with sepia brown. Each hair to have at least two bands of sepia ticking separated by light bands. Light next to skin and dark tip. Muzzle, chest, stomach and inner legs to be an unticked light ivory colour. Cat to show some barring on inner front legs and back knees only; barring on the outer front leg is a fault, but may be overlooked if the animal is otherwise an excellent cat. Dark tail tip with colour extending towards body on upper side. Spine line acceptable. Occasionally a faint yellow-toned necklace may appear and this is allowable, providing it is not complete. Nose bridge and back of the ears of a mature cat may show salmon or deeper warm tones, along with the back of the legs where the ticking meets light ivory of the inner leg. Allowance to be made for undeveloped ticking in kittens and slow development of body colour in adolescents. Nose mid to dark salmon coloured. There must be evidence of dark pigment outline on the nose. ‘Cheetah’ lines from the inner corner of the eye towards just behind the whisker pad should be present. Paw pads brown. Brown spurs on lower back of hind legs.