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Singapura Cat Breed Info: Pictures, Traits & Facts

Height: 6–8 inches
Weight: 4–8 pounds
Lifespan: 11–15 years
Colors: Pale yellow, with sepia-brown ticking
Suitable for: Active families looking for a fun-loving small cat
Temperament: Highly intelligent, playful, curious, enjoys plenty of attention, can be startled by loud noises

If you’ve been dreaming of a tiny, beautiful cat breed that’s smart and outgoing, you might have met your dream breed in the Singapura. While the origins of these feisty little cats might be a little murky, there’s no denying that they have a character that’s way larger than their diminutive size might suggest.

They have incredibly large eyes and sweet, engaging faces, so you might be fooled into thinking these little cats enjoy a quiet life. The truth is that they’re not for everyone, so they might not be the best companion if you enjoy long lazy sessions. But if you’re looking for an extroverted and clever cat that can always keep you entertained, you might have met your match.

Singapuras are classed as a rare breed, and you may not be as familiar with their character traits as other more well-known cat breeds. That’s where we come in, with this comprehensive guide all about the small but oh-so-mighty Singapura cat breed.Cat ball divider 1

Singapura Kittens — Before You Get One

Energy
Trainability
Health
Lifespan
Sociability

While these little kittens are undeniably adorable, they’re not the most straightforward of breeds, and it’s important to do your research before taking the plunge and bringing one of these little kitties home. There are a few things to be aware of before you purchase your tiny bundle of Singapura cuteness.

As mentioned, Singapuras are extroverted cats that bundle up a whole lot of character into a tiny body. They’re one of the smallest cat breeds! Despite their small size, Singapuras are an incredibly active and high-energy breed that loves to play, run, and investigate all kinds of adventures. If you don’t keep these cats entertained, they’ll likely find ways to do that themselves. So, don’t be surprised if your furniture gets a good scratching!

Despite their outgoing personality, there’s one thing that these little cats absolutely hate, and that’s loud unexpected noises. They’re extremely sensitive to noise, so they’re often better suited to life as an indoor cat, where this can be controlled to a certain degree.

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Three Little-Known Facts About Singapura

1. The history of the Singapura breed is complicated

The Cat Fanciers’ Association first recognized the breed in 1982, after Tommy and Hal Meadow brought three Singapura cats into America in the 1970s. They said that the cats had been rescued from a shelter. The Meadows then began a Singapura breeding program in America using these foundation cats.

Confusingly, it then came to light that the cats that the Meadows brought back from Singapore weren’t found in Singapore but had originally been brought into the country by the couple. It is now thought that the Singapura was originally created by crossing the Abyssinian and Burmese cat breeds. A study into the genetic diversity of cat breeds found that the Burmese and Singapura are almost identical genetically.

The Singapura also shares a particular disease-causing gene with the Abyssinian. Interestingly, there are several genetic differences between the Singapura and the Singapore street cat, indicating the breed did not originate from this population. Whatever the origins of this breed, it doesn’t take away from the fact that they’re incredibly personable and friendly cats.

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2. The Singapura is one of the smallest breeds of cats

Singapuras are dainty cats, with adult females weighing as little as 4 pounds. For comparison, female cats of most breeds weigh between 8-12 pounds. While they might be small, they’re certainly mighty! Despite their pocket-sized appearance, the Singapura is well-muscled and powerful for their size. No one has told them that they’re not as strong as a cougar!

Singapura kittens also develop into full maturity slowly. Some might not reach their full adult size until they’re two years old. That can mean they look deceptively underweight when the fact is that they’re just more delicate than most other breeds.

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3. Singapuras only come in one coat color

The distinctive coat color of the Singapura is often described as having a sepia tone, with the breed standard specifying that the pattern should be one of a ticked tabby, comprising at least four bands of light and dark ticking. The darkest ticking should be across the back, fading out to an unticked tummy, the shade of “old ivory.”

The reason for the Singapura’s coat color is down to one gene known as the “agouti.” The coat ticking of this breed is one of the defining characteristics, leading to beautiful markings, including darker “puma lines” that extend from the inside of the eye and then across the cheeks.

On the forehead of these little cats, the only marking allowed is a distinctive “M” marking, as seen on other ticked tabby breeds. The shade of the Singapura’s coat should be of warm tones, with glowing shades strongly contrasting each other.

singapura cat curling on grey background
Image Credit: COULANGES, Shutterstock

Temperament & Intelligence of the Singapura

These little cats are brimming with intelligence and curiosity. They are extroverts and will often follow their owners around the house rather than sleep in a corner. That means you’ll need to find plenty of activities to keep your cat entertained. Providing a variety of toys that they can play with both independently and with their families is a good idea to keep their little brains well-occupied.

Singapura cats love interacting with their families, so they will suit homes where there’s often going to be someone home to keep them entertained. A bored Singapura cat can sometimes turn their thoughts to destructive behaviors, including scratching furniture, knocking things over, and generally creating a bit of a mess!

Their intelligent and curious natures mean that they’re a great breed to spend time training. Whether you want to take your Singapura out on a harnessed walk or train them to play fetch, they’ll love anything different that challenges their brains and keeps them on their paws.

Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪

The small yet feisty Singapura is a great choice as a family cat, with a few caveats. The breed is well-known for being afraid of loud noises, so if you have younger children who don’t yet understand how to dial back the volume, a Singapura might find this environment slightly stressful. The same can be said for loud neighbors, constantly barking dogs, or any home where the volume level could be considered above average.

With that said, Singapuras are excellent family cats for older children who will love playing with them frequently while giving them plenty of the attention that they crave.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

As an extroverted breed, Singapuras will usually get on well with other pets. They’re confident to stand up to dogs and normally get along fine with other cats in the family. Just make sure that the initial introductions with both dogs and cats are carried out slowly and in a controlled environment. Remember that they don’t like loud noises, and if you have a particularly noisy dog who likes to bark, a Singapura cat might find this scenario quite stressful.

Singapuras don’t really like being left alone all day while their owners are at work, so they’ll enjoy the company of other pets in this case. If you’re considering buying one Singapura kitten, why not two? Kittens are sociable creatures and will get a great deal of comfort from growing up with a friend. Plus, they can play together and use up some of that excess energy that Singapuras are famous for.

Singapura on grey background
Image Credit: COULANGES, Shutterstock

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Things to Know When Owning a Singapura

Owning an enthusiastic Singapura cat will be an investment of both your time and money. Here are a few important things to take into consideration before heading out to buy your kitten.

Food & Diet Requirements 

Singapuras don’t have any specific dietary requirements, and you can feed them any high-quality cat food of your choice. If you’re buying a kitten from a breeder or have found an older Singapura at a rescue, make sure you find out what food they’ve been used to and see if you can source some of the same variety. Using the same food is a good way to make your new cat feel more at home, as well as minimize the chances of them suffering from an upset stomach as they adjust to life in their new home.

If you plan on switching them over to your preferred brand of cat food, make sure you do so gradually. Most cat food manufacturers will provide information on the amount to feed while you phase out their old food. Due to their small frames, it can sometimes look like a Singapura cat is a little underweight when compared to other breeds. Rest assured that they’re probably not! Their size and build are naturally dainty, and it’s best not to compare them to larger breeds.

With that said, if it seems like your Singapura is underweight or not enjoying their food, speak to your vet to find out whether they might have any intolerances or allergies. Most cats, including Singapuras, thrive on a high-protein and grain-free diet that’s designed for their nutritional requirements as obligate carnivores. Remember to adapt the amount you feed to the Singapura’s small size and speak to your veterinarian if you’re unsure. They’ll be able to advise you how much to feed so your cat can replace all of that energy while remaining a healthy weight.

Exercise🐈

These little cats love to exercise! Unlike some cat breeds that don’t really have any specific exercise requirements, you’ll need to set aside time every day to make sure your Singapura is sufficiently exercised. Whether that’s playing with them using toys, setting up an agility course for them in the backyard (yes, some cats love these!), or taking them to explore the backyard, Singapuras really love exercising and playing.

It’s a good idea to experiment with a range of different toys for this breed, encouraging them to play independently as well as with you. That way, when you have to leave the house, they’re more likely to play with their toys than raid the kitchen cupboards. You can even get toys with timer functions that you can leave for your Singapura to play with overnight or when you’re away from home.

As well as physical exercise, these small cats have large IQs, so they’ll also love being mentally stimulated.

Singapura Cat Breed Info
Photo credit: Raw Singapura and Pedigreed Singapura side by side by Straits Singapuras licensed by CC 4.0

Training 🎾

Some cats will give you a “don’t-mess-with-me” look if you suggest that they might enjoy a training session, but rest assured that the Singapura is not one of those cats. Their energetic nature and high intelligence make them the perfect breed for cat training. Whatever you want to teach them, from fetching their catnip mouse to walking on a leash and harness, the world’s your oyster when it comes to training these clever little cats.

If you have kids, a Singapura cat is the perfect companion. Their high energy levels mean they’ll stay engaged and interested in training sessions for much longer than the average cat. Remember that your kids (and you) will have to get used to avoiding any loud noises when training these little cats. They might be bold and brave when it comes to most things, but loud noises will send them running for cover.

Grooming ✂️

Thanks to the Singapura’s fine-textured coat, they don’t require much grooming. A simple brush once or twice a week is all your cat needs to keep their coat looking shiny and healthy. You shouldn’t find you’ll ever need to bathe your Singapura unless they need a medicated shampoo or have walked through something sticky, oily, or otherwise yucky.

You will need to trim your cat’s nails regularly, usually once a month. Singapura cats can have tiny ticklish paws, so the sooner you can start getting your kitten used to a regular nail trimming routine, the easier it will be in the long run.

It’s also a good idea to get into the habit of checking your Singapuras ears regularly. If they look like they’re starting to build up a layer of dirt, gently wipe them out with a baby wipe or cloth.

Make sure you get your Singapura’s teeth checked regularly to avoid the build-up of plaque and tartar.

Health and Conditions 🏥

While Singapura cats are, on the whole, a healthy breed, there are a couple of serious health conditions that they can suffer from, and you need to be aware of them.

Minor Conditions
  • Anemia
Serious Conditions
  • Pyruvate kinase deficiency (PKD)
  • Uterine inertia (in females)

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Male vs. Female

Perhaps you’ve made up your mind that a Singapura kitten is going to be the perfect new addition to your family. The only thing left to decide is whether you want a boy or a girl. Before you make up your mind, remember that every kitten is an individual. Their personalities aren’t necessarily going to depend on whether they’re male or female. It’s probably better to visit a cat breeder with an open mind and choose your new kitten based on their interactions with you rather than their sex.

Male Singapuras are going to be larger than their female counterparts. However, with a maximum weight of around 8 pounds, they’re still going to be much smaller than your average cat. While female Singapuras can suffer from uterine inertia, this is only a problem if your cat gets pregnant. Most breeders will likely advocate that you have both female and male kittens spayed or neutered at an appropriate age in any case.

If you really can’t decide between a male or female kitten, why not get both? They’ll grow up keeping each other company, as well as using up plenty of energy playing together.

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Final Thoughts

It’s true that while the Singapura breed may not be that well known, it’s also fair to say that these clever little cats have the potential to be the perfect family pets for active households. They’re smart and can keep everyone entertained for hours with their antics. This makes them a great choice for families looking for an extroverted cat who enjoys being the center of attention.

However, you will need to devote plenty of time and attention to keeping these fiery little cats occupied, whether that’s play sessions, walks on the leash, or training your cat to fetch. Just bear in mind that their fear of loud noises needs to be taken into account.

If you think you’ve got what it takes to create the perfect home for a tiny Singapura, you won’t regret it. You might just struggle to keep up with their impressive energy levels!

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