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Singapura

Singapura

Singapura cats are easily the main character in a room, thanks to their endearing appearance and spirited temperament. Learn more about them here.

Discovered in Singapore and named after the country’s Malay name, it’s the smallest domesticated cat breed in the world. Having one of these super energetic and playful cats at home can be as amusing as raising a mischievous fun little human child.

In Singapore, this breed is more commonly known as Kucinta – a heartwarming blend of the words for love “cinta” and cat “kucing.” The next time you visit the Singapore River, keep an eye out for three adorable bronze sculptures of a mother Singapura cat with its pair of kittens.

If you have it in yourself to handle the firecracker energy and roguish antics of these little munchkins, then this may be your calling to get yourself a Kucinta right away. But mind you, Singapuras are comparatively rare and high in demand.

Physical Characteristics 
Height6-8 inches
Weight5-8 pounds
Lifespan10-15 years
ColorsSepia-Brown, Warm Ivory
Suitable ForSmall families, quiet households, patient owners
TemperamentPlayful, active, attention-seeking, friendly

Which Homes Are Best For Singapura’s

Despite their own chaotic nature, Singapuras are most comfortable in quiet and restful places. Apparently, noisy surroundings overwhelm and agitate them. So a big buzzing family home may not be ideal for them. If they are brought into one, measures must be taken not to let the noise get to them.

No matter how silence-loving, Singapuras are a source of continuous meowing in the house. So, make sure you have considerate neighbors.

Their owner’s lap and high surfaces like tall shelves are spots that Singapuras mostly seek to relax at. These curious little kitties like to look around a room in a bird’s eye view. But the owner must make sure that the climb is safe as there are chances of injury by falling.

Lifespan

Singapuras are generally healthy and have an average lifespan of 10 to 15 years. It’s very hard to find Singapuras over 15 years old. However, 18-year-old Singapuras have also been found, although they are rare cases.

Average Size

The tiniest housecat breed is, well, quite tiny in size compared to other domesticated cats. They don’t grow over 6-8 inches in height. The kittens grow slowly and may take up to 2 years after birth to reach their maximum length and weight.

Adult male Singapuras weigh around 6 to 8 pounds, and adult females weigh 5-6 pounds. Though they weigh much less than regular housecats, they are quite muscular for their size and have a stocky body type.

Breed Origin

The origin of this rare breed is wrapped in controversy. However, the most accepted version of their origin story says that in the ’70s, this strange breed was found in Singapore’s streets by a married couple.

Later in the ’90s, when Singapura was put up for recognition as Singapore’s national mascot, some deep research revealed that it was probably not a natural Singaporian breed.

After a thorough investigation, the American Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) recognized Singapura as a natural breed in 1982. And the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board (STPB) launched this cat as a mascot in 1991.

Original Gene Pool

In the early ’90s, while running a background check on the breed, the Primary Production Department and the Singapore Cat Club suspected that Singapura was a crossbreed of Abyssinian (the ticked tabby gene carrier) and Burmese (brown color gene carrier) breeds.

Its small size and the small size of its litters were two major indications of its not being a natural breed. Other crossbreeds of Abyssinian and Burmese also looked similar to Singapura.

However, Singapura is still considered a natural breed as the original breeders had denied the claims.

Breed Founder

The protagonists in the controversy surrounding Singapura’s breed origin were American breeders Hal and Tommy Meadows. In the ’70s, this married couple discovered three kittens of this unique breed lying in the drains of Singapore city.

They then carried these cats back to the States and worked on developing them into purebred felines.

Appearance

With their tiny bodies and round, big eyes and ears, Singapuras look like a character from an animated movie. The sepia-toned ticked coat adds an elegant touch to its beauty.

If you’re fond of cats in general, there’s no reason for you not to fall in love with a Singapura at first glance. Yes, “love at first sight” is a thing.

Description

What would you first notice when you see a Singapura? The giant pointy ears and wide, round eyes on its petite yet muscular body or the rich and unique skin color it comes in?

Besides its endearing size, a sepia-brown agouti coat, usually seen on wild animals- is another major defining characteristic of Singapura cats.

The short and smooth-haired coat has two or more dark bands over light ones and, finally, a dark tip at the end of its stubby tail. On the front – starting from its muzzle, chin, to its torso, and stomach – it is colored a cream-white shade.

The large, beautiful, saucer-shaped eyes can come in a gorgeous hazel, yellow, or green color and seem to be outlined by a dark eyeliner. Dark cheetah lines run from each eye down along both sides of the nose. The nose also has a neat, dark border creating a fine accent against its light-hued muzzle.

Personality

Singapuras are an absolute delight as pets. They are curious, high-spirited, and playful all the time.

These attention-seekers never get tired of producing soft, tiny meows and sulk when they don’t get enough attention or are left alone. But fear not, their neediness doesn’t mean they’ll engage in any highly destructive cat behavior.

Giving them attention means participating in their antics or letting them participate in your daily chores. A Singapura won’t sit still for hours with you and contemplate the meaning of life.

Indoors or Outdoors

Singapuras are afraid of loud noise. So busy outdoor surroundings may not be up to their alley, even though this breed was first discovered on the streets of Singapore.

Also, having them hang out outdoors may ignite the anxious cat parent in you – the fear of losing your small bean in the street. In addition, there are risks of it getting hit by vehicles or contracting diseases from other outdoor cats.

Quiet and safe indoor spots are more to the liking of Singapuras. Place them on your lap or carry them over your shoulders – they’ll never grow tired of entertaining you.

Noisiness

Lovely little Singapuras are weaklings in the face of background noise. But they themselves are constant “meow generators.” So, once you create a quiet surrounding to accommodate your Singapura, be ready to bid farewell to the quietness.

The cat’s tiny, persistent meows may get annoying at one point so consider a gentler, quieter breed if you don’t have a taste for incessant chitter-chatter.

Interaction

Singapuras love interacting, especially with their owners. They’re shy in front of strangers on the first meeting, but it isn’t a problem that some treats and toys can’t solve.

Their excessive need for interaction can, in fact, be overwhelming for the owners at times. Once you let them in, they’ll purr their way into your mundane life – and partner up with you for cooking, cleaning, and working.

Singapuras generally meow, hiss, or use body language to express themselves. Your parent instincts must work well in this regard to understand your child’s needs promptly.

Intelligence

Singapuras are high IQ cats with curious minds. Because they are quite intelligent, they know exactly how to inform their owners (and others) about their needs and wants. These little buddies also excel at recognizing human cues.

For instance, they can sense when their owners are sad and rush to comfort them. How cute is that?

Playfulness

These kitties will always steal the spotlight with their extroverted personality and endearing playfulness. Be it with children or other animals, Singapuras will happily indulge in any game if it’s engaging and exciting.

They will happily run around, climb high surfaces, jump onto your shoulders, and play fetch with you. These furbabies like to explore and are always on the move – so make sure your abode is spacious.

Of course, their size makes them a little vulnerable to harsh surroundings compared to other felines. So be gentle when you’re playing with them and teach your family and friends to do the same.

Friendliness

Contrary to popular belief about all cats’ being adorably grumpy and antisocial, Singapura cats are friendly. They are love being around humans – cuddling and playing – and savoring the attention given to them. That’s why, apart from lovely housecats, they also make awesome friends.

Children

Children usually have a penchant for small, cute pets since they’re similar to their own size. Hence, Singapura cats easily become kids’ favorite. They like to run around and chase after objects – and children usually have the time and patience to partake in these antics.

But note that these cats won’t be comfortable and friendly around loud and chaotic children as they are sensitive to noise. So, if you have very small children who tend to scream and cry all the time, a Singapura might not be the right pet for you.

Other Animals

Shy but sociable, Singapuras love interacting with other cat-friendly animals, too, though it might take some time because of their shyness. But if you’re properly clued up on the steps to introducing your cat to other animals, you won’t have much to worry about.

As an owner, you could make them accustomed to meeting new people and other pets, so they grow out of their shyness in adulthood.

Breed-Predisposed Ailments

Singapuras are generally considered healthy, although some are born with pyruvate kinase deficiency, a genetic disease. It’s a source of anemia and other blood-related issues. The only way to treat this condition is a bone marrow transplant.

Being a breed with a lack of genetic diversity, Singapuras are prone to permanent inherited health problems and risks of extinction.

Their cute petite size comes with a cost. Due to this small size, the pregnant female cats of this breed develop a medical condition called uterine inertia, in which their uterine muscles are too weak to hold the litter.

So, they often give birth through cesarean delivery. This issue is a reason why the breed is so rare – there aren’t enough kittens birthed.

Hypothyroidism, renal failure, diabetes, allergic dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, lethargy, and asthma are some other health issues that Singapuras risk suffering from.

Grooming

Grooming improves the lifestyle and increases the lifespan of these little meows. But with their short and smooth coat, these tiny kitties don’t need intense grooming. Just make sure to do the necessary and pay attention to their skin, as well as clean their teeth and cut their nails.

Brushing

Singapuras don’t shed much, thanks to their short coat. So just brush them once a week or two, using a smooth bristled brush. This way, you can 1) make sure their coat stays soft and healthy and 2) collect the loose hairs that would otherwise blanket everything in your house.

Ears

Make sure to check your Singapura’s ears once a week. Use a cotton ball (not cotton swabs) or a damp cloth soaked in 1:1 warm water and a cider vinegar mixture to clean any dirt. Also, check the ears for signs of ear infection.

Finances

Before you decide on bringing home a Singapura, keep in mind that they’re a relatively rare breed and, therefore, are expensive.

Cost of Kittens

Adopting a Singapura will cost you between $75 and $150. An adoption is a good option if you’re not looking for purebred Singapuras. There are fewer chances of finding a purebred via adoption due to the absence of a certified breeder.

The cost of getting a Singapura from a breeder will cost you from $1,200 to $2,000. This cost will depend on availability, location, sex, and pedigree. Generally, female Singapuras are more expensive.

Initial set up and supplies cost, i.e., veterinary care, neutering, etc., for Singapura ranges from $550-$1,000. These costs will vary depending on your location and the vets you choose.

After the initial setup cost comes the monthly costs for keeping a Singapura at home. Per month you need to spend around $110-$245 on food, healthcare, grooming, toys, entertainment, pet insurance, etc., for your Singapura.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Playful and friendly; easily gets along with other people and animals
  • Cute and fun friend for a lonely person
  • It doesn’t shed a lot
  • Grooming is easy

Cons

  • Not suitable for loud households
  • The constant need for attention can get overwhelming for the owner
  • Vets may not be familiar with the uncommon breed
  • Expensive

Final Thoughts

Super cute and super friendly, a Singapura will not let you spend a boring minute. It’ll easily become a favorite to your friends and family and will reciprocate the love it receives! Furthermore, there’s another level of contention in having a charming, rare species as a pet.

If Singapura fits your criteria for a potential best friend, then bring one home right away!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Singapuras hypoallergenic?

Unfortunately, not being heavy shedders does not make Singapuras hypoallergenic. They do shed, and like all other cats, they are surrounded by a cat allergen protein called Fel D1. So, if you're allergic to cats, getting a Singapura won't be a wise decision.