The Singapura kitty is the smallest breed of feline all over the world. This cute kitty comes with quite a few distinguishing character traits which include its petite size, ears, and eyes that are too large for the little size, and coat that is best described as sepia-toned, giving it the appearance of something that just stepped out of a picture belonging to the 19th-century era.
The cat comes with a high energy level that will constantly keep its family on their toes as they are known to enjoy playtime a lot. Potential pet parents who are on the lookout for a high-activity cat that can blend with other house pets and kids should be happy with the Singapura breed.
History of the Singapura Cat
The term ‘Singapura’ is of Malaysian origin meaning ‘Singapore’; thus, the Singapura breed of feline originated from the streets of Singapore. The breed is simply nature’s combo of the dark brown color and the marked coat pattern which are both indigenous to South-Eastern part of Asia.
The development of the breed commenced in the 1970s in its native Singapore – often referred to as the Lion City. The breeders were cat fanciers Hal and Tommy Meadow and they bred six cats namely; Pusse, Ticle, George, Tes, Gladys, and Chiko, all of which came from a Singaporean shelter that was known to have the foundation of the breed’s pedigree. However, it is important to note that cats that looked like them most certainly existed in Southeast Asia for ten years, if not longer.
Cats of brown color and those with agouti, or marked coats are quite widespread in the area, and they have a relationship to the Burmese and Siamese cats. The marked tabby gene dominates in every other tabby pattern and is quite common in cats of Southeast Asian origin. The first sighting of the cute kitties with brown marked coat in Singapore started in 1965 in the least. The Singapura, as revealed by Tommy Meadow, was likely to have emanated from matings between kitties born with the Burmese gene and the Abyssinian marked tabby gene (which resulted in the brownish color). A 2008 DNA study showed minor or no genetic difference between the Singapura and the Burmese.
After Hal and Tommy brought the Singapura into the United States, several early breeders undertook the establishment of purebred traits like; uniformity of appearance, disposition and health. These breeding projects are what resulted in the numbers of the pedigree we have today. Presently, the Singapura is a global breed that has earned recognition from reputable associations like the Cat Fanciers Association, which gave it recognition in 1988. Other cat association has also acknowledged the existence of the Singapura. The feline was adopted by the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board in 1990 as the traveling mascot for the island nation.
Quick Facts About the Singapura Cat
- The Singapura Cat may come across as small, but by no means can they be considered delicate. The kitty is known for its high-energy disposition that shines out and is rather nosy, very intelligent as well as a frisky feline that thrives under the close watch of its adoptive family. This breed of cats is quite muscular and has a natural love for exploring their vicinity as well as ascending to the very top of every available height. By nature, their curiosity keeps them highly active as they are always in the middle of any situation, and you are likely to find them constantly by your side. So always get ready to play as they love it when you toss things in their direction.
- In description, The Singapura is stocky, brawny, and is distinguished by a thick and short neck. The limbs are noticeably muscled and narrow down to short, small, oval feet. In the same vein, the kitty’s tail is also slender and short and often comes with a darkened tip.
- Relative to all other feline breeds, the Singapura is seen as the world’s smallest kitty. Reports from the CFA breed standardsays that the weight of a full-grown male Singapura can range from six to eight pounds, while the female who comes with a lesser weight record between five to six pounds at maturity.
- The characteristics to always look out for in this breed of feline include; Eyes that are quite large and almond-shaped, slender but brawny body, dark brown shorter tail relative to its body length and blunt at the tip. Other character traits of this cute kitty include extra-large ears that are pointy, a chin well rounded, a coat quite short and sleek as well as dark brown paw pads.
- The Singapura’s fine, short and silky coat comes with a color best referred to as sepia. In explanation, the color is a darker shade of brown, marked on a background color very close in resemblance to warm old ivory. Each strand of hair on the cat comes with at least a couple of markings separated by some light bands and ends with a rather darker tip. As for the fur found on their other body parts like chin, muzzle, belly, and chest, they come in a color comparable to an unbleached muslin. In fact, the cat’s coat gives it the resemblance of a figure that belongs to the 19th century. The kitty’s eyes are realized in green, hazel, and yellow color.
- These cats often look like they have been having a swell time with the makeup box, with dark lines extending from different sides. First, there is one coming from the cat’s brow and the outer corner of its eyes and another descending from the inner corner of its eyes running through the bridge of the nose – these lines are referred to as cheetah lines. The feline also has some brownish lines around the nose, lips as well as eyes. Conversely, the kitty’s nose leather comes in a color described as pale to dark salmon.
- The feline has a smart and playful disposition and can easily bond with any child that extends a hand of friendship. It belongs to that category of feline that enjoys learning some new tricks as well as playing fetch, and it has a very high energy level which matches that of a highly energetic child.
- The kitty is quite happy in the company of other house pets; this includes cat-friendly dogs as well as other kitties. Its lovable nature will always bring other pets around. However, pet parents should ensure that the introduction of other animals takes place under controlled situations to aid them in getting along really well.
- The Singapura is the type of feline that does not like to be left alone for too long; they must have company at all times, human or animal.
- Another thing that the cat abhors is a loud noise; they have the propensity to spook anytime they are exposed to sudden loud noise; thus people that live in a noisy environment should stay away from the Singapura. In addition, pet parents who have kids that are likely to shriek or dogs that barks incessantly should equally take note.
- Finding a Singapura is quite difficult, but you will enjoy the company when you do find one. This is stems from the fact that the breed is very rare relative to other felines. However, people who really wish for the friendly companionship of this cute kitty should do well to locate a reputable breeder who will assure them of the health status of the cat. When brought into any home, the Singapura will waste no time in adjusting to family life, offering years of bonding, love, and amusing antics.
- When it comes to monetary value, interested pet parents can purchase a Singapura in the United States for a price range that goes from $800 to $1,500; however, this is with the exception of the show quality kittens which may come with a higher price tag.
Things You Should Know Singapura Cat
Talking about health, the Singapura breed is known to be generally healthy with a life expectancy ranging from 11 to 15 years. However, there have been records of cats that lived as long as 18 years at the maximum. The major concern with the Singapura is that it lacks genetic diversity. Alongside the Burmese, the Singapura is known to have the least in genetic diversity, according to the Genomics. Following this concern, it is highly recommended that you ask for a written health guarantee from the seller when adopting; besides, potential pet parents should also ensure that the breeder is a reputable one. However, people who are looking to adopt a Singapura in the future are advised to check with the shelter first before considering other options.
The breed’s gene pool which is considered very small, has continued to raise concern among enthusiasts. However, the cat is quite sturdy with few health problems, despite its delicate looks and small size. The incidences of health issues suffered by this breed of cats come in varying order, many of which may be a result of genetics. The major health problems to look out for in the Singapura include;
The full meaning of this acronym is pyruvate kinase deficiency, and it is a recently discovered health condition in the breed. The health problem is quite unique to the Singapura, and is often confused with another clinical condition known as polycystic kidney disease, which is common with Persians. Important to note that the Singapura is not alone in this health condition as other related breeds like the Abyssinian and the Burmese are also prone to PKD. The disease is obviously inherited and comes as a resultant effect of the shortage of a particular enzyme that is vital for energy metabolism in the red blood cells. This deficiency usually ends in hemolytic anemia, and according to PetMD, the cat is also at the risk of developing other health issues that are blood-related.
This feline condition is rather difficult to treat as there are not many options to choose from. The only known treatment which has proved effective over the years is a bone marrow transplant. Recommendations for potential pet parents are that, they should first go for tests to know whether the kitty they wish to adopt is in the clear, a carrier or already affected by PKD, though many whose cats are already living with the condition will be happy to know that many Singapuras have live their full normally lives even when affected by PKD. This deficiency is associated with a plethora of symptoms which include the likes of diarrhea, lethargy, and poor coat quality. Other symptoms to look out for include lack of appetite, jaundice as well as weight loss.
- Uterine Inertia:
Another health concern that breeders have over the Singapura breed of feline is a clinical condition known as Uterine Inertia. A good population of the breed has been found to be susceptible to this health problem. However, the cats that may likely face this are the ones you are rearing for the purpose of breeding, since they may find it difficult to push out their kittens without external help. The known major cause of uterine inertia is usually weak muscles which reduce the female’s natural ability to expel their fetus.
This inability to give birth was first noticed in a member of the foundation feline, and is still very much evident in a good number of Singapura females in current times. Thus if your female kitty that has not littered for the first time is nearing its delivery period, your best bet is to get prepared for a C-section delivery, as that may be the only option available.
Breeders who have found that their Singapura has this condition have considered the option of having the kitty spayed in a bid to protect it as well as put a stop to the trait in subsequent generations. However, the best option for people who are new adopters of the Singapura breed is to pay an early visit to the vet. This is in a bid to rule out any possible health issues that might rear its head in the future as well as treat any existing ones. Apart from these two health conditions, the Singapura is generally sturdy, and many have been known to exceed their full life span of 15 years.
Just like every other cat of similar ilk, the Singapura thrives on a healthy cat’s diet which must be rich in the all-important animal-based protein that all feline population needs for their growth and development. The kitty still engages in hunting sprees on their own, going after rats and mice. Other important components of the diet are cat vitamins and minerals, which enhances growth as well as aid in building resistance to diseases.
Baths may not be necessary with the Singapura breed, but pet parents should try to avoid the occurrence of periodontal diseases by brushing their kitty’s teeth daily. Where daily brushing is not possible, weekly brushing can suffice. Remove any accumulated discharge from the corners of your pet’s eyes with a soft, moist cloth, and try not to spread infections by using a separate end of the cloth for each eye. The nails should be clipped weekly or as when due.
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Always check the ears and if found dirty, clean with a cotton bud or a moistened cloth with an equal portion of water and vinegar. Cotton swabs are known to be damaging to the inner ear; thus, they are not recommended. Regular cleaning should be conducted on the cat litter box as cats love to stay in a clean environment. Always keep your cat indoors, so it does not contact diseases or get attacked by any marauding animals. Staying indoors also protects them from theft and accidents.
Because of its short coat, the Singapura is easy to groom. Just go for a weekly combing and brushing and finish off with a chamois polish that will leave the coat shiny. A bath may not be required. When it comes to shedding, the cat belongs to the low-shedding category, which makes both care and grooming a whole lot easier.
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The feline is quite affectionate and is a typical lap dog that loves to cuddle up to their owners in bed. They are tolerant with other pets and kids, and are very frisky, and thus maintain a playful behavior till old age. They are intelligent as well as curious, and on their own, the Singapura can figure out things like how to twist door knobs, pull out drawers, or open the cabinet to know the content.
The cat is quite talkative and enjoys talking to its human family with a soft and gentle meow. Quietude is not a quality of the Singapura who always has something to say. The kitty is far from being a floor cat, an extrovert to the core and loves to constantly seek attention which it thrives on. In fact, the Singapura is a typical circus cat because it loves to perform and also enjoys the company of people. The cat is quite calm, especially with its quiet voice that is never high-pitched, and it is known to make friends easily, even with strangers.