The history of the Singapura is subject to controversy amongst cat breeders and enthusiasts. Originally claimed the breed was transported to America with Hal and Tommy Meadows on their return from Singapore, documentation later emerged proving that the three foundation cats, named Tess, Tickle and Pusse, were actually imported to Singapore from the United States, and then returned with the Meadows. The Cat Fanciers Association decided to investigate the situation and discovered that the three cats were in fact grandchildren of native cats from Singapore, imported to America by Tommy Meadows much earlier. Although the case was rejected and no charges were brought against the Meadows, many cat fanciers still believe the Singapura is an Abyssinian/Burmese cross and not a breed completely distinct from the two. Despite the mystery shrouding the Singapura, the International Cat Association recognised it in 1979, as the Cat Fanciers Association did two years later.
The Singapura boasts similar traits to the Abyssinian, with a short, close-fitting coat, long, nimble legs and large, round-tipped ears. The breed is distinctive for its size alone, being the smallest cat in existence. Further characterised by slightly oblique eyes, a slender body structure and ticked tabby patterning on the coat, recognised by registries in sepia agouti colouring, the Singapura is a handsome and well evolved breed with a unique outward appearance. The head is typically small and marked with an ‘M’ on the forehead, like most tabby variations. Physically, the Singapura is very capable and can scale to great heights, making it on top of your wardrobe with ease.
A gentle and docile cat by nature, the Singapura makes a delightful addition to any loving home. Affectionate and loyal to the tenth degree, the breed is compatible with other house pets when introduced to them gradually and is both a lap cat and independent wanderer. Not especially fond of loud noises, the Singapura is unsuited to homes with small children and if confronted with them, will likely hide away or take high ground. Generally speaking, a healthy adult Singapura will weigh 5-8 pounds depending on its gender, with a typical life expectancy of 12-15 years when shown appropriate love and care.
The breed gene pool is small, meaning that health problems arising from inbreeding are common. The Singapura is not susceptible to any genetic conditions, but may suffer with uterine inertia – a complaint that makes it unable to give birth naturally.