Known also as the Drain Cat or Kucinta (meaning beloved), Singapura cats obviously hail from Singapore. The first three Singapura cats to be imported into the US for breeding arrived in the early 1970s, and since then, a careful program of breeding has ensued. One minor point of dispute in the early days of the breed in the US was whether the Singapura cats were really Singaporean; the controversy has since been resolved after at least one Singapura cat was flown in from a Singaporean pound. Singapura cats are among the rarest breeds, mainly because their breeders have insisted on ensuring that Singapura breed naturally. However, Singapura cats have won grand championships in many cat shows since the late 1980s.
Singapura cats are well known for having much smaller heads, highlighting their large eyes and ears. They have relatively smaller legs, yet prove to be quite agile and active. One feature to watch out for is the striping on the upper legs, which is said to distinguish the breed. Singapura kittens are quite smaller than others on average, and it takes between 15 to 24 months for a kitten to mature somewhat. Males weigh on average between six to eight pounds and females from between five to six pounds.
Coloration is a very important factor in distinguishing Singapura cats. They are generally ivory-colored cats, often with ticks of sepia brown. This unique coloration is attributed to the unique nature of this cat as being from Southeast Asia, and thus sharing features common to cats from the region, most notably Burmese and Siamese cats. Some Singapura are solid-colored, and this also proved another point of discussion among breeders of the cat as well. Breeders resolved this controversy by creating another group of breeders devoted mainly to this variant of the Singapura.
The Singapura is known to be a very friendly cat, but very persuasive in a low-key way. Singapura cats are comfortable around people, and even into old age they can continue to follow people around the house. They are inquisitive, intelligent, and can be perceived as sympathetic. One writer has suggested, in a tribute to the cat’s persistence, that a Singapura can be trained, but not before it trains the owner. And very much like the culture from which this cat emerged, Singapura cats are not known to be argumentative creatures.
The Singapura’s natural habitat has mostly been cleaned up by the Singaporean government, but the Singapore government has declared this breed to be a national treasure. Statues can be found along the banks of the Singapore River, and a promotional campaign the government staged made use of two cats which, in an example of coals to Newcastle, were actually flown in from the US!
Due to that selective breeding process mentioned above, it often happens that people who obtain Singapura cats as pets get those that are not suitable for showing, mainly because of characteristics that would disqualify them from being considered pure Singapura. But whether or not they are of show quality, Singapura cats share the innate agility and intelligence for which they are known.