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Norwich Bulletin - 8/28/2005

The Small And Sassy Singapura

The bouncy, playful Singapura is a macho little cat with quick wit and fierce loyalty . From its beginnings in the drains of the streets of Singapore to becoming a national treasure and tourist favorite, these cats are still so rare that people will wait for a year or more for their new kitten!

Tommy Meadow is the founder of the Singapura breed. In 1971, her husband was on a business in Singapore and sent her three unusual and intriguing looking cats that he said were native to the city streets. At that time, no-one had ever seen the brown color and agouti coat pattern combined. Even though these three cats in the US began the breeding program of the Singapura, the cat's gene pool has always existed in southeast Asia, where Burmese and Abyssinians were well documented in the domestic cat population.

In 1980, Brad and Sheilah Bowers were in Singapore and spotted cats that met the description of the Singapura breed. They started combing the shelters and located a whole male, which they brought back home. They named him Chiko and this cat became a very important foundation for the breed in the United States.

In 1987, the Singapore Cat Club found several more cats to import to the US to expand the gene pool. Together these cats formed the basis for the breed as it is known today. Selective breeding and no accepted outcrossing keeps the numbers low.

The Singapura has large almond shaped eyes, either green or hazel, that seem to look right into your soul with their sultry, sexy expression. They have a ticked agouti pattern, much like the Abyssinians, but they have a warm, old ivory background with bands of darker brown on each hair of the back and sides. This gives the cat soft sepia tones with the chest, stomach and inner legs the color of soft muslin. Unlike its Abyssinian cousin, the Singapura accepted in this one color only.

They look like little cougars, with dark cheetah lines running down from the eyes and along the nose, adding to that wild appearance. They have large ears and a stocky, muscular body. Most people are surprised when they pick up an adult Singapura as they are a small cat and it is hard to believe that they are well toned and muscular. They are a tight, compact little cat.

Grooming a Singapura is a snap. A fine, short coat, close to the body, makes grooming a snap. They are pretty much wash and wear, keeping themselves thoroughly cleaned and show ready. An exceptionally hard breed, the Singapura has no documented genetic or health defects.

This breed is very, very intelligent and you will find their antics very amusing and entertaining, or just annoying, depending on the type of person you are. This basically means that the Singapura is not for everyone. They are active and want to be wherever you are.

They like to help you clean the refrigerator, read the newspaper or take over your pillow. They can go to extremes as far as how close they want to be with you - before you know it, they can be in your ice cream bowl or helping themselves to a nice piece of roast beef from your plate. They are quick, curious and bold.

The Singapura can be a little thief, taking things out of purses, undoing zippers and nosing open the jewelry box. Don't leave your watch out on the dresser at night, or you may no longer have one in the morning. And don't think your Singapura will tell you where it is, either.

This is a good cat for people who want a human oriented, attention loving cat. They are even tolerant of children and seem to be able to communicate with them very well. They are good with other animals and seem to have a sixth sense as to what a human or animal friend might need from them.

They are an Abyssinian type cat with a more gentle, loving nature. They should never be only pets, nor should they be left alone for ten hours a day. Anyone who thinks they want a Singapura, must want a cat companion that they have time for. If you are the right type of owner for this breed, you will discover a delightful and devoted companion with an impish personalty and completely beguiling look.

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