The Singapura cat goes by many names - the 'Drain or River Cat', the Pura, and 'Kucinta, the Love Cat'.
These small cat breeds had humble beginnings - they were originally feral cats found in the drains of Singapore and today, these rare and beautiful little darlings are owned by only a lucky few.
The Pura, as it is affectionately called, has a small to medium sized body that is moderately stocky, fairly muscular but not very heavy - in fact, this is one of the lightest and smallest cat breeds.
Its back is slightly arched, its rib cage is rounded and the neck is thick and short. The tail is slender and of medium length - if laid along the body, it should end just short of the shoulder.
The cat's legs are well muscled and heavy and the paws are small and oval shaped.
The Singapura cat has a round head with a rounded, well developed chin, short, broad muzzle and blunt nose. The ears are alert and large and the tips of the ears are moderately rounded.
Another distinctive feature of the Kucinta is its large, almond-shaped eyes. The eyes are wide open and may present at a slight slant.
There are only three accepted eye-colors - green, hazel or yellow and the eye-color should be brilliant. The eyes are outlined or accentuated by dark brown eyeliner.
Sp Pr Java Gino Gioletti | Sepia Agouti Singapura | Tracy Nairn of Java Cattery
The Singapura's coat is short, shiny and fine and lies flat against the body.
The only color that is recognized is Sepia Agouti, which is a golden-ivory background color with brown tipping otherwise known as a ticked tabby pattern.
Each hair must have a minimum of 4 alternating light and dark bands of color.
The underside of the cat, its chest, muzzle and chin is the color of unbleached muslin. The back and spine has intense ticking, whilst the underside of the Singapura cat displays very little ticking.
Kittens may have a slightly longer and thicker coat, but the coat should never be wooly.
The Singapura has some very distinctive markings:
In a nutshell, this is a small, sturdy cat with large eyes and ears with a unique sepia-colored coat, distinctive markings and an angelic face.
kitten | photo courtesy of Clare Willoughby of Spookipawz
Puras are ardent and agile hunters that enjoy being outdoors. Many cat breeders have contracts that stipulate that the cat must be kept indoors for the safety and protection of the cat.
Outdoors does not mean your cat should roam the neighborhood. An enclosed cat-proof / escape proof garden or cat run is the perfect environment for your cat.
It will adapt well to apartment living provided it is not left alone for hours on end or feels confined.
A cat that lives exclusively indoors needs an 'adventure zone' to prevent boredom.
The ideal home for a Singapura would be a mature family where there is always company at home.
They get on well with children, but younger boisterous children need to be taught that all cats prefer gentle play - Pura's prefer a more tranquil home.
Vantge | photo courtesy of Clare Willoughby of Spookipawz
Singapuras are loving, affectionate and sociable cats. Their favorite playmates are their owners, but they are dog and cat friendly pets too.
The owners we chatted to describe them as curious, extroverts who like to 'help' around the house.
When they're not involved with household activities, you'll find them perched on the tallest item of furniture, or racing around the house like they're possessed!
These cats are 'lovers not a fighters', they avoid confrontation at all costs. The females are loving mothers and male cats love to socialize in groups.
They are playful and love to learn tricks. They love the company of all people, even visitors.
They have very soft, discreet voices and they dislike loud noise, so a tranquil environment would suit them best. This is quite amazing if you consider they grew up on the streets of one of the busiest cities in the world.
Pura's are described as intelligent, non-aggressive cats that love attention and frequent gentle petting and a warm lap.
The Singapura cat needs very little grooming. A weekly brush, dental hygiene and an occasional claw clip...and that's all that's needed.
Bathing is generally not required, except if it's a show cat, in which case it should be bathed a week before show day to allow the coat to recover its natural oils.
For additional information about grooming your shorthaired cat, visit the chapter on general cat care.
Singapura picture courtesy of Tracy Nairn of Java Cattery
The Singapura cat is considered a healthy cat breed with very few health issues.
Breeders are concerned about the poor genetic pool diversity and the resultant inbreeding due to this small gene pool.
Some lines do suffer from uterine inertia which means that the queen may require caesarean when giving birth to her kittens.
It is always wise to consider medical cat insurance for your companion. You do need to vaccinate your cat against the common infectious feline diseases and de-worm your cat frequently.
No special diet is required, but they do need to be fed a well balanced, premium diet.
The review on cat food provides excellent information on the different types of feline foods.
Water and not milk is also an essential part of the diet.
The average weight of these small cat breeds is between 2 - 4 kg (4.4 - 8.8 lbs). Male cats are larger than the females.
The average life span for the Singapura cat is 12 years. A well cared for cat may live to 15 years or more.
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