There are a number of small cat breeds, but the Singapura cat, according to experts, is officially the smallest cat registered with cat associations worldwide.
This chapter on small breeds deals with the Singapura.
The Singapura cat breed is a natural breed and this little beauty has its roots in Singapore, Malaysia.
The cat's name is the Malay name for Singapore, the smallest city-state in South East Asia.
Singapore means 'lion city', which has also given rise to the cat being
called the 'little lion'.
The Pura originates from feral cats, found in the streets and drains of Singapore.
As a result of this they are often named 'Drain or River Cats' - how unflattering for such a beautiful little cat which today is considered the official mascot of Singapore!
We much prefer their other nicknames - 'Kucinta, the Love Cat' or as some fondly call them - 'Puras.'
There was some debate, or rather controversy, as to how and when the first Pura arrived in the USA.
Tommy and Hal Meadow were Americans who lived in Singapore in the 1970's. On their return to the USA in 1975, they brought with them three 'drain cats', Ticle, Tess and Pusse, which they aptly named - Singapura.
Later, import documents were found that suggested that the Meadows had in fact brought these cats into Singapore, from the USA, in 1974.
When confronted, Tommy Meadow explained that the cats of '75 were in fact the offspring of cats that her husband, Hal had sent back to the USA, in 1971.
He had not 'declared' these cats due to possible political or security sensitivities. But all were assured that the cats of '75 were the 'genuine article'.
This explanation was accepted by the CFA, but some cat breeders refuted this.
Many believed that these domestic cats were in fact a cross between an Abyssinian cat and Burmese cat which the Meadow family had owned.
In 1980, Sheila Bowers obtained a cat called Chico, from the SPCA in Singapore.
This 'drain cat', which resembled the Meadow cats, was returned to the USA to further establish and develop the Singapura cat breed.
Despite the controversy and the rift that developed amongst the cat breeders, these small cat breeds continued to gain popularity.
Today, the Singapura cat is still uncommon in the USA and rare in Europe, but it is recognized by most associations and bred in many countries.
Liana, Singapura | photo courtesy of Clare Willoughby of Spookipawz
If you want to know more about these perfect small cat breeds - beautiful cats with the heart of a lion, then visit our pages for comprehensive information on these cats.
Top of Small Cat Breeds Page
Return to Types of Cats