Singapore’s Native Cat Breed

Meet the Singapura:

CC-BY-SA-2.0; CC-BY-SA-2.5 squeezeweasel

Singapura is the original name of Singapore, and is also the name still used for Singapore in the Malay language.

But… did you know that there’s also a cat breed called the Singapura?  This cat breed was discovered here in Singapore in the 70s and originated from cross-breeding between community cats.  The cats were exported to the US were the breed was refined, with undesirable traits being bred out until we have the Singapura of today.

At the time, the Singapura became a popular icon for tourists and the Singapore Tourism and Promotion Board (now Singapore Tourism Board) decided to use the cat breed as an iconic Singapore mascot.  The name “kucinta” (kucing + cinta) was chosen for the cats after a naming competition and statues of these cats can be found along the Singapore River.

Singapore community cats, or strays, produced a recognized breed of cats that are valued the world over, sometimes pulling upwards of 600 GBP each.  When they became popular and could be monetized, they were recognized and made into a mascot to attract tourists.

So… why is it that these days community cats are rounded up by Town Councils and executed at the slightest provocation?