11 Popular Cat Breeds in Singapore: Bengals, Ragdolls, Siamese & Others

popular cat breeds singapore

Purebred cat breeds in Singapore are well sought after. This article is simply to give more information about the various cat breeds and their lineages.

According to the international non-profit organisation Cat Fanciers’ Association, there are 44 recognised cat breeds in the world. The organisation’s mission is to preserve and promote the pedigreed breeds of cats, and help ensure the well-being of all cats.

 

1. Bengal cat breed

One of the more popular cat breeds in Singapore (and internationally) is the Bengal cat. Bengals are bred to look like wild jungle cats, so their fur sports rosettes or a marbled look, like that of margays, leopards and ocelots. The Bengal cats get their name after the Asian Leopard species, Bengalensis, by a man called Bill Engler.

Bengals’ fur colours are usually bright orange, light brown, off-white or cream coloured. They have long bodies and large oval eyes. They also have horizontal stripes on their front paws and beside their eyes, giving them a mascaraed look.

Purebred Bengals are expensive to buy in Singapore. A popular and famous place is Designer Bengal Singapore along the East Coast Road. You have to pay $5 to visit for 20 minutes and the purebred cats cost thousands of dollars there.

We have seen Bengal cats up for adoption on Cat Welfare Society page as well, so you don’t necessarily have to shop for one. Also even if you can’t find a Bengal to adopt, there are many Singapore domestic breeds with the same affectionate personality.

 

 

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How to care for Bengals: Bengals have short coats so you only need to brush it once a week to minimise shedding. Bengals love baths, which is quite atypical of cats! Do the usual ear cleaning, nail trimming whenever necessary.

Bengal cat personality: Bengal cats are often called dogs in a cat’s body as they are so energetic and fun! As such, they require a lot of attention and care. Entertain the cats with many challenging toys and activities, as well as hammocks and cat trees. Try to have a companion for them if you find that you will be too busy to care for them during the day.

 

2. Persian cat breed

The Persian cat was once treated as one of the fanciest and most exotic breeds in the world. It got its name almost 400 years ago when the first Persian Cats got introduced to Europe from Iran, Persia. They are now popular in the US and all over the world, including Singapore!

The Persian cat is distinguished by a flat face, tiny nose, large round eyes and a luxurious long coat. Cross-breeding of the Angora Cat and Persian Cat was very common, so it was difficult to distinguish one from the other. But today, the modern Persian cat has a short, flat face and a very short nose, while the Angora’s nose is longer and the head is shaped like a downward wedge.

Today, Persian cats come in 6 types of colours, from solid, silver, smoke, tabby, bi-colour to parti-colour. They’re medium-sized, usually weighing between 2 and 5 kgs.

 

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How to take care of Persian cats: Persian Cats have a long-haired coat all around their body on the head, back, legs, and tail. Thus, they need to be bathed every week and their fur needs to be combed every day. Their eyes are prone to tearing, so you should clean the cat’s eyes and nose with an appropriate cleanser and cotton balls to avoid staining.

Due to their flat faces, they may be more prone to respiratory problems, so watch out for those.

Persian cat personality: Persian cats tend to look grumpy and angry due to their features, but that is exactly opposite. They are adaptable and good-natured. Persian cats don’t really have the tendency to climb and jump and they are not very vocal. They would rather rest in an easily accessed area — the perfect lap cat.

 

3. Japanese Bobtail cat breed

Many believe that the Japanese manekineko to be inspired by the Japanese Bobtail cat breed. The most distinguishable feature is their little “bunny tail”. The bobtail cat has a stumpy tail (3 inches or shorter) and their hair can come in many different colours.

The bobtail has many appearances in Japanese folklore and traditional art pieces. One story has it that Japanese authorities had ordered all cats to be released on the streets to tackle the rodent problem that threatened the silkworm farms. Perhaps, that’s why Japanese bobtails are so common on the streets of Japan.

The first recorded import of Japanese Bobtail was in 1968 by Elizabet Feret. In 1993, it became a recognised breed. Until today, Japanese (and some Chinese) people believe that cats with 3 colours, also known as the Calico cat, brings luck.

 

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How to care for the Japanese Bobtail: The Japanese Bobtail has a non-existent undercoat, so you are only required to brush the coat about once a week.

Their coats are also highly water-resistant, so when bathing, make sure you wet the coat thoroughly and work the shampoo in for deep cleaning.

Don’t forget to do the routine cleaning for ears, trimming of nails and brushing of teeth.

Japanese Bobtail personality: Bobtails are highly intelligent and they love being friends with humans. They are playful and are known for being very vocal. They can even be trained to walk on a leash or play fetch!

 

4. Maine Coon

The Maine Coon is possibly the largest domestic cat breed in the world. There are a few conflicting but somewhat similar stories about its lineage.

The first story was that when Marie Antoinette escaped France during the war, she brought her Turkish Angoras with her and when she was assassinated, the captain of the ship who was supposed to help her escape took her belongings and settled in Wiscasset, Maine. The Angora cats bred with local short-haired cats, and eventually, their offspring became Maine Coon cats.

Another plausible story was that there was once a cat collector called Captain Coon and when he docked his ship in New England, his long-haired coats explored the land and mated with local short-haired cats.

Still some others believe that the long-haired breeds were introduced by New England seaman or Vikings instead.

 

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Maine Coons are large cats. Males weigh 6 to 8 kgs and females weigh 4 to 6 kgs. A full adult Maine Coon can be anywhere between 20 and 40 cm.

Their faces are squarish and they have almond-shaped eyes and a long mane around their neck, back of legs, and between paws and tails. There are any number of colours of Maine Coon breeds.

How to care for the Maine Coon cat: Maine Coons have lush and long fur, which makes them look like a lion. It makes it suitable for living and hunting in the cold. Their fur is water-resistant and guess what, Maine Coons love water! Generally, minimal grooming is required as their long fur usually grows downward, but bathe them when necessary and routinely clip their nails and clean their eyes.

Maine Coon personality: Though the large Maine Coon cat looks grumpy most of the time, they have a playful and affectionate personality and is almost dog-like. Many of them like to be walked on a leash.

5. Ragdoll cat

The Ragdoll cat is extremely popular these days. It was first bred by an American breeder called Ann Baker in the 1960s. The first Ragdoll cat was a mix between a non-pedigree female and possibly a Birman cat.

The offspring and beautiful colour-point markings and they were notably calm and “went limp” when carried, thus giving the breed its name, “ragdoll”. Ann Baker skipped major cat registries and trademarked the name Ragdoll cat to set up her own International Ragdoll Cat Association.

It was only in 2000 that the Ragdoll breed was recognised by the Cat Fancier’s Association. It topped the chart for most popular cat breeds in 2018 by the CFA.

 

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Ragdoll cats are typically larger in size. Males weigh between 5 and 9 kgs and females weigh 4 to 6 kgs. They commonly sport semi-long silky fur with distinctive point markings and blue eyes.

Their fur patterns come in colourpoint, mitted, bi-colour and van. There are also other types of colours.

How to care for a Ragdoll cat: Although their long fur may strike owners as hard to maintain, their semi-long coat actually does not have a dense undercoat which means that it does not really shed or matt. Brush through the fur at least twice a week to prevent tangles. Also clean their ears and eyes and trim their nails when necessary.

Ragdoll cat personality: Ragdolls are very affectionate and likes to tail people around. They are very family-oriented, but thanks to their sweet, easy-going nature, they are also good for families with busy lifestyles. Ragdolls are great lap cats and are also usually seen lazing on low lying furniture.

 

6. Russian Blue

The elegant Russian Blue cat is sometimes also known as Archangel Blue, possibly because they originated from the port of Arckhangelsk, Russia.

Typically, Russian Blue are solid grey-blue in colour, with short, dense and plush fur. It’s said to be so dense that you can actually scribble words on their coats. Because of the bluish coats, they are easily mistaken for a Blue British Shorthair.

The Russian Blue is usually medium-sized with a long and slender body. Usually, their eyes are bright green and their mouths have a slight upturn that resembles a smile.

How to care for the Russian Blue: The Russian Blue coat does not require regular brushing. Simply do the routine cleaning and clipping of nails and your cat will be a happy kitty.

Russian Blue personality: While they look poised, Russian Blues are actually very affectionate and sociable. They love climbing onto high places to “kpo” on their human family members. They are loyal to their owners but may be shy with strangers. The Russian Blue cat tends to be a little OCD, and may refuse to step in a litter box even if it’s a little dirty!

 

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7. Scottish Fold

The Scottish Fold has a distinctive round head with large eyes and a very tiny nose. They are usually medium in size with a robust appearance.

The Scottish Fold got its name from the fold in their ears. Original Scottish Folds only had 1 fold, but selective breeding have resulted in double or more folds, causing their ears to look flattened in today’s Scottish Folds.

There are different short and long coat types and they also come in many colours: blue, cream, calilco, tabby, silver, etc.

 

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How to take care of a Scottish Fold: Brush every week to get rid of loose fur to reduce shedding for short-coat Scottish Fold or brush 2 to 3 times per week for long-coat ones. As their folded ears tend to accumulate more wax, clean and check their eyes regularly. Of course, don’t forget to trim their nails and clean their eyes too.

Scottish Fold Personality: The Scottish Fold has a very sweet nature and is very affectionate. They are typically good with children, guests and even other animals. A Scottish Fold is curious and likes to sit upright with their front legs gently placed on their bellies, somewhat like Timon from The Lion King, a meerkat! The Scottish Fold is also very intelligent and family-oriented, so don’t neglect it when you have it as a pet.

 

8. Siamese Cat breed

Originating from Thailand, the Siamese cats are first recorded in The Cat Book Poems, an ancient manuscript that dates as far back as 1351 to 1767 AD. They’re well-loved by the Royal family of Thailand; the first Siamese cat to reach American shores is a gift to President Rutherford B Hayes.

The Siamese cat has grown in popularity and is considered one of the most popular cat breeds in Europe and North America. They’re distinguishable by their point-colouration, i.e. a dark black faded mark on the face, tail and legs. They also have blue almond-shaped eyes.

Their interesting colour comes from a mutated enzyme that is heat sensitive, so the cooler parts of the Siamese cat’s body (nose, tails, ears and feet) turn dark, while the rest of the body stays relatively fair.

Their darkened marks are not only limited to a dark chocolate colour. the colouration could be lilac, red and cream, blue, chocolate and tortie in colour.

Selective breeding of the Siamese cat breed has spawned two other breeds – the traditional and the modern Siamese cats. Traditional Siamese cats have stocky bodies while modern ones have slender and long bodies with larger and wider-set ears.

 

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How to care for Siamese cat: The coat of Siamese cats are usually short and glossy, so it’s not difficult to maintain. Simply brush once or twice a week and bath when necessary. Also take care to trim the cat’s nails and clean out the eyes and ears.

Siamese cat personality: The Siamese cats love humans and are very vocal animals. They like to butt in on the action in the household and are very curious, intelligent and outgoing. Provide lots of stimulating toys and schedule time to play every day, or, get them another kitty companion.

Recently in 2017 there was a case of hoarding where 94 cats were rescued from a 3-room Sengkang flat, most of them Siamese. Siamese cats are actually quite common on adoption boards so definitely check those avenues out if you are taken by the Siamese cat’s personality and look.

 

9. Singapura

The Singapura cat breed recently surfaced in a reddit thread and stirred somewhat of a commotion among cat lovers in Singapore who didn’t know such a breed existed.

Well, the Singapura cat, also called kucinta or pura, were actually first street cats! It was only in 1970s when 3 of such Singapura cats were adopted by cat fanciers Hal and Tommy Meadow that it slowly gained recognition as its own breed.

The Cat Fancier’s Association listed it as a breed only very recently in 1988.

The key features of the Singapura cat is that they are the tiniest cats in the world (2 to 3 kgs for female and 3 to 4 kgs for males) and they have short coats in the shade of sepia agouti.

The sepia agouti is a mixture of alternating hairs, resulting in a warm off-white colour dotted with dark hairs, which makes for a very unique coat. They have a long slender tail with a dark coloured tip and their ears are deep, large and slightly pointed. They also have large, almond shaped eyes.

Fun fact: Next time you walk along Singapore River, watch out for 3 Singapura cat sculptures (a mother and 2 kittens).

 

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How to care for the Singapura Cat: The Singapura cat doesn’t really shed and they are fastidious groomers. Just give them occasional baths and trim their nails whenever necessary.

Singapura cat personality: The Singapura cat is playful and mischievous, very much unlike the population of actual Singapura. They are very active, agile, and love climbing. It has been reported that the Singapura can be taught tricks and love to be around humans.

 

10. Sphynx

The Sphynx is another famous breed and they are very easy to distinguish. They have no hair! Despite their naked look, they actually feel velvety to touch as they have a short, fine layer of hair.

Their seemingly lack of hair was caused by selective breeding from 2 roots, one from Canada and one from Minnesota.

The first hairless kitten ever recorded was first born to a domestic short hair cat in Toronto, and after subsequent mating, the Sphynx breed was born. The hairless trait is caused by a recessive gene and after ascertaining that the kittens that came out of the breeding program was fertile, the Cat Fancier Assocation listed them as a breed. The Canadian Sphynx was then crossed with other hairless cat breeds from Russia.

The second lineage comes from Wadena, Minnesota. The hairless cats were actually stray cats and subsequently brought into a breeding program in Oregon.

The Sphynx are medium-sized breeds, with adults weighing between 2.5 and 3.6kgs. They have a round tummy, wedge-like head, and tapered tail. The Sphynx comes in black, white, chocolate, tortie, calico and pointed.

 

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How to care for a Sphynx: Though the Sphynx cat doesn’t shed, you need to groom them regularly as their natural body oil doesn’t get absorbed by hairs like other cats. Bathe the cats every week. Also, make sure to avoid long outdoor activities as Sphynx cats do get sunburnt! If you live in cold temperate areas, you also should keep Sphynx warm with a small knitted sweater. 

Sphynx cat personality: The Sphynx can look a little stoic and scary, but they are actually very friendly cats! They are sociable and intelligent and so they are often found near their owners. Perhaps they love to snuggle up and get body warmth?

 

11. Turkish Angora

Turkish Angora, native to the Ankara region of Turkey, was famed to be Marie Antoinette’s favourite breed.

The first Turkish Angora was first brought to Canada in 1963 and recognised by the Cat Fanciers’ Association 10 years later.

 

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They have long, silky, luxurious coats and elegant bodies and are usually medium-sized, anywhere between 2 and 4 kgs.

The Turkish Angora has almond-shaped eyes and they have large, pointed ears and a long feathery tail.

How to care for the Turkish Angora: Like the Ragdoll, the Turkish Angora is easy to groom as they only have a single coat of silky fur that doesn’t mat or tangle up. Brushing the cat’s fur twice a week and bathing once in 2 months is still necessary. Clipping of nails and cleaning of ears and eyes are routine and required. Place high perches around the house so the Turkish Angora can climb and play.

Turkish Angora personality: The Turkish Angora are very playful and intelligent cats and they love to please and help their human counterparts. They are highly sociable and could become loyal to their favourite owner. They’re adaptable and good for a noisy, busy household.

We firmly believe in adopting from existing rescues in Singapore as the household domestic cat makes equally good pets. 

Do you have a favourite cat breed? Is there any popular cat breed in Singapore that you think we missed? Comment below! 

 

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