Genetics of the Breed

As the Singapura breed has originated from only 6 cats, it has been important to match any imported cats to those already in the UK and thankfully this has become much easier now that there are online databases.

The breed has been recognised in most registering bodies and is being bred by dedicated breeders around the world. It is still a numerically minority breed but breeders do tend to work together to ensure the continuity of the breed.

In the early days of the breed some solid brown kittens were born so a robust test mating programme was undertaken by the American breeders to establish which cats carried the non-agouti gene and to eliminate the solid colours from the genepool. Since eliminating the solid colours, the Singapura has been determined to have the genotype AA BB cbcb DD ii TaTa. AA denoting Agouti, BB denoting black, cbcb denoting that the cat appears brown not black, DD denoting that there is no recessive dilute, ii denoting that there is no rufus inhibiting or silver gene, and TaTa denoting that the breed is tabby agouti in pattern. Because test mating was undertaken to Burmese, Siamese and blue cats, it was ascertained that no Siamese gene or blue genes were carried. Only 7 cats were neutered after the test mating programme due to carrying solid colours.

Most of the test matings were undertaken using Burmese as Roy Robinson's Book 'Genetics for Cat Breeders', 3rd Edition, indicated that if a Singapura was mated to a Burmese and had a total of 7 ticked kittens, then the parent would be 99.2 percent clear of the non-agouti gene. All our British cats originate from this test mating programme undertaken in the mid 1980s, along with another later testing by Dr Bella Toga in France in the mid 1990's. Singapuras breed true to one colour only which is Brown Ticked. UK breeders strive to maintain the integrity of the breed by only mating Singapura to Singapura to keep the physical appearance and colour.

© Progressive Singapura Cat Club and Marcia Owen