The Singapura is an alert, healthy, small cat of foreign type. The body has good bone structure and is moderately stocky and muscular, yet gives an impression of great elegance. Females are usually smaller than the males, but still feel heavier than they look. The strong slender legs taper to small oval feet. The tail should be slender but not whippy. and should have a blunt tip. Body colour is an old or golden ivory with a soft warm effect, ticked with sepia brown. Each hair has at least two bands of sepia brown ticking, separated by light bands — light next to skin, and dark tip. Muzzle, chest, stomach and inner legs are an unticked light ivory colour. Singapuras should have some barring on their inner front legs and back knees. The coat is short, fine, silky, and close-lying.
The breed has noticeably large eyes and ears. Eyes are large, set not less than an eye width apart, held wide open, but showing slant when closed or partially closed. A dark outline to the eyes is desirable. Eye colour hazel, green or yellow only. Ears are large, wide open at base, and deep cupped. The outer line of the ears extends upwards to an angle slightly wide of parallel. The head is gently rounded with a definite whisker break and a medium short, broad muzzle with a blunt nose. In profile, the Singapura has a rounded skull with a slight stop just below eye level. There must be evidence of dark pigment outline on the nose. ‘Cheetah’ lines from the inner corner of the eye towards just behind the whisker pad should be present.
The original home of the Singapura is the island of Singapore, with the breed taking its name from the local Malay name for the island — meaning 'Lion City'. The breed is the result of Mother Nature’s combination of genes indigenous to Southeast Asia — both the brown as in Siamese and Burmese and the agouti or ticked pattern. The area is the highest epicentre for the agouti gene, according to geneticist, Neal Todd, who has published articles on the migration of feline genes. This breed is the same colour as seal point cats or brown Burmese, but the difference is the agouti coat pattern and how it interacts with the sepia brown.