The Singapura is the worlds smallest domestic cat. They were only recognised as a breed in 1974 when the first Singapura was found living wild as a street cat on the island of Singapore. It is from the local word for the island of their origin, Singapura, that the breed takes it's name.
It seems likely that the breed has existed in its current type for perhaps 300 years, being descended from cats arriving from all parts of the world on trading ships, and perhaps even crossed with already resident feral, or wild cats. They are one of three typical 'types' living in Singapore, the other two be akin to the Abyssinian and the Japanese bob-tail. Singapuras lived in small colonies throughout the city, and were periodically culled by the authorities who considered them to be vermin. It was one such cull prior to a Royal visit in 1974 that would have appeared to have almost wiped out the breed, and meant that only three cats matching the description of the breed could be found and exported to the States. It is from these three cats, and a fourth found in 1980, that the entire breed has descended.
Because of the fact that the breed was considered as vermin in its native country, many of the cats lived in the sewers and gutters of the city, earning themselves the nickname of 'Drainpipe Cats'.