CATS Classified

CATS Classified (Classified Advertisements Telephone Service) is the print classified advertising platform of Singapore Press Holdings (SPH). Its classifieds products are distributed together with various newspapers published by SPH. These include, The Straits Times, The New Paper, Lianhe Zaobao, Shin Min Daily News, Lianhe Wanbao, Berita Harian and Tamil Murasu.[1] Its tagline is "Buy it. Sell it. Find it."

CATS Classified
FormatBroadsheet, Tabloid
Owner(s)Singapore Press Holdings
FoundedOctober 7, 1969
LanguageEnglish, Chinese, Malay, Tamil

CATS Classified is divided into 8 sections.

  • Personal
  • Business
  • Vehicles
  • Properties
  • Travel
  • Education
  • Notices
  • Recruit

CATS Classified features a different number of advertising options throughout its products. Described as one of the more active and vibrant classified publications in the world, it has been used as a learning tool by various publishers in the industry.[2]


Apart from Classified advertisements in print, CATS Classified organizes several events on an annual basis, bringing together advertisers and customers on a large scale.[3]


1800s: On 1 July 1845, the Straits Times registered office was a three-storey building at No. 7 Commercial Square, now Raffles Place. The first issue of the Straits Times & Singapore Journal was published on 15 July 1845, consisting of an 8-page folio size, with Classified Ads on the front page. The paper cost was half a Spanish dollar. Front page of 1st issue of The Straits Times (i.e. July 15, 1845) was monopolised by advertisements presented in a composite fashion.[4]

1900s: In the early 1900s, presentation of newspaper advertisements slowly improved with the introduction of new typefaces or letters and pictorial illustrations. However, the newspaper’s front page was still blanketed with advertisements.

1940s: The Classified Section first appeared in the Straits Times on December 5, 1946. "CATS Classified" was first launched in Singapore on October 7, 1969, starting off with four female call center operators.[5]

The person in charge was Mr Koh Tiong Choo. Mr Koh joined Classified when he was 28 years old. Mr Koh had to scrutinise all ads, as far as English was concerned. Also he had to be sure of the genuine nature of the advertisers. Death certificates had to be produced before publication of the death announcement. For engagement ads, both parties had to be present and identified from their IDs.

1950s: On April 3, 1958, HQ moved to Times House at Kim Seng Road. Business Office was located at ground level.

In Anson Road office, City Council (now PAP) placed some notice advertisements with The Straits Times. The girl who handed their ads made a big mistake - she kept a bunch of City Council notices in her drawer and forgot about them totally. For days it didn’t come out for publication. A week later, City Council demanded an explanation on why their ads were not published. Due to the girl’s omission, the Mayor of Singapore Mr Ong Eng Guan then issued an order to ban government advertising in the Straits Times for 2 years, It meant a great loss of income for The Straits Times because their advertisements were long.

1970s: On 11 June 1978, registered office was moved to Times Centre. Advertisements in The Straits Times and New Straits Times went metric from September 1975.

1980s: In 1983 headquarters were moved back to Times House.

1990s: On March 4, 1991 the newspaper switched to a scaled-down size of the conventional broadsheet to junior broadsheet. On 21 January 1995, the headquarters were moved to the current location at News Centre, 1000 Toa Payoh North.

2000s: CATS Classified underwent a systems upgrade on 1 September 2010 to the new Classified Advertisements Sales Hub (CASH), after 3 years of development.[6] The new system will make classified advertisement taking easier and faster for advertisers, as well as cutting the time taken to train new staff.[7]

Online Products

In 2006, CATS Classified launched an online Classifieds product, ST701 with four sections, Jobs, Cars, Property and Shops.[8] From January – June 2010, was ranked number one in the Hitwise Singapore 'Shopping and Classifieds - Classifieds' industry based on monthly average market share.[9][10]


  1. "Our Products" Archived 2010-09-26 at the Wayback Machine, Singapore Press Holdings
  2. Chen Yu & Gu Hong. The Marketing & Management of Newspaper Classified Ads. Nanfang Daily Press.2006
  3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-08-14. Retrieved 2010-11-16.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) , National Library of Singapore. Retrieved on 2010-11-16.
  4. "First Issue of the Straits Times",, Singapore. Retrieved on 2010-11-16.
  5. Serene Luo. "Cats Classified turns 40" Archived 2010-03-23 at the Wayback Machine,, Singapore, October 7, 2009. Retrieved on 2010-9-17.
  6. Fang, Joy. "Cats Classified Cashes in with $18m system" Archived 2010-09-05 at the Wayback Machine,, Singapore, September 2, 2010. Retrieved on 2010-9-17.
  7. "Product Standards and Regulations". Archived from the original on 2011-02-07. Retrieved 30 November 2010.
  8. Ong, Cheryl. "ST701 gets a new look",, Singapore, July 6, 2010. Retrieved on 2010-9-17.
  9. Experian Hitwise (2010-08-26). "Hitwise Top Ten Awards". Experian Hitwise. Archived from the original on 2011-07-25. Retrieved 2010-09-14.
  10. The Straits Times (2010-08-26). "SPH websites win 29 awards". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2010-09-14.
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