It's been said that dogs have owners and cats have slaves, and the extrovert Siamese will certainly have you wrapped round their little paws in no time! People who have never shared their lives with a Siamese or two tend to underestimate this affectionate and intelligent breed of cat, and often think they are delicate and grumpy - but nothing is further than the truth.Siamese have many dog-like characteristics, and are completely devoted to their human housemates - without letting on, of course! They have the sweetest natures, and love constant human contact, often following their owners round the house and always thriving on attention. Despite their slightly haughty expression, they are not at all aloof, and will repay your love many times over. Potential newcomers to the breed are sometimes concerned that they will make a lot of noise, but apart from calling female cats (who will usually have a loud call, whatever the breed), Siamese normally use their voices to communicate, just like we do, and not simply for the fun of it. Most Siamese from reputable breeders will be strong and healthy pets, rarely ill, although some lines are predisposed to kidney problems in later life. They might well try and tell you that all they will eat is freshly cooked chicken, or lightly poached fish, but the truth is that most Siamese are feline dustbins and will eat pretty well anything given the chance. This doesn't mean that they should be fed on the cheapest variety of cat food available, or that it's OK to give them the dog's leftovers, but they will be very happy with a wide range of good quality proprietary cat food, and probably a mix of wet food (in pouches are foil trays) as well as dried food. Like many other breeds, Siamese need to have fresh water available at all times, but they seem particularly prone to digestive disorders if they are given access to cows' milk, and you will need to be watchful that they don't try and steal the remains of your breakfast cereal bowl. The original Siamese were seal point, with dark brown, almost black, face, ears, legs, tail and paws, and for a long time they were the most popular colour, even after the newer varieties were introduced, but nowadays all recognised colours have gathered momentum, and each variation is represented by a specialist cat club in the UK. The seal points still seem to regard themselves as the Senior Siamese, and are quite often the most extravert and outgoing of all colours, often assuming the role of Chief Pet in a home with other cats or even a dog! It's now possible to get Siamese in almost 50 colour combinations, including all the tortie, tortie-tabby and tabby points, and red, cream and apricot points are particularly popular at the moment.Siamese need to be kept entertained, and it is always a good idea for them to have at least one feline companion, not necessarily another Siamese, but a cat with a fairly outgoing personality that will be able to cope with an extrovert Siamese. If they have company, they will not rely on you as their sole source of companionship, which is important if you are out during the day or like to go away on holiday. A solo Siamese will become very lonely which will also affect his behaviour, as despite the outgoing personality and giving the impression of being very independent, they are very sensitive cats that need to be loved and made a fuss of. They are also very intelligent and inquisitive cats, always wanting to know what is going on and insisting on investigating the contents of rooms and cupboards with shut doors. Many Siamese can stand on their hind legs to turn a doorknob, or will lean and tug at a door handle until a door opens for them once they have worked out how to do it from watching you. If there are doors that you do not want them to open (maybe cupboards containing cleaning materials, or children's bedrooms) you may need to think about installing child locks on some of your doors, as Siamese can be very persistent and determined once they have decided to do something! If you are buying new items for your home, or carrying out home improvements, you will need to start trying to think like a Siamese, so that you consider any potential dangers to your pet. Siamese love to help around the home, so take special care if you have any floorboards up, if you are painting (Siamese and decorating do not normally go well together!) or if you are using any toxic adhesives, and keep your cat well away from any hazards. Siamese are a constant source of entertainment and will keep you, your family and friends amused for hours. Many thrive on being the centre of attention, and will happily play with toys for effect, even being naughty and doing things they would not normally do (like going up the curtains!) if it raises a laugh, as they are natural performers. Some of them prefer to watch from the sidelines and will not readily make contact with people they do not know, but often, given time, they will come out to play, as they want to be part of whatever is going on. Despite the impression of the Siamese as a rather aristocratic cat, they love hunting, and if allowed out in the garden they will undoubtedly bring you a collection of the local wildlife, both dead and alive, to admire. They move very quickly and can pounce on their prey with well-tuned accuracy - even if they stay indoors you will see them regularly catching flies and spiders if they spot them.It's probably true to say that once you have shared your life and home with a Siamese or two, you will be completely hooked on them. If they've been a bit naughty, they will want to be back in favour with you as soon as possible, and will use all their feline charms to get you back on side - and you will give in to their irresistible personalities every time!