Cat Idioms

The lovely cat is a carnivorous animal that is often kept as a pet by humans.

Cats live, on average, about nine years.

The myth that cats have nine lives comes from the observation that cats seem to survive just about anything. If they fall from a very high place, they have a very high chance of surviving due to their ability to land on their feet.

There are many instances of cats overcoming massive catastrophes like earthquakes by jumping off buildings.

In the wild, cats (known as wildcats) are solitary beings.

Mark Twain - Cat by the tail quote

Idioms With the Word Cat

There are so many idioms with this word that I’d be here forever trying to list every single obscure one. Instead, I’ll just explain the most common ones and provide an example for each. Let the cattiness begin!

A cat may look at a king: This expression indicates that all human beings have rights whatever their social status may be. Example: There’s no reason why I can’t become the mayor of this town. Just because I was born in poverty and everyone this side of Dakota despises me, doesn’t mean that I can’t manipulate them into doing my bidding. They WILL vote for me! A cat may look at a king after all.

Cat ice: A sheet of ice from under which water has receded.

Cat got your tongue: Used to ask someone why they’re not talking. Very common idiom. A very simple example: What? You’ve never seen someone sky through a mountain of candy? What’s the matter with you? Cat got your tongue or what? Come on, join me in this ride to hell.

It’s raining cats and dogs: An alternative expression you can use when it’s raining like crazy. Example: We’ll definitely need an umbrella here. It’s raining cats and dogs.

Curiosity killed the cat: A proverb. Too much curiosity and messing with the affairs of others will be problematic for you if you keep it up. E.g.: You shouldn’t have been prying into affairs that do not correspond to you, Mr. Adams. I’m afraid we have to… terminate you. What is it that they say? Curiosity killed the cat—literally.

Like a cat on hot bricks: Restless. Example: Wow, look at that guy. He’s going so fast he’s almost flying. He’s like a cat on hot bricks—unstoppable!

Look what the cat dragged in: Check out who’s just arrived. An example: Well, well, look what the cat dragged in. If it isn’t Mr. Anderson and his company of tiny businessmen. How do the likes of you think you can compete with the likes of me? You will see what true superiority is, here and now.

I wish I could write as mysterious as a cat.

More than one way to skin a cat: There are multiple ways of accomplishing the same objective. A simple example: We could take the road and climb the mountain to get to the other side, or we could circumvent the mountain altogether, though it would take longer to get to our destination. We could also rent a helicopter and fly over the mountain. I don’t know, Jane. There’s more than one way to skin a cat and I’m not sure what is the right course of action in this situation.

Dog my cats: Used when you’re amazed by something. Example: Well, well, dog my cats!

Weak as a cat/kitten: Kittens are not the strongest of creatures. Until they grow up, they are easily hurt. This expression is used to show that something is weak. Nowadays, weak as a cat is a lot more common. So, for example: My mom is weak as a kitten. We need to take her to the hospital right now before it’s too late.

Cat’s pajamas: A really cool thing. Example: Wow man, this guitar is the cat’s pajamas! It’s amazing!

Dead cat on the line: An expression used to indicate that something is wrong. Example: There’s no way I’m getting an A in this exam. There’s a dead cat on the line in the final section—I definitely messed something up.

Kittens eventually become cats.

Purring like a cat: An expression used when some kind of machine or engine or device is functioning properly. It can also be used for people, to indicate that they are extremely pleased. Example: This brand new car is purring like cat—I’ve never seen a car run so well.

Letting the cat out of the bag: To reveal something. Here’s an example: We can’t let the stock prices plummet. It’s time to reveal our next groundbreaking technology. It’s time to let the cat out of the bag.