Ten Cat Idioms

cat idiomsEnglish has quite a lot of idioms related to cats. One of the most favourite indoor pets in Britain, cats are valued for their pleasant looks, ability to hunt and companionship. The English word cat (Old English catt) originates from Latin cattus.

Some of the most widespread cat idioms and proverbs include:

1. Let the cat out of the bag

If a person lets the cat out of the bag, he or she reveals a secret carelessly or by mistake.

Now that Viola had let the cat out of the bag, she had no option but to confess.

2. Like a cat on hot bricks

If you see a jumpy and agitated person, you can say:

Stop being nervous. You are like a cat on hot bricks.

3. Not have a cat in hell’s chance

This idiom means that somebody or something has no chance at all.

The plan did not have a cat in hell’s chance of succeeding.

4. There’s more than one way to skin a cat

This proverb means that there’s more than one way of achieving one’s aim.

You can think of a different way to achieve your goal. There is more than one way to skin a cat.

5. Put (or set) the cat among the pigeons

This idiom can be used when people say or do something that is likely to cause trouble or controversy.

My last article certainly put the cat among the pigeons.

6. No (or not enough) room to swing a cat

The British use this idiom in reference to a very confined space.

Do you live here? There’s not even room to swing a cat!

7. The cat’s whiskers

It’s one of the ways to say that a thing or a person is excellent.

This car is the cat’s whiskers!

8. Rub someone up the wrong way

If you rube a person up the wrong way, you irritate or repel repel them (as by stroking a cat against the lie of its fur).

He had a cold manner that rubbed people the wrong way.

Sometimes he just rubs me up the wrong way.

9. Stop pussyfooting

That idiom means “stop act in a cautious or non-committal way”.

I realized I could no longer pussyfoot around.

10. Grin like a Cheshire cat

If you grim like a Cheshire cat, you have a broad fixed smile on your face.

Actually, I was totally engrossed in the procedure and was grinning like a Cheshire Cat.