22 Popular Cat Sayings

Caitlin Dempsey


Print shows the faces and front paws of two sleeping cats.

Here are a few common phrases or sayings that involve cats:

  1. “Curiosity killed the cat.” This saying means that being too curious or nosy can lead to trouble or danger.
  2. “A cat has nine lives.” This saying means that cats are very resilient and have the ability to survive difficult situations.
  3. “Like a cat on a hot tin roof.” This saying means that someone is feeling anxious or agitated.
  4. “Let the cat out of the bag.” This saying means to reveal a secret that was meant to be kept hidden.
  5. “The cat’s got your tongue.” This saying means that someone is unusually quiet or unable to speak.
  6. “A cat may look at a king.” This saying means that even someone of low status or rank has the right to look at or observe someone of higher status or rank.
  7. “Fat cat.” This saying is used to describe a wealthy or influential person who is corrupt or greedy.
  8. “Like a cat on a leash.” This saying means that someone is doing something that isn’t smart that most people know won’t work.
  9. “The cat’s meow.” This saying means that something or someone is very fashionable or popular.
  10. “The cat’s pyjamas” – This phrase is similar to “the cat’s meow,” and means that something is particularly stylish or fashionable.
  11. “Look what the cat dragged in” – used to describe someone who looks disheveled or dirty
  12. “Pussyfoot around.” This saying means to avoid taking action or making a decision, often because of fear or hesitation.
  13. “Cool as a cat” – This phrase means that someone is calm, collected, and not easily flustered.
  14. “Cool cat” – someone who is cool and composed
  15. “Playing cat and mouse” – This phrase describes a situation where one person or group is trying to outmaneuver or deceive another.
  16. “Not enough room to swing a cat” – This phrase means that a place is very small or cramped.
  17. “Fight like cats and dogs” – to argue or fight fiercely
  18. “It’s raining cats and dogs” – This means it is raining very heavily.
  19. “Copycat” – This means someone is copying or imitating someone else.
  20. “Happy as a cat with cream” – This means someone is very content or satisfied.
  21. “Have a cat nap” – This means to take a short nap or rest.
  22. “To turn a cat in a pan” – an obsolete saying that means to make a sudden change in one’s political or religious belief in order to stay superior much like how a cat can quickly right itself when falling.


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About the author
Caitlin Dempsey
Caitlin Dempsey holds both a master's in Geography from UCLA and a Master of Library and Information Science. She is the editor of Geographyrealm.com and an avid researcher of geography and feline topics. A lifelong cat owner, Caitlin currently has three rescued cats: an orange tabby, a gray tabby, and a black cat.